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First Impressions: Looks like the iPad 3G beats the MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Spacekatgal, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular


    I love my MBA dearly. I've had both a revision A and a revision C. And I held onto it after ordering my iPad 3G. But I have to say, I think the iPad is a better device.

    The iPad's keyboard is much better to use for serious typing than I thought. And the truth is, the 3G modem is just awesome. I'm going to keep it for a while longer, and see how I feel in a month about my iPad - but if I could only have one, it would be the iPad.

    Things in the MBAs favor.

    1. You can run Xcode on it.
    2. Peggle Nights doesn't exist for iPad.
    3. The Wifi Reception is much better
    4. With the Runcore upgrade, it would be a much faster machine.
    5. If I can eventually jailbreak this and get MyWi to work on it, I'll have the best of both worlds.

  2. gri
    macrumors 6502a


    You are kidding, right? I tried in the 5th Ave store to type blindly on an iPad and out came garbage. And I can usually type pretty well. For light typing (E-mail, chats etc) maybe but for serious writing - I highly doubt it.
  3. macrumors 65816


    They cant compete there not even in the same category and speed wise the air wins apps air wins lifespan air wins price ipad wins ease of use depends but i still vote air.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    I just don't understand this statement. "Awesome"? How so? The way it connects to a cellular network and charges you $30 a month to provide data transfer at slower speed than wifi? Oooohhhh.... C'mon, get a grip, not exactly a killer feature/USP is it now?

    As for the point of this thread - you love your new 'new' iPad. That's fine, run along and go post it in the iPad forum. But its getting so very very boring listening to people proclaiming a media consumption toy that runs iPhone OS 'beats' an ultraportable fully-powered Mac laptop running Snow Leopard.

    If anyone even thinks such a comparison can be made or they are in any way competing for the same users or sector, then they don't understand much of anything in this field, never mind starting threads on this forum.

    iPad = leisure device for media consumption, nothing more

    MBA = professional/business tool for creating content with add-on media consumption capabilities

    Not even in the same ballpark.
  5. macrumors 6502

    I Just bought an AIR last week, 2.13 128 SSD .. I looked at the IPAD.. the air blows it away! Speed, typing, FLASH, etc etc.. I had a REV A MBA and the new one blows the orig away.. Charge time from 22 percent is a mere 2 hours.. My 1st air took 9 hours.. I looked the IPAD and I agree typing is a BIG PAIN.. Ill take my lighted keyboard on my air any day!
  6. macrumors 68040


    Scottsdale in 3...2...1...
  7. macrumors 601


    People that make statements like this never needed an MBA in the first place. For the average person who uses their MBA for more than browsing a few websites, reading email, and watching movies, the iPad is a great replacement. For the real computer using MBA owner, the iPad will not replace the MBA in any way.

    Quite honestly, these threads are a joke... There are enough of these threads already. Anyone starting a thread like this here is a troll and is incapable of reading one of the many other troll threads with the same damn title.

    I really don't understand why people can keep starting the same thread every few days without reading the Mac Rumors rules on starting threads. It is sad... and a waste of all of our time.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Let me know how it runs Lightroom for you.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    The Macbook Air is a computer.

    The iPad (and iPad 3g) is a device.

    They each have their place. The iPad may well cannibalize some of the sales that were going to the MBA by default when it was Apple's most portable web and media browsing device with a decent sized screen, but that doesnt mean one is beating or replacing the other.
  10. macrumors 68040


    Fixed that for you. Last time I checked the MBA didn't come out of the box with Logic or Aperture. So it is essentially a consumption tool out of the box and only a professional tool once software has been loaded. But forget any serious hardware with that one USB port.

    Pretty sure they are both devices. And they are both computers. Unless you are using some other definition.
  11. macrumors regular

    I have both, and while I understand that there are clear advantages that the Air has over an iPad, I've found that overall I find that I enjoy using the iPad a lot more.

    Reasons why I, personally, like the iPad more than my Air:

    1. Instant On--No waiting for the computer to wake, up find a network, ramp up speed...Not that this was an eternity, but it's clearly slower than the iPad.

    2. Always snappy performance--On the air I have to worry about running iTunes, while browsing, and having documents open. While the iPad is limited in it's multi-tasking abilities (even after the next os update) it's so nice just hitting buttons and having things happen instantly. On my Air, even when I'm carefully managing memory allocation, it can go into slow-chug mode.

