Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
iPad Air 2020 (apple.com)
69 points by stjo 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 138 comments

One of my biggest gripes with apple mobile design is the fact that the camera sticks out from the back of the device, making it unable to sit flat. On a phone it's much less of an issue given the usual one handed use and the fact that the vast majority of people use cases(which I don't so it's still annoying to me) but on a tablet, it's basically a deal breaker for me. If it's meant to be drawn on with a stylus, it should sit flat on a table like a piece of paper.

Did you encounter this in practice? I never noticed it as an issue when working on my ipad pro.

The camera bump is pretty benign. You can add a protective case which solves the problem. Also, I prefer to work with a tablet at a slight angle when drawing -- not completely flat -- so having a case makes double sense.

It's a paradigm shift from paper.

It's so close to laying flat that I can't even notice. It doesn't rock back and forth or anything. The incline barely causes the Apple Pencil to roll if you lay it on top.

I find camera bumps annoying on principal. Those extra two millimetres could have been used to fit a bigger battery, but no, it has to be as thin as possible.

Then again, Apple phones tend to be really heavy, so maybe its for the best? But that doesn't excuse other phone manufacturers from making ridiculous camera bumps.

Apple really needs to be called out on this:

The thinness of the device is determined by the thickest part (aka inclusive of any camera bumps).

You cannot say you have the thinnest device by ignoring the bump.

A benefit of that is that since it does not sit fully flat with its back against the table - it does not get scratched as much

I know the lens isn’t touching the table, but doesn’t that also mean the lens does get scratched easier?

The lenses are covered in sapphire[1], much harder than the metallic aluminium of the case.

[1] or at least they were years ago, I guess they still do that.

I've got the iPad Pro 12.9 and the keyboard portfolio which makes the back flat (and generally non-slip). On my previous iPad pro (the 10.5" one) the 3rd party case did the same thing.

That said, the bump in cost from an iPad Air 2020 and an iPad Pro makes the Pro a lot less attractive. You get wide angle, face id, and larger "top end" in storage.

What's peculiar to me is that Apple hasn't released a premium accessory for artists to angle their iPad for drawing.

What do artists usually put their paper on? Can't they use the same thing for the iPad?

They did. It's called a case.

You mean the Smart Folio? Which has only one angle and flexes under pressure as you draw? That doesn't smell like a premium drawing story by Apple, and definitely not very Pro.

It is nice to see more iPads move to USB-C.

iPad Pro already did, now the Air has too, just leaves the "iPad" and iPad Mini. This also moves their Apple Pen support to 2nd gen from 1st gen.

Hopefully this is also foreshadowing the iPhone moving to USB-C. Lightning is OK, but the thought of being able to standardize on one cable for everything is very, very appealing.

Not doing so at least shortly after switching over their MacBooks has been really annoying. We're back to playing "which adapter and which charger this time?" USB-A + other-ports macbooks and lightning for iOS devices was better than the current mess, and they've gone years without fixing it. Oh and then if you find the right cable there's the matter of which port the charger itself has (A or C). Ugh.

"One port, except for this other one, and then also you'll almost never need either of those ports directly so you'll have two adapters for everything".

Sadly iPhone seems to be moving to zero cables, which means relying on perennially insecure basebands for Bluetooth & WiFi.

EU tried to force Apple to move iPhone to USB-C and their response was to drop all cables.

Hopefully the market rejects zero-port iPhones and Apple finally provides local USB-C for sync, audio, wired ethernet, keyboard, external displays, etc.

I don't see Apple ever moving to a cable less iPhone (at least on all models). Wireless charging is no where near efficient enough to charge todays larger phone battery packs with anything resembling decent speed. In a car I doubt my phone would charge at all with the increased heat from sun and heat from inductive charging - heck the phone might shut down; it sometimes does on hot summer days already if I'm not really careful with positioning it.

I do admit that the majority of time I rarely plug it in, but when I do in order to get it topped off as much as I can as quickly as I can, it's really useful. External battery packs? Also very impractical and way more cumbersome.

It's a persistent rumor but I just don't see it.

