I give up. The search for the perfect 21st century computer is at an end. There is no such animal. If less is more, and small is beautiful, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then the perfect computer is what we make it to be. Or, in the alternative, the perfect computer is only perfect for the moment.
The reason Apple sells meany different computers is because members of humanity do not wear the same clothing. Different strokes for different folks is a rule that works. What you like and use may not be appropriate for me or anyone else.
In the end, an iPad cannot become a Mac. A car is not a truck. Why not?
Let’s call it overlap.
A car, in certain circumstances, can perform the duties of a truck. Likewise, a truck can transport people from point A to point B as well as many cars, but perhaps not in the luxury and comfort of a Bentley. Likewise, an iPad can perform many of the duties of a Mac, but a Mac is not as mobile or convenient as an iPhone or an iPad.
Apple’s approach to the different strokes rule is to provide a variety of products that perform many similar tasks, but also handle specific work functions more appropriate to the platform.
For example, if all you need a 21st century computer to do is browse the interwebs, handle email, play a few games, take photos and videos, and rummage through a few applications then an iPhone or iPad can do what you need with ease and less expense than a Mac.
As an example at the other end of the scale, a heavily laden Mac can do audio and video editing with ease– that cannot easily be matched on even an iPad Pro or iPhone Xs Max. See? Different strokes for different folks. Apple is wise to provide a line of products that have functional overlap yet substantial differences in capability and convenience.
Thus ends my search for the one single device I can use for anything anywhere at any time. iPhone comes close, especially with pocket convenience, but screen real estate and a keyboard are necessities of life. iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard Folio comes close to my day to day needs– convenience, portability, power– but there is a need for some heavy lifting at times and that requires a truck.
The Mac is Apple’s line of trucks; from 18-wheeler to pickup.
iPad Pro can be a Mac for short hauls and smaller loads but heavy lifting requires a level of horsepower that cannot easily be handled by a handheld device, even with a very good keyboard. Different strokes for different folks is a rule for a reason.
My quest has ended. Apple gets more of my money for more gear.