The iPad Pro has made me fall in love with tablets again

Tablets are now more than just movie and internet browsers and the iPad Pro is leading the charge

iPad Pro 2024
(Image credit: Future)

The latest iPad Pro is a machine that I can finally see myself using. When the iPad was first released in 2010, I knew I wanted one. I just didn’t know what I wanted it for. I got one a few months later, I loved it. It had some fun apps and it certainly beat browsing the internet and social media on my iPhone 3G. 

After a few months though, my interest waned. My phone was always closer to hand for quick browsing and for anything more, my laptop was more practical. As iPads got smaller and lighter I found myself using them for other tasks, particularly for watching films while travelling, and as a replacement for songbooks when playing guitar. 

With the launch of the iPad Pro back in 2015, we saw a shift from iPads being casual browsing tools to serious workhorses. These had better screens and more powerful chips, allowing them to perform tasks that previously had been limited to Macs. 

iPad launch in San Francisco 2010

Cues for the first iPad in San Francisco, April 2010

(Image credit: Future / Mat Gallagher)

The new iPad Pro takes this to new levels. It offers a tandem OLED display, beyond the quality of displays on MacBooks, and it has a chip that beats all but the high-end Macs for speed. Importantly though, it offers a touchscreen – something that, although is available on most PC laptops, has never been available on Macs.

Touch sensitivity is therefore the biggest differentiating factor between the iPad and the MacBook. Not only does it make casual browsing and gaming more engaging, but it opens up the tablet to artists via the Apple Pencil. The only choice for a Mac user is to buy a third-party graphics tablet.

With the new Apple Pencil Pro, you have even more control on the iPad Pro (as well as on the new iPad Air). It gives a quick menu with just a squeeze, while the sensors in the barrel detect the rotation of the pencil, allowing for control of brush direction.

Apple iPad event 2024

Apple Pencil Pro

(Image credit: Future)

It’s not just artists though. The Pencil can be used for note-taking, or as a simple pointer in any of the iPad apps, giving more precise control than with a finger or mouse. Video editing and sound editing through the new Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro apps show the advantage this control has.

What I love about the iPad Pro is that it no longer feels like a sacrifice to travel with it rather than a ‘full computer’ like the MacBook Pro. With the addition of the new Magic Keyboard, with its improved trackpad and function keys, I can use the iPad as I would any laptop, and work if needed. But I can also do much more, such as recording a song or editing 4K video – all without the M4 chip breaking a sweat.

There are still a few disadvantages to the iPadOS for more work-based tasks, but when I’m looking to relax, the range of games and apps available means that I’m always entertained. I also find it ideal for video calls, as it gives you a much more usable experience than a phone or laptop.

With the iPad Pro, this format has certainly found its purpose, and it’s one that I have a use for. The question is, do I still need my laptop at all?

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.