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Old Apr 6, 2012, 10:20 AM   #1
AluminumMB
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New iPad vs MBA vs MBP

I am giving my beast of a PC to my dad for his business as an office PC (with a NICE 120Hz LCD monitor)

I want to buy a Mac or the new iPad. I already have an iPhone 4s.

Can you work on an iPad? Can you RDP to servers? I know the iPad serves well as a content device so you can read, browse, check email, etc but who works on it?

If not an iPad, I need a MBP or MBA. I can't wait much longer but I have heard new Macs are coming out soon...

Pls advise
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 10:39 AM   #2
RedCroissant
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Get a Macbook Pro

If you want a computer, then you shouldn't get an iPad. I have an iPad2 and tried using it as my main device for college, but it has a few limitations that don't make it the right fit for someone looking to replace an actual computer.

The Macbook Air is nice and very portable. With the SSD, it became very tempting, but the lack of ODD, and inability to upgrade RAM make it a computer that I would most likely never buy.

I recently bought a 15" MBP and couldn't be happier with it. I get the ODD which I do use and wouldn't want a separate device. I also have the ability to upgrade the RAM and the various ports for connectivity sold me.
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 10:46 AM   #3
AluminumMB
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Originally Posted by RedCroissant View Post
If you want a computer, then you shouldn't get an iPad. I had an iPad2 and tried using it as my main device for college, but it has a few limitations that don't make it the right fit for someone looking to replace an actual computer.

The Macbook Air is nice and very portable. With the SSD, it became very tempting, but the lack of ODD, and inability to upgrade RAM make it a computer that I would most likely never buy.

I recently bought a 15" MBP and couldn't be happier with it. I get the ODD which I do use and wouldn't want a separate device. I also have the ability to upgrade the RAM and the various ports for connectivity sold me.
Thanks for the response. To me, display quality is everything which is why I opted for the iPad. Which has a better screen in terms of color and contrast and easier on the eyes - macbook air or macbook pro 13"?
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 10:50 AM   #4
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Thanks for the response. To me, display quality is everything which is why I opted for the iPad. Which has a better screen in terms of color and contrast and easier on the eyes - macbook air or macbook pro 13"?
If by 'easier on the eyes' you are referring to small fonts and eye strain, a problem for some people, then the MBP is better. The MA have more resolution, pixels/inch. A 13" MBP is far more powerful if you upgrade the ram and hard drive (yourself, not by apple who will charge 3x more than it is worth).
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 11:08 AM   #5
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so the iPad is a no? Seems like I should get the MBP 13" even though its heavier and I don't really need the optical drive
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 11:10 AM   #6
RedCroissant
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Definitely MBP

Quote:
Originally Posted by AluminumMB View Post
Thanks for the response. To me, display quality is everything which is why I opted for the iPad. Which has a better screen in terms of color and contrast and easier on the eyes - macbook air or macbook pro 13"?
I would go for the 15" MBP. If you can't afford or don't want to afford a new one, then get a refurbished one from the Apple Store. The 13" would probably be ok, but you'd be surprised at how much more screen real estate you get with a 15".
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 11:22 AM   #7
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Not a "no"

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Originally Posted by AluminumMB View Post
so the iPad is a no? Seems like I should get the MBP 13" even though its heavier and I don't really need the optical drive
the iPad is not entirely a "no." I'm just making this recommendation assuming that you'd want a computer to replace the one you're giving to your dad. The need to RDP is something that the iPad doesn't do, so I would absolutely go with either the MBA or the MBP.

The MBA(although awesome) is limited in that you cannot upgrade the RAM which will become a problem when more and more things require more and more RAM. The SSD is great, but you get almost 3 times the storage with a MBP. And it's true that you might not need the ODD but let me give you an example of why I have already had to use it... I purchased iWork'09 on disc when I bought my iMac. The AppStore does not recognize this as being installed on my machine and is not linked to my AppleID which means I will always(unless they fix this issue) be required to install this software with an ODD. I don't see the point to having an external superdrive just to save a couple of ounces or to save on battery life(which the MBP beats the MBA on anyway).

I just know from my college experience that the iPad is not the way to go if you're going to want normal computing experience at some point. AirPrint only works with AirPrint enabled printers, there's no file management(unless you jailbreak it), you're limited to adapters and email for importation, and to do any real "work" would require a mouse and keyboard. And with the upcoming OS X 10.8, the MBP will be able to do everything that the iPad can.
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Last edited by RedCroissant; Apr 6, 2012 at 11:29 AM. Reason: I added the last paragraph about the iPad stuff
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 09:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCroissant View Post
the iPad is not entirely a "no." I'm just making this recommendation assuming that you'd want a computer to replace the one you're giving to your dad. The need to RDP is something that the iPad doesn't do, so I would absolutely go with either the MBA or the MBP.