    3. Portability, the Air is clearly an easy to tote around laptop, but I find that for some reason the grab and go on the iPad is better. I'm guessing that this is related to the battery life, with the air I am grabbing the Notebook, tossing it in a case, grabbing a plug & wrapping up the cord. Whereas the iPad I just grab and go-hell I can even charge it in the car easily.

    Now these are not reasons that I would replace my Air with an iPad (unless I had a desktop at home), there are obviously situations where the iPad isn't comparable to the air (Programming, printing, music management, etc...) But for email, word processing, internet, media consumption, gaming, quick access to my works Exchange server without any additional software purchase.)
  12. macrumors 68040


    Nice rational post beaner454.

    For all the reasons you mentioned I replaced my Air with an iPad. I do however have a desktop at home.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    No malice intended on my response to calderone's comment above, Scottsdale. It's Friday afternoon and this is my first real weekend in three weeks so I'm just being loopy...

    Anyway, I agree with you. The MBA and the iPad are in different classes/niches. My wife has an iPad and I intend to get one real-soon-now because it's great for what it's intended for and I plan to write Apps for it. I would have liked to use hers and not have to buy one but I can't pry it off her pretty hands and, besides, she'll kill me if I so much as move one App from it's place after she's arranged everything just so...

    My MBA, on the other hand, has been a great appendage to my i5 iMac when I'm away from my desk. It has served me well on the road and is now a veteran of two SAE Congresses and several business and personal trips. Shoes that the iPad will not be able to fill. And it's even a Rev A!!!

    The iPad and the MBA cannot replace the other...
  14. macrumors regular


    First of all, can we lower both the fanboyism and hostility here? I love my MBA, I'm trying to talk about the difference in the two devices.

    It's not great to type on, but it's not bad either. Secondly, I totally agree it's a consumer device. It's more fun than work, and there are tradeoffs. If I had my way, I'd rather have an MBA with a 3G modem built in. Thirdly, a MBA is not powerful enough for most of my professional work. I just had to upgrade to an i7 MBP for that.

    Going to wait for the newness to wear off before making a decision. But this is a great device. I would not be surprised at all if Apple killed the MBA. It would make me sad, but the devices occupy similar spaces from most people.

  15. macrumors 68000


    I am glad that you weighed in on cue because some of your comments beat me to the punch by saying just what I was getting ready to post.

    I don't have a problem with the somewhat repetitive threads on this issue. After all, such things are the mother's milk of Mac Rumors.:) To business, though. Not only do I agree that anybody who claims the iPad, 3G or otherwise, is a "better device" than the MBA doesn't need a MBA, I think he doesn't need a computer.

    I have had an iPad for several weeks and love it for what it does. Unfortunately, what it doesn't do would fill volumes. For example, it lacks multitasking and flash support, and its browser is crippled by OS X standards. Worse, the only applications it will run have to come from the App store or it's "no soup for you!" Finally, and worst of all, the iPad can't even print or find files on a network without a third party program being installed.
  16. macrumors 68000


    OK, I hear you. The MBA in its present incarnation is, indeed, limited and obsolescent. In fact, as much as I wanted to buy an MBA, I have finally shifted my focus to a 13 inch MBP, despite the MBA's significantly lighter weight and its sleek, elegant form factor. Its weaknesses notwithstanding, the 13 inch 2.4Ghz MBP can accommodate 8Gb of RAM and is cheap enough off the shelf to allow one to add an SSD without breaking the bank. Frankly, I am on the verge.
  17. macrumors 601


    the only thing the iPad creates is fingerprints all over the beautiful IPS display!

    If you didn't want to be a troll, you could have put this in the iPad section.

    This is about something you know nothing about, COMPUTING. If you truly believe the iPad 3G wins at anything vs. the MBA, you never needed an MBA and you're doing nothing more than CONSUMPTION. This could be done just as easily with a book in lieu of iBooks, an iPod in lieu of iTunes, a DVD player and TV in lieu of movies, and a netbook in lieu of your Safari and eMail... and with your netbook, you could have truly searched the web for FREE, and you don't have to pay for all of your content as it's supported by ad-paid sites like Hulu vs. giving Apple money.

    The iPad does a lot of things half-assed! It is true... the iPad isn't great at anything except doing a lot of things sorta okay but highly portable. For real running of OS X apps to run a business or create work, the iPad isn't going to ever win. To type the MBA blows the iPad away. I have an iPad, and it's just about worthless at everything except watching movies... even then I have to wipe off all of the fingerprints created to get there.

