I still own an original iPad, but it’s hidden away in a drawer right now. It’s running the latest iOS version it can run (that’s iOS 5.1.1) and has 64GB of storage that’s filled with apps, books and other content. Even though the last time I used that iPad was more than a year ago, to me it’s the best tablet Apple has ever made. That’s right; I’m not looking forward to the brand new 9.7-inch iPad Pro at all.
Don’t get me wrong, the iPad Pro family, including the 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch versions, will technically be the best tablets Apple has ever made. They offer top performance for the money, and they’re obviously among the best tablets on the market right now.
It’s just… the iPad Pro isn’t the kind of disruptive device the original iPad was. There are plenty of great tablet alternatives out there, though I’m not buying an Android-powered or Windows convertible anytime soon.
I splurged on a 64GB iPad back in 2010, months after debating whether or not I really needed it. The device turned out to be one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It quickly became one of my go-to devices for work and for entertainment. It largely replaced my iPhone for some duties, and it became a tool I took everywhere with me.
The screen size and weight were perfect for a lot of things that I didn’t need the MacBook for. Plus, that 9.7 inches of display real estate beat the iPhone’s 3.5-inch to 4-inch screen so it was great for reading or watching videos.
Fast forward a few years, and I haven’t really found a reason to upgrade to a newer model, though each iteration became a more powerful and capable. But with each year that went by, I quickly came to the realization that I can’t replace my MacBook for good with an iPad, or at least not for the time being. And as Apple launched the bigger iPhone I never knew I wanted so much, I became increasingly disinterested in my tablet, and that’s even though the way I consume digital content, whether for fun or work, largely stayed the same.
Furthermore, the interoperability between iOS and Mac, and the nature of my work – typing at a keyboard all day long – relegated me to being a smartphone and computer user first, and then a tablet user. So despite the fact that the iPad once took over some tasks from my computer and phone, I’ve since shifted most of my iPad duties back to the iPhone and Mac.
With that in mind, I can say that the iPad Pro won’t be better than the original model that reimagined the computing landscape. The original 9.7-inch model completely changed my computing experience. But as the iPhone and Mac further evolved, I can’t see myself enjoying another iPad as much as I did with the first one.