I don't see this happening. Wireless charging is slower and is awkward if you want to use the phone while it's charging. With something like the Apple Watch it doesn't matter since it's unlikely you would even want to have it on your wrist while connected to the wall.

I get that people also thought removing the headphone jack was crazy too, but Bluetooth audio is as good as wired for the majority of people. In many cases it's even nicer than having a wire going from your device to your head (something that I hated about listening to music on the go for decades). Plus it didn't fully disappear. You can still do wired audio with a dongle.

There will be zero port, but doesn't mean it is without cabling. I think Apple will support something like the iPad Smart Connector on iPhone. Where cable could be used when needed. But the whole iPhone is essentially sealed.

Can that support high-speed data? On iPad, it's been limited so far to keyboard and charging.

Definitely not High Speed Data. Any Data Transfer will likely go through Wireless.

The Wireless iPhone Data Migration was a step towards that goal.

WiFi and Bluetooth basebands are regularly compromised by attackers, through no fault of Apple. There are use cases for offline pocket computers, which never use WiFi/BT, have wired headphones and intermittently sync data via wired ethernet. Would love a kill switch for all radios & microphones & cameras, plus the return of touch ID.

Google Project Ara used UniPro (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UniPro ) as an interconnect for modular components.

> Hopefully the market rejects zero-port iPhones and Apple finally provides local USB-C for sync, audio, wired ethernet, keyboard, external displays, etc.

Highly unlikely. I'm not an Apple fan but they'll probably have a slick solution at about $60-$140 and people will just buy that instead. It's going to be a classic upsell move ("would you like $60 worth of shoe miscellany together with your $80 shoes?") and people will just see the nice ads, the nice design, but it and move on :-)

It is quite odd for the iPad Air to have the A14 based CPU while the iPad Pro has the A12(Z?) CPU. I know the SOC in the Pro has more RAM and likely a better GPU than he base A12, but it's a really odd mix of processors.

This and the fact that the processor on the iPad Pro only did a half-upgrade earlier this year makes it seem like the Pro is in some weird between state. Certainly if you were on the fence between the Pro and the Air, the case for buying the Pro became a lot tougher.

Aside from the additional RAM, what are the big advantages of the Pro?

* Marginally bigger display. * 120 Hz refresh rate (ProMotion)/ Faster GPU * (Likely) More RAM * Bigger base memory (128GB vs 64GB) * Better cameras/ LIDAR. * FaceID

I guess it's still a pretty decent bump up for the $200 price difference?

>>* Marginally bigger display. * 120 Hz refresh rate (ProMotion)

These 2 things are huge for some people, including me. I had been using a 2019 MacBook Pro 13 until I picked up the latest iPad Pro 12.9, mainly for the pencil support (I draw things sometimes). The difference in screens is (to me) ridiculous! The aspect ratio, brightness and 120Hz make the iPad display the best 13" laptop I have ever used. The MacBook Pro looks kinds of sickly & squashed by comparison. It makes me wonder if Apple actually cares about the Mac laptops anymore.

Also, the processor in the iPad Pro is so fast, I honestly don't need any more speed for now[1].

[1] yes, yes, on an infinite timeline...etc...

I have the 1st gen 12.9" iPad Pro and love it. For the bigger size, there is obviously no option with the Air. I can believe the Pro display makes a big difference, I suspect this is one of the most under-appreciated advantages of the Pro.

I still find it a bit of a weird time for the Pro though. I'm hoping we'll see a new pro in the spring? Or maybe they'll release it before the end of the year when they put out the new Macs.

It's pretty clear, to me anyway, that the Pro is yet to be updated - Apple seems to be segmenting the Pro updates from the non-Pro updates. So now would NOT be a good time to get a Pro if that's what you are leaning more towards.

If you don't need the Pro features, now is the perfect time to get an iPad :)

Pro was last updated in March, so it's probably still a neutrally OK time to buy one... but not for too much longer.

That update basically wasn't one. The A12Z is a binned A12X from the 2018 model and the Lidar sensor is the single other change. It's basically a 2018 Pro.

No way would I be buying one right now - unless I absolutely had to. As others pointed out the last update wasn't really much of one. It feels like the tock of the tick/tock upgrade cycle. I vastly prefer to buy on tick (but now that I think about it, usually bought on tock with the iPhone - ha!).

