Ok, let’s establish what can we correctly describe as ‘actual work’? In many cultures this could be akin to manual labor, or work that attains physical or tangible results, but when it comes to working in a digital format the distinction becomes less clear. The Apple iPad, just one of Apple’s ever popular forms of portable computing, was introduced in 2010. This led to an insurgence of debate to whether the work performed on an iPad was dulled in comparison to the ‘actual work’ one could perform at the time honored and more traditional PC running the various versions of Microsoft Windows.
So let’s delve into the reasons why people on the side of the more traditional PC, mocked the capability of doing ‘actual work’ using the iPad. Consumers believed that the lack of certain software such as Photoshop and the lack of computer aided design/manufacturing programs assisted in this argument. And then there was the absence of USB ports or flash memory drives. Since it’s time of introduction, the requirement for flash memory drives has dramatically decreased with the help of online storage services such as Dropbox, Google drive and not forgetting Apple’s own I cloud, this allows the user to continuously upload his/her work to an online storage service, not limited to the size of a flash drive and without the need to attach said device. Certain consumers were not happy with the iPad’s storage capabilities or simply not having a physical keyboard, it seems that the digital keyboard may have taken out the ‘actual work’ for some consumers and that typing on the screen seemed less tangible. This later became disputable after companies such as Logitech started producing add on keyboards for the device. The iPad was also introduced without Microsoft Office, which, according to Softpedia is commonly used by over 1 billion consumers worldwide. In its defence, CAD programs are available for the Apple IOS and since 2014 when Satyar Nadella, the current Apple CEO and previous vice president in charge of building and running Apple’s computing platforms, developer tools and Cloud computing services, introduced Office for iPad one month after succeeding Steve Ballmer. He introduced this month before the touch optimized version of Office for Windows portable devices.
So can this finally end the ‘actual work’ debate? Apparently not, it appears that the Microsoft/Apple competition is still going strong with consumers appearing to maintain that ‘actual work’ cannot be attained using an iPad. Moving on to the current day, let’s take a look at two comparable devices; Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and Apple’s iPad Pro. It can be agreed that both of these devices are aesthetically pleasing, but if we take a deeper look into the inner workings maybe we can put to bed the ‘actual work’ debate. The display on the Apple iPad Pro is a pleasing 12.9 inches, compared to the slightly smaller display of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, coming in at 12.3 inches. There is a range of storage capacities available in the versions of the Surface Pro 4 which are 128GB, 256GB and 512GB, whereas Apple’s iPad Pro comes in at 32GB and 128GB, bearing in mind this being a disputable advantage with the use of online storage facilities, and appearing to pander to the whim of the more traditional PC user. The iPad Pro is lighter and therefore easier to use as a portable device and both come with detachable keyboards. Connectivity is arguably better with the iPad Pro but still lacks the USB port traditional PC users wanted which the Surface Pro 4 provides. The camera again is better with the iPad Pro, both front and rear are 720p HD with 1.2 and 8mp respectively. The Surface Pro’s camera capabilities are still impressive with 8mp to the front and 5mp to the rear facing the lens.
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty, the processors and OS systems. Apple’s iPad Pro runs off the Apple A9X chipset with a 64-bit ARM architecture and M9 motion coprocessor and 4GB of RAM. The Surface Pro 4 has a 64-bit Intel (Skylake) sixth generation processor that comes in a selection of models including the Intel Core M3, Core i5 and Core i7. The Surface Pro 4 comes preloaded with Windows 10 which has received mixed reviews and a variety of pre-installed Windows apps. The iPad Pro runs Apple’s IOS 9, both platforms are popular with developers across global markets, though there are certain differences regarding their interfaces and features.
Now taking all the specs into consideration, it appears that the Surface Pro 4 is ahead in its capabilities, but it’s all down to consumer preference and of course brand perception. It is deemed much trendier to be rocking an iPad Pro than a Surface Pro but does this mean that the people using one aren’t doing ‘actual work’? Who knows? The programs and software are certainly available to do so, and a lot of consumers are happy to just browse web pages, Skype friends and send and receive e-mails. Besides I myself can understand the ‘actual work’ involved in day of online shopping.