I’m typing this on a top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. It’s beautiful, powerful and quiet. OS X and the dozens of apps I have open are running smoothly, thanks to powerful hardware and the UNIX underpinnings holding it all together.
It’s attached to a 27-inch LCD. Running out from behind the display is a white USB-to-Lightning cable. At the other end?
The iPad Pro.
It’s too early for me to have any cohesive thoughts about the device, but the situation feels weird. Federico Viticci points out why:
Those who will only compare the iPad a Pro to a laptop will miss the big picture – this is a large tablet that can be used at a desk and that runs iOS. The richness of the iOS ecosystem is what sets the iPad Pro apart, and the reason why, ultimately, people like me will prefer it over a MacBook. It can be used at a desk, but it’s also portable, and it runs iOS.
I don’t get my job done on an iPad like Federico does. There’s a lot in my workflow that could be done on a tablet, but there’s a lot that can’t be.
That single word is why I feel so weird today. I look at this iPad Pro, being updated via my Mac, imagining the horses that were used to deliver materials to Henry Ford’s factory.
Did they know that by doing the very job they were tasked with, that they were ultimately dooming themselves?
I’m not the only person thinking about this transition today. John Gruber put it well:
Is [the iPad Pro] a MacBook replacement for me, personally? No. For you? Maybe. For many people? Yes.
It brings me no joy to observe this, but the future of mass market portable computing involves neither a mouse pointer nor an x86 processor.
When the Macintosh was introduced in 1984, some saw it and embraced it as the future. Others clung to their punch cards and command prompts, scoffing at the new toy.
I’m not sure which person I am today, but I do fear being on the wrong side of history.