back to article Nice try, Apple. The Maxi Pad is no laptop killer – and won’t scratch the Surface

Apple’s Maxi Pad is no laptop or Surface Pro killer – even though it holds up comparatively well for general workforce usage. This is the prognosis from some in the analyst community and those who will compete against it. The view from the Mac channel understandably differs somewhat. A relatively late market entrant - not …

  1. theOtherJT Silver badge

    Revolutionary Apple technology!

    the iPad Pro packs a 65-bit ARM compatible A9X CPU that is 360 times faster than the original iPad

    They even have one more bit than everyone else! See? How much more innovative can you get?

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Revolutionary Apple technology!

      Yes, exclusive news indeed here at ElReg!

    2. Ian K
      Thumb Up

      Re: Revolutionary Apple technology!

      This CPU goes up to 11!

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Revolutionary Apple technology!

      They are just that bit better. ;-)

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge


    an analyist looks into his crystal ball and proclaoms that the maxi-pad is a 'meh' device.

    That is without using one etc etc

    Was this just a ploy for get some ad revenue for the many page hits that this sort of story will get?

    Perhaps he wants a pay-rise on the back of it.

    IMHO , a lot of thise sort of forcasting is not worth the paper is is written on. Many said the same about other devices in the past. Lets give it 6 months and see how many Apple has sold before giving it the thumbs up or thumbs down.

    That that sort of stance won't get the page hits now will it eh?

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: so....

      I'm pretty sure a lot of affluent people will buy the Pro just to have a large surfing tablet for the breakfast table. Especially middle aged ones who can't focus very closely.

      As noted in the article, iPads retain their value extremely well (a bit annoying when you try to buy one second hand), so a high price isn't always a big deterrent.

      1. damworker

        Re: so....

        I use my ipad for watching streamed video in the kitchen and then moving it around the house as I do other things (and light surfing).

        A bigger screen and a louder speaker might well be attractive. Sure it's expensive but it will get used for several hours a day for the next 3+ years. I have a smaller Win 8 tablet but that is more difficult to use despite having easy access to a lot more content so not sure about a Surface.

    2. Wade Burchette

      Re: so....

      I would love to be an analyst. They couldn't predict 12:30 at 12 noon. Their predictions are usually based on assuming past history indicates future performance. i.e. tablets are selling, Windows 8 computers are not, therefore PC's are dead. Predictions are hard, especially about the future (so said Yogi Berra). And yet, people still pay them money.

      I would love to have such a job. I'm never right, but people still pay me for my opinions. Where do I sign up?

    3. cocknee

      Re: so....

      Agree that analysis is accurate as long range weather forecasts and racing tips.

      But amount of sales albeit good for Cupertino is not what he question is about! Plenty of fanbois with money to burn on shiny shiny things.

      Being an iPhone, iPad and Windoze laptop user; the iDevices are ok for simple tasks but rubbish in doing anything complex. If they'd put OSX on it, might be more useful.

      IOS was never designed for this sort of use, simple things like storing documents with the App rather than a documents folder, trying to connect to an SMB share, a wireless printer....

      Even sending an email attachment that isn't a picture is cumbersome task. My £50 Windoze phone running Win10 Preview was more useful than my iPad yesterday.

      If I want a large tablet for work I'll get a Surface or one of the many competitors - or even one with Ubuntu on would be more useful"

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: so....

        It seems very likely that iOS will be developed to allow better workflow, now when Pro is out.

        And since the long term goal must be to converge OS X and iOS (where OS X will be a superset of iOS) this should happen eventually.

        It is cumbersome to create things on the iPad. And for oldtimers like myself it can be frustrating to not know where the heck the stuff is stored. (I like hierarchical filing systems I can browse in.)

        All a trade off to make a device anyone can use -even those who normally would get scared stiff by a file browser.

        1. Naselus

          Re: so....

          "It seems very likely that iOS will be developed to allow better workflow, now when Pro is out.

          And since the long term goal must be to converge OS X and iOS (where OS X will be a superset of iOS) this should happen eventually."

          Except Apple have repeatedly pooh-poohed the idea of converging the two OSes. And iOS being developed to mesh more with the features the enterprise want is likely to make it worse for it's core functions. Frankly, this is a case of Apple trying to copy MS, which is a very odd thing indeed.

