The iPad Pro currently sits atop Apple’s line of great tablets, and with two large screen sizes and a host of cool features, I don’t expect it to go anywhere in the near future. Still, like any device, it’s not for everyone.
Today, I wanted to take a few moments to focus the advantages and disadvantages of the iPad Pro. My hope is that by seeing the good and the bad together, you will be able to decide if the device is right for you. If it is, I guarantee you will love it and will want to use it every day. However, if it doesn’t meet your needs, you will view it as a huge waste of money.
Once we have gone through the good and the bad, I also want to take a few moments to look at how well the iPad Pro will perform in the business and personal worlds. I think its important to focus on that aspect. After all, it is what the iPad is designed to do. Shall we get started?
Difference Between the iPad and iPad Pro
Before we dive right in, let’s first pause and look at the differences between the iPad and the iPad Pro. One of the first things shoppers ask themselves are what are the differences, other than price, of course, between the iPad and the iPad Pro. The truth is, while they are very similar in many respects, all around the iPad Pro is a much beefier system with much more power and capabilities compared to the regular iPad.
The iPad Pro was designed with high end users and business users in mind. Apple has long struggled with wide adoption of their devices in the business market, with other devices, such as the Surface Pro, capturing more of the market because of its superior networking abilities and business applications. Apple also realized that there is a huge market of high end users that use their devices for advanced gaming and the like that require more from their device.
As such, the iPad Pro was born. Today, it is the top of line iPad offered by Apple, and it features some of the top specs that anyone who uses a device for work or even for high end play will want.
Five Advantages of the iPad Pro
I always feel like it’s better to list the good things first, so let’s start with the advantages of the iPad Pro. Now this is by no means a comprehensive list, but it should be more than enough to give you an idea of what the iPad Pro excels at.
1. Large, High Resolution Screen
First, we need to talk about those screens on the iPad Pro. I mean really, have you ever seen a better looking screen? The iPad Pro comes in two sizes, a 10.5-inch and a 12.9-inch screen. That means that these are the largest iPads ever made. While they may seem a bit too big, when you are using them all day long as your primary machine they don’t seem that way. These screens are bright, crisp and clear and feature 4k resolutions on their Retina displays. If screen quality is one of your major selling points, then look no further than an iPad Pro. Truly these displays are hard to beat.
2. The A10X Processor
If you are trying to use your iPad as a true workhorse, then you will want as much processing power as possible. Heck, if you just want something for entertainment that will allow you to play some of the best games on the market, then you need to give the iPad Pro a closer look.
The A10x processor featured only on the iPad Pros is the fastest and most powerful processor ever created for an iPad. It will easily handle any app available in the app store so you can work or play free from any lag or stutter. This fast processor also means that your iPad Pro will last you even longer than ever before, as well.
Hands down for both work and play, the A10x processor is where it’s at. It’s fast, more efficient, and will allow you to play games and work at speeds you have never thought possible on a tablet.
3. Apple Pencil and Keyboard
Leave it to Apple to not call their device a stylus, but essentially that’s what it is. But it’s really so much more. Apple really took the stylus and dialed it up to eleven. It’s comfortable, looks great, and can do so much more than just a regular stylus. If you want to draw, you can do that. If you want to take notes, no problem. The accuracy of the Apple Pencil is pretty amazing, making it perfect for anyone looking to use the device for any type of real writing.
But let’s not also forget the keyboard. Sure, there are tons of other keyboard options out there that work perfectly with the iPad Pro, but don’t get any better than the one that comes with the device. Connecting with the Smart Connector, you never have to worry about it syncing with your iPad or if you have a charge on it to use it.
The bottom line is that if you add the keyboard and pencil to your iPad Pro, you will have a device ready for some serious productivity.
4. Improved Battery Life
While these devices remain very thin and light, they are a little larger than many of the other options. That has allowed Apple the space to add a larger battery. The 38.5 watts per hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery will give you 10 hours of surfing the web without a charge on Wi-Fi and 9 hours on your cellular network.
Of course, most don’t just surf the net. When you are using apps, you will still have more than enough battery life to get through the day on a full charge, although if you do a lot of media work or you watch a lot of shows, you may not get quite as much out of the battery.
Despite that drawback, the battery life on the iPad Pro is one of the best in the business, and you won’t have to worry about keeping a charger close by all the time in order to use it.
5. iOS 11
To be fair, you can get this operating system on all your different i-devices these days. Still, iOS 11 is one of the most advanced mobile operating systems in the world, and it comes with a host of features to make your life much easier. Siri has been improved on the device, which can be highly valuable if you are using her as a desktop assistant.
The latest version of iOS is more efficient, meaning you will get more out of your battery on a single charge, and it comes with all the latest modern OS features you need to get the job done. On top of that, everything just works. You won’t have to spend hours tweaking every little setting just to make your device work the way you need it to work.
Five Disadvantages of the iPad Pro
Now that we have looked at all the good an iPad Pro has to offer. It’s time to take a look at a few negatives. Unless you are an Apple fanboy you know that even the very best Apple products can have flaws.
The first thing you will notice is the price tag. These aren’t cheap tablets by any stretch of the imagination. Apple is known for their so called “Apple Tax”, and this price can also be found on their iPad Pros as well. This price can make it difficult for some home users and even some businesses on a tight budget to afford to purchase one or even several of these devices.
