End User wrote:
lso apple thinks you should all be using tablets instead.
Mobile CPUs are getting very powerful. My 12.9" iPad Pro is a rather handy work device.
Input devices: compare my robust mechanical keyboard with a touchscreen interface? the precision of a mouse with a touchpad?
Depends on if you want to do work truly on the go. iPads do accept keyboard inputs and for precision input Apple offers a pencil. These do impact their portability but are optional for when you need it.
Screen: even if you put 20Mpixels on it, as 12.9" screen is not comparable with a comfortable 3-screen setup.
The iPad actually supports video output over HDMI. By default it is operates in mirrored mode but application developers can invoke the second display as an extended workspace. So you don't get three but you can get two on an iPad.
Storage: sure, you can use the cloud over Wifi and store your 200MB document in 20sec or wait 1sec to save on your PCIe SSD
Recent iPads do have PCIe based storage. Certainly they don't rival the latest NVMe drives on PC where controllers can take advantage of additional NAND channels and higher power envelopes. In this context, the recent iOS devices are doing pretty well to compare to a typical SATA SSD.
The real issue isn't speed here but rather storage capacity for work that would regularly require 200MB+ documents.
Computing power: Yesterday I had to wait 2h for a work to finish on my i7 macbook pro. It would probably finish in 1h in a proper workstation. Run this on the tablet. Call me when the battery explodes.
Tablets are great and many people get serious work done on a tablet. But please don't underestimate a real workstation...
Tablets are certainly constrained by their power envelope for bulk processing jobs that a workstation doesn't suffer from. However, I do think you've missed the change from where tablets couldn't previously be considering for doing that work to it can be done with an overnight processing while plugged into a wall. If you need to do processing like this on the go, it is an option. The real competition isn't from workstations for getting the job done fast but rather laptops who can get the job done nearly as fast as a workstation. There are beefy laptops like your Core i7 MacBook Pro but also far weaker ones like that Core M based vanilla MacBook where the difference difference in speed with an iPad Pro is rather small.
The thing here is that Apple has been pushing tablet performance gains forward at a remarkable pace where as Intel has been more incremental in its low power offerings. The baseline performance hasn't moved much but rather Intel has been focusing on power savings to fit into smaller devices as well as agressively leveraging turbo for burst performance. This does give Apple an opening in a few generations (assuming their current pace of improvement) to clearly enter the performance range of lowend laptops.