With Google’s Chromebooks outselling MacBooks 5 to 1 in 2013, will Apple replace the laptop experience with larger, faster iPad tablets? Not quite, but they are on the verge of introducing a new product category of tablet that will be aimed at students and educators. Anthony Wing Kosner, contributor for Forbes Magazine, provides an intriguing assessment of Apple’s plans for their revolutionary tablets.
This week’s report that Apple AAPL +1.17% may already be in production on a 12.9″ iPad, dubbed the “Pro,” has been the source of much speculation. In a well researched and reasoned post in ComputerWorld, Mike Elgan comes to the conclusion that it will be an “iPad optimized as a desktop touch computer for education,” specifically as reported in DigiTimes, for the U.S. education market. This, he claims, will solve two of Apple’s most pressing goals, “First: How can Apple make iOS the default platform for schools transitioning from paper textbooks and educational materials to electronic ones? Second: How can Apple gently transition the world from desktop PCs to the desktop post-PC world?”
For most users, the tablet computer experience is a casual one (content consumption, browsing the web, light email use, social media, etc.), but when users want to get some real work done, the most efficient option remains either a laptop or desktop. The idea of ultra-fast, energy efficient iPad tablets with 13 inch 4K screens is impressive and will no doubt enhance their productivity. However, their ability to fully replace the convenience and power offered by an iMac or MacBook is yet to be seen. On the other hand, if iPads and tablets were to come stock with a desktop mount, keyboard, and mouse, then they would be better suited to challenge their home or work bound cousins. Ultimately, this will be decided by newer generations of users, whose preference may very well demand the exclusive use of tablets.