Is the iPad Pro just the job or bad business?CNET's Luke Westaway and Rich Trenholm debate whether Apple has gone too far with its new oversized tablet.
Apple has revealed its biggest iPad yet. It's called the iPad Pro. It measures 12.9 inches, and there's an optional Apple pencil stylus you can get with it if you like. But is this new kind of iPad a waste of time is it a brilliant reinvigoration of the tablet. We're going to talk about that now, and with me is my colleague, Rich Stonhome, hello Rich. Hello. Now you are cautiously optimistic about the iPad Pro. Yeah, I think so. I think it's got kind of an interesting idea, even if it might be more of a marketing exercise than anything else. But, What do you mean by a marketing exercise? Well, so the thing is,bring your own device is a trend that's been around for a little while. And that's basically the idea of bringing your smartphone to work or your tablet. covered. And having your work e-mail on there and it's not separated at all. And that's been causing a bit of tension with IT departments. So I think in terms of marketing what is a quite sensible thing to do is to make a device and put the word pro on the end even though it's basically still the same thing, you've convinced IT departments around the world that this is a business device For business people to do business things on. So you're suggesting that this is the device that's going to convince big corporations with millions of employees to gadgetize, that the iPad is a [CROSSTALK]. Potentially. It is basically the same as an iPad or a phone. But just by making it look slightly different and giving it this new twist. It's like the emperor's new clothes. But that always has been Apple's Reason d'etre, in fact they probably claim they wrote The Empires' new clothes. They'd be like Hans Christian Who. Who. Who wrote it. What who. Exactly, we invented that. No, no, no, no. Johnny Ive wrote that. Yes exactly. It's a fact. I think that what you were saying about it essentially being the same thing, but that it has pro on the end, Could be the biggest problem with it because it is definitely being presented as, here as an iPad you can do a lot more with. It's, sort of, the next step up. It's, sort of, between your iPad and your MacBook, creating even more subdivisions of categories between smartphones and MacBook. Which, incidentally, feels very unethical creating more Categories and more slices of different kinds of technology, so it's a little bit like what Apple was doing in the 90s, where it split the Mac line up into many, many, many, many options in different lines and stuff. And it all got a little bit confusing and, frankly, rubbish. So, I wonder, are they smart to create something that is essentially still an iPad, cuz it doesn't give you that much Different to, like a normal size, regular iPad. I mean you can do split screen apps right stuff like that. So, multitasking gets a bit more powerful. But, I don't know, I think if you bought this thing expecting it to do bit to replace your computer, I think you'd be disappointed as all the people who bought iPads expecting it to do that were. Possibly, yeah. I mean, I think the multitasking thing is quite interesting. The idea of having two apps side by side is fantastic. And I've certainly gone over to having a larger phone. I have a six inch phone now. Show off. I know, I couldn't live without having a smaller phone now because it's just there's so much extra stuff on the screen. But one thing that is missing Is having two apps that [UNKNOWN] each other, because find that really annoying when you're on your phone and you're constantly having to tab back between two things and you know, alt tab and the code equivalent, that switching between two apps and copying and pasting, and that kind of thing, so I love the idea of having these two things side by side. And, I think you have to have that if you really realistically are going to use it for work. If it's that important to me that I can see two things at once Why am I not just doing this on a laptop? Because the laptop is so good, and Apple makes such incredible laptops. Like we both use MacBook Air, you know, sort of day-to-day work in life. Yeah. And it's brilliant. And we're at a point now where it's not going to be that much difference in price between a MacBook Air and the iPad Pro. And I just wonder if this It's just the evolution of the iPad too far. Right>>They're making it so much like the MacBook that I just think, just buy the MacBook. It just seems to me so obviously a better device. It does come with the option of the detachable keyboard, but if you're going to attach a keyboard to a massive unwieldy tablet, you might as well, like you say just get a MacBook. When Steve Jobs