I have been seriously considering purchasing an iPad Pro, and in the process have been reading just about every review I can get my hands on. There seems to be common theme among a lot of the reviews..."Is the iPad Pro a laptop replacement?" This is the wrong question to be asking yourself or anyone else. What you should be asking yourself is..."How exactly would I use the iPad Pro if I had one?" The iPad Pro doesn't have to be a laptop replacement, it only has to perform the functions you personally need it to perform. Many people, if they looked really closely at how they use their laptop would realize they aren't using their laptop full functionality.
The first step I took when considering whether an iPad Pro was right for me was to figure out what new functionality or uses an iPad Pro would bring over my existing set of computers. Right now I personally have a Mac Mini, an 11" MacBook Air, an iPad Air and an iPhone 6 Plus. My thought is to sell my MacBook Air and my iPad and use just an iPad Pro instead. In my case, the iPad Pro brings the following new or greatly enhanced use cases:
- TV for our bedroom: We are a single TV household and that it on purpose. I like watching TV as a family rather than having everyone go to their own corner of the house. However, there are a few TV shows that just aren't what you call "kid friendly", like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Most night my kids stay up later than my wife and I so that make it hard for us to every watch these two TV shows. I wouldn't buy an iPad Pro just so we could watch these two shows, but this would certainly be a bonus.
- Bigger Better Sheet Music Reader: I play keyboards every weekend in my church's contemporary youth mass and I use the iPad Air for all of my sheet music and lead sheets. The extra size of the iPad Pro would make reading some sheet music MUCH easier. Again, not a reason all by itself to buy one but it would certainly be nice. My eyes aren't getting any younger...
- Digital Art: Both of my daughters are into art and we go through a ton of art supplies. Also, all of our family lives out of state so any art we want to share had to be mailed or stored until they come to visit. The combination of the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil would open up a whole new canvas for my girls. Not a reason to run out and buy one, but it is another capability that we really don't have right now that would get used.
- Consolidation of Electronics: Right this minute I still need a full-blown laptop until I finish school (my last regular semester ends in a few weeks). I also still need an iPad to use a sheet music reader. But in a few weeks I could certainly consolidate the two machines into one in the form of an iPad Pro...at least I think I could. So I compiled the following list of use cases I currently have for these two devices and have been testing out how well I can perform them on my current iPad in iOS. Below is a summary:
In summary, it makes a lot of sense for me to go ahead an replace my current MacBook Air and iPad Air with an iPad Pro. Given how I use these devices now, how I plan to use the iPad Pro in the future and because I still have a Mac Mini at my disposal, there are no limitations in consolidating my two main computing devices into one. So there is no need for me to answer the question about the iPad Pro being a laptop replacement. It doesn't matter. For me, the iPad Pro will do everything I need it to do and more.
So enough about me. What does this mean for you if you are considering whether an iPad Pro is right for you? I suggest you do something similar to what I just did above. Figure out what new or improved functionality an iPad Pro would bring you and then figure out how well it would perform all the tasks you intend to use it for. Don't dismiss iOS as a limitation. I made that mistake, but when I started experimenting and doing all my normal work on my iPad instead of my MacBook Air I was very surprised just how much more effecient and pleasant many of the taks were in iOS as compared to Mac OS X. Tasks you think you needed a laptop may indeed be better in iOS.