This doesn't seem odd or unusual to me. New products will have the newest generation of chips. I seem to remember this happening several times with iPhone releases, where new low-end models have newer (and potentially faster) chips than old high-end models.

The Air vs. small Pro choice might be a little difficult right now, since the Pro is presumably near the end of its form factor lifespan while the Air has just inherited most of that form factor from its more expensive sibling. I suspect that ProMotion and bigger storage options would be the key deciding factor for most people, and LiDAR might be a factor for some niche workloads.

Just the fact that in the spring they updated the iPad Pro to an A12 based CPU this spring was odd in itself. If they'd bumped the Pro to an A13 based CPU in the fall, then it would only be 1 generation behind.

I just bought the 12.9 Pro, and of course my heart sank a little bit when I saw the announcement. But you've laid out the Pro's advantages nicely, and I feel like the features are justified for the price difference.

I like taking notes with the Pencil 2 on the 12.9 inch screen because it's essentially identical in size to the spiral notebooks I used to use.

The 12.9 is kind-of a class of it's own.

For 64GB which isn’t enough if your doing pro type tasks like videos or photo editing. To up it, it cost $150 and puts it into the pro range. I was going to update my current air but can’t justify spend $750 and will just wait for the pro refresh.

If you draw with a pencil, 120Hz is worth any money. The lack of input delay is a dealbreaker.

So now that this is nearly indistinguishable from the iPad Pro, what does that mean for iPad Pro / ARM Mac?

Only Apple knows, but I wouldn't be shocked if the first ARM Mac is a 2-in-1 convertible that replaces the iPad Pro.

I always used to think this idea was a non-starter given the many incompatible UX patterns between MacOS and iOS. Then came the ARM announcement, including the mention that Apple Silicon Macs would be capable of running iOS apps, which would point to such a seemingly chimaeric device being inevitable.

How I think Apple will manage it is by keeping the two halves separate. No or minimal touch interactions in MacOS; no Mac desktop in iPad mode. Apple won't repeat Windows 8's fridge-toaster attempt at making a unified UI between desktop and tablet mode, but apps with Mac and iPadOS versions will automatically switch UIs dependent on context.

It will still be an enormous pile of design challenges, but for the first time, I think a Mac-iPad hybrid could actually work.

I'd love to see the Pencil come to the Mac! And Big Sur spacing out everything hints at touch probably coming to the Mac.

As a MacBook Air user I'd love an option to restore the previous compact spacing. Maybe it will still come as an accessibility option? One can hope.

You can kinda have Pencil on macOS by using Sidecar with an iPad.

I'm kinda surprised (in a good way) that they put the A14 in the Air. But where does that leave the Pro now (with only A12Z)?

Or is the Z part of that processor so much faster that it's still got better performance?

Me too! It seems very odd (nouveau?) that Apple is announcing a new A-series chip (A14) with an iPad, rather than an iPhone. Even more so that it's not even a Pro version.

Eyeing the A14 vs. the A12X/A12Z, it look like it could be similar since there's 2 less cores for CPU and GPU but there's also a 2-year architecture improvements plus a node shrinkage from 7nm to 5nm. We'll see once 3rd party benchmarks come out.

This suggests that the new Pro will be significantly better, at least in the chip compartment. Otherwise Apple would've put the A13 to differentiate between the Air and the Pro lineups.

> Otherwise Apple would've put the A13 to differentiate between the Air and the Pro lineups.

Yeah that's what I was expecting. Have any iPads (even pros) even had the latest year's chips before?

I wonder if the plan is to push the iPad Air up a notch into pro usage (would explain usb-c), and also push the Pro up another notch too even more into pro laptop territory.

It will be interesting to see how they peg the iPad Pro VS the new MacBook with apple silicon - which will they want to be more powerful? Maybe it will just be a difference of how much RAM is in there.

I suspect so too, the pricing seems to hint at this - the previous gen Air started at $499 whereas this is $100 more at $599. Now this creates a fair big pricing gap between entry level iPad at $329.

