Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I think the iPad Pro project is Apple's last try to re-vive the tablet form factor. Tablet sales are going back, no one I know makes real good use of them (even my elderly mother prefers her MacBook to her iPad for browsing, etc). My friends all own an iPad in some incarnation but it usually is just a dust collector. And I don't have only techie friends.

If the iPad Pro fails as the iPad did I think Apple's going to discontinue that product line all together. Tablets are just in a weird spot between personal computer and phones.

I get that C level execs are in love with tablets because it's the ideal platform for their administrative tasks. But everyone else who has to do "hands on" work is going to prefer a proper computer.


First of all, the iPad did not fail in any sense of the word. The problem with the iPad is that it delivers on its mission so well that there is little reason to upgrade. For typical content consumption, multi-year old devices work fine.

The iPad pro is an attempt to keep the ball moving forward on replacing a full laptop with an iPad. For me personally, this will never happen unless OSX comes over onto the iPad. For others though, who might mainly use their phone now for as a 'computer' an iPad pro might be enough.

My parents bought me an iPad 2 about 4.5 years ago. I never found much use for it, and it too collects dust now. I'm not even certain it can be charged any more, as those 30-pin connectors are always breaking.

It has been a white elephant from day 1. I got stuck with it mainly because my Dad is an Apple fanboy. In contrast, the laptop I spent $300 on at around the same time has been used every day since I got it.

It isn't just the tablet form factor. Using the iPad feels like I'm diddling around with someone else's locked-down, crippled, coin-operated Internet kiosk, rather than working with my own computer.

If you stuck it in a laptop shell, it would still feel like someone else's computer. Mostly, that's because of the walled garden OS. Using that iPad is one of the major reasons why I prefer Android devices now, even though they also have some issues. But even the iOS/Android phones and tablets in the house still feel like toys with just the touchscreen input. They feel even more toylike than a Nintendo DS or WiiU touchscreen controller, because at least those devices have some actual, pushable, tactile buttons on them.

That's the problem I have with tablets. The interface stinks. I like buttons that I can push with just my fingers, rather than my fingers and my eyes, with my eyes getting frustrated because my fingers are opaque.

Put a multi-touch sensor on the back of the device, and put a tactile "display" over it--like a touchscreen for blind people. Bonus points if you can get a "click" feel out of it when you press. Then I might reconsider giving up mouse and keyboard.

Just an anecdote, but I have an iPad and use it all the time. I bought a logitech keyboard for it. If it weren't for that, I also would never use it. I have a 15" MBP and I don't like carrying that around with me. But the iPad I have no problem bringing anywhere that I won't need a full laptop (for coding, etc.)

That said, my iPad is a couple of generations back now. I don't feel compelled to upgrade it at all, it does what I need it to (browse the web, read e-mail, take notes, play some games, etc.) For this I find the iPad Pro too big and it certainly won't replace my MBP for real development work anytime soon.

And another data point, I just upgraded from an iPhone 4S to an iPhone 6S+. The only real reason I upgraded was because the 4S was a 16GB phone (it was a work phone) and the battery isn't lasting much anymore. Other than that, I honestly wouldn't feel the need to upgrade.

Anyway, just my thoughts and situation.

I think you're absolutely right. There are now larger phones that do most of what a tablet does yet are much more mobile. Phones are also a device everyone can justify buying.

For everything that involves producing content, a laptop is going to be more comfortable and more powerful than a tablet. And the new Surface tablet's killer feature is... A keyboard! So you can use it as a laptop. Of course you're going to need a keyboard. Every student out there needs to write essays. Everyone else is writing e-mails, reports and blog posts.

Lastly, the price point of tablets, and their specs, are just awkward. Less than 500 gets you some device with a weak processor, very little RAM, and almost no storage. To get a higher end model you need to pay 700-900. For that price, you can get a very good laptop.

Anecdotally I'd have to disagree - my iPad is easily the most used device at home. Not a day without multiple hours of use goes by. That's not to say that I could ever imagine replacing my desktop iMac with it - that's not going to happen, but unless I'm coding or working in audio (where the iPad also comes in handy as a controller), I'll prefer using the iPad compared to the iMac. So I do "real work", just not as frequently as reading, browsing, writing emails etc.

Don't own a laptop because it would it would sit around idle for weeks. iPad + Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard is a very mobile and comfortable combination. And for "truck work" I prefer a real, powerful desktop with a big display to a MacBook.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact