The tablet computer was one of those science-fiction-esque devices we had only dreamed about before they became real. I like to think of them as metallic digital clipboards.
The iPad is a fun, miniature, computer that brings iOS to a large screen, making it perfect for watching movies or videos. Playing games on an iPad is preferable to smaller devices as well.
Last year, Apple released the iPad Air 2, a substantial improvement when compared to the older iPads. Weight was a big issue because holding the original iPad for a long time could cause some discomfort. The iPad Air 2 is light enough to eliminate that problem.
This brings us to this year’s exciting announcement of the iPad Pro, a tablet designed to be a laptop replacement. From a hardware perspective, the iPad Pro will outshine the iPad Air 2. Sadly, there is no update for the Air 2 this year, but there is one for the iPad Mini.
The iPad Pro is significantly larger than the current iPad Air 2 at almost 13 inches, and the A9X processor is the fastest to date. Consider what he iPad Pro is really designed for: a laptop replacement. The size of it is close to the MacBook Air and about as powerful. The option of adding the Apple Pencil is a departure from the norm. It’s clear that the iPad Pro is designed for business and creative types, which might suggest that Apple wants to compete with Microsoft’s Surface.
Students and working professionals may find the iPad Pro is powerful enough to ditch their laptop. The screen is large in size and the device is light enough to still be portable. It’s smaller than many laptops and has the ability to use touch controls. A laptop computer with touch is likely to run at around $1400 or more.
Artists, designers, and inventors might find the Apple Pencil an intuitive and powerful tool for their creations. Media enthusiasts will like the two sets of stereo speakers which will help them get the best sound quality no matter what position the iPad is held.
The iPad Air 2 has the A8X chip, but has many of the same features like: ID thumbprint scanner, 8mp iSight camera, and Apple Pay. It weighs about 1 pound, lighter than the Pro at 1.6 pounds. Battery life is about the same, even with a bigger battery on the iPad Pro.
The third alternative is the iPad Mini 4, with a speed upgrade, and an improved camera. It has a 7.9 inch screen, slow-motion capture, and the fingerprint scanner. It weighs-in at .65 pounds and is a significant upgrade to last year’s mini.
Don’t forget that each model can include a cellular network card, giving you the freedom to use the internet when there isn’t Wi-Fi available. Many of the big carriers have leasing options, so you don’t have to pay for the tablet upfront, though it’s cheaper not to finance in the long run.
No matter what you need a tablet for, each iPad fits a different need.
The iPad Mini for the person on a budget, the iPad Air 2 for a great balance of performance and fun, and the iPad Pro for the serious student or professional.
Apple hasn’t quite worked out a tablet that is a total laptop replacement, though the iPad Pro comes close. Regardless, tablet computers are here to stay and there’s nothing quite like plopping on the couch with one. It’s the kind of product you never knew you needed, until you got one!