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Blues003
May 7, 2011, 11:02 AM
Good day!

I am a med-student owning a 4year old Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21M Laptop (15'', 2.00 GHz C2D, NVIDIA 8600M GT, 3 Kg of weight) and a 6-month old ZTE Blade Phone (600 MHz Qualcomm 7227 CPU, 3.5'' Android phone with CM7 2.3).

Now, I recently got into a contest to win an iPad 2. As the contest ended and I watched all the entries, I feel I have a good shot at winning it. I was thinking of keeping it to work, kind of like a portable laptop, whenever I went to uni (my 3Kg Sony Vaio surely is not a portable computer). Although I do think it can be considered a luxury, I suppose it could come in handy when it came to web browsing, e-mail checking and eBook reading. But then again, my phone already does that. Maybe not as well as I'd like to, but it does. (please do not consider gaming when advising me, as it is the lowers of my priorities).

On the other hand, my laptop IS in need of replacement, and I was considering the a 13'' MBA (the Ultimate 13'' version, as I want the power to produce music, as well as photoshop). Selling the iPad will not be enough, however, to make me money to buy a MBA. Indeed, in best of chances I'd still be 900 short from the 1600 that the ultimate MBA 13'' would cost.

As such, my question boils down to: what would you do if you were me? Sell it and use those extra 200~400 to get a MBA faster? Or keep the iPad 2, considering that realistically speaking the MBA will only come in, at the very least, 1 years'-time?



hsl
May 7, 2011, 12:52 PM
An iPad(2) is not a laptop replacement.

glen e
May 7, 2011, 01:13 PM
An iPad(2) is not a laptop replacement.

x2...the ipad is more portable and the MBA is more powerful..it's that simple...

Blues003
May 7, 2011, 01:13 PM
An iPad(2) is not a laptop replacement.

It allows web-browsing, e-mail-checking, eBook-reading, music-listening and Powerpoint-studying. Considering the options are either "keep the iPad" or "save for a laptop I'd only buy in 1 or 2 years", the "keep the iPad" choice doesn't seem too unlogical to me.

skythefly13
May 7, 2011, 01:54 PM
I recently sold my iPad to solely rely on my MBA. There is no comparison. You won't regret it.

Cole JM
May 7, 2011, 01:55 PM
I recently sold my iPad to solely rely on my MBA. There is no comparison. You won't regret it.

I went the other way actually.

MacJones
May 7, 2011, 01:58 PM
I had an iPad for awhile when they first came out. Sure it was cool at first and more portable than my Macbook at the time but doing anything productive on it got very frustrating once the "cool" factor went away. I sold it a few months after I purchased it because it had to many limitations. My MBA 13" is plenty portable for my needs.

glen e
May 7, 2011, 03:07 PM
Seeing as a MBA does not have 3g and you lose connectivity when outside or when wifi is not avail, , there is a huge diff in these two units...it's not an either or....it's both for diff things...

TrollToddington
May 7, 2011, 03:41 PM
Seeing as a MBA does not have 3g and you lose connectivity when outside or when wifi is not avail, , there is a huge diff in these two units...it's not an either or....it's both for diff things...Can't a dongle for internet connection be used when outside?

Goohfy
May 7, 2011, 03:43 PM
I believe it comes down to your priorities. If you need something that will help with schoolwork , I'd prolly go with the MBA, but then again, there are apps for the iPad. If you simply need it for web browsing and reading, keep the iPad. If you need a replacement for a laptop, get the MBA, but if you won't be demanding much, go with the iPad.

glen e
May 7, 2011, 03:44 PM
Can't a dongle for internet connection be used when outside?

can you do this for $15 a month with no contract, month to month? I am not being sarcastic, I am really asking and don't know...

halledise
May 7, 2011, 03:54 PM
On the other hand, my laptop IS in need of replacement, and I was considering the a 13'' MBA (the Ultimate 13'' version, as I want the power to produce music, as well as photoshop). Selling the iPad will not be enough, however, to make me money to buy a MBA. Indeed, in best of chances I'd still be 900€ short from the 1600€ that the ultimate MBA 13'' would cost.

a current 1.86/128ssd with 4 gb memory would be easily sufficient for your stated purpose and is around $300 cheaper than the 'ultimate' model (with the marginally faster processor.)

to wait for the next release can be fraught with frustration; this model will do me for another year or so.

$ saved and an external drive for additional storage if needed can be had for less than $100

hope you win the contest!

octatonic
May 7, 2011, 03:55 PM
Seeing as a MBA does not have 3g and you lose connectivity when outside or when wifi is not avail, , there is a huge diff in these two units...it's not an either or....it's both for diff things...

er... iPhone tethering?

Roessnakhan
May 7, 2011, 04:06 PM
I'd say it depends on use case. If you're a big reader I think the iPad is ideal - with GoodReader, Instapaper, Kindle, and iBooks its just a better experience (at least, in my opinion) - same for e-mail. When it comes to web browsing, I still prefer a laptop.

Also, you mention you're a med student - I work at a medical school and we're really pushing students to get iPads as their primary devices.

dakovar
May 7, 2011, 04:08 PM
If I had to have only one device, I would go with a current gen MBA..... but....the option I would go for if I was going to buy an Ultimate MBA would be to buy a base Sandy Bridge MBA (should be out very soon) and buy a used Gen 1 iPad 3G.

I currently have the current gen MBA 11 and 1st Gen MBA 13. If you can hold out....a Sandy Bridge MBA with thunderbolt would be even better than a current gen MBA...insanely fast....and very connectable....definitely possible to use as ones one and only computer. Still, the current gen MBA 11 is a truly usable and fast computer for most things...is light....and has great battery life.