          It's worth noting that the vast majority of comments on this thread in favour of the Pro are exactly in line with what the analyst is saying - few are looking at it as a productivity device. It may be better for consumption than previous iPads... but that's not really what Cook'n'Co were hoping for. Instead of tapping a new market, it's just retreading the existing one.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Even with OS X, the Maxi Pad would never have legacy compatibility

    They wouldn't want to OS X run on tablet form as they'd screw up OS X like MS did with Windows 8-10. They know what they're doing because instead they've improved multitasking and hardware keyboard support in iOS 9.

    It's got Office. It's got a load of apps. There's software to manage them (would you even want to manage them from the same software that manages Windows stuff?). If it does turn out that people really really want legacy stuff (what's legacy stuff, do people want to run Windows XP Modbus software while on the go?), maybe Apple will get a VM out there for it.

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: Even with OS X, the Maxi Pad would never have legacy compatibility

      I don't think you are correct there. MS fubar'ed by making Touch the focus.

      Whilst OSX doesn't have touch optimisations per se it works pretty well (ironically) with a stylus thanks to its original Graphics designer user base.

      Have a look for Surface Pro 2 hackintosh if you don't believe me.

    2. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Even with OS X, the Maxi Pad would never have legacy compatibility

      "They wouldn't want to OS X run on tablet form as they'd screw up OS X like MS did with Windows 8-10..."

      And yet they happily replaced* iPhoto from OSX with the less-functional Photo from iOS in the latest (Yosemite) release, and pretty much all the new stuff in Yosemite was centred around iOS integration. I think both Apple and MS have realised that the key to the future is a converged OS running on all devices rather than separate mobile and desktop OSes, because the key to user adoption is Apps and their availability. The difference is that Microsoft rushed into it (to be fair they were playing catchup and fixing legacy issues along the way). Apple will, as usual, take their time to work out the best way to do it properly and then execute it. It will be 2 years after MS has a stable and integrated Windows 10 (and they will claim it as a first), but it will work well, first time of asking.

      *Technically it's still there, but replaced in ribbon by Photo, won't run unless you get a latest version, and the latest version doesn't show up in the AppStore unless you jump through a bunch of hoops with Apple support. So 'replaced'

  4. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

    Ipad are great but content editing within a cloud filing system is lousy

    There's one thing that sucks a bit on iOS, and that is the ability to do the following:

    1. Find a file on your cloud-based file server

    2. Edit it

    3. Save it back again where it came from

    Unless your word processor/spreadsheet of choice works with the cloud system you use, you can't do it. It works (sort of) with Microsoft Word and an office 365 account. It works with Google docs and a google drive/apps account. It works with Pages and iCloud.

    But want to use Word with Livedrive, dropbox, etc? Forget it. You can open documents easily enough, however it's a hassle to save them back again in the right place.

    This is the one thing iOS does badly. Android could do it with 4.3 without a problem. But iOS restricts the ability of one app to access data from another. This is a serious problem, as it really tries to tie you in to a particular service.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not an iOS basher. I have an iPhone and an android tablet and phone, and I can see the relative strengths of each OS, but they both have weaknesses.

    If that problem could be fixed, I'd rather have a maxi-pad than a microsoft surface any day. Actually I'd rather have one now despite the problems

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: Ipad are great but content editing within a cloud filing system is lousy

      agree. Its all very well not having a properly accessible globally available local file system when you are trying to protect and simplify the user experience when you are consuming content, but it immediately becomes a major PITA when you want to produce content across multiple apps - especially as the whole app experience is about lots of apps doing 1 thing well.

      What apple should probably do is have a shared area accessible by a group policy using application whitelisting. 99% of consumers would never use it. 80% of corporate users would. And for the 1% of soho users there's the change of a web based policy app within Icloud.

  5. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    The heading didn't reflect the actual text in the article at all!

    Wonder why?

  6. TeeCee Gold badge


    53 per cent of the tabs in use are employee owned, compared with 21 per cent for laptops - this is the BYOD factor at work.

