Eight years ago we ran a blog post titled ‘The Tablet Takeover Continues’, discussing the mounting evidence that tablets were beginning to supplant laptop and desktop devices. In the time since, we haven’t quite seen a full “takeover,” so to speak. But tablets have become far more prominent in our world, and have certainly replaced alternatives in many individual cases.
This all feels newly relevant in light of some of the latest reveals from Apple. As usual, the company’s latest launch event broke some news, flooding tech outlets like CNET and The Verge with all kinds of exciting headlines and pictures. In this case, those headlines and pictures had to do with everything from colorful new iMacs to new “Apple AirTags” that will help people keep track of their keys. Digging into the details of the launch event though, it’s clear that the upgrades to the iPad Pro are among the most significant notes.
The new iPad Pro 2021 will come with a few flashy features that will generate a lot of sales — such as a sleek “Magic Keyboard,” built-in 5G compatibility, and a Mini LED-based Liquid Retina XDR display. By far the most noteworthy and innovative feature of the new device, however, is its M1 processing chip — the same chip Apple designed for its Mac mini and MacBook Air. The use of this chip in the new iPad Pro puts it on an even plain with some of Apple’s top-of-the-line computers from a performance standpoint, and will significantly boost speed and graphics processing. In short, the M1 chip transforms the iPad Pro 2021 into a device that can rival industry-leading laptops (and some desktops) in every respect.
Part of the trouble with tablets over the years though is that a lot of average consumers don’t really take advantage of high performance capability. If you notice, Apple in its own ads tends to focus heavily on things like graphic design and photo and video editing when pitching what its iPads can do. And naturally, these activities are only relevant to certain kinds of consumers. This, however, is why we want to focus on internet-based video games as the true showcases for the iPad Pro 2021 and other modern tablets.
Gaming is simply a far more common, widespread activity than graphic design or photo editing, but one that also takes full advantage of the powers and capabilities of leading tablets. Indeed, the improved processor performance and GPU in the new iPad Pro will be shown off more effectively through gaming than just about any other activity. This is simply because games above all else demand high processing speed, smooth performance, and sharp visual displays and transitions.
For those who plan on gaming with modern tablets — or even those who wish to assess tablet capability through gaming — we want to point to a few kinds of games that can be of use.
Console-Quality Steam Downloads
Not all that long ago, there was a prevailing impression that Steam was not readily compatible with mobile devices. For those unfamiliar with the name, Steam is essentially the leading platform for downloading video games to PCs, and its library contains everything from decades-old arcade experiences to recently released console games.
The service did emerge to serve the PC gaming community, but it has since been made easier to use on mobile devices. As a result, iPad gamers can now download console-quality games to play on their tablets. Naturally, these are some of the most demanding games in the world, and will go a long way toward demonstrating tablet quality.
Online Casino Games
Once upon a time, online casino games placed little demand on gaming systems (be they PCs, laptops, phones, etc.). But in a very successful to remain relevant among today’s gaming audiences, casino developers have massively improved game graphics, immersion, and general quality. In doing so, they’ve become slightly more demanding, to the point that one can now tell the difference between playing online casino games on a highly capable tablet or an older, less capable device.
The selection of games on Gala Casino is effective in demonstrating what specifically has changed in casino gaming quality. Rather than focusing on a single niche or type of game, this platform features a combination of graphics-oriented video sots (like Starburst), games based on existing television content (such as Vikings), and table games (like Roulette Live and Quantum Roulette) in which players enjoy live feeds to human dealers. Compared to the more limited arcade slot and table games of the past, these are simply more high-tech, modern experiences. You’ll be able to tell the difference playing them on a great tablet as opposed to an inferior device.
This category is a little bit more subjective in nature, because different gamers prefer different kinds of visuals. However, there are certain mobile games that make more of a point of emphasizing graphics and atmosphere than others. And it’s these games that will often showcase the speed and quality of tablet performance, more so than others. Plenty of specific mobile apps fit the description, but for starters we might identify Mindcell, The First Tree, Asphalt 9 Legends, Real Racing 3, and even Fortnite and Call Of Duty: Mobile as some games worth trying to test out a tablet.
A lot of people think of MMORPGs as games exclusively for PC play via browsers. However, at this point there are actually a lot of these games that are specifically built for mobile devices. The Gamer listed 10 of the best options just a couple of years ago, and highlighted popular titles such as Old School Runescape, Hit, Lineage 2: Revolution, and Order & Chaos 2: Redemption — all of which capture the same spirit and quality of classic, browser-based MMORPGs. And while some of these games (most notably Old School Runescape) make a point of featuring somewhat retro visuals, they are still fairly demanding on gaming systems. These games will perform better on a great tablet than an outdated one or a less-than-capable laptop.
In the end there are a lot of ways for a modern tablet to impress beyond gaming. But in terms of popular activities that truly show off the quality of these devices, video games sometimes offer the best performance trials. Playing games in the categories discussed above will leave you with little doubt about how powerful and capable your tablet is.