Apple wants to replace your PC with an iPad. The company is hoping that smaller, re-tooled iPad Pro is the device that will make Windows users make the switch. The company calls the news 9.7″ model, “more capable, versatile, and portable than anything that’s come before.” Let’s take a look.
Like the well-received Surface Pro from Microsoft, this device allows you to snap apps to run them side by side. You can purchase an optional keyboard as well as the Apple Pencil. (A stylus that allows you to draw on the screen.)
Like a Surface Pro, there’s an optional, detachable keyboard that can also double as a cover. The keyboard is a bit smaller than the Surface keyboard and there’s no touch pad option.
Apple promises nearly double the CPU speed of an iPad Air 2 with this model and also double the graphics performance. iPads have often been criticized as not being very good for gaming. This new model is designed to support better and faster games, assuming developers bring them to the market.
There’s an improved 12 MP rear-facing camera, though I’m not sure how many people want to use a 9 inch tablet as a camera. It could prove to be a bit bulky. There’s also a very good 5 MP front-facing camera. These cameras are big improvement on the 8MP rear-facing and 1.2 MP front facing camera on the 12.9″ iPad Pro model.
Unlike the Surface Pro tablet, which is a full Windows PC capable of running desktop programs, the iPad Pro runs on iOS 9 not OSX and is only capable of running mobile apps. That’s not necessarily a drawback, depending on how you use your device. The Surface Pro also supports a mouse and USB peripherals. The iPad Pro does not. You’ll need to use it more like a tablet than a PC.
The smaller iPad pro starts at $600 for 32 GB version (kind of a small storage capability for a PC replacement, if you ask me.) But there are version with more storage available, ranging all the way up to a $900 256-GB model. The optional Apple Pencil will cost you $99 and the keyboard will run you $149.
It’s an exceptionally nice tablet, but switching from a PC to an iPad Pro would be quite a transition.