    Bollocks! It's the "most businesses don't have a function that needs a tablet and aren't in the business of shelling out for extra toys for their staff" factor at work.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mixed stats

    There seems to be an industry drive by journalists to give mixed stats that cannot be easily understood by anyone with even a basic understanding of maths...

    "According to the big brains at Forrester, 59 per cent of laptop users at work spend more than three hours using the device, but only 22 per cent of their time on a fondleslab."

    So, some laptop users spend more than 3 hours on laptops... so the amount of time spent on their "fondleslabs" should also be in hours. "22% of their time" cannot be compared with 3 hours.

    Really, El reg, i would have expected more than a BBC level of tech reporting!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: mixed stats

      And they're not comparing the *amount* of work done. The "22% of time" may only account for 1% of productivity.

      (Typed on the first and likely last tab I'll ever own)

    2. Tony Paulazzo

      Re: mixed stats

      59 per cent of laptop users at work spend more than three hours using the device, but only 22 per cent of their time on a fondleslab

      Well, according to Google, 22% of 40 hours would be 8.8 hours, so they use the pad more than their laptops.

      iPad Pro... offers ten hours of battery life,

      Confirmed Surface Pro 3 fanboi here, and I know, IOS vs full fat Windows - but since MS want their OS to work across devices, battery saving should be baked into the heart of the OS, yet it's not. Balmer might've been a bit of a clown but Satya seems to be letting all the different departments do what the hell they like - it feels like Windows 10 has no overriding vision guiding it

  8. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Just a thought, but...

    If MS are releasing Office for iPad, and the new keyboard and stylus look a lot like the Surface one and MS aren't suing them for copying THEIR rounded rectangles...

    Is it me or are MS hoping to just quietly kill the Surface and hope nobody notices?

    1. bex

      Re: Just a thought, but...

      Surface is a Billion Dollar plus business per year M$ will make more while people still buy

      1. Andrew Williams

        Re: Just a thought, but...

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Surface was costing Microsoft zillions, not making them.

        1. bobgameon

          Re: Just a thought, but...

          It use to cost them a zillions. Ever since the launch of the surface pro 3 things have turned around.

    2. Arctic fox

      Re: "Is it me or are MS hoping to just quietly kill the Surface ............?"

      I suspect that it is just you old chap. Whilst MS fucked up big-time with Surface RT and to a large extent with Surface Pro 1 & 2 (leading to a gigantic inventory write-down) they have been doing very respectable business with both Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 (the latter based on an Atom CPU, both of them x86 devices running a full desktop OS which is after all one of the points in this article).

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: "Is it me or are MS hoping to just quietly kill the Surface ............?"

        Don't all Surfaces still have a cooling fan in them?

        That would disqualifying them from being real tablets in my opinion.

        Even my son's Acer laptop is passively cooled, while being impressively fast.

        Who isn't fed up with fan noise and having to bother about not blocking up vents by now?

        1. bex

          Re: "Is it me or are MS hoping to just quietly kill the Surface ............?"

          The Surface 3 does not have a fan the 3 pro does but as it can have a i7 and is a real computer in tablet form it's to be expected

        2. Tony Paulazzo

          Re: "Is it me or are MS hoping to just quietly kill the Surface ............?"

          Don't all Surfaces still have a cooling fan in them?

          The Surface Pro 3 does have a fan, the surface 3 doesn't. I've got the i3 SP3 and never hear it kicking in except when playing games, apparently the i5 & i7 version does kick in more frequently, but they are power house CPUs.

          And why would having a fan disqualify something from being a tablet? The vents are at the top (if holding in landscape mode).

  9. majortom99

    The Maxi Pad isnt' targeted at laptops or surfaces. It's too expensive for consumer. The aim of the Maxi-Pad are industry verticals - Medical being the big one. Price insensitive and the ability to look at an MRI scan on a large tablet that is instant on and does not require constant patching and has no ports for data to escape through is very tempting.

    As for the rest - how much was Forrester paid to come up with the mobile app gap? That standard x86 apps are useable in tablet form? No domain join to use a file share??? Even Microsoft have delivered native OneDrive integration and office integration to the iPad. Then the nonsense around GE investing in IOS but most not? Has he not heard of the IBM/Apple IOS partnership? The deliberate focus on verticals is what the iPad maxi is for. Engineering BAM, Laboratory work. This is pretty shoddy paid for journalism. The only learning from this article is how untrustworthy a lot of this "research" can be...

