Something new

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Well, I had to do this since it was enticing.

But I recently got a new phone, not as a new daily driver but as some sort of backup/media consumption device to supplement my Moto Z in some areas where it might not be as viable mainly due to its very average battery life.

And that new phone is……..

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……A VIVO Y55L!

I know, it doesn’t sound exciting, but I got this for less than $5 off a carrier, so it’s actually kinda sweet.

Here are the basic specs for those who are interested.

SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (MSM8940), 28nm LP
CPU Octa-core ARM Cortex-A53, clockspeed ranging from 960MHz to 1.4GHz per core
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 505 clocked at 450MHz
RAM 2GB LPDDR3
Storage 16GB of eMMC 5.1, microSDXC card slot up to 128GB++
Display 5.2” (diagonal) IPS LCD with a resolution of 720×1280, 282PPI, screen film preapplied.
Rear camera 8MP 4:3 aspect-ratio (3264×2448) unknown rear sensor (1/3.2” IMX179 with 1.4 micron pixels?) with f/2.0 aperture, HDR, up to 1080p30 video recording and 480p120 slow-motion and manual ISO, shutter speed, focus and white balance controls plus single LED flash
Front camera 5MP (2592×1944) unknown sensor with f/2.2 aperture and up to 1080p30 video, screen flash
Location A-GPS/GPS/GLONASS/Beidou (depending on region)
Speaker Single front-mounted earpiece, single mono bottom-mounted main loudspeaker, 3.5mm headphone jack
Software Android 6.0.1 “Marshmallow” with FunTouch OS 2.6, Google Play Services preloaded on international models
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, compass, proximity, ambient light sensor and pedometer
Power 2730mAh Li-ion battery (non-removable). 60h of mixed usage with 6 hours of on-screen time (early tests), 5V/2A charging over microUSB
Features Dual SIM (without taking up an SD slot), raise to wake, themes, multi-window, one-handed mode, gestures.

And some more pictures of the device for your viewing pleasure.

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Something new

No, the iPad Pro is not a proper laptop replacement

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If you’ve been following Apple’s ads as of late, you may have seen something like this;

This is part of Apple’s push to make the iPad Pro more viable as an alternative to a traditional computer. However, while I applaud Apple’s ambition, the sad truth is this.

The iPad Pro is actually an unsuitable replacement for a proper computer running a desktop OS

Now, I’m pretty sure some of you are going to throw torches and pitchforks at me for saying that, but let me explain one important detail.

I own an iPad Pro 12.9″ ever since January of last year and it has been my main computing device when I’m away from my laptop ever since, although my phone does provide nice backup.

Let’s be honest here. The iPad Pro is a good tablet. Actually, no. It’s a damn fine powerhouse with immense amounts of power and superb hardware. As a general purpose large tablet, both the 9.7-inch and larger 12.9-inch models do extremely well for general browsing, basic work, entertainment and gaming.

However, past iPads have also done that generally well, so the Pros are kinda like an iPad Air Plus in that regard. While Apple has pushed the idea of the Pros being a laptop-replacement since its reveal, even putting nifty additions such as keyboard shortcuts and even an Alt-Tab task switcher (which is extremely useful), it doesn’t change the fact that the reason why the iPad Pro can’t be a suitable replacement for a proper computer is iOS.

Now, before you get the wrong idea, it isn’t that iOS is bad. It’s more that the Pro runs an operating system designed for mobile devices, specifically ones running on an ARM architecture. iOS works very well on phones and smaller tablets. Sure, Android fanboys will nag at how it hasn’t changed much over the years and yes, Apple’s UI philosophy doesn’t scale as well on larger phones, but it is easy to use and also has a coherent, consistent design.

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Sadly, iOS isn’t as shiny on a bigger canvas like an iPad Pro 12.9. While split-screen multitasking and a separate window for videos are wonderful, it doesn’t change the fact that this is an OS primarily designed for phones, just maximized for use on a larger display. It’s more limited in capability and also doesn’t offer as much flexibility. This isn’t a problem limited to iOS. Android on tablets also suffer from the same issue, maybe made even worse due to its much fewer numbers of apps specifically designed for tablets.

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Basically, let’s put it this way. The iPad Pro is a fine general-purpose large tablet for entertainment, light work and browsing. However, a proper computer replacement it is not. Its software is just far too limiting for it to properly replace a proper computer, unless that computer happens to be a netbook. To be honest, Microsoft’s Surface Pro is not my first choice for a tablet, since it seems to be designed more as a laptop without a keyboard than an actual tablet. But if I wanted a laptop replacement, the Surface will be my first pick. The iPad Pro just feels more like it was designed to be a tablet than a laptop replacement. I applaud Apple’s ambitions, but I think an iPad-like device running macOS would make far more sense as a laptop-replacement.

No, the iPad Pro is not a proper laptop replacement