There must be something about our genetic makeup which causes humans to compare and contrast, to pit good against evil, to engage in superhero worship only to pick a side and cheer when they combat one another.
So it is with Apple’s newest products from iPhone Xs to Watch Series 4, Mac mini for professionals, iPad Pro with Face ID, the exciting new MacBook Air, and the updated MacBook Pro line. Let me do a quick comparison of the most obvious comparison opportunities. iPad Pro vs. Mac notebook.
One of the key components to product marketing is differentiation. Microsoft missed the mobile revolution led by iPhone and Android, then doubled down on the traditional PC; somewhat re-inventing the notebook to become a tablet. Sometimes. That strategy seems to have worked because the only segment of PCs that is growing is the notebook tablet hybrid; Windows notebooks with a touchscreen.
No touchscreen on the Mac, of course. iPad remains a true tablet and unlike Windows PC hybrids, it gets used as a tablet. Yet, Apple upped the iPad Pro game again and the latest models blur the lines between a powerful Mac notebook and a tablet.
There are two ways to compare iPad Pro with a MacBook Pro. Benchmarks. Usability.
Clearly, Apple has infringed on Intel Inside with iPad Pro and the new A12X Bionic chip (the iPad cousin to the A12 in iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and XR). Tom’s Guide has a list of Geekbench performance comparisons against a Microsoft Surface Pro 6, a popular Dell XPS 13, and a rather anemic Samsung Galaxy Book 2. In standard benchmarks, iPad Pro bests the above list and more than 92-percent of all notebooks. Mac or Windows. Benjamin Mayo:
Geekbench benchmarks for the new iPad Pro have shown up online, and the scores are certainly impressive. The iPad reports ~5030 in single-core, and ~18000 in multi-core. The single core score goes to toe-to-toe with a 2.6 GHz i7 2018 MacBook Pro
iPad Pro remains competitive– in benchmarks— with a far more expensive MacBook Pro. Watch out, Intel.
Apple only sells a single configuration of portable Mac that is decidedly faster than the iPad Pro — the Core i9 MacBook Pro. Reminder: Apple sells the A12X-equipped iPad Pro from $799. The i9 MacBook Pro sells for more than $3000. Going beyond portables, the iPad Pro matches or beats almost all 2017 iMac configurations, and rivals the iMac Pro on single-core prowess.
Apple is a hardware company and its own chips have become competitive with Intel Inside.
The second comparison differs from benchmarks. Usability. That makes the inspired comparisons between iPad Pro and MacBook Pro (or, any Mac notebook) more difficult and highly subjective. It is easy to compare hardware components and benchmarks, but usability is a different animal. Apple implies iPad is not a computer, but doesn’t mind comparing the tablet with notebooks.
First, you cannot do everything on an iPad Pro that you can on a Mac. Similarly, the Mac does not perform– in usability– the way an iPad does. The Mac has a built-in keyboard and does not have a touchscreen. The Mac is not a tablet. iPad Pro can use a keyboard, but it is less capable than even a Mac’s butterfly keyboard (macOS has more keyboard shortcuts and runs applications which have no iOS counterpart; yet).
Second, the Mac is not as portable, mobile, or handy as an iPad Pro which blends detachable keyboard and touchscreen capabilities MacBook models do not have. Maybe the twain shall meet, but don’t count on it. A Mac is not an iPad Pro. An iPad Pro is not a Mac. Both can perform similar tasks but not using the same methodology.
It’s a bit like Batman and Superman in an ill-advised clash of the titans; one that may be interesting, but not worthy of much consideration. Both are superheroes. Both function as superheroes in different manners. I say we let them be. Get what works best for your requirements.
Apple’s position is clear. The company wants you to buy both.