Going to be interesting in how Apple positions the new iPad Pro and the new Macbook. Dare they price the Pro higher despite it having iPad OS and not macOS?!

> I suspect so too, the pricing seems to hint at this - the previous gen Air started at $499 whereas this is $100 more at $599. Now this creates a fair big pricing gap between entry level iPad at $329.

Yeah, I had a base iPad, before moving to a 2019 iPad Air, but with the price increase for the Air, I'll probably skip at least this year and move back to the base iPad series.

I think that ship has sailed.

The iPad Pro 12.9 is already (just slightly) more expensive than the 13 inch Macbook Air - both 256GB.

Add the magic keyboard and it's a hundred more than a Macbook Pro 13 inch 256GB.

I wondered about this too. My guess is that there will be a new iPad Pro by February 2021 with an A14X or similar processor (considering that the first Macs with Apple chips will have aomething like A14Z or similar variant).

the A14 is a 6-core CPU, the A12Z is an 8-core CPU. So we'll have to wait for benchmarks to know for sure.

A12Z is still approximately 25% faster than A13, even with a slightly lower single-core score. I suspect that A12Z is probably similar to the A14 in performance.

It actually has the A12 Z, not even the A13.

fixed it! thanks.

Z is the fastest letter. Except for tires.

X and Z are the same thing essentially ;)

Pro has LIDAR camera, Air doesn't

Yeah... but it's still 2 years of processor ahead!

iPad Pro update later this year when A14X is ready

I would say next year

Looks good, but I'll hold out for a similar upgrade in the Mini form factor. I don't see the extra size, weight, and sharp corners as an improvement for reading in bed.

If you mean reading in the old-fashioned sense (ie, books), I recommend giving serious consideration to a Kindle Oasis.

How are the Kindles with PDFs that may have technical diagrams, like O'Rielly-style instructional books or CompSci textbooks?

I want a device I just use for reading, but I almost exclusively read PDFs of technical books. I'm thinking iPad Air vs Kindle

I've found the Kindle Fire to be a pleasant reading device for PDFs and ebooks. It's not an e-ink display, but you do get full color and PDF rendering is good. It's also cheap compared to an iPad, especially if this is your primary use case (I have both an iPad Pro and a Kindle Fire, the Kindle is my main reading device now, the iPad is a portable computer with Scrivener, Blink, Textastic, and Working Copy).

Thank you. I still might hold on for an updated iPad Mini because I know I'll get the itch to set up Blink and Working Copy.

A nice thing about the Fire is that it's cheap. They had a recent sale going on the Fire HD for $60, I think it's about $100 now. It's not an either-or proposition (at least not for me), more of an "iPad now, Kindle in a month or two" (or reverse depending on your more important use-cases) proposition.

16:10 isn't a great aspect ratio for reading with the Fire HD though.

I've been eyeballing an Oasis for a while. I have a paperwhite but have never been really convinced to jump! You're pretty happy with it?

Ecstatic. I've had 3 previous kindle iterations, but the Oasis is the first one I outright prefer to paper books (except for aesthetic or nostalgic purposes). Splashproof, fast page-turns (incl physical buttons which I usually prefer to swiping), endless battery life, comfy form factor, x-ray, whispersync.... thought I was splurging when I bought it at release but it turned out to be a bargain. Go for it! :)

I find Apple Books to be the only way I can read ebooks consistently. It seems dumb but I think the ability to freely fiddle with the "page" without turning it is what does it for me. I've got an e-reader but I kind of hate reading on it. Paper or Apple Books, specifically, for me.

Can't wait to see what they have built for laptops with the 5nm fab process. I'm sure this CPU will break some records on its own but a boosted version with more RAM will deliver MacBook Pro level performance.

Now if they'd just give the iPad Mini the thinner bezel.

A 9" screen on that would be my dream. I take my mini everywhere because of the form factor.

(Also, touch ID integrated into the top button is great)

What now differentiates between iPad Pro 2020 ($800) and iPad Air 2020 ($600)? Surely not the sensor.

Other differences:

Pro-motion 120hz refresh (if you use Apple Pencil this is important), 4 speakers vs 2, wide angle lens camera, faceid (so things like Animoji’s are supported), 600 vs 500 nits brightness, Pro has 6gb ram - unsure on air but I feel it is likely less. A12z might be faster than A14 still as it’s 8 vs 6 cores - but not sure.

