News 5 reasons the iPad Pro 2020 won't replace my laptop

Mar 30, 2020
Mark Spoonauer, allow me a few rebuttal points, please. Regarding the browser experience. I can't understand your problems with editing Google Docs in the iPadOS desktop class Safari browser. I store my Google docs on Google Drive. I can edit and create those docs in my Safari browser - as long as I have an internet connection. Furthermore, prior to Apple releasing this iPadOS Safari browser, I could not create or run macros in those documents. The iOS Google Doc app doesn't allow macro creation or execution Google files while opened in that iOS or iPadOS Google Doc app. However, as I stated, while online, those Google Office files can be opened, edited and saved to Google Drive. The ability to execute macros while online thru the new Safari browser version was a great addition.

Another point to make. Although I don't use the iOS or iPadOS Chrome browser, I do use the new Microsoft Edge browser optimized for ARM (based on Chrome) that does include easily accessed bookmarks (MS calls those "Favorites".) And I can open quite a few tabs without adverse effects in my 2018 12.9" iPad Pro third generation model - even when I am multi-tasking a video stream in a small "corner window" and doing other tasks with open apps.

Regarding "too few ports" and the lack of Thunderbolt 3 ports. Well, I can't argue about the lack of Thunderbolt 3 ports on the iPad Pro models. However, they do have that single USB-C port that does allow iPad Pro dedicated mini-hubs which solve the port issue. For example, I use that HyperDrive USB-C mini hub that attached directly to the iPad Pro and that hub offers the following additional ports. A USB-C charging and data pass thru port, a HDMI plus mini and standard SD card slots, a USB 3 port and a standard phone jack. With the soon to become available Magic Keyboard with trackpad option, an additional USB-C data and charging port will become available.

About that "very short power cable". Hmm, a nearly 4 foot cord is usually long enough. It is for me. However, Apple and other vendors offer charging cables of greater length. I've read that a specialty vendor supplies a cable that is 100 yards in length. (Well, not really. Grin)

Your Limited storage objection is - really?!! Come on, Mark. That is hardly an issue for the latest iPadOS tablets . On my 512GB iPad Pro, I have 420 apps installed. (I know - over kill). However, after almost two years worth of use, I still have 438 GB available for files. What with online storage and external data storage that iPadOS now utilizes, I suggest 256 to 512 GB of storage is "storage enough" for an iPad Pro - even if the iPad Pro is used in place of a laptop.

Can't argue with the high price of Apple accessories. However, my 4 year old Magic Trackpad 2 (which I originally purchased for my iMac) is still going strong and works great with the iPadPro updated to iPadOS 13.4. The point is, Mac Accessories usually last and work a VERY long time with out issues. So far, my Apple Pencil 2 and iPad Pro keyboard folio cover are still in perfect condition. You get what you pay for.

When it comes to Office Apps, Graphic Drawing and Photo Apps and 3rd party dedicated iPadOS and iOS apps in the App store ecosystem - I have found them to be at least and rarely better than their macOS desktop apps.

Personally, I currently use a 2018 MacBook Air (retina) with a Blackmagic eGPU along side my 2018 iPad Pro. I don't consider either a "stand alone" computer that I could do all my tasks on by itself. I believe in the greater synergy of those two devices acting tougher. Can't really beat Sidecar technology - IMO, it beats Luna Display and I was a heavy user of Luna Display. (Luna Display does have some software advantages with working with Photoshop for macOS, for example.) But form a reliability viewpoint and assessment, Sidecar is better.

Anyway, I don't intend to only use an iPad Pro myself but the distinction that it is just a "consumption" device (where that connotation is often used as a negative asset), well, that distinction is no longer valid. The only liability that can legitimately be hurled at the current iPad Pro models is that they can't run x86 coded apps. And to that I can only say - so what! very big grin.
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Apr 2, 2020
Your reasons are stupid.

1- Who cares about Google chrome ??!?? Google docs ? really? USE MS Office 365 and stop going cheap .

2- few ports ? no Thunderbolt ? for what exactly ? use wireless devices . and get a hub for more USB ports.

3- Length of cable ? really ? buy a longer one , OR even better , the IPAD Pro has very long battery life and fast charging , what cable ?

4- Lower storage at same price ? Wrong , that price difference goes for the superior Camera a notebook will never have .. it is more price because it has a $200 worth CAMERA SETUP FRONT AND REAR ...

5- very expensive accessories ? NOT NEEDED.


Jun 6, 2015
Whether or not the iPad Pro is a replacement for your computer depends on your use case. I do semi-professional photography and I got 2020 iPad Pro 12.9 512GB with the Pencil to see if I could do serious photo editing on it. I returned it after a week because an efficient workflow simply wasn't possible, and it was too expensive to just use as an iPad.

The problems for me were with the apps and reliability of working with external storage.

So far, the only layer-based photo editing app on the iPad worth considering is Affinity Photo. In many ways it's an amazing program and many of its tools are terrific. However, it cannot even save export presets for a single file, and there is no batch export for projects. So exporting multiple files means exporting every single image manually, re-selecting ALL the settings for every single image and navigating all the way down to the place you want to save because Affinity remembers none of these things. Doing that for a project containing a hundred or so images is simply ridiculous. It's just not going to happen; I cannot take a program that works like that seriously. In addition to that Affnity is a storage hog: every single edited 24MB RAW photo inexplicably took up between 350MB and 400MB, even without the history stored with the photo. These are just two examples of stumbling blocks in this app. There were others, and Affinity Photo is already at version 1.8x, so it's not like these are just teething troubles. The Serif staff also seemed generally unresponsive and dismissive of such issues in support.

Then there were the external storage issues: All the larger Affinity files I transferred to an external hard disk over to USB-C for backup with the iPad Files app were corrupted and non-readable. This was a fast eFat spinning disk drive that works fine on all other devices and systems, Windows, Mac and Linux alike. The iPadOS system didn't even know it was mangling the files. No error messages, nothing. Similarly, over 30% of all images exported directly to the hard disk by Affinity were corrupted and either unreadable or damaged with artefacts in the images. I realize that this probably has to do with this specific hard drive, but if the OS can't see that it's having trouble with a drive and just writes corrupt data instead that is a show stopper for me.

Add to all this the fact that working on the iPad means no plugins and no access to the entire range of photo editing tools available elsewhere and the whole thing starts to look mightily unattractive, despite the admittedly wonderful experience of working on images on the great screen with the excellent Pencil.

So for me, with high-end photo editing as my target, the iPad is definitely not there yet. It's still a wonderful device and for many other things it definitely IS already there. For writers and journalists and many others it's pretty much the ideal device already. Heck, if your photo editing needs are less demanding it's already a wonderful photo editing platform, with many simpler programs like Pixelmator, Snapseed, VSCO and others providing excellent performance.

As always, it really depends on what you need. I can't do without all my heavy-iron photo editing applications. Many others can and are already using the iPad as a full replacement. I wish I could too, but I just can't. At least not yet.