While you may get a premium designed tablet featuring some of the most modern hardware and best specs, you must be prepared to pay for it. If you want something cheaper, you will have to look elsewhere.
2. iOS Limitations
Apple’s iOS is a closed system and it comes with many limitations in the name of user experience. For example, you can’t access the file system of the device. This makes it more difficult to transfer files to and from the iPad. Instead, you have to use iTunes or AirDrop (if you have a Mac) to move files back and forth. If you are constantly creating new files, this will get cumbersome very quickly.
Yes you can use the cloud as a work around for this, but some companies prefer to avoid the cloud for security reasons, and make no mistake they are good reasons. Android and Windows tablets, on the other hand, allow you to easily access the file system and let you copy and paste files as much as you want. Admittedly, this will only be a deal breaker for some, but for those that need to use these types of features, it’s a huge limitation.
2. Application Restrictions
Remember, iOS is a separate operating system from both macOS and Windows. Because of this, you are limited to the apps found on the App Store. You cannot install a regular desktop application on these devices. This is one area where the Surface has the iPad beat. If you use custom applications or maybe third party apps such as Adobe Creative Suite, you won’t be able to install them on your iPad Pro.
Sure, you can often find other apps on the App Store to substitute for many of these apps. But that means spending more of your valuable time researching alternatives and testing options that will work for you. How many of you have time for that? As long as you are okay with what you can get, it will be fine, but if you need to install something that is a little different, you may find that the iPad Pro doesn’t work as well for you.
3. Lack of Expansion
Most Android tablets and Surface tablets make it relatively easy for you to add a little more storage if you need to. Many of these devices come with a microSD card slot so you can really add a lot of memory if need be. The iPad, on the other hand, doesn’t give you any way to expand its storage. What you get when you buy it is what you are stuck with no matter what.
That means if you run out of space on your iPad Pro, you are going to have to delete something in order to make a little room. Sure, you can buy iPad’s with larger storage, but you will pay for it, and even those devices still don’t let you add more later if you need to. Why Apple won’t add a microSD card slot is beyond me, it seems like such a small thing to do to really increase the capabilities of your device.
4. Lack of Customization
In fairness, this has gotten better over the years, but the iPad is still light years behind and Windows or Android tablet. Sure, you can move icons around, change your wallpaper, and even specify certain apps to use in certain situations, but that’s nothing compared to Android and Windows. You can chose whatever type of app you want to use for any task with these devices and you can customize all types of fonts, screen images and much more. Basically, if it could be tweaked, you can do it on Android and Windows. The same can’t be said for the iPad Pro.
If you like to customize your experience, you will find the iPad Pro a little wanting in this area. Of course, this is a really minor drawback that will only impact a very specific subset of people, but for some it can be a deal breaker, so it should be made known.
5. Keyboard and Pencil Cost Extra
On top of the already high price you will pay for the iPad Pro, if you want to turn it into a true workhorse for you, the keyboard and pencil will definitely be on your list. Unfortunately, these are not bundled with the iPad Pro. Instead, you have to buy each one of them separately. Once you do that, you will find that your iPad Pro is now starting to rival the price tag of some of the lower end gaming laptops on the market.
That is a huge investment for some people and one that many people have a tough time swallowing. To be fair and honest, the Surface Pro isn’t much better, and really you could pay even more for the top of the line Surface while also getting nickeled and dimed to death. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it. It can be hard to fork over the cash for a premium iPad. Add onto that the cost of the keyboard and pencil, and you could have just bought a very powerful PC laptop.
How Does an iPad Pro Do in the Workplace
Now that we know the advantages and disadvantages of the iPad Pro, it’s truth time. How well does an iPad Pro actually perform in the workplace? Unfortunately, the reviews are mixed. In the end, it all comes down to how much control you want and/or need out of your device and how your business network is built.
For example, while many users love the larger, high resolution screens and even the keyboard and Apple Pencil, others found the app selection a bit limited. Remember, a device like a Surface running a full version of Windows 10 can run any type of application you throw at it with ease. However, on the iPad Pro, you are limited to the apps that are available on the App Store.
That being said, there is a really good selection of apps out there for you to use, and you can easily find apps that will perform any task you want, but not every user wants to go on a hunt for the ideal business apps to use on their iPad, they want to use what they are used to.
If you are looking for apps, you will easily find the basics such as:
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Outlook
Now these are only a few apps out there, but they are some of the most popular for business. There are actually many more out there that are available for you to download and run, I just wanted to list some of the most popular for your information.
Still, despite all of these great apps, there are apps that just aren’t available, and you can forget about running any custom applications that your business uses. The iPad Pro still runs iOS, and as such you are limited on what you can and can’t install. Sure, you can jailbreak your device and load up almost anything you want within reason, but that process causes a host of other problems that most businesses don’t want to deal with.
There is no doubt that the iPad Pro is one of the most advanced, and sleekest tablets on the market today. I mean, they are downright gorgeous to behold. But, like anything, they do have their strengths and weaknesses and they’re not for everyone. By now you should have more than enough information to make the decision that is right for you.
Are iPad Pros good for work? In some cases, I would say yes. However, it will depend on what you do in your role and what applications you need to use over the course of a normal work day. For some of you, I’m betting an iPad Pro would be more than enough for home and maybe even work. But for others, you may need to look at something different such as a tablet or a Microsoft Surface.
What do you think? Do you think an iPad Pro can be used as a legitimate work device or do you think it lacks the customization and features needed to ever really compete in the world of business? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.