The kernel of all the uneasiness with the iPad Pro seems to stem from two facts:
- It can be as heavy as a laptop when you pair it with a nice keyboard and yet it doesn't multi-task as well as a laptop.
- Although nice for spreadsheets or drawing, the smaller iPads are more convenient for leisure use.
The fundamental problem with the aforementioned criticisms is that it fails to recognize the current reality faced by most enterprise users. Reality for most business professionals means going back and forth between two laptops on a daily basis. Our work PC and our personal laptop at home. Why is this relevant? Because I've heard so many people ask the question "The iPad Pro is great for productivity but would I actually pick it over an iPad Mini or iPad Air?" The question is flawed, you're going to use both. Nobody buys two laptops and yet we're all using two separate laptops. The very question seems to show a misunderstanding about who the iPad Pro is really for.
Will people use two separate sized iPads in the future? Yes, because the iPad Pro is clearly a superior device in some situations and the Air in others. The iPad Pro is better for placing on a desk to hammer out spreadsheets, can be easily carried to conference rooms, and is a superb note taking device in meetings. I have yet to meet a salesman who can comfortably use a laptop when sitting in the drivers seat of a rental car. Having a 13" screen to review numbers on an impromptu conference call from the drivers seat would be killer. I came across the picture below of security traders with their iPads. Again, another case of business users who are consuming and entering data in small chunks at a time. We don't need an old-school machine built for video production.
The two laptop paradigm has been in place since the mid-nineties for the majority of office workers. But things are changing. Where once everyone had two laptops, for many, it has morphed into having one work laptop and one personal tablet. I'm the perfect example of this. I stopped using my 13" Retina MacBook Pro last fall when I bought my iPad Air 2. It wasn't really a conscious decision, I just realized after four or five months that I never used my MacBook anymore. I prefer surfing the web on my iPad and if that is the device that is in my hands when my reminder pops up telling me that my electric bill is due, guess which device I'm going to use? Also, I very rarely schedule time in advance to write. The urge generally comes as a reaction to something I'm reading. And since I do most of my reading on my iPad, that means most of my writing is on my iPad as well. I usually don't feel like getting up from couch and booting up the laptop. It's so much quicker to just reach over into my side table and grab my Belkin Bluetooth keyboard and start banging away.
So I went "all iPad" over a year ago and it's been great. I pay my bills, do online shopping, e-mail, and writing all on my iPad and don't need anything else. I edit some photos and video for the family which is actually much nicer on my iPad then it's ever been on any laptop. Probably the most serious "work" that I do on my iPad is my blog which is all internet based and not really dependent on any hardware.
Business people like myself are now starting to ask "If I can use an iPad for all of my personal business why can't I use one for work as well?" It's not like work is anything more strenuous. If anything, the work that we do on our corporate issued devices is less demanding. Corporate laptop usage consists mainly of e-mail and data input. 98% of the data input will be into Microsoft Office or an enterprise software package like SAP or Oracle. If you have to ask the question "Can the iPad Pro replace my laptop?" then you are most likely not in the targeted market. The iPad Pro is for people like me who have been asking for years why do I need such a large heavy device? Corporate IT buyers go to great lengths to buy the cheaper processors and smaller hard drives because it's a wasted expense on these glorified e-mail machines.
So the paradigm of "laptop + tablet" could very well change into "tablet + tablet". It makes sense to me.
The iPad Pro is Gonna Be Big