Apple just can't stop insisting iPad Pro is a computer

A new ad from Cupertino offers five reasons why Apple's latest iPad is a computer. But are they good reasons?
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

I wish Apple would make up its mind.

One minute, it's launching new laptops. The next, it's telling you that the iPad Pro is actually a computer.

The messages have become so convoluted that, this time last year, Apple dared run an iPad Pro ad that featured a young woman who claimed she had no idea what a computer was.

And here we go again.

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Apple's just released a new ad, pushing its newest iPad Pro, with a very old message. Well, messages.

This time around, Apple's offering five reasons why the new Pro is -- no, wait, "can be" -- your next computer. Yes, apparently there are five.


It's a computer. Or, at least, like one.

Screenshot by ZDNet

First, there's the fact that it's "more powerful than most computers." Oh, but is power so seductive these days? And does that mean Apple's laptops aren't very powerful?

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If you're not moved by that, how about that the Pro can do a lot of things? Like scan, edit and, oh, be a cinema, apparently. I'm not sure how many people can squeeze around an iPad Pro with their huge tubs of popcorn, but OK.

Still not sold? How about that the Pro "goes anywhere"?

Unlike your laptop, which, I assume, insists on flying First Class or it's not going to get on that darned plane with you. Not even for Thanksgiving.

I fear you're still not quite convinced. So how about the fact that the Pro is so easy to use? Unlike, perhaps, other Apple products which have suddenly taken a turn for the difficult.

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If you're not sold by now, I'm not sure that you're going to be moved by the fifth and final reason.

Which is, ta-da, that "it's even better with Apple Pencil."

It's touching, of course, that the company that once laughed at so-called styluses now offers a Pencil that sticks to the machine.

And when that Pencil is now touted as one of the five biggest reasons why the iPad Pro is a computer, then history really has taken a tortured turn.

This isn't to denigrate the Pro. I have a 12.9-inch from last year and use it exclusively as a consumption device. A one-person cinema, if you like. It's very, very good at that.

I fear even Apple is having its doubts about the Pro's computer-worthiness.

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The final line of the ad says: "Like a computer, unlike any computer."

So it's a sort of computer that's different from, well, actual computers? That sounds accurate.

I'm still disappointed, though, that Apple didn't point out one more important similarity between the Pro and your laptop.

Apparently, it folds very easily.

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