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iPad Pro... A Fanboy's Remorse, A Fanboy's Apology

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1826 word count. Long story short. If you want an iPad Pro for the same reasons you want a iPad Air, get an iPad Pro. For anything else, get a Surface.

Classic Surface/Hybrid complaints over the years. I know these off the top of my head because I made many of them, under this username and under the username 1 Infinite Loop. Many Apple fans here agreed with me when making these complaints. I pissed off many a Google and Microsoft fanboy over the years. :D

So, time to piss off some Apple fanboys. :P

1. Raising your hand to type on a screen is stupid and tiring. This is Well documented on the web as a complaint from Apple fanboys (including me). Yet with the iPad Pro, it is the Only way to interact with iOS (especially since the keyboard situation is broken). Just a few months ago, Apple fanboys all across the web were complaining about the uselessness of Laptops with touchscreen keyboards because it's a stupid, tiring way to use a touchscreen.

They were right. It is a stupid, tiring way to use a Laptop touchscreen.

But it's the only way to use the iPad to get around, to scroll with accuracy, to use the damn thing. Whereas those Laptops with touchscreens can still be used just fine with a crappy or great trackpad. And the Win keyboard shortcuts work just fine. In other words, because you have choice on a Win laptop or hybrid, it is better solution for having a touchscreen as a sit-up option than on the iPad Pro. If you want to quickly tap a browser tab on a Windows laptop with your finger, you can. And if your arms get weary from constant raising, well hey, there's the good ol' trust keyboard/OS keybindings/trackpad to fall back onto. On the iPad Pro, there is no such option.

Oh and it should go without mentioning, that the keyboard itself is only a solution for geeks and no one else. In other words, for a regular person who wants to regularly use an iPad Pro with a keyboard, your only solution is using the UI with your fingers constantly. This is simply true; just as it's true that only the nerdiest of nerds should learn how Emacs and its keybindings work (the only time I ever went through a tutorial and came out just as dumb lol).

2. Another common complaint that I've made many times is that the use of desktop apps on a tablet was ridiculous. I truly believed that when I made the complaints, having (like so many Apple fanboys) not used desktop apps on a tablet before and assuming it would be a crappy situation.


Turns out, it was all just bullshit. I mean, look at this bullshit.


Here, we have a stylus and desktop UI, running on an iPad and Mac. Out of complete and utter stubbornness, this set up is now getting praise from iMore as being a perfectly reasonable solution. Now if memory serves me correct, I believe iMore has been a bit friendlier towards the Surface than folks like Gruber (who admittedly linked to this without comment) and us here at the Apple Core.

So let's see. We have a $800 iPad Pro, $100 Pencil, and a Macbook that starts at $899. That's $1800 to use Photoshop with a Digitizer. The lag is free. Oh wait no, Astropad costs $20, so the lag isn't free at all. But the cheapest entry into the OS X world, Mac Mini, costs $500, so doing the quick math...

It costs $1420.00 to look like a douche. Photoshop not included in your purchase.

A Surface costs $500. A Surface Pro 3 costs $700. A Surface Pro 4 costs $900. A HP Spectra X2 costs $800 (and comes with keyboard/ the pen costs only $59). A Surface Pen costs $79 (included as part of SP4 cost) and works just as good to the non-crazy human eye... You can run Photoshop directly on each of these devices, with the added benefit of not looking ridiculous. Oh and no ridiculous data lag as in the iMore video. And the ability to actually move around with your mobile device. And without the douchiness that comes from holding a $800 tablet connected to a $900+ Macbook with a $100 Pen. A Pencil that you can't attach to your iPad Pro or insert into your iPad Pro and when you click the top of it, absolutely nothing useful happens, like for instance opening that Apple Notes you love so much that you give it as your main reason for buying a $800 tablet and $100 pen. One more thing... the Pen has an eraser and the Pencil doesn't. Sheesh.

Oh wait, I'm doing Apple a sarcastic disservice here. When you roll the Pencil, IT STOPS.

Because the Pencil is round-barreled and has no clip on the cap, I was worried that it would roll around (and eventually, off) a table top. But it’s actually weighted inside, sort of like a Weeble Wobble, so unless it’s on a sloped surface, it won’t roll more than an inch or so before settling in place. In hand, I can’t tell that it’s weighted like this.Because the Pencil is round-barreled and has no clip on the cap, I was worried that it would roll around (and eventually, off) a table top. But it's actually weighted inside, sort of like a Weeble Wobble, so unless it's on a sloped surface, it won't roll more than an inch or so before settling in place. In hand, I can't tell that it's weighted like this.

