iPad Pro: 6 Pros, 4 Cons For Business Users - InformationWeek

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Mobile // Mobile Devices
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9/14/2015
07:05 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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iPad Pro: 6 Pros, 4 Cons For Business Users

The iPad Pro represents a sea change for Apple's tablet, which is now more than ever angling to replace your laptop.
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(Image: Kritchanut/iStockphoto)

(Image: Kritchanut/iStockphoto)

Apple revealed the iPad Pro on Sept. 9, a massive tablet aimed squarely at those looking to be productive on the go. The iPad Pro is clearly a shot across the bow of the Surface Pro, a tablet Microsoft claims is good enough to replace the ever-trusty laptop.

The iPad Pro is a steroid-infused beast of a machine that will appeal to many business users, but it's not for everyone.

Apple nailed the design. The iPad Pro is a larger version of the iPad Air 2, which is a slim beauty. It maintains the 4:3 screen aspect ratio, an ideal balance for work and play, and carries over the attractive aluminum casing without adding too much bulk.

CEO Tim Cook and his executives also decided to pull out all the stops with the iPad Pro by including a stylus called the Apple Pencil, an addition that is designed to give the tablet more functionality in the boardroom and office. This seems to have been one of the bigger steps for Apple, since the company had been allergic to the idea of a stylus for years.

[Want to see Apple's full fall lineup? Here's a look at the iPhone 6s, the iPad Pro, and Apple TV.]

The bigger question is: Can Apple make the tablet relevant? After all, iPad sales, along with other tablet sales, have stagnated or fallen in the last year as the smartphone has become the dominant device for consumers and business users. Is Apple's magic enough to ignite a market?

The enterprise market is not one that Apple actively seeks out, but the company has shown the ability  not only to glide into it, but to dominate it as well. Just ask anyone using an iPhone who sits next to you in the office.

What else did Apple get right? What did it get wrong? What do you think? What are your favorite and least favorite features of the new iPad Pro? Please add to the discussion below.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio

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srreeee
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srreeee,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/14/2015 | 10:06:33 AM
thank you!

very informative.all specs have been specified
midmachine
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midmachine,
User Rank: Strategist
9/15/2015 | 9:01:15 AM
Not quite....
It only runs IOS? Lost me right there. That OS prevents the machine from being Pro in any fashion, let alone the walled garden effect of Apple products and lack of storage. I'll stick with my reliable, fast and productive Surface thank you.
tigger2
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tigger2,
User Rank: Strategist
9/15/2015 | 9:29:59 AM
Missing hardware
This article forgot to mention the inability to connect to any other hardware like USB or micro chips. I find using Apple's approved ways of transfering data to be onerous and a security risk.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
9/15/2015 | 11:12:07 AM
Did it hit the sweet spot?
Excellent Article!!

It clearly stated what many of us (and other sites) have commented (but you listed them out more clearly)

I think what Apple is doing from a portfolio stand point is a really good strategy. Many business users (including myself) see this as a good option... but more in the lines of a companion device than a replacement.

You stated why I also thought...the price point is a deal breaker. Why would I want a device that I would need to compromise certain tasks and features when I can get my same enviornment (Windows and Office) on the Surface and not need to compromise?

The surface is by far the closest I think there is to a true laptop replacement, where my only drawback is when using it on your lap (it's just not confortable), but aside from that it rocks!!!

Apple definitly did there homework...I was really impressed with the stylus and have to give kudos to the team that designed it. I do see it has a great deal of potential...but not as a replacement device (IMHO)
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
9/16/2015 | 8:23:14 AM
Re: Not quite....
This is a Con that I think was missed.  I have a Surface Pro and yes it does replace my trusty laptop as well as my trusty desktop, but one of the reasons it can do that is that it runs a full desktop OS.  If the iPad pro ran OSX I think it could give the Surface a run for its money in the laptop replacement category.  Splitting the screen to display two apps is nice but I'm looking at 6 different windows right now between the two displays I'm running with my Surface.  I think Apple is getting there and as the desktop and mobile OSes merge we'll see a lot more of this but I think they are still behind Microsoft on this one. 
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
9/16/2015 | 10:09:14 AM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
Agreed on the price issue - this is one expensive tablet, and the accessories are also pricey. Is it worth all the extra cost when you could just get a smaller iPad with longer battery life? I'm not sure. I think that depends on the preferences and profession of the person buying it.

I think you make a good point that this is more of a companion device than a replacement. It seems like a great tool for some mobile employees, but I can't see myself running out to grab an iPad Pro to replace my MacBook or Surface.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
9/16/2015 | 10:15:18 AM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
@kelly22,

Correct...and this goes back to what's been discussed for a while now...can a tablet truly replace a laptop?

I think we've gotten to the point that the answer is a simple no, mainly because almost any option requires a level of comprimisng.

I'll provide a simple example: Creating a detailed executive summary deck on a tablet is by far more time consuming than on your most basic laptop, simply because of the tasks required (typing, clicking and dragging) and the need to compile information from other sources (excel chart, copy-paste text from other sources, and drafting the email to send the report).

But for viewing a deck...yes a tablet does the trick

NOTE: the exception to this would be a surface pro, simply because there is no comprise (but again, to me a surface pro blurs the line between a tablet and a laptop, aking more towards a laptop)
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
9/16/2015 | 2:31:44 PM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
While I have no doubt that sales of the iPad Pro will be stellar, at least among the die hardest of Apple fans, it is still a tablet at the end of the day with limited multitasking capabilities and all of the iOS design/functionality limitations that plague all of its older and smaller siblings. I use Excel on my iPad Air (1), but the functionality cannot come close to replacing what I currently do on my laptop. I hear the same thing from the Surface Pro users in my organization (my machine isn't on the upgrade list until next fall). At the price of the iPad Pro, the limitations around peripherals and operating system are pretty substantial.
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
9/19/2015 | 11:46:53 AM
9 hours of battery time ..
9 hours of battery time means that it would barely last a 6 hour flight. On 80% battery, 2 hours of use in departure  lounge + 6 hour flight. And you are carrying a dead ipad!
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
9/19/2015 | 12:29:36 PM
Re: 9 hours of battery time ..
That is true and that is why you have to get one of those external chargers with a large battery. I have one that i keep at home just in case the lights go out or for long flights whree i need to have extra power for a device. The iPad has pretty good battery life but you really need to have power backup just in case.
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