Apple insists that the iPad Pro is a computer — not just a tablet. In its new advertisement for the iPad Pro, Apple says the device “can be your next computer,” is “more powerful than most computers,” and flat out that it is “a computer.” Still, while enthusiasts have been ready to embrace the iPad as a computer for years, it’s yet to grow into a fully fledged one and still faces restrictions that a normal “computer” does not.
Whether the iPad Pro can replace your computer is a question that reviewers have repeatedly asked, but it’s new to see Apple take this angle in its marketing materials. Previous ads about iPads, including the infamous “What’s a computer?” ad were about how tablets are different from computers and are the device of the future. Now it looks like Apple has given up trying to convince us that tablets are a completely different device. (Its provocative ad has even vanished from YouTube.)
This new ad takes a different tack, declaring that the iPad Pro is a computer capable of streaming vivid movies, producing music, and running Photoshop. And it’s true that this latest generation has made strides, adding a USB-C port and a lightning fast A12X processor.
But even if Apple wants to make us believe it, love it, and just get it, there are many areas where the iPad Pro still falls short compared to a laptop: you can’t use external storage over USB-C, and you can’t open multiple browser windows to be displayed at once, just to name a couple examples. And until those limitations are lifted, we’re likely to keep having this argument.