I also have a 1st gen iPad. I use it all the time when I travel....just sitting on the couch cruising the internet..and playing games. It's amazing device and I use it differently than my Macs.....most likely because I have multiple Apple devices. Regarding the iPad2....the iPad2 is great, but the iPad works for me and there isn't a compelling enough upside for me to buy an iPad2.

maclaptop
May 7, 2011, 04:10 PM
Two great products for distinctively different purposes.

Get both, that's what I did.

Couldn't be happier :)

iwan073
May 7, 2011, 04:23 PM
I'd go for the MBA.
Typing on a glass plate all night isn't that great. Plus half of the iPad screen is taken by the virtual keyboard.
So yeah, if you wanna do more than just browsing; MBA

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

Blues003
May 7, 2011, 04:31 PM
Thanks for all the answers!

If I could, yeah, I'd get both. And an iPhone in the process too. Question is, I'm tight on money, and as such I need to plan my spendings right. It's either an iPad right now (used as a pseudo-laptop; notice how I'd still use my old laptop at home for true work) or a MBA in 1 or 2 years. I'm personally more inclined to the 1st option, simply because in 2 years I will (finally) begin making my own money as a doctor, and by then the MBA should be much easier for me to buy.

I am also thinking of selling the iPad and buying a base 13'' MBP. That should become buyable a lot quicker than an ultimate MBA 13''. It's just a thought to keep in mind.

Someone also said the base 13'' with 4GB of RAM would be enough for my needs. I doubt it'd be enough for some intensive music recording... that's actually what worries me the most. I don't want to speend 1000€+ on a device just to find out it isn't "quite enough". That must be quite frustrating.

Another user mentioned they were pushing iPads in their medical school. May I know why? I know there are some good medical apps, but why push students to buy an iPad? Simply for that? In my Uni, for now at least, there are no such signs.

Keep your thoughts coming! ;)

Beaverman3001
May 7, 2011, 06:04 PM
I sold my iPad to help pay for my MBA, and don't regret it at all. The iPad is cool and you can arguably do some productive things with it, but it pales in comparison to a full fledged OS. Unfortunately iOS still has many short comings, especially with file syncing and management.

kierennyc
May 7, 2011, 09:56 PM
Not sure what the competition is but to start making decisions like this for something you havent even won yet seems very optimistic!

KylePowers
May 7, 2011, 11:15 PM
I have an iPad 2 to hold me off until the new MBA launches (however long that may take... I'm in no particular rush).

Currently, I have a Vaio Z from 2 years ago: 2.67GHz C2D (Penryn), 4GB RAM (DDR3), 300GB HDD, 1600x900 13in screen, Intel IGP + Nvidia 9300M GS, chiclet keyboard, yadda yadda. Still runs like a champ, so I'm good for awhile - especially since its portability lies somewhere between a 13in MBA and 13in MBP.

When I got my iPad 2, I was in love with it. But ~2 months later, I really don't use it as much. Like right now for example, it's hooked up to my TV playing Netflix (The Cosby Show!) while I'm on my laptop in my bed. 2 months ago, it would have been the opposite.

No regrets in the purchase though. And the battery life is superb. I do however, typically throw it in my bag when I go to class, oppose to packing up my laptop.

Detrias
May 8, 2011, 12:13 AM
Not sure what the competition is but to start making decisions like this for something you havent even won yet seems very optimistic!

Agreed, the amount of disappointment after this if he doesn't win....ouch

Blues003
May 8, 2011, 04:54 AM
Not sure what the competition is but to start making decisions like this for something you havent even won yet seems very optimistic!

I am indeed very optimistic. I've seen the other entries and... wow, were they weak. :rolleyes: Most of them didn't even fit the contest rules. :p

MrXiro
May 8, 2011, 05:10 AM
Here's the basic gist of things... iPad is for "fun" while MB is for "work" and play. Go with the MBA. You'll get more work done.

If I didn't rely on my iPad for bathroom internet surfing/book reading and watching movies on the elliptical at the gym it would be nearly useless... I do the occasional email checking and web stuff while watching TV or in bed but I definitely don't get any work done with it.

Gonky
May 8, 2011, 05:14 AM
I got caught up in the hype and bought an iPad 2, loved it for a month (new thing syndrome) but as time went on I got more and more frustrated by the things it doesn't do, you need an app for even the most simple of things like uploading to Photobucket etc. Acceptable on a phone but on a tablet I guess I expected more. Not that I am slagging off the iPad because it's brilliant but there is something missing for me. I get free wireless tethering with my carrier too so the iPad has no extra incentive to me over the Air in that aspect.

If I had a Macbook Pro/iMac or something I'd keep it but when you have an 11" Macbook Air and an iPhone 4 you have to force yourself to use the iPad most of the time. It can't compare to a Mac IMO due to the software limitations so I sold it.

The Phazer
May 8, 2011, 06:13 AM
Air Air Air all the way.

iOS is simply too crippled to be used for anything other than an occasional toy when you already have a capable portable computer.

Phazer

glen e
May 8, 2011, 09:41 AM
what's funny here is if you put this question on the macrunor iPad forum, you will get really different answers - we like what we buy!

The ipad is certainly not a toy - as ask anyone who does computing standing up - like a doctor, job estimator or engineer - it's just a diff application and why Apple sells both without cannibalizing the other...

Undo Redo
May 8, 2011, 09:58 AM
I got caught up in the hype and bought an iPad 2, loved it for a month (new thing syndrome) but as time went on I got more and more frustrated by the things it doesn't do, you need an app for even the most simple of things like uploading to Photobucket etc. Acceptable on a phone but on a tablet I guess I expected more.
Thanks for that. I've wanted an iPad for a while but kinda figured I might come to the same conclusion. I definitely felt that way about my iPod touch...awesome internet device for the first month, but now I never use it except for playing music.