    The iPad has very few advantages other than extreme portability. The MBA does portability incredible without losing the MAC in the process, and that's why the iPad is a failure right now. In the long-run the iPad will be great at consumption and games, but it's not going to replace an MBA for many years. Right now, it's disgusting to me that I cannot surf the web, with Flash, and I have to pay for the same content on the iPad that I get for free on my MBA.

    I really think the people accepting the iPad as doing what they need in replacement of the MBA were using the MBA as a consumption device and they never used the true power and capabilities of the "MAC" in the MBA.

    The iPad is a lot like an ultraportable tablet PC... it doesn't do input, doesn't do OS X, doesn't do creation apps, and is inferior to the MAC in every way!
  18. macrumors 68040



    Please understand that the iPad and MBA do not even share the same category.

    They cannot be compared to one another. If you insist to compare, the MBA kills the iPad in every way. Yes, every way possible. The iPad does nothing better than a computer, nothing; and that includes when OS4 comes out as well.

    Good luck with your replacement, but I assure you- you will be back.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    I own an iPad and a MBA. I love them both. But your comments are dead on.
  20. macrumors regular

    I think a lot of MBA owners (or people considering purchase of the MBA) were never meant to be the target population for the device. Anyone making comparisons between the Air and an iPad, 13 inch MBP, or various netbooks, are really missing out on the true advantages that the MBA offers.

    The first thing people need to realize is that it runs a fully functional OSX. If you're going to compare it to a device that can't run OSX, then there's no point in even making the comparison. This immediately cuts out devices that can only run Windows or iPhone OS out of the equation.

    Only after deciding if you truly need Mac OSX or not, should you come to the second point, which is portability. It is at this stage that size, thickness, and weight should be considered.

    A lot of people look at the second point first, when comparing the MBA to other devices....but again, if you're doing that, you probably never needed the MBA to begin with, and it was merely an expensive toy.

    You have to look at the MacBook Air as a whole (full backlit keyboard, full beautiful screen, awesome multi-touch trackpad, full Mac OSX, and an amazing design in a thin and light package) instead of just one or two of it's most prominent features. That's why it's in a league of its own.
  21. macrumors 68000

    The guy has a point. MBA was designed as a more limited laptop for the road warrior.

    The iPad could very well take many sales away from the MBA because it's lighter, has 3g built-in, much cheaper, and does surfing and basic tasks quite well.

    Yes not as powerful, but how many are buying the MBA for power?

    Typing however sucks on the iPad. :)

    But you can grab a small keyboard and bring it with for serious typing.

    I sold my iPad though. I may get a 3g now that they are out.

    ONe thing I miss on laptops is the IPS screen. Screens on laptops aren't as good.
  22. macrumors 601


    True. I have said this many times... those who bought the MBA on clearance for $999 to be cool or have a secondary Mac for use like a netbook will be completely happy with an iPad and a $500 savings. These buyers were NEVER the intended market for the MBA. It was unfortunate that Apple completely bombed the original MBA and it had to dump them.

    Even last June when the MBA's price was dropped, Apple was trying to somehow bring a Mac to the ultraportable market, for those who wanted it for use like an iPad (observation and consumption and NOT computing). Apple had to reduce the price to make it at least a luxury "toy." This was again not the intended market buyer for the MBA.

    I suspect Apple will go back to the roots of the MBA target buyer with its next MBA. I expect a higher price tag, so Apple will have to sweeten the deal somehow as it's always difficult to bring prices back up. I see Apple possibly using the IPS HD display as the sweetener to the deal. It also could use 128 GB SSD in the low end and 192/256 GB SSD in the high end MBA. I also think it would justify raising low end prices too by including 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD in the low end MBAs.

    Since Apple finally has a secondary consumption device, the iPad, the MBA can get back to its target market... the luxury or business buyer willing to pay a lot more for full-sized display and keyboard yet ultraportable lightweight and thin Mac that does everything a Mac is supposed to do in "Air" form. Make no mistake about it, the MBA is meant to be a primary Mac for the portable user. In addition, the 24" LED ACD pairs well with it and provides an ULTIMATE experience of Mac COMPUTING that no iPad can compete with because it's not supposed to compete with it!
  23. macrumors regular


    Pffffff. Why do we have this stupid discussion over and over again?

    Why do we react to this over and over again even though we have made our point...over and over again? :confused:
  24. macrumors 6502a

  25. macrumors 6502

    I agree, but to a point. When traveling, an iPad would work out for the usual surfing the net and e-mail and entering expenses but I also like to process photos taken that day, download and e-mail them out. For this reason I am keeping my full-time computer when on the road. If the MBA and the iPad came out at the same time, I'd most likely choose the iPad due to the cost differential.

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