The Apple iPad Pro, the company's first attempt to cater the laptop-tablet hybrid market, has been launched in India. Three variants of this huge tablet – the Apple iPad Pro 32GB (Wi-Fi only), the Apple iPad Pro 128GB (Wi-Fi only), and the Apple iPad Pro 128GB (Wi-Fi + Cellular) – have been launched in the country with a starting price of Rs 67,900.
Apple iPad Pro pricing in India
- Apple iPad Pro 32GB (Wi-Fi only) - Rs 67,900
- Apple iPad Pro 128GB (Wi-Fi only) - Rs 79,900
- Apple iPad Pro 128GB (Wi-Fi + Cellular) - Rs 91,900
The Apple iPad Pro features a fully laminated 12.9-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2,732 x 2,048 pixels, anti-reflective coating, and fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. It runs iOS 9.2 (currently) using a desktop-class Apple A9X processor (with a 64-bit dual-core Twister CPU and a 12-core PowerVR 7XT series GPU), and 4GB of LP-DDR4 RAM. Sure, it comes with a very powerful processor, but does it mean that it can replace your laptop?
Desktop-class hardware needs desktop-class operating system
Almost all benchmarks as well as real-world tests reveal that the Apple A9X is as powerful as some desktop-class CPUs in the Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 range. Even though DDR4 RAM isn't as widespread even in desktops and laptops, the iPad Pro has 4GB of LP-DDR4 RAM, giving the tablet a way to load apps swiftly. The PowerVR 7XT GPU, which can clock 55 frames per second in the GFXBench 3.1 (1080p Manhattan 3.1 Offscreen) test, is as fast as Intel HD5200 GPU in the Intel Core i7 processors.
Even with all this raw power, it has been widely understood that the iPad Pro isn't capable of replacing a laptop just yet. All the highly regarded reviewers and technology blogs mentioned that it was this giant tablet's operating system that was holding it back from the prospect of replacing a laptop for real work. Apple added support for running apps side by side in the iOS 9, but that doesn't make it a desktop-class operating system.
There's still no support in iOS for dragging-and-dropping things from one app to the other. The Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil, which Apple recommends using with the iPad Pro, would cost an additional price of Rs 14,900 and Rs 8,600 respectively in India. Even with such a high price tag, the keyboard accessory is far from offering the satisfactory typing experience that you get from usual keyboards from Logitech and Microsoft.
The journey of iPad from a content consumption device to a content creation device has just started. The operating system still needs a lot of improvements such as an open file management system, a more desktop like multitasking approach where apps are not killed in the background, and an improved window management system. Right now, the Apple iPad Pro is still isn't capable of replacing a laptop, no matter how much Apple asserts its claims of iPad Pro being a laptop replacement for professionals.
What about pricing and battery life?
At a combined price of Rs. 1,03,400 (Rs. 79,900 for 128GB variant of the Apple iPad Pro + Rs. 14,900 for the Smart Keyboard + Rs. 8,600 for the Apple Pencil), the iPad Pro comes nowhere near something like a high-end laptop, be it the company's own Apple Macbook Pro Retina or Microsoft's Surface Pro 4. Moreover, if you defend the iPad Pro for its long battery life, you must also consider that you can complete the same amount of work in less amount of time when you use a full-fledged laptop.
If Apple can improve the iOS while also reducing the price of the iPad Pro as it did with the Apple Macbook Air, it could be a laptop replacement prospect in the coming years. What do you think about the Apple iPad Pro? Do you think that Microsoft's Surface Pro is a better solution than the iPad Pro? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.