The Phazer
May 8, 2011, 10:41 AM
what's funny here is if you put this question on the macrunor iPad forum, you will get really different answers - we like what we buy!

The ipad is certainly not a toy - as ask anyone who does computing standing up - like a doctor, job estimator or engineer - it's just a diff application and why Apple sells both without cannibalizing the other...

They unquestionably cannibalise the other. It's crazy to think otherwise.

I would suggest that any engineer would have a very hard time doing their job on an iPad.

Phazer

Twe Foju
May 8, 2011, 11:59 AM
iPad is cool, i use it alot now just because i haven't own an Air

but i know once i got Air, i dont think i will ever use the iPad anymore because Air for me is just a more complete iPad

glen e
May 8, 2011, 12:50 PM
They unquestionably cannibalise the other. It's crazy to think otherwise.

I would suggest that any engineer would have a very hard time doing their job on an iPad.

Phazer

you obviously have not seen a engineer at a job site using an ipad for job progress tracking....I have a petroleum engineer friend who tracks rigs in the Gulf of Mex with his...

really wish people here would stop thinking they know it all...the ipad is also revolutionizing hospital floor work. The ipad is portable computing and tracking, the MBA or any other laptop is still desktop stuff. I use both and agree with both, but some just can't see that, I guess.

brand
May 8, 2011, 01:51 PM
If you need a replacement for a laptop, get the MBA, but if you won't be demanding much, go with the iPad.

The MBA is a laptop so what you are really saying is if you need a replacement for a laptop get a laptop.

The Phazer
May 8, 2011, 07:20 PM
you obviously have not seen a engineer at a job site using an ipad for job progress tracking....I have a petroleum engineer friend who tracks rigs in the Gulf of Mex with his...

Job progress tracking isn't engineering, it's project management.

An engineer will require technical design software that just isn't available on iOS in virtually any field.

Phazer

torbjoern
May 8, 2011, 07:39 PM
Job progress tracking isn't engineering, it's project management.

An engineer will require technical design software that just isn't available on iOS in virtually any field.

Phazer

But wouldn't you see project management as an important part of engineering?

kory108
May 10, 2011, 01:34 PM
I sold my iPad to help pay for my MBA, and don't regret it at all. The iPad is cool and you can arguably do some productive things with it, but it pales in comparison to a full fledged OS. Unfortunately iOS still has many short comings, especially with file syncing and management.

I agree completely. I just recently sold my iPad 2 to fund the purchase of a MacBook Air. I originally sold my old MacBook Air to pay for the purchase of the iPad 2, but found the iOS to be too limiting, expecially in file management as you state.

It's not impossible, but annoyingly hard to manage files on the device. If you plan on doing any amount of productive work, I'd recommend an OS X based computer over the iPad any day.

Plus, the Apple online store is currently selling the 64 GB 2010 Air for only $850, a good price. I've always tended to buy the refrebished machines, as they have the full warrenty and I've always had excellent results with them.

Either way, good luck on your purchase!

panzer06
May 10, 2011, 02:15 PM
Both. I carry both on all my business travels. I haven't lugged the 15" MBP since I bought the MBA. I still use my iMac when not on the road and dropbox ties them altogether. I couldn't work w/o both. Ok, I could but I don't want to.

Cheers,

bcaslis
May 10, 2011, 03:11 PM
I don't understand this comparison. They are different tools for different tasks. I find the MBA to be superior for many tasks, but as a reader or casual use the iPad 2 blows the MBA away. Even for watching video the iPad 2 has many benefits including an IPS display and 10 hour battery life.

novagamer
May 10, 2011, 04:00 PM
But wouldn't you see project management as an important part of engineering?

That's true, but more than that...what iOS apps exist that offer decent project management? I haven't found any and I've been through a lot of them. I can't even find anything on the Mac that works very well other than Merlin but the asinine licensing stops me from buying it.

Would really love some recommendations.

Blues003
May 10, 2011, 05:11 PM
The question here is that even if I sell the iPad I would only buy the MBA far later. 8 months later, in the best of chances, to be precise. Realistically speaking, perhaps 1 year.

On the other hand, if I did not sell the iPad, I would buy the MBA in 15 months. Once again, assuming optimum saving conditions. Realistically maybe 2 years.

Can my laptop hold on 2 years? Maybe. But I am sure that if it doesn't my parents would pay for a new one... and I could give the price difference for the MBA.

I was not depending on the iPad to replace my laptop on the go, but basically at faculty. I am a med-student. I was expecting it'd be good for checking out medical apps (pharmacology, radiology, anatomy), e-mail, browsing, taking notes on Keynote during classes(I tried typing on it today at a store, I was pretty good!), maybe creating drafts on Pages, reading PDFs, and possibly do some begining musical creation (Garage Band for the iPad).

Keep on the brainstorming!

glen e
May 10, 2011, 05:52 PM
I don't understand this comparison. They are different tools for different tasks. I find the MBA to be superior for many tasks, but as a reader or casual use the iPad 2 blows the MBA away. Even for watching video the iPad 2 has many benefits including an IPS display and 10 hour battery life.

Amen...diff applications....i'm using the ipad/ w/stylus right now laying on the couch in my hotel after presenting all day on an MBA using keynote. Neither one can do the other job well...I would not have one or the other, i need both....

Ridley
May 10, 2011, 10:47 PM
er... iPhone tethering?

He said he has an android phone so tethering is even easier (doesn't require a jailbreak)

can you do this for $15 a month with no contract, month to month? I am not being sarcastic, I am really asking and don't know...

