There's a subtle difference between the way that Steve Jobs trash talked the competition and the way that Tim Cook does it now. With Jobs you could be pretty sure that he absolutely believed what he was saying, his way was the best way and the logic/design/delivery of anything done differently was complete incomprehensible to him.
When he said others were doing it wrong you felt that was the truth.
When Tim Cook trash talks the competition you get the feeling that what he's really saying is 'damn, that's a good idea, hold on while we copy it'.
So we can be sure his attacks on the Surface Book, made during the publicity tour for the iPad Pro, are motivated by reasons other than truth. The Surface Book is a damn fine product that Apple, with its design teams and headstart in both laptop and tablet markets, should have come out with two years ago.
The same thing happened with the Surface Pro. Apple dismissed the concept as laughable and then had to copy it. Hence the iPad Pro.
And whilst Tim Cook is busy slamming Microsoft, reviewers are publishing their first thoughts on the iPad Pro. And when completely pro-Apple people, like Mossberg and Gruber are expressing reservations, and more independently minded ones finding plenty to criticize, its fair to say that Apple didn't deliver the product they should have done in the iPad Pro.
Yes, the consensus is that it is the best iPad Apple has ever made, and yes the Pencil seems to be a good tool for artists. However the thing that comes out of most (if not all) reviews is that this isn't a tablet that can replace your laptop.
The keyboard gets slammed, the balance is all wrong and the iPad Pro is allegedly heavy and cumbersome to use, difficult to hold for longer periods of time. Sounds like its pretty poor when used on your lap too.
So to rejuvenate the slow selling iPad line Apple produced a bigger, less usable iPad that, pencil apart, has no real advantages over the iPad Air 2? Doesn't sound like an especially clever move.
The truth is that the iPad Pro should have been an OS X toting machine much more like the Surface and Surface Book.
Had Apple been leading rather than following I'm pretty sure iPad sales wouldn't have been falling for the last few quarters and we wouldn't have a good/bad product like the iPad Pro.
I'm looking forward to getting hold of an iPad Pro so I can give you my impressions as an iPad, MacBook and Surface owner. Unless the consensus of opinion is wrong I don't see it replacing any of my current technology stack.