The MBA(although awesome) is limited in that you cannot upgrade the RAM which will become a problem when more and more things require more and more RAM. The SSD is great, but you get almost 3 times the storage with a MBP. And it's true that you might not need the ODD but let me give you an example of why I have already had to use it... I purchased iWork'09 on disc when I bought my iMac. The AppStore does not recognize this as being installed on my machine and is not linked to my AppleID which means I will always(unless they fix this issue) be required to install this software with an ODD. I don't see the point to having an external superdrive just to save a couple of ounces or to save on battery life(which the MBP beats the MBA on anyway).

I just know from my college experience that the iPad is not the way to go if you're going to want normal computing experience at some point. AirPrint only works with AirPrint enabled printers, there's no file management(unless you jailbreak it), you're limited to adapters and email for importation, and to do any real "work" would require a mouse and keyboard. And with the upcoming OS X 10.8, the MBP will be able to do everything that the iPad can.
Can you comfortably read Kindle books on your MBP?
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 11:10 PM   #9
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Reading on a MBP

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Originally Posted by AluminumMB View Post
Can you comfortably read Kindle books on your MBP?
I have no idea because I have never tried. I can tell you that I have no trouble reading PDFs on it since I have to do that frequently for my classes.

The iPad is better for reading in general because you don't have something sitting on your lap. The swiping also makes it seem more like a book and it is nice to use. I did use the iBooks app a lot on my iPad and still do but now I just spend more time on my MBP because I needed a portable device that I could rely on to do computer things.

Don't take my advice the wrong way; I have and love my iPad2 and use it for reading, playing games, typing and checking documents at school when I leave my laptop at home, and for mirroring to my AppleTV. It's an awesome device and well worth the money, but if you want an actual computer, I really do recommend getting an actual computer.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 07:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AluminumMB View Post
I am giving my beast of a PC to my dad for his business as an office PC (with a NICE 120Hz LCD monitor)

I want to buy a Mac or the new iPad. I already have an iPhone 4s.

Can you work on an iPad? Can you RDP to servers? I know the iPad serves well as a content device so you can read, browse, check email, etc but who works on it?

If not an iPad, I need a MBP or MBA. I can't wait much longer but I have heard new Macs are coming out soon...

Pls advise
1. the bad news is that you cannot get by with only an ipad, because there are many tasks it simply cannot do. if you are in university, you may be asked to upload things to blackboard (a website) and it cannot (even icab mobile doesn't work). printing (to anything but special, expensive printers), reading some files sent by professors and other students, downloading ios updates, etc. need a computer.

2. the good news is that i (a graduate student) can get about 90 percent of my work done on the ipad (along with the help of an external keyboard). i usually only take my ipad to campus. i have a macbook pro at home to do things at night like ocr for pdfs, etc.

3. the even better news is that you don't need a mac. just get an ipad and a cheap laptop pc. brand new pcs with i5 processors (same as my mbp) can be found for 400 or less. a netbook will have a little less performance, but be even cheaper, and very portable. just use it for the occasional task and enjoy the rest of your time on the ipad.

reading? the ipad is better than reading on a computer screen in almost every way, especially now with the retina display.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 08:07 AM   #11
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Can you comfortably read Kindle books on your MBP?
Not really. Sure, it can be done but it is somewhat restrictive. I strongly recommend getting a Kindle for Kindle books - and I recommend this over an iPad for kindle books. The reason is that a laptop anchors you to the device, you can't easily read while lying in bed or other places. A kindle, like the $79 Kindle is extremely light and fulfills the requirement of being 'invisible' while a iPad is 'relatively' heavy to hold for long periods. An iPad uses reflective glass making it tricky for reading outdoors or in bright areas, and for some people, especially at night, the backlighting can get hurt your eyes - if reading for long periods.

I have a Kindle app on my 15" MBP but rarely use it. About six months ago I decided it was time to move from paper to an electronic device mostly due to the problem with eye strain and small fonts - yes, I wear glasses but small fonts can be dreadful when reading for longer stretches so I had to make sure books I wanted didn't have tiny fonts. Anyway, I had to decide between a Kindle and a iPad. Money is tight, I already have an iPhone (with the Kindle app) and a 15" MBP but neither did the trick for reading. I decided on the $79 Kindle and couldn't be happier. It is extremely light and no glare and I can and have, held it for hours. I can adjust fonts as desired. As a result, in the past 5 months I read more than any other 5 month period in my life, 15 books. The $79 kindle also have offers which do not use the reading space and can be really great, twice the Amazon offer was for FREE Money - buy a $5 Amazon certificate and get a $10 certificate. These offers help defer the cost.

So I recommend considering a real Kindle, just remember, a Kindle is not an iPad which is a powerful and versatile device. A Kindle is designed to do one thing well, being a dedicated reader. Consider it, and you can always purchase one and return it in 30 days if it is not for you.
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