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The iPad has come incredibly far since 2010 and fits Steve Jobs' vision perfectly.

Steve Jobs demonstrates the original iPad

It is still a sheet of glass, with no serious competitors and using radically different technology, as you'd expect from a product that's over a decade old, the 2024 iPad still lives up to Steve Jobs' original vision for the product.

There is an opinion that the new iPad Air and iPad Pro models are simply improved models, that they are the same as before, only a little faster. This ignores the new screens, or at least the larger one that first appeared on the iPad Air.

However, this is not an unreasonable criticism until you look back. Comparing the new 13-inch iPad Pro to the iPad that Steve Jobs so proudly showed off at his first presentation is an eye-opener.

Apple opened her eyes wide

But looking back, I realize that I am alone The thing that's strangely striking about Apple's original iPad ad is that it actually shows people's eyes wide open. During an 8-minute eulogy for the iPad, Jony Ive has a moment of genuine admiration for what Apple has accomplished.

Oddly enough, Scott Forstall looks the same, but he manages to keep it in almost every frame.

“You know, it's true: when something surpasses your ability to understand how it works, it becomes a kind of magic,” said Jony Ive, then Apple's chief designer. “And that's exactly what the iPad is… It's hard to imagine how something so simple, so thin and so light could be so capable.”

Every word was true then, and when you first picked up the iPad, you felt its lightness, you were amazed at its thinness. You also thought it felt smaller than you expected, but after a few minutes of use, you forgot about it and became as immersed in using it as Steve Jobs promised.

Scott Forstall raved about the iPad in 2010

But pick up that original iPad now, and everything is different, technically and design-wise. Forget the technical specs for a moment, it just feels different.

First, it feels especially heavy now, and for some reason that weight seems concentrated, as if it's heavier than it should be. Plus, again it seems that the screen is small, but this time this feeling does not go away so easily.

Perhaps this is partly because the bezels around the screen now appear so large that it is almost comical.

“The reason this product responds so well and you can really feel its performance is because of the custom silicon we designed for this product,” said Bob Mansfield, then senior vice president of hardware. . “This silicon is called A4, and it's actually built by our hardware team in conjunction with our software team.”

“And it gives you a level of performance that you can't achieve any other way,” he continued. “It also gives you the opportunity to have a battery that lasts all day.”

Today, the original iPad does feel slow, but just as there's not much it can do, there's not much you can do with it. The slowness is noticeable, but the 2010 iPad doesn't have to be that much faster because no one will be running Final Cut Pro on it.

Top of the specification range then and now

Take that “level of performance that cannot be achieved in any other way.” It's difficult to truly gauge the difference in speed between iPads with different processors, but there are some comparisons you can easily make.

For example, the Apple A4 processor in the original iPad was single-core, but the new iPad Pro M4 has 10 CPU cores and 10 GPU cores — – not to mention the neural engine. Then the new M4 is built on a 3nm process, while the A4 used a 45nm process.

Some details about the A4 are now difficult to establish, but several sources at the time reported that it had 149 million transistors. M4 has 28 billion transistors.

No matter how different the details, these specifications are actually the same — they are the best of their time.

The original iPad on the Apple website in 2010

Characteristics that can be felt

And then there’s Jony Ive’s “so thin and so light” comment. The original iPad weighed 1.5 pounds, while the new 13-inch iPad Pro weighs 1.28 pounds.

This doesn't seem like as much progress as any other specification, but it is. The original iPad measured 9.56 by 7.47 inches, while the new one measures 11.09 by 8.48 inches.

This distributes the weight over a much larger size, which appears even larger because relatively little of the front of the new iPad Pro is taken up by bezels.

There is still width. The new 13-inch iPad Pro is 0.2 inches thick, compared to the original's 0.5 inches.

It's a difference you can really feel as the original now appears to be bulging. On the other hand, the new one seems fragile. And we are sure that very soon there will be amazing videos on YouTube that do not have any scientific rigor.

iPad as a consumer device

In contrast to Jobs's initial portrayal of the iPad as a multi-purpose tool, the original iPad was so heavily criticized upon release for being a device only for consuming media rather than creating anything, that criticism persists to this day. This is despite the fact that Apple's own “Let Loose” video is created and edited, at least in part, on an iPad.

Final Cut Pro 2 on the new iPad Pro

Although today you may still want the iPad to do more — for example, the ability to edit Final Cut Pro two-way between iPad and Mac — It's true that the original model was noticeably more limited.

Let's start with the fact that the original iPad did not have cameras. Not at all. The new 13-inch iPad Pro features a 12-megapixel camera on the back, as well as a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a center camera on the front.

Then, while you can always watch videos on your iPad, with the new 13-inch iPad Pro you'll be able to watch four videos simultaneously live from your iPhone or other iPads.

Plus, what you watch will look unimaginably better than it did before. The 9.7-inch LED-backlit display on the 2010 iPad had a resolution of 132 dpi and 1024×768 pixels.

You know where this is going. The Ultra Retina XDR of the 13-inch iPad Pro has a resolution of 264 dpi and 2420×1668 pixels.

But Apple specified 10 hours of battery life for the original iPad — and the same is said about the 13-inch iPad Pro. Some things do not change.

Except, perhaps, for the headphone jack, which was in the original iPad, but not in the new one.

And the price. The base model of the new Wi-Fi-only 13-inch iPad Pro costs $1,299, down from $499 for the original iPad.

Although in 2024 money it is approximately $715. To do this, you can buy the 11-inch iPad Air today and leave $116 to spend on the Magic Keyboard.

Same concept

Clearly swipe your finger along the bottom of the At the time, Steve Jobs positioned the iPad as a “third category device,” something between a smartphone and a laptop. He needed to get better at email, web browsing, and reading.

“If a third category of device emerges, it will have to be better at these kinds of tasks than a laptop or smartphone,” he said. “Otherwise it has no reason to exist.”

But Jobs later went even further and said that devices like the iPad would replace PCs, including the Mac. More than a decade after he said it, he's partly right.

“When we were an agricultural country, all cars were trucks, because that's what you need on farms,” he later said in 2010. “PCs will be like trucks… they still drive.” to be around, [but only] one out of X number of people will need them.”

He wisely did not define the variable X.

Today, sales figures show that the iPad is selling in roughly the same numbers as the Mac it thought it would replace. But looking around at what and where the iPad is being used for, it's hard not to think he was right about the future.

The iPad may have started out as a third category of device. Sticking to its original concept, it is no longer an addition to the iPhone and MacBook Pro.

Instead, for so many users, including our own Wesley Hilliard, it has become powerful enough to become their primary computing device.

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