This is just my biased opinion but paying for home internet, paying for smartphone internet, and paying for (even incidental) ipad internet is WAY too "The Man" for me!

Anyway I'll weigh in my opinion even though it probably sucks because I am waiting to buy a Sandy Bridge Air for my girlfriend (still happy with my merom MBP) and don't see the point in the iPad. I am an engineer, masters degree student, and overall huge nerd. I am very good at typing and my most used osx application is a terminal window so the Air would be my obvious choice. When I use GUIs and do more consumer kind of stuff I also greatly prefer the power and flexibility of the OSX application to the iOS variant. Its not even a question.

I guess if you didn't actually DO anything on your computer but just wanted casual games and convenience utilities the iPad would be the way to go? Again, not really sure why people buy them so my opinion sucks.

Undo Redo
May 10, 2011, 11:00 PM
I guess if you didn't actually DO anything on your computer but just wanted casual games and convenience utilities the iPad would be the way to go? Again, not really sure why people buy them so my opinion sucks.
I like this discussion, even though it has strayed from the OP's question a bit. Personally I still can't get past the lack of Flash on the iPad. I know a lot of Flash content is advertising but a LOT is NOT. When I turn off Flash with a click-to-flash add-on in Firefox I then find myself clicking-to-Flash all day long! Then there's the little issue of having to hold the iPad with both hands to use it...I don't get it either. If someone gave me an iPad for free, I'm sure I'd use it occasionally, but that's about all.

bcaslis
May 10, 2011, 11:17 PM
I like this discussion, even though it has strayed from the OP's question a bit. Personally I still can't get past the lack of Flash on the iPad. I know a lot of Flash content is advertising but a LOT is NOT. When I turn off Flash with a click-to-flash add-on in Firefox I then find myself clicking-to-Flash all day long! Then there's the little issue of having to hold the iPad with both hands to use it...I don't get it either. If someone gave me an iPad for free, I'm sure I'd use it occasionally, but that's about all.

That's not a fair comparison. A lot of websites look for the agent code of the web browser and if it's an iPad serve up H264 instead of flash. One example is the New York Times. Works perfectly on the iPad but with the MBA and click to flash you will assume it's all flash.

I've never ever encountered a website on the iPad or iPad 2 and needed flash. But I don't play flash games either on websites.

For the right applications, the iPad is way better than the MBA. But for others the MBA (or any laptop) is way better. But you can't judge it correctly if you have never used it. Judging websites by how they work on the laptop is a mistake.

Undo Redo
May 10, 2011, 11:42 PM
That's not a fair comparison. A lot of websites look for the agent code of the web browser and if it's an iPad serve up H264 instead of flash. One example is the New York Times. Works perfectly on the iPad but with the MBA and click to flash you will assume it's all flash.

I've never ever encountered a website on the iPad or iPad 2 and needed flash. But I don't play flash games either on websites.

Interesting, thanks. I did not know that.

I've been looking at new cars on car maker sites lately and it seems like all of their sites are entirely Flash based. So I assumed, incorrectly I guess, that I wouldn't be able to view them with an iPad.

Chazn
May 11, 2011, 06:38 AM
The new Macbook Air.
.
iPads are just toys.

duggram
May 11, 2011, 08:07 AM
This is a ridiculous comparison. I'm a programmer that travels each week for work. On my MBA I have to run Win7 with SQL Server and Visual Studio. Sometimes I run Netbeans instead of VS. At the same time I run my Kindle reader and iTunes on the Mac side. On weekends I use my CAD program on Win7 with iTunes going at the same time. Never a problem.

Then there's all the advantages of having a UNIX system to work with. The list can go on.

As far as portability goes I use my MBA constantly on the plane because I'm in the air at least 8 hours a week. I read from my Kindle app while listening to iTunes or watch a movie from a DVD.

Can the iPad do any of this?

As far as connectivity goes I use my phone as an access point. It's not that tough to figure this stuff out.

What I can't figure out is why the iPad is considered more portable than a 13" MBA. Is the 1 pound difference that tough to lift? If yes, you need to do something about your physical incompetence.

The only reason I can see for having an iPad is if you want to be "in" and have people look at you. That's not me and I've got too much work to do and pleasure to have to own an iPad.

Please excuse my rant. Sometimes it's hard to tolerate ridiculousness. Now go buy your toy but be sure to get an MBA too so you can get some work done.

tallyho
May 11, 2011, 08:39 AM
The only reason I can see for having an iPad is if you want to be "in" and have people look at you. That's not me and I've got too much work to do and pleasure to have to own an iPad.

Please excuse my rant. Sometimes it's hard to tolerate ridiculousness. Now go buy your toy but be sure to get an MBA too so you can get some work done.
Ha this thread is hilarious. It is a little odd that people are so dismissive of a product because they have no personal need for it. As has been pointed out above, being "a programmer" and "running SQL Server and Visual Studio" is not the only sort of work out there... I can imagine some tasks that are clearly more efficiently done on an iPad.

Jeff5886
May 11, 2011, 08:40 AM
I say MBP and Ipad 2. Thats what I did.

duggram
May 11, 2011, 08:49 AM
As has been pointed out above, being "a programmer" and "running SQL Server and Visual Studio" is not the only sort of work out there...

I only mention them because they are my reality, not the only work out there.

I can imagine some tasks that are clearly more efficiently done on an iPad.

Sounds good. What is it that the iPad can do that the MBA can't?

There is one reason I might want an iPad; to use it as a second screen for my MBA. But that gets ridiculous too because as soon as I get to work I already have multiple screens.

