Choice MBA or Laptop+IPad2

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by gpo613, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2011
    I am trying to make a choice. Here is what I am tossing around and here is what the family currently has. Wife and 2 daughters aged 10 & 6. We are not gamers at all.

    2 iphone 3Gs(Waiting for iphone 5)
    1 IPod touch 4th gen
    1 IPad 1st gen
    Dell laptop that is not good

    Get a MBA or get a PC Laptop(mainly to run itunes and very light Microsoft Office work) along with and IPad2 WiFi 16 or 32GB. That is the choice.

    I think the Laptop and the IPad2 will be cheaper still. Also I get free Office 2010 for the PC.

    I was worried about memory on the MBA, but with the cloud I worry less now.

    Funds are important. I am not going to drop $1600 on this.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    The 10 yr old will be doing 5th-6th grade projects, so might require more of a laptop for creating documents than an iPad...

    Your computing needs are not intensive, so maybe consider an older MacBook Air - like a refurb 2010 along with another iPad.

    In my opinion, I don't consider an inexpensive windows laptop to be worth the price - you save on $$ up front, but end up paying in frustration and wasted time in the long run.

    And, you can always install windows on the Mac (either in a virtual machine al la Parallels or Fusion, or as a dual boot - to take advantage of Office licenses). Also if you are getting the free Office license from work, you might be able to get it for the Mac too (I was able to do that). Depends on the relationship your work has with MSFT. Office 2011 for Mac is pretty good.
  3. macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    I think I would get a macbook air. Consider a refurbished unit.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    MacBook Air for me , combines both into one, hell even pick up a 1st gen iPad and 2010 Macbook Air for a reasonable price.
  5. macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2011
    If you don't mind me asking, how are you getting Office 2010 free? Windows laptops can be pre-installed with a limited functionality and advert driven version called Office Starter 2010. If this is what you are using then make sure it does what you need or you could have to spend more money later on.

    If you get an Office license through work then please ignore me :)

    The iPad is such a useful content consumption device, that I would be tempted to go the laptop+iPad 2 route. I use mine all the time for work (Remote connecting to servers)/web browsing/calendar/email/games/movies & TV shows streamed iTunes.
  6. macrumors 65816


    Nov 3, 2005
    My vote is a MBA. As for Office on the MBA - torrent.
  7. macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2010
    While the iPad rocks, I ended up selling mine few weeks after I got my MBA since I wasn't using it anymore.
    Kids might really love it though.
  8. macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2011
    if you already have an iPad, I would get the MBA
  9. macrumors 604


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Torrent? Really? How about Best Buy? :mad:
  10. macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    Why not get more bang for your buck? In this scenario, I'd get the cheap PC laptop with Win 7 (a fine OS, even if some of us don't want to admit it) and then pick up 32gb iPad. It seems like your computing needs are light anyway, so you'll probably be using the iPad more often than not.
  11. macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    remember you are on a MBA forum so I assume the way the votes will go

    ipads are for consuming content, MBA"s are for creating content...

    that simple...two diff animals...
  12. macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    Actually, OP just needs Office for very light work. He could probably easily get by with an iPad if that's the case.
  13. macrumors 604


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Although I agree they are different animals, I'm not sure I'd go that far with the content distinction. The iPad is quite capable of creating content, and in some instances even more than the MBA because of the iPads advantage in the mobility department. Yes, there are content creation apps on iOS that are nowhere near OS X.
  14. macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    except when it isn't so simple :) i use my ipad for most of my content creation (graduate student/researcher/lecturer/editor/translator). it is actually pretty powerful, and now that pages has footnotes, i rarely need to fire up my mbp.

    1. about 1/2 the price of an mba,
    2. even with an external keyboard (recommended if you do a lot of writing/editing) about the same size and weight as an mba,
    3. about twice the battery life of an mba,
    4. and it can be used as an ereader.

    if you are concerned about your budget, for the needs you described, the netbook + an ipad would bring you in well under the mba. as said above, windows 7 is quite nice. i am a big fan of osx, but have a netbook at home (asus has a model under 300 that will give you 11 hours battery life).

    the mba is a great machine, but i think you pay quite a premium for portability and style (worth it for some people, not for others).
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
    the thing is if you compare to the mba copycats (SSD equipped models)..the price is really not that much less. The asus for example comes with the choice is really if you're reluctant to use OSX (I'm still adjusting myself from Win7)

    OTOH it does come with a nifty envelope, which for the mac there are far too many accessories to choose from lol
  16. macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    most people who are serious about content creation need a mouse...sure with workarounds you can make an ipad dance but most of us won't and use a laptop/ MBA with real keyboard and mouse to do real work....
  17. macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I wasn't talking about the zenbook. If the OP is looking for portability and an SSD, I would strongly recommend the MBA instead. Considering his needs, though, I was thinking more along the lines of a netbook (as opposed to an ultrabook). It's only $298. You actually get a lot of bang for your buck, and like I said, W7 is quite nice.

    I would call myself serious doing "real" work.

    I am writing my dissertation with it, I've written an article on it this month, last month I finished a section of another publication that is on bookstore shelves now (in Japan), and tonight I will be grading/commenting student essays (PDFs).

    I don't miss the mouse at all when I am using the bluetooth keyboard. Learning the keyboard shortcuts is absolutely crucial if you intend to do heavy writing/editing, though.

    By the way, I used to say the same thing about the mouse. There is even a post by me on these forums somewhere complaining about this iPad failing. Other members kindly pointed out the value of the keyboard shortcuts. After trying it out, I had to agree :)
  18. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    My Windows 7 laptop is just as trouble and frustration free as my MBA. ok not quite, maybe a LITTLE more furstrating, but that's not becuase it's Windows, it's becuase it has a HDD instead of an SSD
  19. macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2011
    The land of the cucumbers
    Tight budget? Cheaper PC (why not even a (refurbished) MBA) + Open Office. Has (nearly, can't think of anything that's actually missing) all the functionality of Office, but at no cost.
  20. macrumors 65816


    Nov 3, 2005

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