Our tech editor ADRIAN WECKLER tackles your trickiest technology problems
QI need help in deciding whether to buy the new iPad or iPad Pro. I have an eight-year-old MacBook Pro and am looking for a more portable option for work. Creating, editing and printing Word documents would be the main features I’d need. I would also use it for video watching, internet searches and reading, as well as for photos and photo editing. I plan to keep the one I choose for a long time. I would also want to use Microsoft Office as I have tons of Word documents that I would want access to on the new iPad so compatibility would be key. I would also hope to use a USB flash drive.
ALooking at the particulars of your request, my first response would be to go for the iPad Pro (which is, unfortunately, around twice the price). One reason is that you say you plan to keep your new machine “for a long time”. In this scenario, buying a high-powered machine now might ensure that it will still be somewhat adequately-powered in, say, six years (a long time in laptop or tablet years). That said, many people are still using iPads from four or five years ago with no discernible disadvantage. Apple’s tablets naturally have a much longer survival rate than laptops. So the basic iPad would still probably work fine in a few years for the things you say you want to do.
As to the individual merits of the two machines, I have both the iPad Pro and the iPad and it’s the Pro I use 90pc of the time. This is for two reasons.
First, the 10.5-inch screen is about 15pc bigger, even though the device is around the same size. That makes a difference when you’re trying to get work done and browsing between different apps or pages.
Second, the Pro model has a custom keyboard cover that’s tailor made for the machine and connects using the iPad Pro’s ‘smart’ connection (which the regular iPad doesn’t have). So for work, there’s no having to make sure that a thirdparty keyboard is powered up. It’s one less techie thing to worry about. (To be fair, there are lots of good, comfortable thirdparty iPad keyboards from the likes of Logitech and Zagg, many of which are cheaper than Apple’s Smart Keyboard.)
Storage memory is a tricky question. For what you say you want, you should really be looking at a minimum of 128GB. That means either the higher-level 128GB iPad (€459) or the 256GB iPad Pro (€919). (You can get a 64GB version of the iPad Pro for €749, but I don’t think 64GB is enough
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