About a third of people surveyed by PCMag think the new iPad Pro is good enough to use as a primary computer.
The updated tablet, which starts at $799 (and is really over $1,000 once you add its keyboard and stylus) is a powerful PC, to be sure. Initial benchmarks have its A12X processor blazing through CPU and GPU tests. But early reviews say its iOS operating system may hold it back from replacing most people’s PCs.
About two-thirds (62 percent) of the 1,500 people surveyed by PCMag agree on the limits of iOS. Still, that’s less than we would have thought. Fully a third of the folks surveyed think the new iPad Pro, with its dual-window multitasking, USB-C port, and up to a terabyte of storage, can accomplish the work they need to do as a primary PC. Narrowing it down to respondents who say they intend to buy an iPad Pro, 28 percent intend to use their Pro as a primary PC.
This story may be an example of the challenges the iPad Pro faces in business. I wrote this story and created the charts in Microsoft Office on an iPad Pro, but to upload it to our content management system, I had to use a Windows PC, as our production systems don’t support creation on an iPad. Photoshop for iPad is mercifully on the horizon.
Apple’s iPad ads are full of millennial creatives, but the Pro seems to appeal to more of an older crowd, according to our survey. Looking at the survey results, older respondents were more likely than younger folks to think that the Pro is all the computer they need.
What’s keeping the remaining folks from seeing the iPad as a legitimate PC? It might be the mouse, actually. Most people said that “capacity” and “accessibility concerns” (meaning, input devices) were the things most keeping them from replacing their laptops with iPads. A primarily touch-screen interface is still alien to many workflows. Plus, you tend to pay more for storage in an iPad than you do in a laptop.
There’s a “glass third full” aspect to these survey results. While most people don’t see the iPad Pro as a true competitor to laptops, enough people do to keep the line going, and to make it worth the while for Apple.
PCMag surveyed 1,500 people via Google between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 for this story.