iPad Pro = iMac

What does buying an iMac, other than a larger screen and some ports, get you performance wise over the new M1 iPad with the 16gb configuration?

Is my new iPad basically going to have the same performance as a desktop?

Assuming that the CPU is clocked the same in both systems, it’ll have similar hardware performance (thermal constraints being a differentiator), with the significant difference that comes with running a different(ish) OS.

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An iPad Pro is my primary computer, but iPadOS does have limitations. For example I have no way to automatically backup my data. So I still have a Mac mini that handles backup and automation.

If/when Apple decides to add these functions to the iPad I won’t need the mini. Until that happens or the mini dies it will make things easier.


To my knowledge, Apple doesn’t allow non-Webkit browsers on iOS/iPadOS. That would be my biggest hang-up.


What does your primary usage look like?

You need to define performance.

As others said, the biggest difference is macOS and its performance is drastically different: not in terms of speed, but in terms of functionality.

It depends on your usecase, what would you be using an iPad / iMac for?

My workflow is almost exclusively iPad since a few years, and I like the simplicity and focus of a single app (with some split screen here and there) Until the M1’s I’d say my 2018 iPad Pro ran circles around any of my Macs performance wise, and has excellent battery life.

Very difficult to put one against the other, everything is related to how you are planning to use it.

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I do spreadsheets, web browsing, email, messaging, managing finances, and photo and video editing. I also have a couple of network apps and Microsoft Remote Desktop.

It’s becoming really hard to justify having an M1 iPad and MacBook Pro, but I guess I’m old school and will always want a traditional file system periodically. If Apple unlocks the files app on iOS 15, I would be ecstatic.


I actually find that with the battery gains and the lighter form factor of the Apple Silicon Macs, it’s a laptop I’m going to buy and travel with, and my iPad usage is going to go way, way down.

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That makes sense. For me, Procreate and other design apps that take advantage of the Apple Pencil are a huge part of my workflow, so an iPad is becoming more and more essential to me every year.

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I do love the Pencil :slightly_smiling_face: I use it for handwritten notes all the time and it’s also a crucial part of my workflow. But it’s still a rather specific one, for writing fiction, which is something I avoid doing on short trips.

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As a fellow writer I understand! Trying to keep myself from writing during the holiday weekend.

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