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View Full Version : MBA as iPad alternative




Dornblaser
Oct 8, 2011, 09:42 AM
I know that iPad and MBA have different functionalities but I was wondering if anyone used a MBA as an iPad alternative. We have an iPad2 and my wife has been using it more and more when she travels, she uses it as a reader, movies, for FaceTime (she has a Dell for work), etc. I was thinking of picking up a second iPad but I am loathe to do so until Apple releases an iPad LTE. I am sticking with my iPhone 4 for the same reason. My wife suggested using an MBA for those times that I would reach for the iPad. FWIW - I use an iMac for serious work.



glen e
Oct 8, 2011, 09:49 AM
I have both and they are not interchangeable for me...sitting in an airport, on a plane or lounging on the couch, the ipad has no equal. Sit a desk, creating content like letters, spreadhseets and other things you need a real keyboard and mouse for, the MBA is the answer.

Fanboys that tout the superiority of one over the other are just that....

johnhurley
Oct 8, 2011, 10:14 AM
I have both and they are not interchangeable for me...sitting in an airport, on a plane or lounging on the couch, the ipad has no equal..

Both the 11 inch MBA and the 13 work fine on planes.

The 13 is the ideal companion for watching movies on a long flight. Just back from San Francisco for a week and used it both ways.

Now if one was much larger than average size the 13 might not work well on an airplane. If one was doing extended typing on a flight the 11 might work better.

Having a real keyboard and a much much faster machine is not something to overlook.

ZBoater
Oct 8, 2011, 11:58 AM
I have both and they are not interchangeable for me...sitting in an airport, on a plane or lounging on the couch, the ipad has no equal. Sit a desk, creating content like letters, spreadhseets and other things you need a real keyboard and mouse for, the MBA is the answer.

Fanboys that tout the superiority of one over the other are just that....

+1. The iPhone, iPad, and MBA serve different purposes at different times. Budget constraints aside, having all three may overlap a little, but more often they will not.

Buildbright
Oct 8, 2011, 12:32 PM
I have both and they are not interchangeable for me...sitting in an airport, on a plane or lounging on the couch, the ipad has no equal. Sit a desk, creating content like letters, spreadhseets and other things you need a real keyboard and mouse for, the MBA is the answer.

Fanboys that tout the superiority of one over the other are just that....

Wow, you are the only person I have seen post that gets it. Both devices are amazing and there is some overlap but they are two totally different products. Kudos to you!

Confuzzzed
Oct 8, 2011, 12:36 PM
ahem, probably be labelled an MBA fanboy, but for me having flash (need it for work) and excel (again work) meant there was only one option and that was the MBA. Have used both the 11' and 13' and for portability, the 11' has no equal. And you get a proper computer not merely a tablet which wishes to be a tablet. If you wanted to spec out your pad so that you have a keyboard and enough memory, I'd imagine you'd be paying up to the entry level price of an 11' MBA. At that same price point, there really is only one choice! Dare I suggest you pick yourself up a Kindle Fire for $199 so that you can have it on the coffee table (etc.) and 11' MBA for everything else. Best of luck:apple:

bill-p
Oct 8, 2011, 12:46 PM
If we are talking about as a reader, movie viewer, or FaceTime client, then no, the iPad is far superior to the Macbook Air at those tasks.

Movie and FaceTime are especially better on the iPad because the iPad lasts 3-5x longer than Macbook Air on battery doing those tasks, and it emits about 5x less heat.

merkinmuffley
Oct 8, 2011, 12:47 PM
I have both, they do different things.

lewdvig
Oct 8, 2011, 01:30 PM
ahem, probably be labelled an MBA fanboy, but for me having flash (need it for work) and excel (again work) meant there was only one option and that was the MBA. Have used both the 11' and 13' and for portability, the 11' has no equal. And you get a proper computer not merely a tablet which wishes to be a tablet. If you wanted to spec out your pad so that you have a keyboard and enough memory, I'd imagine you'd be paying up to the entry level price of an 11' MBA. At that same price point, there really is only one choice! Dare I suggest you pick yourself up a Kindle Fire for $199 so that you can have it on the coffee table (etc.) and 11' MBA for everything else. Best of luck:apple:

IMO look for a cheap iPad first gen on kijiji or craigslist. Ive seen them as low as $250. Still a great device.