11” pro w/ 256gb in the education store is only $150 more than new Air. Not sure who would want the Air for that difference

120Hz screen looks to be the main differentiator.

I saw: A14 vs A12 processor, the camera, Touch ID vs Face ID, LiDAR sensor vs no sensor.

I almost regret getting the iPad Pro recently...

There is also the 60hz vs 120hz refresh rate which makes quite a big difference.

120Hz - which I've never appreciated on mine

Careful what you ask for. Scroll a 60 and 120 side by side and it's very obvious. And once you see it you may not be able to unsee it.

When LCD TVs first came out I thought people were being overly dramatic with the whole motion blur thing - until I went looking for it. And then I saw it - every time a scene was still, it was in perfect clarity - the the camera panned and everything went fuzzy. Once I saw that effect I couldn't unsee it. 120Hz scrolling is the same for me too.

Ignorance is indeed bliss :)

I have both an iPad Air 2 (60Hz) and an iPad Pro 10.5 (ProMotion 120Hz). (I wanted to trade in my Air 2 but saw it wasn't worth much so decided to keep it)

Scrolling is smoother on the latter, but it wasn't appreciable enough that the iPad Air 2 looked bad in comparison. I could continue using the Air 2 without any FOMO.

Maybe it makes more of a difference for artists? (Pencil users)

It is indeed a stark difference in latency - I posted this earlier but it's worth repeating:

If you are using a pencil I understand the difference is dramatic. Excellent thoughts from Serenity Caldwell who loves to draw: https://www.imore.com/promotion

What is the LiDAR sensor for?

So you could slap it on your Tesla and make it truly self-driving. JK

The internet is erupting in a chorus of "How much RAM?" but Apple seems to be keeping quiet about that. Maybe we'll find out from an iFixit teardown.

RAM isn't super relevant to iOS devices. Those devices have always managed to squeeze out far more performance with far less RAM than their competitors.

From what I'm seeing, most of the people asking are artists and musicians, and the apps they use are more RAM-hungry than the OS itself or the bundled Apple apps. However, I'm not sure what specific apps those are. Maybe they're ports from Windows, and their iOS-native competitors can make better use of GPU and ML hardware acceleration APIs, since those seem to be strengths of the A14 SoC.

It's relevant for browsing with multiple tabs. The more RAM you have, the more you can do in other tabs after switching away from a tab without having that tab reload when you return.

It's very annoying if you were somewhere in the middle of a long page, go to look up a few things on other sites, come back, and your original tab reloads and you are back on top.

Apple is back to flat edges (similar to iphone 4s) instead of round

For whatever reason, I like the flat edges on phones but not on tablets. I've got a gen 4 iPad Pro with the flat edges and a 1st gen with rounded, and rounded both looks better and feels more comfortable to hold. Meanwhile I wish my iPhone 7 Plus had flat edges.

Agreed. The iPad 3 was the best feeling iPad to me. Easy to pick up, easy to hold.

Extremely disappointed it doesn't support the apple pen 1st gen. The apple pen 1st gen is still being sold, and I just bought one 2 months ago to work with my "old" 2017 ipad pro. Why force us to spend another $130 for a 2nd gen pencil when the first gen is essentially just as good.

The First Gen is not just as good. It has longer latency, no tap sensor, worse ergonomics and critically: no mount magnet or wireless charging. The lightning connector for charging would plug...where?

Type C iPads support Pencil 2, Lightning iPads get Pencil 1

> The lightning connector for charging would plug...where?

Into the adapter that comes with it that lets is be connected to any lightning cable for charging?

So now the design of the pencil, designed to be plugged straight into the iPad now has users dragging around an adapter, an additional cable (not included with either product) and the pencil that does not store on the device. Pretty clearly this is not how Apple builds things.

That's how the Apple Pencil 1 works.

You generally don't need an additional cable because you can use the same cable you use to charge the iPad.

Keep the adapter on that cable when you are not using it to charge something else. Or keep it on the pencil itself all the time instead of the rounded cover.

