For the longest time, the iPad was Apple's big boring business. It never lived up to its promise to revolutionize the media and store magazines. It has not really changed the way we play mobile games. That did not seem like a good investment. In the first eight years that the iPad existed, I was particularly active in coffee shops with these tablet-based cash registers. But this week, Apple did something subtle, but remarkable: It made me buy one.
I should be very transparent here and explain that despite everything I've just said, I already had an iPad. Apple did not tell me to buy that. My ex-girlfriend did that because we went on vacation and it would not be great to read. I sold the damned thing as soon as we got back. It was an iPad 2, and it was too hard to hold for a long time, and the screen was just shit compared to the display on my iPhone. It has always come down as one of my big buybacks, especially since I've got back only a fraction of my money.
But now there's a new one that looks just like the iPad before, with one key difference: You can use a motherfucking stylus. More specifically, you could use an Apple Pencil.
Apple Pencil is one of those inventions that Steve Jobs swore he would never do, but Jobs's old co-workers did not make it long after his death without him. This very nice pen, Apple always said, was precise and intuitive enough that an artist would use it. Sure, you could buy third-party styles like the 53 Pencil or the Adonit Mark, but I always liked the familiar form factor and stiff tip of the Apple Pencil. I'm not an artist, but I'd like to use an iPad as some sort of Wacom copy for some illustrations at work and maybe even a quick sketch now and then. I'm also unaware that Apple products almost always work with other Apple products. In addition, the Apple Pencil costs $ 100 extra.
So, as someone who likes drawing, I always thought I'd like an iPad and a pencil because I hate erasers and old-fashioned paper easily to lose or destroy. In fact, I actually believe that my sometimes-pulling habit could be a daily anxiety-relieving exercise if only I had the right tools. (I realize that sounds a bit silly, but I'm serious.) The problem is, you always need to overpriced iPad Pro to use the pen. Until this week, that is.
Apple's big education announcement centered around the idea that schools should buy an iPad for each child to learn better and sweeten the pot, the cheapest iPad would now work with Apple Pencil. The $ 330 unit – or $ 300 if you're a teacher or a student – is the same price and form factor as the previous generation, but it has received some nice specification bumps, like upgrading from the A9 processor to the A10 Fusion. However, that means the iPad Pro with its A10X Fusion chip is faster – but not much. Both devices have similar retina screen quality, similar battery life and similar weights. The iPad Pro is just special because it has the Smart Connector for the super nice keyboards, better cameras for those assholes that take pictures with an iPad, and 4GB of RAM.
The last detail could be a significant one. With only 2GB of RAM, the new cheap iPad will struggle with some load times and shit the bed if you run too many apps at once. In particular, you can run only two apps side by side on the same screen with the cheap iPad, rather than the three apps you can use with an iPad Pro. This does not mean that you have to quit apps, for example, if you switch between Mail, Calendar and Safari. The only restriction applies if you use the multitasking feature of the iPad to launch more than one app on the screen at a time. But 2GB slower things. Even more, this cheap iPad is actually more powerful than an iPhone 7, which was strong for me. I'm also not interested in multitasking on an iPad. Slightly more than that, it would be confusing because I honestly just want to use the thing as a giant iPhone.
In my opinion, the comparison of the new iPad and the iPad Pro is inevitable. I would never buy an iPad Pro because it costs at least $ 650, and I would rather make a vacation for that kind of money. For $ 330, I find myself excited. But it still feels like half the price! I could get an Apple Pencil and make my little drawings. I could bring it to the gym and watch Netflix on the treadmill. I could even read in bed without squinting at the screen.
So hats off to Apple, you multi-billion dollar marketing machine. You persuaded me to buy an iPad. I have not got any external advice on this and I am genuinely looking forward to getting a new gadget. If I decide I do not like it, I'll take it back to the Apple Store. If I decide that I do not like it too late, I will sell it. And I definitely will not lose as much money as last time I made this dance.