The new iPad Pro is out. It has thin bezels, no home button, Face ID and it’s more powerful than any other tablet in the market. It’s so powerful that Apple is daring to compare it with laptops in terms of performance (and sales). And yet, many tech media sites rushed to publish their favorite headline when it comes to the iPad: “it still cannot replace your laptop”. Well, I’m here to refute that idea; I replaced my laptop with an iPad Pro months ago.
First, let’s briefly talk about the laptop I replaced. I bought a Surface Book in October of 2015 and I fell in love with it immediately. One feature in specific won me over: Windows Hello. Thanks to Windows Hello I was able to unlock the device using only my face. It was fast and reliable, and it showed me what the future should look like. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use Windows Hello to log into my apps and websites, although this will hopefully change soon. On top of that, the Surface Book was too big and heavy for light traveling, so in December of 2017 I got an iPad.
Right before my last trip to Spain, rumors of a laptop ban in flights from Europe to the U.S. started appearing. I didn’t want to take my Surface Book and risk being forced to throw it inside my luggage on my way back (we all know how airlines treat luggage).
So what options did I have? Either leave my laptop at home, or travel with a device that I could live without, in case it broke after being handled like a sack of potatoes.
That’s when I thought of my old Surface RT, abandoned in a shelf for years. I wasn’t sure it would be “enough of a tablet” for my trip but coincidentally, that same week happened to be the 5th year anniversary of its presentation, so it was perfect timing for a test.
Would I be able to use my email? Write a little bit? Upload pictures to Facebook? Read Twitter? Buy tour tickets and make trip reservations? Would any of the old apps work?
The answer to all of those questions was, surprisingly, yes.
When Panos Panay announced the Surface Book on October 6, I was immediately intrigued by it: could Microsoft really make a great laptop on its first attempt? The Surface line needed 3 iterations to reach maturity, so would it be different this time?
I preordered the Surface Book knowing that there would be quirks here and there (it’s a first-generation device after all), but I was excited to see if it was a true convertible. Would it feel like a real laptop while typing on the physical keyboard? Would it feel like a real tablet while holding it with one hand and tapping around with the other?