If you want an iPad that's great. But please don't tell me how much more useful it is than an MBA.

jamesryanbell
May 11, 2011, 08:59 AM
I sold iPad 1 on eBay for $600 and then put that money toward a refurb 11" MBA Ultimate, and it's been the best decision - IN SPADES - for me. Haven't missed iPad even once. Seriously.

bcaslis
May 11, 2011, 11:56 AM
...
Please excuse my rant. Sometimes it's hard to tolerate ridiculousness. Now go buy your toy but be sure to get an MBA too so you can get some work done.

It's not for you. Great. Try to read an ebook while sitting in a moving car on a laptop. Lots of fun, isn't it?

Geez, of course an iPad isn't for programming an SQL Server. It's primarily for consumer tasks, though you can do some remote access tasks reasonably well on this. This is like saying a Mac is useless because it's not a visual basic and .NET development platform.

thelookingglass
May 11, 2011, 01:29 PM
Had an iPad 1, which I gave to my significant other when I got my MBA. Realized I missed my iPad for most of what I use a computer for - communications, writing, researching on the web. The iPad also does double duty as a nice e-reader and a media player, and works much better in this respect than the MBA. So when the iPad 2 came out, I got one. Now my MBA never gets used except when I'm out on the road. But make no mistake about it, I DO definitely need it when I'm traveling. There are still some annoying software limitations with the iPad such that I don't feel completely confident just leaving my MBA at home. Remote access to my iMac is a nice solution in a pinch but doesn't beat having a full fledged computer with me.

duggram
May 11, 2011, 08:54 PM
It's not for you. Great. Try to read an ebook while sitting in a moving car on a laptop. Lots of fun, isn't it?

I am hardly ever a passenger for more than a few minutes. Wouldn't have a need to read in a car.

This is like saying a Mac is useless because it's not a visual basic and .NET development platform.

I don't understand this comment which I would never make. One of the things I tell non-Mac users the most is that my MBA runs Win7 better than any Windows laptop I've ever seen. So I don't get your point.

If the iPad is for you then get one and enjoy. But please don't try to say that the iPad is better than an MBA. I almost forgot that I will have my chance to use an iPad this weekend. My wife will be getting one on Saturday. I look forward to using it and I'm sure I will enjoy it. But it will never take the place of my MBA.

mayhone1
May 11, 2011, 09:28 PM
An iPad(2) is not a laptop replacement.

I got the iPad thinking that it could be used as a laptop, but it just doesn't work for much of the things college needs, trust me my friend get a laptop! Get the Macbook Air!!!:apple:

bcaslis
May 12, 2011, 12:55 AM
...
But please don't try to say that the iPad is better than an MBA. I almost forgot that I will have my chance to use an iPad this weekend. My wife will be getting one on Saturday. I look forward to using it and I'm sure I will enjoy it. But it will never take the place of my MBA.

You don't seem capable of understanding what some people are saying. Nobody here has ever said the iPad is better than the MBA for all things. What has been said is that for some tasks, the iPad is better than the MBA. What is so hard to understand? You can't possibly believe that reading a book is better on the MBA than the iPad. Maybe book reading isn't important to you, but that doesn't mean the iPad isn't better for that task. On the other hand software development is way better on the MBA than the iPad. The right tool for the right task.

torbjoern
May 12, 2011, 01:12 AM
The iPad 2 is, in many user scenarios, superior to the MBA for browsing and media consumption because of the multitouch interface.The iPad is a companion device, to use it properly you need a proper computer as well,and it sounds like you don't have one.The MacBook air is a pretty laptop, but a little under powered.

You may be right about browsing and media consumption. It has to be superior on this, or it wouldn't sell. For productive work, the iPad is crippled.

tallyho
May 12, 2011, 01:34 AM
For productive work, the iPad is crippled.
And still the silly debate goes on! Clearly, this entirely depends on what field of "productive work" you're talking about. For me, a notebook with a keyboard is clearly more suitable. But David Hockney has created entire exhibitions with his iPad and the Brushes app. Productive? Those shows will have generated far more revenue than what I do for a living. Yes he *could* have used a Wacom graphics tablet and a notebook, but for him the multitouch iPad is absolutely more productive.

Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorrilaz) produced an album using iPad music creation apps. Clearly his efforts will have been tidied up on studio based computers, but the original hands-on creativity was facilitated by the multitouch iPad (anyone who has used GarageBand for iPad will know that it allows control over software instruments that is simply not possible with conventional midi-keyboards and a computer). Again, his efforts generate massively more revenue than mine (and probably most other contributors to this thread).

These are not straw-man arguments. Some of you really need to qualify your statements by defining "productive work" as more or less traditional office-based activity (not necessarily *in* an office, clearly, but you know what I mean).

torbjoern
May 12, 2011, 02:06 AM
And still the silly debate goes on! Clearly, this entirely depends on what field of "productive work" you're talking about. For me, a notebook with a keyboard is clearly more suitable. But David Hockney has created entire exhibitions with his iPad and the Brushes app. Productive? Those shows will have generated far more revenue than what I do for a living. Yes he *could* have used a Wacom graphics tablet and a notebook, but for him the multitouch iPad is absolutely more productive.

Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorrilaz) produced an album using iPad music creation apps. Clearly his efforts will have been tidied up on studio based computers, but the original hands-on creativity was facilitated by the multitouch iPad (anyone who has used GarageBand for iPad will know that it allows control over software instruments that is simply not possible with conventional midi-keyboards and a computer). Again, his efforts generate massively more revenue than mine (and probably most other contributors to this thread).

These are not straw-man arguments. Some of you really need to qualify your statements by defining "productive work" as more or less traditional office-based activity (not necessarily *in* an office, clearly, but you know what I mean).