The Statement I was making is that the new iPad does not use that cable, it uses USB-C, meaning that a person who buys the iPad Air 2020 and then sees that they can use the cheaper Pencil 1 with it might be weirded out by the idea that you need a battery bank or power brick or a specific Type C to Lightning cable that comes with none of these devices. It just doesn't work out from a marketing/use standpoint and makes for a worse product in the long run. Plus they can sell more Pencil 2s.

Personally, I don't get why they don't just adapt all iPads to support wirelessly charging the Pencil 2 and get rid of the Pencil 1, it's really quite poor compared to the second gen.

One interesting thing is that the iPad (8th gen) only supports the Apple Pencil 1 but the iPad Air (4th gen) only supports the Apple Pencil 2.

Both of those iPads were just announced today.

It just irks.

I feel you man having just bought one a few months ago. They do say the 2nd gen is quite a lot better though.

To be fair, I thought it only supported 1st gen pencil and was disappointed.

Their new products always make me regret buying their older product line but too expensive for me to upgrade

* first they mention "10x faster machine learning" * later they mention "70% faster machine learning"

seems not enough ML applied in the review process ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I think it’s 10x faster matrix calculations “for ML”

Who's doing machine learning on an iPad? Unless they mean running the already trained algorithm which I think is a stretch to call machine learning.

They clearly said it's about apps leveraging CoreML models to do things.

The iPad / Macbook merger seems awfully close. Same CPU, same connectivity. Macbook can run iOS apps.

If I can get an iPad Pro, which I can use as a desktop too. That'd be awesome.

I remember a year or so ago, Apple promoting the iPad or the Macbook as "The last notebook you'll ever buy"

Given this, what are some valid reasons for folks to prefer iPad Pro over iPad Air ?

If (like me) you like the 12.9" form factor. That being said, I wouldn't buy a new iPad Pro right now.

larger screen, if you go for the 12.9 inch one but for the smaller one? don't really know

also, no mention of the iPad Pro I think the next iPad Pro will dual-boot macOS :-D

iPad Pro 11" (2nd model) and iPad Air 11.9" 4th gen in comparison:


the Pro comes with a better camera (ultra wide), more maximum storage (1TB vs 256GB), slightly higher resolution at same DPI and higher screen brigthness (600 nits vs 500 nits), will be interesting to see how the A14 Bionic (Air) stacks up against the A12Z Bionic (Pro)

I wonder if the "pro-motion" high screen refresh technology makes any difference for artists?

If you are using a pencil I understand the difference is dramatic.

Excellent thoughts from Serenity Caldwell who loves to draw: https://www.imore.com/promotion

It does make a difference when sketching with Apple Pencil

Sigh, the default storage option is still 64GB...

Am I the only one who thinks 64 GB is insanely roomy? I have a 32 GB iPad that I have trouble filling; it's mostly a reading machine with some light development or content creation work.

Why does the default option matter to you?

Because the default option is a poor choice for many (if not most) users, and it's the option used to show the base price. In practice, all prices are $100-150 higher than listed when people actually get around to buying. It's a misleading tactic to get people in the door (so to speak), and then upsell them.

I’m not sure I see the problem. What you’re saying is it entices people to go to the website only to discover that the one they really want is more expensive than the base model. At which point... I guess they close the browser? No harm done.

It's a way of priming people, an element of marketing. You get them in the door (or site) already committed to the purchase because they think they know the price. Then they find out the truth, but they're primed to buy your product and it's easier to sway them to the higher priced "upgrade" (which should be the base, especially in this case, as the base option is too little for many users).

This isn't unique to Apple, many (if not most) companies do the same.

But “getting them in the door” is in actuality “visiting a website.” It’s not like they’re pot committed to purchasing anything.

This is a far cry from walking onto a car dealership or something.

With Apple's switch to Arm, is this basically the new Macbook Air in a tablet format with iOS instead of MacOS?

I believe not - it has the new A14, but they are very careful to say "the fastest iPad air ever", not the "fastest iPad ever". It is probably slower than the A12Z in the iPad Pro and waaay slower than the A14Z, which will (supposedly) power the new MacBooks

It will indeed be interesting to see what CPU ends up in the next ultralight Mac notebook; whether they just use this CPU or have something else designed for it.

