When Apple launched the new iPad Pros it set down a marker. More powerful, better to look at and more responsive to user input. All very nice to have, but not really a big step up over what has gone before. Apple improved all of the iPad's strengths, without necessarily addressing any of its weaknesses.
It's a good upgrade, but not a compelling one. iOS 11 though, is a completely different matter. The newest version of Apple's mobile OS has been targeted at the iPad - much more so than the nominally more important iPhone.
The changes Apple has wrought in its platform fundamentally change the iPad as a product. It is still very much a companion device but now it is one that a user - any user - could consider their primary computing device for a much larger proportion of their use cases.
The light user - email, web, social media and video - is going to find that the new iPad is even better at being their only computer. That won't change. For more demanding users the decision to carry an iPad or a full PC will swing heavily in favour of the iPad once iOS 11 arrives.
Primary computer does not mean only computer. Even those users fully engaged in the iPad world will find there remain gaps which can only be filled with a PC. An iPad doesn't make a particularly good desktop for example, with its restriction to screen mirroring and touch only control.
Now more than ever though, it is clear Apple is moving down a path where its primary computing offering will be the iPad. Better connectivity and viable docking options are maybe just one or two iterations away.
The changes coming in iOS 11 will benefit all iPad users but most importantly they demonstrate a change within Apple which makes the iPad the primary computing focus within the business.