    As an aside I own a Surface 3. It's a fine laptop but it's no tablet (far too heavy).

  10. Ralph B

    Surface Killer?

    Quote from the sub-heading: Apple’s Maxi Pad is no laptop or Surface Pro killer

    Quote from the article: I can count on one hand the number of customers that have requested Microsoft's Surface

    The conclusion to be made would appear to be that the Apple's iPad Pro is no Surface killer, because the Surface is already dead.

    Would that be correct?

    1. mstreet

      Re: Surface Killer?

      The first quote is the authors opinion and point. The second quote was from an Apple reseller.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surface Killer?

        Apple reseller say's "surface pro sells less than 6 devices"

        MS reseller say's same of iPad maxi

        what utter shit from the Reg

  11. Frankok

    Maxi Pad

    Excuse me, Maxi Pad! seriously! I know the iPad is for girls but to name the latest one after a ladies sanitary towel is a bit unsavoury. Ah well I guess Apple know what they are doing. I am sure It will sell just as well as it's namesake. Remember ladies, never leave home without your maxipad!

    1. bex

      Re: Maxi Pad

      It's called the iPad pro

    2. Sarah Balfour

      Re: Maxi Pad

      You're new round these parts, aren't you…?

      And what's all this "iPads are only for girls"….?! I'm not a girl. Not this week at any rate. Next week, who knows…?

  12. Stevie


    Yeah, after all the hoopla by well-placed AppleFanz (I'm thinking of a certain SF author here as I type that) to the effect that the iPad can replace a laptop for productive work, my experience some years after that endorsement is no it bloody well can't.

    Different tools for different jobs.

  13. Joe Gurman


    "[T]he device may not allow enterprise people get a full Windows experience." I believe that's the point, mate. Some people just don't want that. They want, even in a corporate environment, a mobile device with a big enough screen to do what they consider serious work (read: Office) and also support mobile apps. The RT fell down on the latter. Believe it or not, the Windows "experience" is not the selling point it used to be.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surface was a flop until the Surface Pro

    And Surface Pro is merely an extra thin laptop with an extra lousy keyboard. It runs full Windows, it isn't really a tablet because people use them almost exclusively as a laptop.

    Apple was never trying to compete with the Surface Pro, it was just analysts who decided they should because Microsoft is enjoying some success there (where "success" is defined as converting purchases of thin and light laptops from Dell or HP into purchases of extra thin and light laptops from Microsoft)

    iOS is designed for content consumption, not content creation. Making an iPad with a larger screen and a pencil doesn't make it magically as good for content creation as a Macbook or Surface Pro. It should be better in some things (especially graphics/design related) due to the pencil, but it isn't something you're going to want to type a 10 page term paper on (neither will you want to do that on a Surface Pro, with its shitty keyboard)

  15. Pomgolian
    Paris Hilton

    Is it just me...

    ... or does "maxi pad" bring to mind feminine hygiene products rather than tablet computing?

    1. Sarah Balfour

      Re: Is it just me...

      You're new round these parts too, ain'tcha…?

  16. David Walker

    click, click, click

    The article should be titled "click, click, click… We get paid for clicks". What an incredible non-story. Now the Register does its best to make fun of Apple and publish things that make fun of Apple - mostly pointing out that the devices are used for silly things. And of course the Register focuses on serious IT. As other authors on this thread have pointed out these devices are not competing in the same market as Windows laptops or the Surface. They weren't intended for that. As both an IT person, a teacher of computer sciences and having worked in private and public sector I can safely say that 99.9% of computer users are either doing Facebook, twitter or Instagram. They will get the new iPad and they'll be astonished about being able to see the whiskers on the picture of their pet cat. They'll take their new iPad to work, perhaps even the boardroom, and their compatriots we'll similarly be astonished. "I count 12 whiskers", " I count 14" And so on. The Register's moto is "biting the hand that feeds IT". You seem to forget that there's only one hand mentioned in that moto. As a matter of record I feel obliged to point out the rest of are pointing pictures of cats.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What the F...

