Can The MacBook Pro Replace Your iPad?

A timely piece from Fraser Spiers centered around the question in the headline above. Timely because a lot of the reviewers of the new iPad Pro have been thinking about it the other way around. And that’s not totally unfair. Honestly I had that framework mostly in my head when I wrote my original piece on this topic last week. But I also wrote later that week that I think a lot of people have the question all wrong. It’s not about whether an iPad Pro can replace every laptop use case. Instead we should be asking what laptop uses could actually be done just as well or better on an iPad. Here’s a sample from Spiers’s piece:

There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the MacBook Pro and, in particular, whether it can replace an iPad Pro for getting real work done.
Firstly, consider the hardware. The huge issue with the MacBook Pro is its form factor. The fact that the keyboard and screen are limited to being held in an L-shaped configuration seriously limits its flexibility. It is basically impossible to use a MacBook pro while standing up and downright dangerous to use when walking around. Your computing is limited to times when you are able to find somewhere to sit down.
Not that you would want to use a MacBook Pro while standing anyway. The sheer weight of these devices means that your shoulder is going to take a beating if you switch from iOS to OS X. The current 15" MacBook Pro tips the scales at 4.49 pounds — or three iPad Pros — despite having a lower-resolution screen and one less hour of battery life.

The crazy thing is that this blog post was written two years ago! I said that it was timely above. It has become timely now, it was downright prescient then. It’s clear he’s being satirical to make a point: an iPad makes a better portable computer in a lot of ways than a MacBook Pro (or any other traditional laptop) does. This all goes along well with my Chancellor Gorkon quote from last week. It’s hard to adapt to a paradigm shift in computing. For many use cases an iPad can’t now (and possibly can’t ever) replace your laptop. But for a lot of uses you might find you like the iPad more.

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