Macbook Air 11" 2013 vs iPad 4?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by miatadan, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Here in Canada at Best Buy the Macbook Air 11" base model is on sale for $899.00 Canadian.... iPad 4 with 128gb is $799.00 but once you add keyboard it is same price as MacBook Air 11"

    I owned both iPad 2 and iPad Mini but sold them as I hated the touch keyboard as I always cleaning the screen on ipads ( hate smudges )

    but worried if 4gb memory enough since you can not upgrade memory at later date. The SSD is on pci express which results in faster speeds than if on sata interface.

    would you buy base 11" Macbook Air over iPad 4 at $899?

  2. macrumors 68020

    Jun 29, 2009
    They are for different uses. If I was in need of a computer, I'd take the MBA. Otherwise it's the iPad if I already have a computer.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Aug 15, 2011
    If you already have a PC and are looking for a mobile solution then definitely go for an iPad. If this device will be your main device then go for a Macbook Air.
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2006
    I have custom built pc using Windows 8 + Intel SSD and all storage is on external NAS with Western Digital 3TB hard drives, and recently updated modem to new Apple Extreme base station 802.11 AC.

    Custom built pc was only option I had too be able to have 3 monitors connected ( Asus Nvidia GTX660 video card + Asus Sabertooth P67 motherboard )

    Will give custom built pc to daughter if new Mac Pro desktop is semi affordable
  5. macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2013
  6. macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2010
    You mentioned you hated the previous two iPads you owned. I don't understand why you are considering buying another one.
  7. AXs
    macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2010
  9. Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    Kite flying
    Even with a keyboard (and my iPad mini has the nice, neat and reassuringly solid Logitech iPad mini keyboard), an iPad seems to me to be more designed for those who wish to 'consume' content, rather than 'create' content.

    I have both an iPad mini and a MBA 11" and use them both. However, I use them for different things. The iPad is more for casual browsing, reading a newspaper online, general surfing - I rarely use it for serious research. Instead, its portability make it a perfect companion when sitting having a cup of coffee in the coffee-shop; even when browsing, I use it mainly for recreation rather than research.

    However, for reading on a bus, train, plane or other form of transport, the iPad's ease of use and utter portability make it a dream travelling companion; I can use my MBA on a bus or train or plane, but I prefer not to, as I dislike having to even think about writing anything while in transit, even though the MBA's size allows one to use it in such circumstances.

    On the other hand, as I do a lot of reading, research and writing, my MBA is both my research tool and my work tool; I do all of my work on the MBA, plus browsing and surfing.

    So, in a nutshell, my recommendation is that you might consider acquiring the MBA for 'creating' content, and the iPad for 'consuming' it.

    As others have written, if you don't really much care for the iPads you had earlier, I am somewhat surprised that you would consider another purchase of same.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2013
    Air all day, every day - and twice on Sunday.
  11. macrumors 68000

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    You really shouldn't have a problem with 4GB for most uses. I had a 2011 MBA with 4gb RAM and I used all kinds of high powered software like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Filemaker Pro, Vectorworks, Photoshop. No noticeable problems with any of these.

    I now have a 2013 MBA and got 8gb since it was available (4gb was the max back in 2011), but I honestly have not noticed much difference for everyday stuff.
  12. macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    I'm pretty sure an iPad 4 is going to smudge, too...

    Seriously, as everyone else has pointed out, it all boils down to use cases and priorities.

    Have an 64gb LTE iPad3 and logitech ultrathin keyboard that I take with me out of the office. The two or three places I primarily go have wi-fi. Use it to transport and use electronic files consisting of scanned pdfs of documents, etc., online research, scheduling, docketing, etc. Also have an iPhone 5.

    Got a 2013 base 11" mba on a whim for a good discount ($800, but I had to drive sixty miles) off of CL. Pretty much use it for the same purposes. Battery life matches or exceeds my iP3, speed is phenomenal (I can almost complete a basic online task on it in the amount of time on the Air that the iPad takes to get onto wifi.), prefer the keyboard, can live with the display. Now use my iPhone for iOS apps that don't have a mac equivalent that I cannot live without.

    Admittedly, the smudges on the iPad bother me a bit too, but the air's trackpad does most of what i'm needing to touch the iPad's screen for. That doesn't keep me from absentmindedly swiping my air's display from time to time.

