Apple Launches Surface Pro Spot Starring iPad Pro

Check out Apple’s new iPad Pro commercial, titled “iPad Pro — What’s a Computer?” It’s like a Microsoft Surface Pro spot, with a prettier star, better lighting, better graphics, and better direction. It pitches iPad Pro as a computer, only one you can touch, type on, and write on using a stylus. It features iPad Pro (9.7-inch), Smart Keyboard, and Apple Pencil. It’s almost like Apple is saying this combination of devices is kind of like a toasterfridge that can do it all. I’d love to hear some thoughts from our readers on this.

Check It Out: Apple Launches Surface Pro Spot Starring iPad Pro

8 thoughts on “Apple Launches Surface Pro Spot Starring iPad Pro

  • Bryan:

    Clearly, there are strong feelings, and even opinions, about the iPad, the Surface and and their place in computing. Indeed, analytics regarding computer sales have, thus far, failed to include the iPad or other tablet devices in their ship and sales figures for computers to date, signalling what may represent a more pervasive cultural bias about what constitutes a computer.

    As for the ad, not unlike Apple’s design etiquette, it is simple, uncluttered and to the point. I, for one, like it, but have no strong feelings about it. Discussions about the iPad, post-PC computing and iPad comparisons to the Surface, however, are all distinct issues, and muddy the waters when these are conflated.

    My quick take is this.

    1. The iPad. It’s a mobile computer. Why? It outperforms and out-specs the the big iron super computers that put man on the moon. If the former ranks, then so does the latter. Many a pundit and poster have argued against the iPad being a computer for several reasons, including but not limited to: 1) form factor (it’s flat, no keyboard, no mouse, no USB port, etc, etc); 2) OS (mobile and not macOS), which limits its range of function, leading to; 3) it cannot do everything that a Mac or PC can, leading to the argument that it cannot replace the Mac or PC.

    Time and space are too limited to delve into each of these, but briefly, if range of function or form factor were truly disqualifiers to the title of computer, then the laptop could be argued not to be PC because it does not come with a separate screen and keyboard (I actually heard that argument back in the 1990’s, but I digress), and it cannot be customised like a desktop, or do everything that desktop can in raw power. It’s a toy. A poser, pretending to be a real computer. Few people today buy that argument, particularly as laptops have become increasingly powerful and capable, and for many, displacing the need for a desktop altogether. What defines a computer is user need for computational capacity. Full stop.

    2. Post-PC computing. It’s still in its infancy. Importantly, it’s not about devices. It’s about freedom; freedom to move about the planet, use whatever device is at hand, and still get the job done. It’s about starting a job on your PC, pulling it down from the cloud on your iPad, working further on it while you’re on the move and sharing it in real time with colleagues, and then later signing and sending in the completed job from your iPhone. This is how I work. Could one do that in the 1990’s or even the 2000’s (the Naughties)? No. Not even close. We are no longer constrained to work at a specific location or on only a single device. The PC has been relegated to one of many viable options for computational work. Thus, Post PC is born and viable, albeit still in its infancy.

    3. The iPad vs the Surface. Superficially, these are similar devices by look, feel and use case, particularly when you add the keyboard to the iPad (you always could pair a keyboard with an iPad via bluetooth, but the smart connector allows a dedicated keyboard). That said, MS have pitted the Surface, not against the iPad but against the Mac. In part, this is because the Surface uses Windows, a full-throated PC OS. The Surface Pro uses an Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 PC processor (designed for PCs), and many of its PC functions require the use of the keyboard, among other reasons (MS’s marketing team can elaborate if you go their website). The iPad, on the other hand, has been designed around mobility, using a mobile chipset, meaning that it does not require any additional implements to be fully functional, even though these can enhance capability (like a stylus or keyboard, but neither are required to access function). Apple have not marketed the iPad to replace the Mac, as such, but are suggesting that it addresses many computational needs, and is the future (presumably as it becomes more powerful – not unlike laptops vs desktops). These devices reflect two fundamentally different strategies that arrive at a common use point. Currently, the Surface (Pro anyway) requires additional equipment beyond the screen to access all of its functionality, the iPad does not. In my view, the iPad has more headroom for further evolution, possibly even affecting Apple’s PC/laptop lineup.

    My take, at any rate.

  • An iPad is fabulous at some things and not so good (or not capable) at others, just as one can’t haul furniture (like a couch or bedroom set) in a roadster, but one can in a truck. Intelligent people choose the appropriate tool for the task at hand. It’s not binary: one doesn’t have to align with either camp.

    Interesting that we are hearing from people I don’t recall commenting here before. Is there a slight undercurrent of fear that desktops / laptops might be going away? Just because tablets are getting more powerful and capable doesn’t mean we are there yet.

  • Actually, it disgusted me. They almost copied a Microsoft Surface commercial.

    I don’t know what the fu** Apple is doing lately, but they better start tending to their customers. They’re headed down the same path Microsoft was in 2000.

  • I suppose for some people, and iPad can replace a desktop or laptop. But I’m not exactly a power-user and there’s no way on the planet I can use one to get my work done. Sure, an iPad Pro can do some things a laptop can’t, but there are SO many things it can’t do that a laptop or desktop can’t, including such simple things as powering an external display, hooking an external drive (or two), and allowing one to use a mouse or trackpad (cutting and pasting on an iPad is slower). Never mind the storage limitations… And on the software side, I can’t even have two Word documents at the same time. The iPad as a laptop replacement? Not even close, for me. Apple is evolving into a company I don’t like and I have very little faith that a few years from now they’re going to be making a computer I need.

  • Ugh. More nonsense about a laptop replacement. I wish Apple would show what this thing is best for: DRAWING! When the original iPad came out artists thought that maybe the digital sketchbook had arrived. Nope. False start. But with this thing? Drawing on it is an incredible experience, something transcendent and game-changing. So they show someone using a Word Processor? What is this 1992? Maybe they can power the new building hooked up to Steve spinning in his grave.

  • I don’t think the legitimacy of the device is in question, just the fact that the Surface was universally derided at Apple, and essentially they have copied it! They are touring precisely what they formerly publicly called out as folly. I can’t say anymore without invoking a ghost, the human side of techological understanding is really taking a beating these days, it would seem to me. Regardless, yes, puzzling.

  • The iPad is more like a car with an automatic transmission, and the Mac has a standard (even though those barely exist anymore here in Merca). I’ve had a 12.9″ iPP for about two months now after using my iPad 3 for 4 years, and I find the Smart Keyboard to be excellent. (I’m typing this on my iPP with it propped on my lap while one of my cats tries to get between me and the keyboard.).

  • Yes, it’s a better ad, but in essence it isn’t any different from what Microsoft was doing, and I still don’t agree with the premise as a real world user. I’m scratching my head, too. :/

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