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Old Jun 13, 2013, 10:48 AM   #1
HiDEF
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iPad 4 v. MBA

So fellow MacRumor posters and followers, I have a dilemma in which I hope someone who's been in the same situation I find myself in can shed some light..

My current setup is a late 2009 Mac mini which still works great for what I use it for (browsing/social media, school/work work, music, streaming, etc) but I'm itching for something more portable. However, I want to be smart and logical with my decision.

So, I purchased an iPad 4 and the new base 13" Haswell MBA to test out and see which fits my current lifestyle. I opened the iPad and it's great! but I'm not sure how I feel about it and I'm worried that I'm going to feel the same with the MBA. Regardless, I'll be keeping either one or both--I've considered selling my (outdated) Mac mini and stick with both, the iPad and MBA, but I'm not sure if the MBA could replace my Mac mini for everyday use.

Furthermore, I haven't opened the MBA in fear that they might hassle me at BB when and if returning. And some would say, "Just open it, you can just return it," and you're right! But I would feel more comfortable getting some input from you guys before opening or returning. So, is there anyone who's been in a similar situation that can shed some light?

Thank you in advance, your input is always appreciated.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 11:01 AM   #2
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No one will know you exact needs except for you.

Since the iPad is more limited than the Air I would suggest you return the ipad and use the Air during the return period. Then return the Air and try the iPad for its return period. Then you will know if you can do everything you need to on the iPad.

Something else to think about is that for the price of a new Air, you can buy a used Air and iPad.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 11:02 AM   #3
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the ipad is a great consumer device. if thats what you want, however you seem to need a little more than that, the macbook air is a fantastic device, the 11" would suit you perfectly.....just my opinion. personally i think the air could replace your mini also....but it really depends on your use, only you know that.

ipad - internet surfing, ios gaming, music, video. reading, magazines.

air - a proper computer in a tiny package!
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 11:12 AM   #4
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You can do work on the iPad, but only the OP can decide if its the kind of work he needs to do. That's why I suggest he try the more limited device after he tries the full device. He has a Mini at home which means that he can still do "real" work if the Mini satisfies his portable needs. There are many threads on students using iPads on campus so all he needs to do is search.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 11:17 AM   #5
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Thanx for all the quick responses guys. I guess I'm gonna continue to think it through and hopefully make a decision before the weekend is over.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 07:10 PM   #6
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Thanx for all the quick responses guys. I guess I'm gonna continue to think it through and hopefully make a decision before the weekend is over.
As others have mentioned, ultimately it depends upon your particular needs.

I've used my iPad as the only computing device for various week long trips and the two glaring issues (for me) that prevent it from being the main portable computer (assuming a powerful home computer/notebook) are:

1. Lack of mouse support
2. Lack of printing support

I use my 64GB iPad 4 w/Apple BT keyboard and Origami keyboard case. That is a terrific combination. But mouse support is sorely missing. So close to perfection for my needs!


in contrast:
I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (student edition) that came with a high quality keyboard dock and that supports BT mice. THAT combo is very, very usable. It even has a headphone jack in the keyboard and charging port for use with the SD Card reader.

Having said that, weighing all things, I still end up taking my iPad+keyboard on trips.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 07:21 PM   #7
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Keep the Mac Mini and return the MBA. You'll love the iPad for every day use but if there is ever anything that requires more than that you still have a Mac. Personally, if I wasn't a web developer I would buy one iMac for the whole family. But it will mostly be there for decoration, like a beautiful fresco, since the hardware is just so darn cool!
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Old Jun 14, 2013, 10:17 AM   #8
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I would keep both. You didn't mention any other devices (external hard drives, ect). The Air could easily replace the mini at home, especially if you have an NAS device running iTunes service.

My current setup is an iMac (8,1), external drive, company issued laptop, and an iPad. I suggest trying to turn the Air sideways while laying down. Easy choice.

I also haven't bought a a physical book or magazine in over 18 months, Kindle app, white text on black background is easy on the eyes.
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Old Jun 14, 2013, 06:14 PM   #9
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go with MBA it can do anything iPad can't do. So for now MBA first and iPad later. That is how I started with a MBP then I got an iPad.
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Old Jun 15, 2013, 09:44 AM   #10
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If you're going to be doing any serious work, the MBA is the way to go. Can't beat a real built in keyboard plus all the power of OSX.
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Old Jun 15, 2013, 11:11 AM   #11
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All these points are true but the more I read about 4GB's not being enough RAM for the new MBA, the more it seems that I'm going to be returning the Air.
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Old Jun 15, 2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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All these points are true but the more I read about 4GB's not being enough RAM for the new MBA, the more it seems that I'm going to be returning the Air.
Where did you read that 4GB is not enough, and for what? Unless you are doing heavy video editing or playing graphic-intensive games, 4 GB should be more than enough, shouldn't it?
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Old Jun 15, 2013, 04:59 PM   #13
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Where did you read that 4GB is not enough, and for what? Unless you are doing heavy video editing or playing graphic-intensive games, 4 GB should be more than enough, shouldn't it?
Dude, I don't know what to think anymore. I just saw a video of CoD BO2 running on a 11" MBA base model and it was running real smooth.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 01:35 AM   #14
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I'd get the air, and save a bit and get a mini to go with it.

