There can be no doubt. Apple’s recent unveiling of the latest iPad Pro and MacBook Air pretty much gave us what we’ve been asking for for years. Ok, not so much in the case of the iPad Pro, but for the MacBook Air? This is THE entry level MacBook you’re going to want to get, trust me.
Now when it comes to the iPad Pro, things get a little weird. For starters, anyone who’s been keeping up with iPad updates know that the company is positioning the tablet to eventually become a laptop. I mean, there’s no denying it. From giving it its own OS that comes with trackpad support to upgrading it’s engine to outperform conventional PC laptops, there’s an obvious direction here.
So imagine how surprising (and confusing) it was when the marketing material for the latest iPad Pro stated “Your next computer is not a computer”.
You added trackpad support and gave it a boost under the hood. The damn thing is practically a laptop. Just what do you mean, Apple?
Well, the company insists that the iPad Pro is not a laptop, and fair enough. It is a tablet after all. Apple’s direction here is a little bit risky given that the trajectory the iPad is on crashes directly with that of it’s MacBook line. Regardless of what Apple is saying, the iPad Pro is probably two generations away from being a bona fide MacBook competitor.
And this is bad news for Apple. You can’t have two products competing with each other. At this juncture, i’m not quite sure what the plan for the future is here. But for right now however, Apple has made the iPad Pro kinda like a laptop, but not really.. and that’s enough.
For one, the trackpad works unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. There can be no doubt here, the trackpad on the iPad Pro is a tablet trackpad. And you can see why for yourself in the video below:
If the MacBook air targets entry level hipsters and the MacBook Pro targets creatives, the iPad Pro is targeting a mix of both these groups, but with the addition of those with an increased need for something more portable than a laptop.
Take Apple’s addition of a LIDAR scanner into the camera array for the iPad Pro for example. The technology is by no means new and can commonly be found in driverless vehicles, acting as the AI’s eyes on the road. In the case of the iPad pro, the scanner brings Apple’s ARKit offerings to life, giving users unprecedented immersion, as exemplified by this interactive game of hot lava :
At the same time, creatives on the go can use the scanner to scan a room and assist them in converting it into an accurate 3D model, which then can be edited and placed back into the AR space. You see, with all this and more, the iPad Pro breaks free of its “tablet” label and lands very much in laptop territory. But boy, is it plotting it’s own course now that it’s finally here.