I mean, just look at that traditional attention to detail that Apple is renowned for. Sure, the Surface Pen can open up Onenote, a notetaking app everyone loves. And sure the Surface Pro can magnetically attach to your Surface, and even has a clip so you can even tag it to your shirt and not worry about losing it. And sure it has year long battery life, without a stupid 'break my $100 Pencil if you can!' charging solution. And a freaking right click button!

But the Apple Pencil, in those situations where your table is slanted, is so ingeniously engineered by the mini Design-Gods that exist within Jony Ive's and Co's minds, that when it's rolled, it will stop itself...like a Pencil... Oh so clever and brilliant and absolutely useless.

And here's the thing. It's going to get even better for the Windows side. That's the Pro over Cons of OEMs. There will be pens that you can store into your tablets (hopefully right side up!), cheaper pricing, more hardware solutions to meet your specific desires, kickstands galor, the ability to get all 180 degrees with your screen position, and so on.

Sigh. Now look. I see the way the tides are turning. The iPad Pro cleverly undercuts the Surface Pro on price. For a world filled with people who want Apple stuff, even if they were to hear comparisons, the second they hear it's cheaper, well that's all they need to know. Of course Win tablets can (and already have actually, but I'm speaking of this and the next generations) go cheaper. But you need more than being affordable and even being better to beat Apple, it seems.

I see that the iPad Pro can easily gain mindshare and marketshare (if the the public ends up viewing these two as being in the same market) against the Surface and its kind. Rebutting that is not my point. I'm not a Microsoft fanboy. I haven't gone crazy. It's sad that products truly deserving of being called the best of their type, the first products (besides the Gear S2) that are actually much better in important ways than something from Apple, may end up being ignored because of a History of popularity as opposed to Actual in-real-world superiority. But hey, Microsoft coasted on those coattails for years and OS X fans had to deal with it.

No, my point is this... Can we, geeks of Verge, just agree that the Surface was less toaster/fridge that deserved scorn (of which I gave my fair share) and more 'futuristic device your company of choice (Apple) is following, whether by choice or happenstance (doesn't matter) and that the Surface blows it away in these Desktop areas the iPad Pro is now competing in'.

Real keyboards didn't matter and could be ignored with the iPad Air.... until Apple chose their own, crappier real Keyboard. The ability to run real desktop software on a tablet didn't matter until Apple chose to release their own Pencil and thereby legitimizing a crappier solution to running Photoshop than what the Surface provides. Criticisms of raising your hands to touch your screen were legitimate criticisms, worthy of a flamewar, before Apple chose to release a product where the PITA way of operating the UI is the only usable way of operating the UI. As opposed to just being an option, as it is on the Surface and its kin.

In these areas, Microsoft has led the way forward and provided solutions that simply and utterly work better than the crappy solutions Apple and its third party developers provide as of today... They're not perfect solutions, but Microsoft deserves praise. Can you put down your Pencils without erasers and give Microsoft that praise? Can you see why a person who wants to draw in Photoshop would chose a Surface over an iPad Pro? Or is this reality distortion field that exists around Apple so thick, even years after the death of our Great Leader, that it will exist and fester and distort itself even as Apple starts to make genuinely produce much worse products than others. We can no longer say 'Why do you need so and so on a tablet anyway'. Apple has made it perfectly reasonable to use such things, with their keyboard and pencil and larger tablet all connected to each other in an incestuous love mesh that can't be escaped because they're literally attached to each other by cords. iPad Pro apps that connect to OS X and Windows are about to become bigger in mindshare (like many previous waves of iPad app categories). While a much simpler, much better, much cheaper solution exists. Has existed for a while now.

No, my point is this. Apple has legitimized the Surface. Do you, traditional Apple flavored geeks, see that? If so, why are you, geeks/techies/smartfolk who can easily set up Win10 into an automated consumption device, choosing an iPad Pro over a Surface? When the Surface probably meets your Photoshop, FLStudio, Sony Vegas/Adobe Premiere, Sublime/Eclipse/Virtualization needs much better. The applications you obviously want or else this iMore video and apps like Astropad and official Keyboard solutions wouldn't exist. If all you're going to do with the iPad Pro is use it like a much worse Surface, why not get a better Surface?

Is Angry Birds that important to you, present and future iPad Pro owners?

You can only say "No one wants to code or data entry on a tablet" when it's not a reasonable technical possibility and those features aren't being supported by the maker in question. But when mainstream Apple sites such as iMore start legitimizing 'Photoshop on a tablet' and apps costs $20 in a store where it's hard to even sell apps, that argument starts to fall to the wayside.