At the start of this week I was visiting a client for a catch up and a chance to go over a project I'm working on with them. It was great to hear from the client that they're exceptionally happy with the progress, but that's not what this post is about.
During my visit I couldn't help but notice the two Surface Pros in my client's office. It was the first time that I have seen these devices out in the wild.
After quizzing my clients about them for half an hour and a quick demo it was fair to say that the Surface Pro have not only been really well designed but also specced well. Each of the devices were being used for the usual office tasks but they were also used as development environments and in each case plugged into a dual-monitor setup. As a portable device it's light years ahead of the iPad and in my eyes better than the iPad Pro.
As an Apple fan I've been disappointed with the distinction between the iOS operating system and macOS. While iOS was made to drive portable devices, it is certainly not the ideal environment to be doing any kind of software development. Apple have been expanding their mobile products to be bigger and faster and now we have the iPad Pro as the ultimate touch device that Apple offers. The problem is that the device still uses iOS.
When you're limited to the apps that you can install and the amount of access you have to a device I think it's hard to justify the label of "Pro" on the iPad. When I first heard about the upcoming release of the iPad Pro I assumed that a touch version of macOS would be offered. Sadly that wasn't the case.
When I look at the Surface Pro I see a portable device that can replace a desktop and a laptop but is also really effective when you're on the go.
Will it replace my MacBook Pro?
Not in the near future. I still love working in macOS and it's where I've invested my time to get a range of apps and tools that work well for me. I'm not about to give that up in a hurry.
It's fair to say though that I've now been put off from purchasing an iPad Pro. I don't see the benefit. If I can't run a terminal client and a text editor to write code then it hardly qualifies as a "Pro" device.