Apple CEO Tim Cook started off his iPad Pro publicity tour earlier this week by declaring that the new tablet "is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop" for lots of people. Judging by most reviews of the iPad Pro, including our own from Lauren Goode and Walt Mossberg, the iPad Pro isn't ready to replace the laptop just yet. That's not stopping Tim Cook from hating on laptop hybrids, though.
While the iPad Pro mixes together a tablet, keyboard, and stylus like Microsoft pioneered with its Surface lineup and tablet PCs, Cook isn't a fan of the latest Surface Book. "It's a product that tries too hard to do too much," said Cook, during an appearance at an Irish college this morning. "It's trying to be a tablet and a notebook and it really succeeds at being neither. It's sort of [diluted]." (Update: Apple reached out to The Verge to clarify that while Cook said "It's sort of deluded," he meant to say "It's sort of diluted." The insult now makes more sense.)
Those are harsh words from Cook, despite his insistence that Apple's relationship with Microsoft is "really good." Cook's latest comments come a few years after he famously bashed tablet-laptop hybrids. "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not gonna be pleasing to the user," said Cook back in April 2012. Microsoft ended up mocking Cook at its Surface event last month, just weeks after the iPad Pro had been announced with a bigger display, removable keyboard, and stylus.
In Cook's defense, Apple isn't exactly converging a laptop and a tablet with the iPad Pro, as the operating system is still tablet-focused and there's no mouse input at all. Apple is relying on developers to really shape the iPad Pro and hoping it can create a new computing model, but that will take years. That does leave the device in a weird spot for now, especially given the price tag. Cook thinks the iPad Pro can replace a laptop, but that's not how Apple is marketing it. The addition of a stylus and a keyboard, alongside Windows 8-like multitasking all points toward a convergence. That convergence isn't perfect with the iPad Pro just yet, but for Tim Cook that clearly doesn't make Apple's product "deluded." It's only the competition that's deluded. Once Apple has invented the perfect mix, I'm sure we'll hear all about it.
Verge Video: iPad Pro review