The M1 Macs Have Killed the iPad Pro.

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At least for me.

I have officially given up on the iPad Pro and bought an iPad Mini. I just feel like the Mini is better at being an iPad, and I feel like the iPad is primarily a consumption device. And I’m fine with that.

When the iPad Pro first came out, I was instantly a fan. I didn’t actually buy the original 9.7” iPad Pro because I already had an iPad Air, but I definitely followed it closely in hopes it was going to become something awesome.

When the iPad Pro 10.5 came out, I ordered one immediately, and overall, really enjoyed it. I also bough the original 11” and the M1 11”.

So why bail now? Well, because Apple Silicon Macs.

The reason I was so into the idea of an iPad Pro being a real, legitimate laptop replacement, is because I loved all the other things about it. I loved the portability and the battery life. I loved that the processor could do whatever I wanted without ever stuttering. No fans spinning up, no roasted testicles, just fast, quiet, cool performance.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it also describes the M1 (and I’m sure soon M2 etc) Macs. Now you don’t have to force the iPad into being a laptop to get a laptop with a battery that legitimately lasts all day, and is quiet and fast and doesn’t run hot. You can just buy literally any Apple Silicon Mac.

I had been considering just getting a Mini for a month or so, but kept telling myself it was absolutely idiotic to do it right before WWDC. What if they announce something amazing and it’s only for M1 iPads, right?

But then I started to really think about it. What’s the most over-the-top crazy awesome thing they could do to the iPad Pro? Like what’s the moonshot never-gonna-happen best case scenario for iPad Pro?

I thought about it, and the most insane thing I can think of them doing, which by the way, I very seriously doubt they will, would be to make the iPad Pro some kind of dual OS device where it runs iPad OS when undocked, and MacOS when docked to a keyboard and trackpad.

So then I asked myself, coolness factor aside, would I really want this device? The portability is cool, but even with full MacOS, I still couldn’t really write code effectively on an 11” screen. And as compared to the Macbook Air, it’s not even really more portable. The 11” iPad Pro with keyboard weighs in at 2 lb 6oz, according to my own measurement. The Macbook Air weighs in at almost exactly 3lb, a scant 10oz more, and it has a 13.3” screen, a bigger keyboard, a bigger trackpad, and an extra port. Also the cheapest way to get into an iPad Pro with a magic keyboard will currently run you $1300, the cheapest Macbook Air is $999. It comes with the keyboard and twice the storage.

11″ iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard.

I basically came to the conclusion that even if Apple were to do the most insane thing possible to make the iPad Pro as awesome as humanly possible, there’s still really no reason I would use it over the M1 Macbook Air or really any other Apple Silicon laptop.

Ok, so there are a few caveats. If you’re an artist, you would probably rather have the iPad. I have no artistic abilities at all, but I will assume the iPad is a better drawing experience than a Macbook considering you can actually draw on it, not to mention the availability of the Apple Pencil.

Also, there is actually one thing that I’m jealous of on the iPad: 5G. A cellular radio on a mobile device is game-changing. I did get the 5G iPad Mini, but what I REALLY want a 5G radio on is a Macbook. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before that becomes a reality, but it’s a thing I really can’t stop thinking about. If I could get a Mac with a cellular radio, I would have opted for the Wifi-Only iPad Mini.

Overall though, I don’t really know who the iPad Pro is for anymore. They never really made it “Pro” enough to do real work on, but they did make it super expensive to the point that you can just get a Macbook instead that’s orders of magnitude more capable. I don’t see the iPad being able to do this:

Both at home and at work. I dock my Macbook Air to a 27” monitor with a mechanical keyboard and a mouse. I run multiple concurrent applications including stuff that iOS is totally incapable of running like node packages.

I’m rushing to publish this article the day before WWDC in hopes I’ll be proven hilariously wrong, but I’ve been burned before, so for my money, I’m gonna guess my iPad Pro goes on Swappa sometime tomorrow afternoon.