Yeah. There are even blind people who can paint and deaf people who can compose music - and far better than I could ever dream of myself. I'm sure it's possible to write advanced computer software on the iPad as well, but that doesn't mean that the iPad is suitable for such work.

Janet1
May 12, 2011, 07:09 AM
can you do this for $15 a month with no contract, month to month? I am not being sarcastic, I am really asking and don't know...

Yes, I bought both the iPad 1 with 3G when it first came out, and now I have an iPad 2, also with 3G. My iPad 1 was AT&T, and now I have the Verizon model (which wasn't intentional, I bought it off craigslist and it just happened to be Verizon instead of AT&T.)

If you get the AT&T model iPad, the mobile data plan starts at $15 a month, and there is no contract. The mobile data plan for Verizon however starts at $20 a month, but you do get 4 times the data for $5 more. It's all month-to-month, and very easy to sign up for one month when you need 3G, and cancel the next, without any problems whatsoever.

I did have a first gen Mac Air, but gave it to my husband's neice to take to college with her. It just didn't suit my needs. I work with a lot of spreadsheets and really needed a laptop with a built-in numeric keyboard, and it's a lot easier to work with spreadsheets on a 17" screen. For work, I also use an HP, Apple doesn't do business well. And no, I am not about to install "boot camp" and for anyone who really works with numbers, USB keypads suck, big time.

The iPad fits most my other needs, especially nice for reading ebooks, and even better for traveling, enabling me to book hotel and other reservations "on the fly" and I really don't want to be forced to read or attempt to respond to an email on a cell phone, ever again. I use the ipad for texting as well, and casual gaming while having to sit waiting at the airport really makes the time fly.

The girl I gave my Mac Air wouldn't be able to use an iPad instead at her college. They don't make apps for the type of programs she uses in school. For her needs though, the Mac Air is wonderful.

It really depends though on your major and what programs you use for your schoolwork, if any. If you would just need it to type papers and study, yeah, you probably could use an iPad, but the on-screen keyboard isn't designed to enable typing speed. I've tested my typing speed, and I type over 100 words per minute normally, but haven't been able to score higher than 30 words per minute on my iPad, which to me, is tediously slow. Of course, they make keyboards for the iPad, but before I'd go that route, I personally would just stick with a laptop.

Janet1
May 12, 2011, 07:40 AM
what's funny here is if you put this question on the macrunor iPad forum, you will get really different answers - we like what we buy!

The ipad is certainly not a toy - as ask anyone who does computing standing up - like a doctor, job estimator or engineer - it's just a diff application and why Apple sells both without cannibalizing the other...

I have to respond to this because I do really love my iPad, but no, I absolutely, positively could not do my work on it. There is no way. I have huge analysis programs that I have to hook up to gigantic mainframes, some of which take up entire floors, and let them crunch away, sometimes for days on end. No, they don't make an app for that.

As far as doctors go? My sister's a doctor and doesn't even possess an email account, and wouldn't know how to use it if she did. She is completely and totally computer illiterate. She has administrative assistants and techs. who perform those functions.

I'm very technically adapt, and know how to do a lot more than just jailbreak my iPad, which I only did to expand the capabilities. I even like writing programs for my psp (after installing custom firmware, of course) and I know the limitations of an iPad, very well. I do have some business uses for it, including using it for training purposes, but it's not an adequate computer replacement. Maybe someday, but today is not that day.

Big D 51
May 12, 2011, 07:59 AM
Air

Blues003
May 12, 2011, 09:32 AM
I might have expresse dmyself wrong, but no, I did not mean I'd fully replace my laptop for an iPad. Indeed, the iPad would act as a replacement only when outside my home.

My laptop is currently too heavy for me to carry. I cannot carry 3 Kg of laptop + all the books/powerpoint presentations/notes/doctor material I need to carry as a med-student.

As such, when I ask MBA or iPad, I am basically asking if you think it's worth it to postpone the MBA for around 1 year and get an iPad for eBook reading/note taking/medical app checking/presentation sketching while on the faculty, or if I should try to get a full-fledged laptop ASAP.

duggram
May 12, 2011, 09:42 AM
... You can't possibly believe that reading a book is better on the MBA than the iPad. ...

Actually I think you are a little confused here. You've got your facts backwards. Also I read a lot every day. The MBA is better for this. Why would a person carry an iPad and a laptop? Is there something magical about the screen on an iPad that makes it better for reading books? Have you ever used the Kindle app on an MBA?

The one intriguing feature of the iPad I like is being able to send text msgs like Janet1 mentioned above. That would be handy on my MBA as apposed to the phone.

duggram
May 12, 2011, 09:50 AM
.... or if I should try to get a full-fledged laptop ASAP.

Why not the 11" Air? It's only 0.4 of a pound heavier than an iPad. Could you handle 0.4 of pound more for vastly more capability? If you don't really need the capability then get the iPad cuz it will make you look really cool.

Blues003
May 12, 2011, 10:30 AM
Why not the 11" Air? It's only 0.4 of a pound heavier than an iPad. Could you handle 0.4 of pound more for vastly more capability? If you don't really need the capability then get the iPad cuz it will make you look really cool.


If I am going to spend 1000 or so, I might as well get something that I KNOW will satisfy me. The 11'' wouldn't. The 13'' would already be borderline capable for all the music creation and photo/video editing I intend to do.

kazmac
May 12, 2011, 10:33 AM
The 13" Air might be the portable for the OP.

I've tried both Airs (loved the 13") but ultimately went with an iPad 2. Cost and physical issues were the reasons, but as I'm using the iPad for content creation (writing stories in notes which I either drop into pages or email myself) and fun I haven't turned on my iMac since last week. That's a big deal for me.

