I came upon iPad enthusist Riley Hill’s website Slate Pad a couple days ago via his post about the new M4 iPad Pro. He asks: What Does iPad Pro Taking Advantage Of the M4 Even Mean? – SlatePad

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. “The iPad has class leading hardware, but we’re just waiting for software that takes advantage of ”. No matter what changes and improvements Apple makes to iPadOS, they are still not enough to make proper use of the hardware. I come across this idea so frequently on social media, more so since the M4 iPad Pros were released. The idea got me thinking…what does “taking advantage of the hardware” really mean?


Before the call for macOS got so loud, the argument was that getting iPad to run Apple’s pro apps, specifically Final Cut Pro, would absolutely take advantage of the hardware. Well, Apple did finally bring a very capable version of Final Cut to iPadOS, but that didn’t count because it doesn’t have all of the capabilities of the macOS version. Same with Logic Pro. Okay, fair enough. But before those apps were released, iPadOS got DaVinci Resolve, which to my understanding, is much closer to its laptop counterpart in functionality. Nope, still not enough.

Yep. I think Riley is on to something here!

When iPads are reviewed, and I’m thinking more the Pro and Air models here, the reviewer generally notes that no matter what they throw at the machine, it doesn’t slow down or break a sweat. And that’s almost always presented as a bad thing. That the hardware is somehow being wasted. Compare that to when Apple Silicon migrated from iPad to the Mac. What did the reviews look like? “OMG, no matter what I throw at this thing, it doesn’t break a sweat! Its amazing! This thing is a beast!” Weird, huh?

Yep. And, just like clockwork MacRumors publishes this review by Juli Clover today: Two Weeks With the M4 iPad Pro

The last ‌iPad Pro‌ with an M2 chip is incredibly fast, and the M4 is even quicker, based on benchmarks. You’re not going to find much that’s going to max out the M4 processor in day to day usage, but you’ll see bigger numbers on benchmarking tests comparing the M4 ‌iPad Pro‌ to the ‌M2‌ ‌iPad Pro‌. Editing videos and creating songs in Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro is super fast with the M4, but it was also super fast with the ‌M2‌. Maybe the M4 chip will shine when iPadOS 18 is updated with a slew of new AI features, but for now, it’s overkill.

LOL. Yeah, Riley called it. Would they write such a thing about a Mac intended to be used by pro video editors running Final Cut Pro? Of course not. It is assumed that the Mac is a serious computer to be used by professionals that will always take full advantage of the hardware.

It always comes down to this:

The major downside is the price, with the 11-inch model starting at $999 and the 13-inch model starting at $1299. Those are Mac prices, and while the ‌iPad‌'s hardware is worth it, it’s a lot to pay for the limitations that you’re stuck with when using iPadOS. There are workflows out there that work with a tablet, but many people aren’t going to be able to replace a Mac with an ‌iPad‌.

From the viewpoint of the established Apple pundits and reviewers, the Mac is the one true computer against which the iPad is to be measured. Nothing short of macOS or a nearly exact touch adapted version of macOS will ever meet their expectations. As long as the iPad is running iPadOS it is not, according to them, capable of being a computer for most “serious” work.