The new iPad Pro’s M1 system on a chip puts the tablet on the same playing field as a whole bunch of Macs in terms of power and performance, but as Jason Snell writes at Macworld, that’s never really been a problem for previous iPads:
Here’s the problem with this clever marketing, though: it draws a direct parallel between the iPad and the Mac. And while the Mac definitely lacks in some areas (no touchscreen or Apple Pencil support, for instance) you can basically do anything on your Mac, including run a bunch of apps that originated on the iPad.
The iPad Pro, in contrast, can’t do all sorts of “pro” things that a professional-level user buying a device starting at $1,099 might want to do. They can’t run Mac apps (though if you connect a keyboard and trackpad, you certainly could!), and Apple has failed to build iPad-optimized versions of its own professional apps.
I really hope with iPadOS 15, Apple finally has a compelling reason for stuffing the iPad Pro with so much power. There’s so much wasted opportunity here.