Dornblaser
Oct 8, 2011, 01:52 PM
I have no interest in a first gen iPad I'll pick up a second iPad2 if I find that I can't "share" with the one that we currently own, thanks for the recommendation though. My wife now carries both her Dell ultra book and the iPad when she travels, I just grab a laptop or the iPad not both. I was just wondering if I was going to miss the iPad. The iPad is a great for a device that is convenient for always being with you, on the commuter train, on airlines like SWA which do not a lot room, taking on fly fishing trips, etc. We will find out over the next couple of weeks as she will traveling a lot and I will press the MBA into service at times that I would normally take the iPad. I was just curious what other people's take was.

adamtj11
Oct 8, 2011, 01:59 PM
I have both, and they both serve entirely different purposes, as does the iPhone.

Kasalic
Oct 8, 2011, 02:09 PM
Interesting and valid opinions here. Having just upgraded from iPad 1 to iPad 2, my next purchase for business will be a laptop, I almost certainly will end up going for a MacBook Pro as I need to use it as a primary machine at home and I need to run a couple of VM's. Personally, whilst I would like the power of a MacBook Air over the iPad and I accept the MBP will not be as portable as the Air, so I will use the iPad when I need the portability.

Having said that I think the Air is a great choice for your needs, and I have to say that the overlap/separartion between iPad, Air and MBP is just about spot on.

Macman45
Oct 8, 2011, 02:19 PM
The 13" MBA and an iPad, use them for different things too. Having a proper keyboard is best for some task's my iPad is great for surfing the web, using amplitude for sound modelling and games.

I have also just ordered 17" MBP for the larger screen

iTouch
Oct 8, 2011, 02:27 PM
My mobile set up is my Air, iPad 2, and iPhone 4. Great combo. Use the Air for email, Internet, and misc work. Use my iPad 2 for movies.

Confuzzzed
Oct 8, 2011, 06:34 PM
I will press the MBA into service at times that I would normally take the iPad.

Now I get you, having owned both the 11' (2010) and 13' (2011), I would be willing to bet that you will be buying another iPad 2 in the next 2 weeks! The MBA 13' is an excellent machine (and it's my primary machine away from the office where we are PC based unfortunately), but it's not as portable as the 11'. You can evern carry the 11' in one hand and it fits even on the most crammed airline carriers trays. I travelled Easyjet (European equivalent of SWA I imagine) last week and the 13' was not as easy to fit on said tray. I had to tip it to be able to watch a movie. Still don't regret having it as most of my journeys are on trains and the extra battery life for me was important.

Dornblaser
Oct 8, 2011, 06:59 PM
Yeah, the iPad works great on flights with little room, commuter trains, etc. Now that I think of it the real choice is between a MBA 11" and both a MBA 13" and an iPad. I have already made the 11" vs. 13" decision. We happened to talk about this subject as we were preparing dinner tonight. I will end up picking up a second iPad and having it as part of my mobile quiver of MBA, iPad & iPhone and stick with the iMac (which will be replaced at the next major revision) as my serious work machine. FWIW - in the past I used an MBP and it was too much a jack of all trades for me. YMMV.

trip1ex
Oct 8, 2011, 08:50 PM
MBA does everything the iPad does and more so it is the better all around choice if you just want to carry one device. Plus an iPhone covers some of what the iPad does as well.

ON the other hand it is more enjoyable to consume media on the ipad. REading emails, surfing, viewing movies, ....all seem better.

The reasons are part the tablet form factor, size of the form factor, light weight, long battery life, touchscreen and IPS screen.

But entering text sucks on the Ipad. And the iPad doesn't open webpages as fast as a laptop. And of course can't handle faster tasks. Also some tasks are easier on a laptop because the OS and features are more mature. Obviously iOS 5 will change the latter for the better to some degree.

Anyway it is ironic that the iPad has a better screen than any Mac laptop.

DieterRams
Oct 10, 2011, 07:24 PM
Definitely different needs, as everyone else has said. The one thing that I will say about the MBA/iPad comparison is that the 11" is quite a nimble machine, as is the iPad. Lion makes things easier on a smaller screen with fullscreen and zooming but they are still different in use and feel in terms of OS X vs iOS.