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  • Reece Bithrey

Are Apple Having A Laugh? - The New iPad Pro & Magic Keyboard


(Picture Credit - TechRadar)

I have to say, Apple have really exceeded themselves with this latest piece of marketing and promotion. For the new iPad Pro, read "Your next computer is not a computer." which is quite the statement, especially given its price tag - £769 for the most basic iteration with no cellular data connection or more than 128GB of storage. For the top end, with 1TB of storage, cellular data and a 12.9" screen, you're looking at £1,619, and once you add the essential Magic Keyboard that's another £299, so once you're ready to try out the newest Apple computing experience, you're pushing £2000 in total costs. Have they gone mental?

Sure, Apple have always been known for extravagant accessories, such as their £699 wheels for the new Mac Pro tower (which, at its top end, costs over £50,000), but the new Magic Keyboard and that marketing material for the iPad Pro might just take the biscuit. With Apple's marketing, it would appear that the extravagant tablet-come-laptop-come-computer revolution is upon us, but there's a small problem - who in their right mind would replace a mightily powerful desktop PC or an equivalent laptop with an iPad and a £299 keyboard?

I get it, the new iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard is designed for those who need a touchscreen and need to improve their productivity, but as a few reviewers have pointed out, there's a whole load of mainstream apps that are only really designed to be used with a touchscreen, and with no ability to flip the keyboard round like usual magnetic cases, you're stuck with the keyboard and trackpad unless you use the iPad Pro on its own. The main problem I've got is the cost with it - what won't a £300 laptop or older MacBook from computer shop X do that the Magic Keyboard can't? What you're paying for is the simplicity and convenience of owning an Apple product. Ask anyone who has an iPhone or MacBook that they've used for a while - they'll tell you that they own it because most of the time Apple products "just work". As a long-time owner of a MacBook Air, I'd have to agree on that front.

There's just something so easy about MacOS that Windows doesn't really offer. Even on the same display, MacOS manages to look sharper. The taskbar on a Mac is wonderfully simple compared to the lumbering Windows menu and Finder is more intuitive than you might think. The problem with that thought is that there's no auto-arrangement of folders inside other folders, unlike Windows, which for people who like a bit of order, may not appeal. Relating it back to the Magic Keyboard, a fair few reviewers have commented on its ease of use in terms of connectivity with an iPad and gesture controls through the trackpad.

Just getting real for a moment, that price range for peripherals isn't actually too out of the ball park, especially given the rising prices in gaming keyboards these days. Take Logitech's G915 LIGHTSPEED that I reviewed on the YouTube channel last year - at the time of release, Logitech's newest wireless gaming keyboard cost £209.99. Even then, wireless keyboards for general office use, especially desktop sets, have seen high price rises - Logitech’s latest and greatest wireless keyboard, the MX Keys, comes in at a cool £99.99 and the accompanying MX Master 3 mouse costs the same. For premium desktop sets, it’s roughly the same - CHERRY’s DW 9000 SLIM carries an RRP of £90.99, and Dell’s equivalent - the Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard and Mouse - clocks in at £92.39. The point I’m really making here is that whilst the Magic Keyboard is eye-wateringly expensive to us normal folk, it’s just a sign of the times.

Even under Apple’s own guise however, the Magic Keyboard does seem a bit overpriced, especially when you can connect their own Magic Trackpad, or actually any Bluetooth-enabled wireless mouse these days and it’ll work happily. It’s much the same story with keyboards too - the total cost of Apple’s own Magic Trackpad and Magic Keyboard is £228, which is significantly lower than the cost of the iPad Pro’s Magic Keyboard, but people will still pay the extra £70 or so for convenience. It’s not beyond them to pay it, especially as they’ve coughed up a four figure sum for the iPad Pro.

Personally speaking, I just don’t get it. I’d much rather spend the near £2000 sum on a new top-of-the-line 13” MacBook Pro. It’s probably because I’m old school when it comes to laptops and computers, but if you can afford to shell out £2000 on a tablet, keyboard and trackpad, you might as well have more money than sense.

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