initially revealed the iPad, and he sort of used it to have a go at netbooks, and there was a big on screen graphic for satellite smartphones and laptops, and then in the middle, I think it was a big question mark. And into it dropped the word iPad, and it was like ta da! But I think we can probably safely say a few years later that the tablets haven't really provided a whole new category than they thought they would because smartphones get bigger and they sort of eat into what tablets can do from that side while laptops have got a lot smaller and lighter and. You know, consistently more powerful, and this feels to me a bit desperate. We know that Apple's had trouble in recent years with the iPad, in terms of keeping sales growth high, and so something about this feels not new and [UNKNOWN] and would you buy it without a keyboard? It's apparently like a keyboard. Do you like keyboards? What do you like? Tell us what you'd like and we'll make it. Keyboards, pens, pencils, [CROSSTALK], the whole thing. Anything. Whatever you want. [UNKNOWN] that's huge, the size of a brief case. Well, if anything, this sort of seems like Apple is Is desperate to try and find new niches. And this seems to be trying to expand into a market that it hasn't been able to conquer before. The idea of a tablet you can draw on is something that [UNKNOWN] has been doing for artists and graphic designers and that kind of thing. For a long time. And they have pretty much cornered the market. For Apple looking around and to suddenly go well, maybe we can try and take some money off Wacom, that feels that they're getting into this niche, this kind of cul-de-sac. but- I mean who wants to take money off of Wacom, how much money can that be? You know? They have always gone into areas where people are doing this technology. But not doing it in as user-friendly way as Apple. Good, so Apple comes along, and they take MP3s or they take digital music, they took Internet-enabled phones, and they said, right, there's a bunch of other people doing it but not doing it particularly well, let's do this really, really well. On the one hand, it doesn't feel particularly innovative. But, then on the other hand that feels like a criticism that we make of lots of Apple Kit that turns out to be explosively popular. When you're saying, 'Why would they do this, when Whackam already does it so well?'. That's something that you could have been saying about the iPhone, like, 'Why are they doing this when Blackberry does it so well?'. And yet, I can't shake this nagging feeling that maybe this time Things are different and the rules don't apply. And maybe this one is just a bit uninspiring. Let's talk about the, I'm not going to say the pencil, I'm going to say the stylus. Okay. Because when we talk about some things we rarely say S pen and I feel we should, in the interest of balance. [LAUGH] We shouldn't give Apple it Silly at [INAUDIBLE]. Let's talk about the stylus. Absolutely. What do you think of that? Well, I mean, Steve Jobs did famously say, didn't he, if you see a stylus, they've messed up. So [CROSSTALK] Yeah, I mean, you've failed on the interface level [CROSSTALK] Exactly, yeah. So I'm on board with pencils generally. Pens, Apple Pencils, styluses, whatever you wanna call them. They've already got to you. I'm on board with pencils generally. [LAUGH] The day the pencil died. Exactly. And Apple did say as well that your perfect pointing implement is your finger. But the thing is, the most important thing is about what's inside. It doesn't really matter what it looks like. Can you really draw with it? Can you use it to create a professional quality Design in some way. If you're a designer, if you're a comic artist, if you're an artist, can you actually use this thing to create this sort of, the nuance and the subtlety that you need in your drawings? Are you gonna have those levels of pressure? Are you gonna be able to have, are you gonna be able to vary the thickness of your line? Those kind of, real kind of detail. And I'm not quite entirely sure that Apple can do. But having said that, there's gonna be a lot of people who, maybe aren't necessarily professional artists or designers but they do have elements of design in their work. And they can look professional because they've got this ridiculous big pro tablet. But they can also look cool because they're kind of drawing and sketching and that kind of thing. So I think maybe that's where the cool factor will come in. Okay, well that's an interesting idea. It could be cool in a different, slightly nontraditional sort of way. Well, folks, that's what we think about the iPad Pro. But what do you Think of Apple's latest tablet, let us know and do stay tuned to cnet.com for much, much more. [MUSIC]