Can the Apple iPad Pro replace the MacBook? Is it a viable alternative.

27th February 2018
Group project work on a laptop

An ever-increasing number of people are using an iPad as their sole computing device. If Apple continues to further improve the iPad’s: functionality, build, and software it looks likely that we will see these figures rise.

iPad Pro
Lease the iPad Pro from HardSoft

It’s been long debated whether tablets can or will ever replace laptops and computers. Over the last decade, tablets have successfully carved themselves out a middle ground in the tech market and are often viewed as ‘luxury goods’.

‘But what we are seeing now is an evolution of the traditional tablet into something far more versatile and technically impressive than ever before.’

The introduction of the iPad Pro heralds the introduction of the first pedigree ‘Tablet’ option for users, that perhaps, is finally powerful enough to replace a laptop.


Benchmark tests carried out by Bare Feats show that, when comparing the 2017 MacBook pro and the 2017 iPad Pro, the CPU and GPU performance are extremely similar. This means the iPad Pro is delivering a level of performance directly comparable to the MacBook Pro. Their capabilities are closer than ever before, and this improvement in performance isn’t compromising the iPad’s battery life. With up to 10 hours of regular use available, the same amount as the MacBook Pro.


The maximum amount of storage available on the larger 12.9 inch iPad Pro is 512GB. Although this is the same as the MacBook Pro, it is configurable to a 1TB SSD. Despite not being able to configure the iPad Pro, the standard 64GB and 256GB often prove to be enough storage for the average user. This is due in part to many popular applications and file saving services now being cloud-based, so restrictive hardware storage is far less likely to be a deal breaker where it may have been in the past.


When it comes to typing, if they’re using the iPad as an alternative to their laptop, people will inevitably want to purchase a detachable keyboard to accompany their iPad. For Tablet tasks the iPad Pro’s onscreen keyboard is somewhat…sufficient, but if you’re doing work on your iPad, a separate keyboard will be more than beneficial but probably necessary. There is a huge range on the market, but remember this will add to the cost difference (we’ll come to this later!).
Another accessory which will increase overall cost is the smart pencil. This accessory is fantastic for creatives in professions like graphic design. The pencil is pressure-sensitive so you can vary the weight of lines when drawing and given new ‘Lean’ features shading is also possible. The iPad Pro is not only something that can replace your laptop but now even your pen and paper as it allows you to scribble down notes whenever&wherever needed!

Apple Macbook
MacBook Pro also available to Lease from HardSoft

Software & Apps

As for software, it differs between devices. The iPad Pro uses iOS, a touch-based operating system, whilst the MacBook Pro uses OS X which is operated via the traditional keyboard and trackpad interface. The iPad Pro’s new ‘dock’ feature on iOS is very similar to the MacBook’s, the dock certainly streamlines the interface and makes it easier to access applications and files. Enabling files to all be viewed immediately and be dragged and dropped, just as they can in OS X. The iPad Pro also offers multitasking abilities with both slide over and split view features. Recently, iOS has seen an increase in the number of apps made specifically for it, so if trends continue App accessibility shouldn’t be a restricting factor for the Tablet market.
Applications such as Photoshop and iMovie can all be used on the iPad, ensuring it’s relevance in creative industries. People working in graphic design can also use the iPad Pro to directly ‘sketch’ out ideas on their screen using the Apple Pencil.


As well as comparing all the specs of these devices, the often defining factor for many is cost. Leasing the entry-level iPad Pro (10.5-inch with 64GB storage) starts from just £5.50 per week, whereas the entry-level MacBook Pro (13-inch: 2.3GHz 128GB storage) starts at roughly double the price, £10.95 per week. Remember, there will be additional costs for the iPad Pro if you choose to add a detachable keyboard and/or Apple pencil. Here at Hardsoft UK, we always offer these extras in with the leasing cost so you have everything in one easy to manage package.

Our Verdict

At the moment, there is definitely still room in the market for both the iPad Pro and the MacBook Pro, but this could all change in the future as technology continually improves. Right now, the iPad Pro could easily replace a laptop for average day to day users who need to browse the web and create basic content. As for professionals, the iPad Pro can be a valuable product, but one that their workload will often dictate is best used alongside a more powerful device.
At Hardsoft UK we offer to rent, hire, and lease all the models of Apple MacBooks and iPads. As an authorised Apple reseller, we offer you the best products as they’re released and with our leasing service can upgrade your machine after two years!