But I completely agree with the iPad owner who said they typed much slower on the virtual keyboard (I've gone to down about 20 words a minute > two fingers).

If I were in the OPs shoes, I'd definitely get an Air.

I really like my iPad and am beginning to believe less is more. Why I'm selling my iMac to a relative; but until an iPad doesn't need to sync, the file sharing is addressed and you can attach a USB or eventually (Thunderbolt) flash drive to the iPad I can't see it being a primary piece of hardware.

You won't regret the 13" Air. That is an amazing machine and the weight is almost indistinguishable from the 11".

glen e
May 12, 2011, 11:58 AM
Like I said above, I find it amazing the conversation has degraded to an "either or" - it's not that kind of situation. They both accommodate diff needs.....

but to post that people buy ipads just "to be seen" is ridiculous and way off base...and usually always comes from a person who has never owned or used one.

bcaslis
May 12, 2011, 12:09 PM
Actually I think you are a little confused here. You've got your facts backwards. Also I read a lot every day. The MBA is better for this. Why would a person carry an iPad and a laptop? Is there something magical about the screen on an iPad that makes it better for reading books? Have you ever used the Kindle app on an MBA?
...

I think you are confused. I have both. The iPad is simply better for reading anything in a book like format. And yes, the iPad screen is significantly better than the MBA. It's an IPS display so you can read a much greater angle without light drop off or color shift compared to the MBA. I can set the iPad on a flat surface and read it at almost any angle. I've used the Kindle app on the MBA. The experience on an iPad is far better and the iBooks apps is even better than the Kindle.

You really should stop giving advice on things you have no experience on.

bcaslis
May 12, 2011, 12:16 PM
I might have expresse dmyself wrong, but no, I did not mean I'd fully replace my laptop for an iPad. Indeed, the iPad would act as a replacement only when outside my home.

My laptop is currently too heavy for me to carry. I cannot carry 3 Kg of laptop + all the books/powerpoint presentations/notes/doctor material I need to carry as a med-student.

As such, when I ask MBA or iPad, I am basically asking if you think it's worth it to postpone the MBA for around 1 year and get an iPad for eBook reading/note taking/medical app checking/presentation sketching while on the faculty, or if I should try to get a full-fledged laptop ASAP.

I have to say most of the people responding in this thread have no idea what they are talking about with regards to the iPad. The MBA is a great computer and far better than the iPad for "computer tasks". But for reading or medical apps I think the iPad is way better. Assuming your note taking is limited, the iPad is good enough. For presentations, Keynote is great but not as good as on the Mac.

Are you going to be doing tasks mostly on the go or when at a desk? If at a desk go for a laptop, if on the go then get an iPad if you have a computer someone to use for synching and setup. If you have no computer at all, then go for a laptop.

Last suggestion, assuming money is tight, I would do the refurbished section of the Apple store website. You can save significantly there and is the best value for the money.

RDRoe
May 12, 2011, 02:27 PM
I carry both an 11" iPad Air and the 32gb iPad1 3g unlimited. I see no need for the iPad2 just yet as the 1 serves me quite well. Now why do I carry both? Because there are times for both. The iPad, in an email mode or reading mode is perfect. Sitting in a meeting and having the iPad sometimes works, but more than once, the MBA has saved me. So, as a rule, I take the MBA to meetings and use the iPad around the house, on the deck, etc. On a plane, the iPad wins for movies, etc, but the MBA rules for email and research.

I also carry a MBPro 15 for serious development using VMWare. I am a software developer and need to have that ability with me. Soooooo .... all 3 have their place and are great additions to my life.

Just my 2 bits worth.....:)

maclaptop
May 12, 2011, 05:36 PM
Finally I found an aluminum case with a built in low profile keyboard for my iPad 2.

It's enabled me to carry my iPad 2 on the plane along with a keyboard no wider than the iPad itself. Depending on what I'm doing I carry it alone, or with either my 11" or 13" MBA. Here's a comparison of the dimensions with a Chromebook in the mix as well.


12.8 x 8.9 x 0.7" (2.9 lbs) 13.3" MBA

11.6 x 8.6 x 0.8" (3.1 lbs) 12.1" Chromebook

11.8 x 7.6 x 0.7" (2.3 lbs) 11.6" MBA

9.7 x 7.5 x 0.5" (2.0 lbs) 9.7" iPad2 + aluminum keyboard case



Zagg keyboard case: ****************EooFr

aramosc
May 12, 2011, 05:40 PM
Good day!

I am a med-student owning a 4year old Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21M Laptop (15'', 2.00 GHz C2D, NVIDIA 8600M GT, 3 Kg of weight) and a 6-month old ZTE Blade Phone (600 MHz Qualcomm 7227 CPU, 3.5'' Android phone with CM7 2.3).

Now, I recently got into a contest to win an iPad 2. As the contest ended and I watched all the entries, I feel I have a good shot at winning it. I was thinking of keeping it to work, kind of like a portable laptop, whenever I went to uni (my 3Kg Sony Vaio surely is not a portable computer). Although I do think it can be considered a luxury, I suppose it could come in handy when it came to web browsing, e-mail checking and eBook reading. But then again, my phone already does that. Maybe not as well as I'd like to, but it does. (please do not consider gaming when advising me, as it is the lowers of my priorities).

On the other hand, my laptop IS in need of replacement, and I was considering the a 13'' MBA (the Ultimate 13'' version, as I want the power to produce music, as well as photoshop). Selling the iPad will not be enough, however, to make me money to buy a MBA. Indeed, in best of chances I'd still be 900 short from the 1600 that the ultimate MBA 13'' would cost.

