Apple says iPad Pro can replace your computer: But you don't all agree

Readers respond to Apple's five reasons why an iPad Pro can be your next computer.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Apple really wants consumers to see the iPad Pro as their next computer, but what do consumers -- at least those who read tech news -- think?

The ZDNet reader response to Apple's new ad with five reasons why the 2018 iPad Pro can be your next computer is surprisingly split.

Apple contends that:

  1. 2018 iPad Pro is more powerful than most computers.
  2. iPad Pro is many more things than a laptop. It's a camera, a cinema, an editing suite, a music studio, a book, and -- with the keyboard -- a computer.
  3. iPad Pro with LTE is mobile.
  4. It's easy to use.
  5. It's "even better with Apple Pencil".

While some of you are not convinced a device without mouse or trackpad could ever be a computer replacement, overall the view is whether or not it can replace a computer depends on how you use it.

One reader who initially said there is "not a f*&%ing chance" that the new iPad Pro could replace a laptop, admits that the iPad Pro is fine for email, minor document and spreadsheet editing, which, with a few other tasks "cover about 90 percent or more of what we do".

One designer argues that using an iPad Pro will "blow away" almost any computer at video rendering, and that the iPad is better than a computer because just seeing one app at a time is less distracting.

Still, there are some valid points as to why it can't replace a laptop or PC for many people. The most common complaint is lack of a pointer or mouse support, which in some ways could be compensated for by the Apple Pencil.

But not for this reader: "Apple wants you to use the Apple Pencil (not included, of course) as the mouse. The trouble is moving from pencil to keyboard is not very efficient."

Others point out the lack of a file system in iOS and that it's difficult to work with virtual machines compared with a Mac.

SEE: 10 Terminal commands to speed your work on the Mac (free PDF)

The biggest issues for another reader is the "lack of a true file system and its failure to support pointer input", again coming back to the absence of mouse or trackpad.

"I would like to sync an external touchpad so I don't put fingerprints on the screen but that's just me," writes one reader.

The other major qualm is lack of proper USB support, for example, for being able to transfer files to external storage devices, but also support for connecting to printers and scanners.

And one IT pro lists so many missing features that it appears anyone in his shoes will never swap a PC or Mac for an iPad Pro.

"I need internet tools, some of which are common, like SFTP, SSH, Telnet, nslookup, tracert, etc -- and some of which are less so, like good RDP clients, VPN clients, a way to connect to and manage SQL servers, and active directory support.

"Virtualization, and being able to spin up VMs, has become such a productivity tool that it's a little hard to imagine life without that."

Apple's new advert offers five reasons for buying the new iPad Pro. Source: Apple/YouTube

Previous and related coverage

Apple's five reasons 2018 iPad Pro can replace your computer: But do you agree?

Ahead of the holidays, Apple makes its case for the iPad Pro to be your next computer, even though it's not one.

New iPad Pro rivals 2018 MacBook Pro's performance, say benchmarks

Apple's A12X chip puts the new iPad Pro's performance within range of top-end MacBook Pros.

How the iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard totally replaced my Macbook

Last September I wondered if an iPad - with iOS 11 and the Files app - might replace my MacBook. Since then I've acquired a 10.5-inch iPad Pro and Apple's Smart Keyboard. Any trade-offs? I was surprised.

Think the iPhone is expensive? The iPad Pro has it beat

Apple's new iPad Pro redefines what expensive means for an iOS device, and paves the way for an even more expensive iPhone.

The new iPad Pro has a surprise new feature

Sometimes wishes do indeed become true.

Your old $99 Apple Pencil is now junk

If you're already an iPad Pro user that relies on the Apple Pencil and are planning on upgrading to a new iPad Pro, then Apple has a nasty surprise in store for you.

A brief history of Apple iPad models 2010-2018 (Gallery)

Apple's iPad exploded into the consumer tech market in April of 2010, months ahead of the first Android-powered tablet, and since then the company has sold some 400 million units. Let's take a look at where this device started, and how it has changed and evolved over the years.

iPad Pro 2018: Cheat sheet TechRepublic

In October 2018, Apple updated its enterprise-focused iPad line. Here are the critical details that professionals need to know about the iPad Pro 2018.

Apple iPad Pro, MacBook Air get some iPhone X magic, but challenges remain CNET

Apple gives its iPads and its MacBook Air a makeover in a bid to get you to take them more seriously.

Editorial standards