Why iPad Pro has us seriously psyched for Windows 10 on ARM
Apple's best tablet has us ready for the next step in Windows portables. Here's why.
I use an iPad Pro. And I use it every single day. It's a 128 GB, 9.7-inch 4G version, and I'm not here to explain or defend to Windows Central readers why I bought it. The fact is I bought it, and I enjoy using it.
At the same time, it's far from perfect. It's also still using a mobile OS, and no matter how hard Apple or its legions of fans may try telling you otherwise, it isn't as good as Windows or macOS. If you want a desktop experience, you still need a desktop OS.
What would be absolutely perfect is a device like the iPad Pro running a full desktop-class OS with cellular and incredible battery life.
Like Windows 10 on ARM, perhaps?
iPad over Surface
Since getting the iPad Pro, I've essentially stopped using a laptop altogether. That's partly because I use a 15.6-inch Dell Inspiron 15 7000 gaming laptop, and partly because most of the time I don't really need it.
When I'm at home, the iPad is better. It's smaller, it's lighter and it's easier to relax with. I also have a Surface Pro 3 which is the first and last Surface I ever bought and which doesn't get used anymore. It's thicker, larger, heavier and the worst thing is the fan noise because of that Intel Core i5 processor.
Compared to any of my laptops past and present though, the iPad Pro has a number of advantages, besides size. It has a built-in 4G connection, so no need for public Wi-Fi or to drain my phone battery using it as a hotspot. It also has exceptional battery life, lasting at least two days between charges depending on how heavy I use it.
Whether you like Apple or not, you cannot fault the iPad Pro as a piece of hardware and design. Even the speakers are excellent.
But it's still not a Windows PC.
Ultimate portable productivity machine
I don't indulge in anything like video editing or heavy photo editing in my work here at Mobile Nations, Windows Central's parent company. I mostly write words. As such I've been using the iPad Pro a lot for working on the go. If I duck out to a coffee shop for lunch, take a train to London, even going abroad for short periods of time, the iPad Pro has always been in my bag while my laptop stays at home.
I can almost hear the cries now from the Surface faithful, saying that what I need is a Surface. But no, that's not what I need or want. I've tried it and it didn't work for me. And compared to my iPad Pro, the Surface tablets are beastly things.
What I'm ready for now is the next step: he Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 tablets that provide everything I've talked about here, such as sleek and portable form factor, excellent battery life and cellular connectivity. Honestly, the latest high-end Snapdragon processors are pretty damn powerful, too.
iOS is at times too limiting. It has tremendous developer support but the way the OS does a lot of its business is a source of constant frustration. And it doesn't support mouse input. I really need a mouse.
Bye bye iPad?
If Microsoft and its partners get this right, I'll have no hesitation swapping out the iPad for a similar device running Windows 10. We've seen how good hardware partners like Dell, HP, and Lenovo have become at designing laptops.I want something the size of an iPad Pro packed with power, a gorgeous screen, and incredible battery life.
I have no trouble believing that for some people an iPad Pro is all the computer they'll ever need. But it's not all the computer everyone needs.
And would we need Ultrabooks to stick around if the next evolution of hardware becomes powerful 2-in-1s powered by ARM chips?
For now, I'm sticking with my iPad Pro, because there's nothing else out there that fits what I want from a tablet. But considering how much I use it now, and how much (most of the time) I enjoy it, slap Windows 10 on this thing and I'm throwing my money at you.
I'm really excited for Windows 10 on ARM and what it could bring to the table. But what about you? Drop your thoughts into the comments.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine
Of course there are platform exclusives on every platform, but overall windows has higher software quality, better funded development, richer features, deeper games and more power user app options. Having used every kind of tablet OS extensively, I'd never go back to a mobile OS even though in some areas it's got its merits. However I will say iOS isn't bad. Its userbase actually pays a little for software, giving it the slight edge on a tablet next to android.
Satya Nadella must PAY DEVELOPERS (equals, no royalties for two years, pay/buy best apps, FUND DEVELOPERS AND STARTUPS investing in a dead technology (uwp).
Maybe it s too late. Nadella is a great d###.
And this beginns quite early: Backup of holiday pics from the camera card to another USB device, a stick for instance is no problem with a Windows notebook. It seems to be nearly impossible with an iPad (I had problems finding the right adapters and even more problems finding a decent file manager in iOS) and is not that much better under Android. The mouse seems to be the most urgent need for a serious mobile device that can not only be used for media consumption.
Most of them don't require complicated software and most of them will just need Word or Excel, print and social media, I believe this is why devices like the iPad is ruling in this category. However for a number of people ie, medical, lawyers, programmers, accountants, creators, execs or managers use software that have complicated features need a device which can handle both mobile apps and desktop apps which in my case is the surface. I have both the iPad pro and surface 4 and been a programmer and content create I decided the surface is my preferred all in one device however comparing it with the iPad pro I do which it was lighter and yes same or even better battery life with 4G integrated and less/no heat and fan noise but again remember the iOS is no where a full powerful OS than Windows 10 maybe this is why Apple is hesitant to put Mac OS on the iPad.