That's the combo I have and my air does everything I need a computer to do so it is my primary computer. I dual boot it with windows 7-64 ultimate and it gets a good windows speed score, limited by the graphics card.

I would not use an ipad without a laptop as support...
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 01:44 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by sracer View Post
As others have mentioned, ultimately it depends upon your particular needs.

I've used my iPad as the only computing device for various week long trips and the two glaring issues (for me) that prevent it from being the main portable computer (assuming a powerful home computer/notebook) are:

1. Lack of mouse support
2. Lack of printing support

I use my 64GB iPad 4 w/Apple BT keyboard and Origami keyboard case. That is a terrific combination. But mouse support is sorely missing. So close to perfection for my needs!


in contrast:
I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (student edition) that came with a high quality keyboard dock and that supports BT mice. THAT combo is very, very usable. It even has a headphone jack in the keyboard and charging port for use with the SD Card reader.

Having said that, weighing all things, I still end up taking my iPad+keyboard on trips.
You can print on an ipad. I do it all the time.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 01:54 AM   #16
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I presume that you can't afford to keep both, and your current Mini by the sounds of it, is meeting your current OS X App needs.

As others say it is really about your own preferences and there are no right or wrong answers here. A lot of it depends on what your 'on the go' computing needs are. If it is to mainly browse the web, answer your emails, on the go entertainment and the occasional bit of word processing then the iPad will be prefect.

To be honest the iPad will give you some completely different App options and is a great compliment to a desktop Mac. The MBA will not give you that different experience. It all comes down to how much creative work you really need a portable device for.

Edit : I have just re-read your original post and see that you could keep both machines, I would be be tempted to return the MBA and see how you get on with your current Mac Mini and iPad. If you really find that it is not enough, you could sell the Mini and put the proceeds towards the MBA. The current MBA would be a much more powerful machine than your 2009 Mac Mini.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 08:52 AM   #17
sracer
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You can print on an ipad. I do it all the time.
I said LACK of printing support, not UNABLE to print.

You can print from an iPad if the printer supports AirPrint. Alternatively you can print if you have 3rd party software installed on your iPad and have a Mac configured to share a printer.

But in the general use case, the iPad cannot print. You cannot simply print to any office printer. You cannot simply print to a hotel printer, or any printer that is generally supported by OSX and Windows.

The ability to print on the iPad is overly restrictive when compared to traditional laptops, notebooks, desktop computers.

The support for printing on the iPad is lacking.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 09:46 AM   #18
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All these points are true but the more I read about 4GB's not being enough RAM for the new MBA, the more it seems that I'm going to be returning the Air.
If that is really an issue, and depending on the kind of work you want to do it might be, return it and buy one of the new ones configured with 8GB of RAM.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 09:53 AM   #19
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If that is really an issue, and depending on the kind of work you want to do it might be, return it and buy one of the new ones configured with 8GB of RAM.
I'm still undecided. My issue is I can only purchase from BB because of the financing.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 10:32 AM   #20
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I use the Mac mini and iPad, and it is a great combo. Really, 90% of my day to day personal stuff is done on the iPad. It is just so portable and easy to use. The Mac mini is really just for storage and occasional heavy lifting.

The base price Air is about twice the price as the base iPad 4, so to justify the extra cost, it is important that you are frequently using the additional capabilities of a full laptop when away from your mini.

Also, I like taking the Ipad on vacation, and prefer to not carry around a Laptop. I understand that the smaller Air is very light, but still I prefer the simplicity of the IPad.

I might be bias, since I have a desktop and tablet combo...... Bottom line: you can't make a bad decision, since they are both great devices. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 11:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by HiDEF View Post
So fellow MacRumor posters and followers, I have a dilemma in which I hope someone who's been in the same situation I find myself in can shed some light..

My current setup is a late 2009 Mac mini which still works great for what I use it for (browsing/social media, school/work work, music, streaming, etc) but I'm itching for something more portable. However, I want to be smart and logical with my decision.

So, I purchased an iPad 4 and the new base 13" Haswell MBA to test out and see which fits my current lifestyle. I opened the iPad and it's great! but I'm not sure how I feel about it and I'm worried that I'm going to feel the same with the MBA. Regardless, I'll be keeping either one or both--I've considered selling my (outdated) Mac mini and stick with both, the iPad and MBA, but I'm not sure if the MBA could replace my Mac mini for everyday use.

Furthermore, I haven't opened the MBA in fear that they might hassle me at BB when and if returning. And some would say, "Just open it, you can just return it," and you're right! But I would feel more comfortable getting some input from you guys before opening or returning. So, is there anyone who's been in a similar situation that can shed some light?

Thank you in advance, your input is always appreciated.
Your signature says you have a Note II. I don't see why you need an iPad.

It's the same concept of device.. but a bit smaller and integrated with your phone, which also gives you data capabilities.

Were I you, I'd stick with the MacBook Air and the Note II.

You can connect the external display to the MBA and I use it as a desktop.

Sell/return the rest.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 10:53 PM   #22
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I'm still undecided. My issue is I can only purchase from BB because of the financing.
Not trying to jump up and down you here by any means, but if financing is the only way you can get this thing right now....then why not just wait until you can pay cash for it?

In your OP you say you have a computer that works for you and that the pull of a portable is more of "an itch". If you truly want to be smart and logical with your decision, don't go borrowing money you don't have to buy something you don't need.
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