Apple's new tablet spells the new mantra: Bigger is better!
Bangalore, September 14 2015: When American soldiers brought their free-spending ways to Britain, while stationed there during World War II, the locals ruefully commented that the visitors were " Over paid, over sexed and over here". I am tempted to tamper with this phrase and say of the new tablet -- the iPad Pro --launched by Apple last week that it is over sized, over priced and over here.
Mind you, it will be another 6-8 weeks before you and I can even get to touch and feel this device in a showroom in India. But having viewed the live streaming of Apple's launch event, and concentrating on the only new product in the line up -- the iPad Pro -- I was underwhelmed to find that it was so similar to Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 launched a year ago -- only bigger.
At 12.9 inches, ( to the Surface Pro 3's 12 inches) it is arguably the largest tablet PC ever offered and works with an optional Smart keyboard -- and something that the Apple's late head Steve Jobs once strongly panned -- a stylus. The Retina touch screen (2732 by 2048 pixels) is the highest resolution offered in any iOS device and Apple has managed to keep the weight down to an astonishing 713 grams and the thickness to less than 7 mm. There is a built-in Apple SIM in some models, for connectivity when you are not in a WiFi hot spot -- but I am guessing this will only work with the mobile provider whom Apple partners in India.
The stylus or Pencil (which seems outrageously over priced at $ 99 ( when even the Surface Pro threw it in free), seems like most Apple innovations, a thing of beauty and as close as you can get to a real pen pencil's touch and feel. As you press harder the line gets wider and I can see artistic types rave over its creative possibility. But what about the rest of us?
With a size larger than a Netbook PC one can reasonably except the tablet to help you do PC things on it. But while Microsoft realised the error of its ways with the flop Surface RT and gave the Surface Pro 3 a full Windows PC OS, the iPad Pro runs the 9th avatar of Apple's phone iOS. So, while you can run any of the many thousand iOS apps, the machine seems to me ill equipped to perform standard PC productivity functions. I know Apple and paisa vasool are a contradiction in terms but $ 799 for the 32 GB WiFi model without SIM ( Rs 54,000) and $ 1079 for the model with WiFi, SIM and 128 GB (Rs 71,500) plus another $ 169 (Rs 11000) seems to be a stiff asking price for a tablet albeit one on steroids, running phone apps . Official MRP in India will be at least 15 % higher if duties are factored.
And can you see yourself using a 13 inch tablet while standing or even balanced on your knee, in a public place -- I thought that's what tablets were meant for -- till they got too big for their own good!