I must say I’m very much looking forwards to the rumored horsepower bump, and it‘s one of the main reasons I’d hope to upgrade.
I’m writing this from my second 12.9” iPad Pro as we speak. The first one I bought back when they initially came out very much as you describe: a ”better” iPad with a bigger screen, otherwise little different than any other iPad and certainly not as capable (at anything) as a laptop even with the keyboard. Over the last couple years, however, that appraisal has changed, particularly with the release of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for iOS. I found the iPad pro with pencil was suddenly a very powerful tool for the (amateur, in my case) photographer, better in many ways than a desktop or laptop for many tasks.
The iPad fits neatly into my camera bags with minimal extra weight. Photo editing is faster and easier than a laptop with a pencil. It can be done in the field and then photos wirelessly uploaded to the cloud. The software actually runs faster than the desktop versions in most ways with just a couple caveats: some of the more complex operations like photo stack and merge are unavailable, meaning I need to go back to my desk for certain things.
In short I found that the iPad wasn’t just smaller, lighter and more convenient to use for casual tasks than my laptop or desktop, it’s also become a tool that’s simply better at some tasks than either. Giving it more power so that developers like Adobe can add those last features would make it even more so. So I say if they can keep it cool and light bring it on- I feel certain developers will find ways to exploit that extra power, and many of us will eventually find that we appreciate what that unlocks even if we’re not pros.
I totally agree with you. I am waiting for the Apple announcement to see if the new iPad Pro will be much faster compared with the current one which in many aspects is slower than iPad Air! I recently broke my MBP and I'd rather buy iPad Pro and wait for the new MBP M1 later this year, than buy any current device which isn't fast enough for me. I do photo editing and I will only buy new iPad Pro if it's significantly faster to handle processing of large files. I wish the new iPad Pro received the M1 chip.
The author of this article complains that iPad Pro may be even more pro! Not sure if he understands the purpose of the pro model, and why it is called pro (for sure not because it has a better camera).