As such, my question boils down to: what would you do if you were me? Sell it and use those extra 200~400 to get a MBA faster? Or keep the iPad 2, considering that realistically speaking the MBA will only come in, at the very least, 1 years'-time?

your needs sound more on par with a macbook pro. the air is a great machine but its very underpowered and it is mostly ment as a secondary mobile computer.

japasneezemonk
May 12, 2011, 09:20 PM
Just get both. Ipad is only about 550 with tax, and a decent MBA is about 1,500.

duggram
May 12, 2011, 09:44 PM
You really should stop giving advice on things you have no experience on.

It appears that because you don't agree with my opinion I should not share it. Sounds like you have a major character flaw.

I think you are confused. ...I can set the iPad on a flat surface and read it at almost any angle.

Actually you sound confused. Why would anyone have to read such a docile appliance from any angle?

And yes, the iPad screen is significantly better than the MBA.

That's your opinion and you are entitled, even if you are just slightly bigoted about it.

duggram
May 12, 2011, 09:48 PM
I also carry a MBPro 15 for serious development using VMWare. I am a software developer and need to have that ability with me. Soooooo .... all 3 have their place and are great additions to my life.

Just my 2 bits worth.....:)

I have a 15" MBP also. But I leave mine at home. I put an SSD in it, which really makes a nice computer, except that it's just not as easy to flick around like the MBA.

Actually, as soon as the next version of the Air comes out the MBP goes to one of the grand kids and I'll have a new MBA. My old one will be a back up then.

entatlrg
May 12, 2011, 10:49 PM
I carry both an 11" iPad Air and the 32gb iPad1 3g unlimited. I see no need for the iPad2 just yet as the 1 serves me quite well. Now why do I carry both? Because there are times for both. The iPad, in an email mode or reading mode is perfect. Sitting in a meeting and having the iPad sometimes works, but more than once, the MBA has saved me. So, as a rule, I take the MBA to meetings and use the iPad around the house, on the deck, etc. On a plane, the iPad wins for movies, etc, but the MBA rules for email and research.

I also carry a MBPro 15 for serious development using VMWare. I am a software developer and need to have that ability with me. Soooooo .... all 3 have their place and are great additions to my life.

Just my 2 bits worth.....:)

What do you carry all this gear in, backpack or messenger bag?

happyslayer
May 13, 2011, 12:33 AM
I carry both my 11.6" Air and an ATT iPad2 16GB everywhere I go. I have a backpack with two padded pockets.

The iPad is great for reading, quick surfing and simple gaming (I like word games, if anybody cares:)

The Air is what I use for writing, using Excel and serious Internet usage for my job - I'm a computer consultant. The Air is really useful when I'm trouble-shooting a router or need to dial-in (RDP) to my customer's servers. (Yes that can be done on an iPad using an app like iTap, but it is not so nice when you need to spend a lot of time trouble-shooting an Exchange server for example.)

Both devices serve their purpose and both devices have a place in my day-to-dy life. Although, if push came to shove, I'd give up the iPad before my (precious!) Air.

maclaptop
May 13, 2011, 05:12 AM
One of the things I tell non-Mac users the most is that my MBA runs Win7 better than any Windows laptop I've ever seen. So I don't get your point.

If the iPad is for you then get one and enjoy. But please don't try to say that the iPad is better than an MBA.

I certainly agree, the iPad and MBA are two completely different items, and like you I have both.

What I don't understand is why so many Mac people keep saying a Mac runs Windows better than a PC. While once that was true, it's no longer the case.

Windows 7 SP1, runs extremely fast, smooth and stable on a well equipped PC. I've ran benchmarks and side by side tests with my 15" 2010 i7, 8GB MBP, and an identically configured PC laptop and the PC bests the Mac every time.

I'm NOT advocating for Microsoft just sharing facts. Between those two, the MBP is still my personal favorite by leaps and bounds.

cheesymogul
May 13, 2011, 06:01 AM
I would wait another month for the upcoming Air refresh.
The Sandy Bridge processor update will most likely bring the 11" model on par with the power of the current C2D 13" Air.

Have you ever considered this?
A maxed out next generation 11" Air plus a cheap non-Apple monitor.
You would get both worlds for less: Almost iPad level mobility in the class room but with a lot more options than the tablet, plus plenty of real estate for photoshopping at home.

Blues003
May 13, 2011, 09:03 AM
I have to say most of the people responding in this thread have no idea what they are talking about with regards to the iPad. The MBA is a great computer and far better than the iPad for "computer tasks". But for reading or medical apps I think the iPad is way better. Assuming your note taking is limited, the iPad is good enough. For presentations, Keynote is great but not as good as on the Mac.

Are you going to be doing tasks mostly on the go or when at a desk? If at a desk go for a laptop, if on the go then get an iPad if you have a computer someone to use for synching and setup. If you have no computer at all, then go for a laptop.

Last suggestion, assuming money is tight, I would do the refurbished section of the Apple store website. You can save significantly there and is the best value for the money.

Thank you. Finally, some well-directed, objective and concise answer to my specific question! :D Not that I don't appreciate other input, but I doubt most of those answers took in real account what I had said.

I have a laptop, and I'd still use it at home. But it is too heavy to carry around (3Kg), so I was thinking of getting the Air or maybe the Pro Macbooks. My first Mac product too!

Unfortunately on my country there is no refurbished option for us. We have to buy brand-new products. :(


your needs sound more on par with a macbook pro. the air is a great machine but its very underpowered and it is mostly ment as a secondary mobile computer.

What parts of my needs do you specifically think the Macbook Air would struggle handling?