    "It sounds to me like the PC boys are running scared," he added

    funny, Linux fans been saying the same of Windows for 30 years

    How many IOS . OSX devices in the world compared to MS?

  18. robertfranz

    Not sure what gave people the idea that ios devices are biz appropriate

    We have a bunch of them.

    The added cost of managing them, and their poor integration with any business network, make them a poor value proposition.

    They are useful for our sales people to show pretty pictures of our products.

    Problems arise when they try to work on them - that usually ends in tears of frustration.

    As the defacto security guy, I simply do not trust the whole Apple ecosphere.

    I will readily admit that few serious breaches are known to have occurred, and the os has a solid foundation deep down under the fake tinsel.

    But there isn't much in the way of antimalware, neither mature products, nor any with an effective track record or software engineers experienced in *nix/os x architecture.

    In this regard, WinTel devices are a much better gamble, if you assume that sooner or later, you'll be hit.

    I *know* that eyes are on MS products, and that there are people who have built reputations and careers on malware detection and cleanup.

    So when - not if - we get hit hard, I can write a check that summons the cavalry.

    When - not if - IOS/OS X devices get majorly owned, there isn't any cavalry available, no matter how many zeros are on that check.

  19. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Delusions of tablet makers

    Tablet makers have the weirdest delusions. If you're watching videos, playing some types of games, reading (but not really typing out) E-Mails, reading books, etc? Sure a tablet's fine, and they've really eaten the PC market's lunch for these uses.

    But ever since tablets first shipped, some have had this delusion that people would COMPLETELY quit using PCs and use tablets, despite the tablets of the time having no keyboard, no way to print, no way to scan, stripped down software, and not enough hardware specs to do some of what people do on PCs (and no expansion capability either). So, newer tablets can print and scan (maybe, if it supports your printer), can have a nasty rubber keyboard attached, and can have a screen as big as the smallest screens available for notebooks. Whoop-dee-doo, I'm throwing my notebook in the trash right now!!!

    It's particularly delusional of Apple fanbois to think that shipping the exact same Apple tablet, except faster and an inch or two bigger, is going to do anything whatsoever in this regard.

    On a side note.. I'm not sure where the "360x as fast" claim came from, the specs I saw indicate the ARM in there is about 22x the speed of the orignial one (I'm assuming that's adding the processing power together of all cores.)

  20. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    "In this regard, WinTel devices are a much better gamble, if you assume that sooner or later, you'll be hit."

    I must disagree. Don't get me wrong, pretending tablets are some kind of replacement for notebook computers is daft, so I'm not advocating that either. But I would NEVER advocate Windows on the basis of "assume you'll be pwned, it's easier to get support for Windows". You might have other good reasons, but honestly Windows is probably the worst system on the market to deal with if it gets pwned.

    You move away from Windows and you'll find -- well first you'll find you're really much less likely to get pwned. But if you want to pretend it's inevitable....

    In contrast to Windows where you have a WIndows install, numerous layers of patches, seperately installed apps (which may have to be installed in the right order) and on and on. No package management. in Linux, when I had a corrupted system due to some bad RAM (as I installed updates, the updates were corrupted), I could just tell it to reinstall all packages on the system, problem solved (I *could* have had it only reinstall packages where a checksum didn't match but I didn't bother.) I could have done this from a LiveCD if I doubted the integrity of the installer. Macs make it easy to reinstall too, to install software (often times just drag it over), and so on. OpenBSD makes it easy to verify package integrity and replace bad packages.

    Linux and Mac (and probably BSD) also have bootable "LiveCD"/"LiveUSB" systems you can boot into, Windows usually doesn't.

    if you DO try to fix things on a live system, Windows WILL NOT allow you to delete an in-use file; virus, spyware, and exploit writers know this and make sure they lock the files open so they are non-removeable. Linux, Mac, and BSD do allow deleting in-use files (the disk space isn't freed until nobody's using that deleted file, or you reboot...) So cleanup is easier than on Windows.

    You want to kill those naughty processes? In Linux, Mac, or BSD, they will just be processes, feel free to kill them. In Windows, courtesy of the weird concept of processes and "services" being different things, it's just as likely to show up as "svchost" as to show up in any useable way.

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