Either way, I'm crossing my fingers that my 2015 Air hangs on long enough for it's ARM based successor - even if they just did slap this CPU into a new Air it would run circles around my current model.

The first AS MacBook will likely have an A14X, not the A14.

That is an accurate description of an iPad, yes.

BTW, Apple „switched“ to ARM 13 years ago with the launch of the iPhone.

You know what I meant... With Apple's switch to Arm [on Desktop]. But touché on exactitude...

AFAIK, they launched their first ARM-powered device 27 years ago (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Newton)

"all screen design" is kinda pushing it. the bezels look no smaller than the side bezels on a nexus 9.

> iPad Air does more than a computer in simpler, more magical ways.

They keep claiming this, but it’s still not true, and this is why I’m still on the lookout for a new laptop, and not another tablet.

Tablets, no matter how fancy the hardware, are always let down by their locked down software-platform hellbent on making it an appliance rather than a computer you actually own.

Unless you want an appliance. Some people want to experiment with electronics and magnetrons. Some people just want to microwave their leftovers. There's nothing wrong with either type of person or product, and either type of person would be very disappointed if they got the product intended for the other type of person.

I look for a car instead of a motorcycle for a similar reason. Maybe you are not the intended audience/consumer for tablets?

Depends on who you are. While I tried the iPad only lifestyle and found it wanting (ended up back with a MacBook Air) it absolutely is true for my father. He never did feel comfortable using computers, but he loves his iPad Pro - it let's him keep in contact with friends, follow news and sports, keep track of his appointments - in other words it's a tool that does things he cares about. He doesn't consider it a computer, nor does he want a computer.

I suspect that there are far more of him than there are of us - which is why having a choice of computing styles is a good thing. It always baffles me when people (not necessarily you, just making general observation) seem to get bent out of shape that every offering doesn't meet their expectations and is thus bunk. Maybe it's not bunk, but just not good for your use case.

Diversity is our strength and all that...

Not getting bent, but if what you’re selling isn’t a computer, don’t market it as one.

If some told you you were getting a car, and in the end you are delivered a bicycle, you’d be unhappy.

Obviously that bicycle may be great for a lot of people, it may be the best bicycle ever built... But it’s still not a car, so don’t sell it as such.

But it is a computer. And it's no where near as dramatic as a computer vs. bicycle. I'd pin it more from nimble sports car to full size sedan in variation.

It may not be your definition of a computer, but it does everything my father wanted a computer for - without having the overhead of having to operate and maintain a general purpose computer. In that respect it's FAR superior to a general purpose computer.

If you want to call it an appliance - fine. I'm down with that. Still doesn't make it any less powerful for my dad and what he wants, and doesn't make it any less powerful for the majority of what I do either.

And honestly if text selection would have been better I probably would still be on my iPad Pro. Yes, now they have track pad support for the text selection but I'm not investing in a new keyboard with trackpad for an older iPad Pro. It will be interesting to see if I get an iPad Pro or new laptop first. Multitasking on the iPad is still a bit convoluted so I'm tending to remain in the laptop first for upgrading camp, but I vastly prefer the form factor and flexibility of the iPad Pro.

Thankfully most of my issues with the iPad Pro vs. MacBook are software and they have fixed the vast majority of them with the two iPad OS 13 & 14. It's nice to have choices!

It’s obviously a computer. It’s clearly Turing complete.

It’s just not one you can install your own operating system on without jailbreaking.

If you want to define a computer as a machine that you can install your own operating system on, then you probably have to rule out a bunch of early computers that were too simple to install any operating system.


Touch ID in the locking button is neat but I've seen issues with the touch ID home button dying on previous generations of iPads. Wonder what'll happen with this generation.

Never heard of this. We still have some old 5S, 6S and an iPad Air 2 being used as music and cast devices around the house and all of the 1st gen Touch ID buttons still work.

My problem is the placement, I’m using my iPad daily and almost only in landscape mode. That power button Touch ID seems very uncomfortable to use.

Camera bump. Bleh.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2021

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