    My iPad is now being used as glorified e reader to show others documents, exhibits, etc., and to access my entire collection of scanned reference materials. When it dies out of warranty, I doubt it will be replaced, as I can use a nexus 7 for the same purpose for a fraction of the cost. It is also useful in the increasingly rare cases where I need online access at location that does not have wifi.

    Your mileage may very, but depending on what you need to do, the Air can easily be considered in lieu of an iPad.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2013
    Best Korea, North Korea.
    In addition to my iPhone 4S, iPad Mini + 13" MBA is a nice combo.

    When I had my 11" MBA, I never considered on getting an iPad, since the MBA is small enough.
  14. macrumors 68030


    Nov 23, 2012
    My quote from another thread:

    I now have it and I luv it. I'm using it to only surf the net when I'm mobile, when stationary I have a Seagate Hybrid (Fusion) 500GB SSHD in a USB3 Orico enclosure with all my programs and data on it. Again, it all works GREAT! And, the Ipad is long gone!

  15. macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    How is that external storage solution working for you? I've been hearing 'thunderbolt, thunderbolt, thunderbolt' for so long I'd forgotten about usb3.

    I know it won't be as speedy as TB, but would it be fast enough? I don't think even an SSD, much less a Momentus XT, can keep up with a TB or usb3.
  16. macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2008
    I would've dumped my ipad if Apple would just put in a LTE radio on the MBA. I don't live in an area with tons of free wifi.
  17. macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2011
    Off the top of my head, I know three people who chose iPad over MBA and regretted their decision, so... to me, it's a no brainer. M..B..A. :D
  18. macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2010
    Firstly, I would not compare a 128GB iPad to a MacBook Air with 128GB of storage. They are apples and oranges. The OS and Apps take much less space in iOS. At full retail, I think a fair cost comparison would be the 32GB iPad and the 128 GB MacBook Air, so basically $600 vs $1,000. Of course, everyone's use is different, and your storage requirements could be different.

    Now, if you have a computer and only need something for casual use plus light productivity when mobile, then the iPad is hard to beat. If you don't have a desktop or laptop or you want to do some heavy lifting while mobile, then the MacBook Air is better.

    For example, I bought my daughter a MacBook Air for college, since she will need to be productive when moving around campus in class and study groups. I bought myself an iPad, since I can do light productivity on the tablet and save the heavy lifting for my comfy desktop workstation. So, there is no single right answer.
  19. macrumors 68030


    Nov 23, 2012
    The Seagate SSHD in the Orico USB3 enclosure is working just fine. Of course battery consumption is way up, but as I indicated I only use this arrangement when stationary so I use AC power.

  20. thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2006
    I recently purchased Moshi iVisor AG protector for my iPhone 5 and discovered that its matte finish hides on the smudges ))))

    Will wait until new models iPads come out as I need LTE 4G.

    I can purchase Lenovo laptop with LTE 4 G and surprised that there is no MacBook Air or MacBook Pros available with LTE 4G.

  21. AXs
    macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Pretty unnecessary imo- gotta add antenna and cost is going to go up.

    These days almost all smart phones can act as routers. I use my s3 as a router plenty of times, especially when I travel overseas.
  22. macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2009
    Ipad. I love the MacBook Air design, but the 11 inch screen is a world of hurt.
  23. L T
    macrumors 6502

    L T

    Feb 24, 2013
    Get the MBA, you won't regret it.

    I have no issues with the 4GB RAM


    And a 9.7 inch iPad is better how?
  24. macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2009
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2007
    Buy the Air first, if you're not happy, buy the iPad. If you're not happy then, maybe you're just not going to be happy.

    As everyone wrote - Air is for computing, iPad is for couch. It's use case.

    My vote is for 11" Air. You might as well have a MacBook Pro if you get a 13", and then the screen isn't even 16:9.

    When I had this choice, I went Air and never regretted it. I did buy iPad a while later, but that was for showing other people stuff, not day to day work. iPad has fantastic colours and viewing angle, perfect for showing others. Air for work, though.

    Get the most RAM you can - 4GB is good now, but in a few years time, you'll wish you had more. Early 2011, I got a 2GB Air, which was fine at the time, nowadays - I have to read the system requirements to see if I can run stuff & that's no fun.

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