The tablet didn’t really become the mobile computing revolution that it was predicted to be; at least not for all companies that ventured into this segment. But it seems Apple has cornered a monopolistic chunk of the tablet market, eating into the once powerful Notebook market. In fact at its New York event, Apple CEO Tim Cook said last year the iPad outsold all Notebooks put together. With over 400 million units sold so far, the iPad also happens to be the most popular computer ever.
With such a big grip on the tablet market, it is no surprise that Apple is pushing the limits of what its iPad can do, offering high-end processing with the A12X Bionic processor. This brings a powerful neural engine and Machine Learning capabilities to the tablet. But Apple is going further as the iPad can now connect to an external 5K display and charge the iPhone as well thanks to the Type-C USB port.
So while the iPad Pro is more powerful, it is also smarter than before. Or should we say, smarter than any other tablet we have seen before.
Apple is clear that it wants to offer laptop level processing in a tablet, in case its users don’t want mobility to come in the way of their creativity. And if you were limited by apps, the new innards of the iPad Pro will enable desktop grade apps from Photoshop and AutoCad to take creativity and productivity to a whole new level.
On the other end of the spectrum, Apple is making its iconic notebook, the MacBook Air, as mobile as possible. The latest version is thinner and lighter than the MacBook Air has ever been. But it is also more powerful with the latest 8th generation Intel Core processors.
We don’t give the MacBook Air the respect it deserves, often taken away by the more powerful devices at the top of the Apple’s lineup. But Apple MacBook Air is like no other computing device in recent times, setting the standard of expectations for everything from design to performance and battery life.
The new MacBook Air is lighter, smaller and thinner. But it also has a new display in both quality and size, Touch ID for security and authentication, better keyboards, larger trackpad, louder speakers and, of course, the latest processors. All expectations which seem to have been set by our exposure to mobile devices. Such are the times we live in.
While we keep talking about all smartphone companies trying to take on the iPhone, we forget the fact that most Notebooks companies are actually trying to offer (their own version of) the MacBook Air, maybe at a lower price point. Because MacBook Air is clearly the reference design for every OEM out there.
Yes, they might make it thinner, faster and even cheaper, but the benchmark they are weighing their products against is very evident. With the new MacBook Air hitting the markets, the pressure will start building on other companies to play catchup. And meanwhile, when it comes to iPad, despite Samsung’s near-perfect stylus and powerful tablets, there seems to be no competition in the offing.