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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jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2015 | 2:43:41 PM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
While I love the Surface Pro line, especially the new 4 that was just released, I think Microsoft is seeing the same challenge. Hence the Surface Book, which leans more toward traditional laptop than the Surface does.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2015 | 2:41:49 PM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
Apple can try to replace the laptop but you are right, that won't happen for most folks. I can see it in a medical environment. In fact they have been looking for a tablet device for close to 20 years to work with patient data, record vitals, episode of care, etc. Now is probably the time. But for the rest of us, i don't see it happening.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2015 | 2:21:55 PM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
I agree that the iPad, Pro or not, isn't going to replace a laptop, but I don't think Apple would. I was simply pointing out that Apple tried to cross the lines of a mobile OS and a laptop OS. The iPad Pro wants to replace a laptop, but it really can't do it effectively for most.

I, too, am a multi-device carrier. My iPad and my Asus Android tablet are getting less use than my phone and laptop, but I still use them for some activities.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2015 | 2:09:41 PM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
I did say in many other posts that no way the iPad Pro will ever replace the laptop.

However for me, i think the iPhone 6+ did hit the sweet spot. As a road warrior i find it an excellent tool for keeping in touch, meetings, calendars, etc. In terms of working with documents, spreadsheets, Visio, PowerPoint, etc-NO. I have always said the laptop is here to stay. In fact i use my iPad as an inflight/inhotel entertainment device. But now that i have the 6+ i can leave the iPad at home.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2015 | 1:41:09 PM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
That is good news. I don't have a Surface and my Dell Ultrapad boots up quicker than my desktop. But compared to my iPad and iPhone, they are slower. I really like the iPhone as i have my calendar, contacts and important mail accounts synched so that helps me as a road warrior.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2015 | 1:37:08 PM
Re: Not quite....
Having the iPad run MacOS would be interesting. I would think that would require major increases in RAM and processing power. And of course Apple will have to put in a few USB and other ports! If that does happen you are right that the Mac Air will be obsoleted. They have to do something because the iPad is now becoming a step child since the introduction of the iPhone 6+.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2015 | 1:32:43 PM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
Interesting that you should mention Apple "getting it right." On the contrary, Apple missed the boat on the new iPad Pro. An iOS device, no matter how big and sensitive, won't replace most business laptops. For example, MS Office can do quite a lot on iOS, but it doesn't have near the functionality as Office on Windows or even Mac. There are countless other examples. The iPad Pro is a professional device for a few professions, not most knowledge or productivity workers.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2015 | 1:17:28 PM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
Those Metro apps really get to me. Everything looks so cluttered and it is not easy to customise the look of the desktop. I guess i am from the old school. Personally i do not see the productivity gains from the UI unless you are on a tablet or other touch device. I think Apple got it right having a device os and PC os. Win 10 looks ok so far but i have had very limited time on it.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
10/14/2015 | 8:15:58 AM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
I did the same, now I have an emergency desktop instance running in the datacenter.  I only turn it on if I really need it and can't work without disrupting other people who may be on a terminal server with me.  I haven't gone full VDI just yet but take this as an intermediate step. 
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
10/13/2015 | 10:07:57 AM
Re: Did it hit the sweet spot?
I keep an older, but pretty beefed up, tower under my desk to RDP into for that kind of higher processing load. Granted, not everyone has the space or extra desktop towers lying around.
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