1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

Macbook Air or iPad?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Gunga Din, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

    I was looking for something easier to use around the house than my MBP. I thought the iPad was the answer but i'm having 2nd thoughts.

    Anyone who owns the Air, how much easier is it to handle than a 15" MBP?

    Do you think the Apps for the iPad will give it a better user experience for web browsing , mail etc than just having a full fledged notebook like the Air?

    I have a iPod Touch but its just too damn small. I don't use my MBP on the go a lot and its mainly used on my desk. I just get tired of disconnecting it and moving it back and forth.

    Any thoughts? Other option is to just get a mac mini for desk and make my MBP more mobile. Save me some bucks too.

    So iPad and MBP OR Mac Mini and MBP OR Macbook Air and MBP. Those are my options. Would u rather use the MBP around the house instead of a iPad? Plus a 320 gb HD vs a 16 gb HD is a huge factor.
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Okay so you have a notebook (which in technicality is portable already) but due to your lack of a desktop it plays a dual role in your usage, thus being your decision to adjudicate that your MBP is somehow in relation to a "real" desktop.

    Next you say iPad. Okay iPad just arrived on the scene and Steve made it clear what the devices purpose is.

    The iPad WON'T replace any mac notebook at the moment.
    So if your needs are what steve said the iPad was for then go ahead and buy one in 60-90 days.

    If your wanting to have a set desktop computer (Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro) & then have your notebook for mobility and the touch for light stuff, then go ahead.

    But to ask if you should buy another notebook over a "hybird" media player device is a bit flummoxing and inane .... just a little ;)
  3. macrumors 6502

    Good pts. Guess i'm trying to decide if the iPad will better to use around the house than my MBP. I don't need the power of a notebook when i'm sitting on my couch.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Yeah that's is what the iPad is for! :)

    I plan on buying the 3G version since user aren't required to sign up for 3G service immediately (unless they need it). I say that because the 3G version has GPS and it'll be a good traveling device with friends who don't have GPS in there car or for casual Movie watching when Im in bed or sitting around and I don't need my notebook out, so to kill time I whip out the iPad..... Plus I'm sorta eager to use that thing as a visual alarm clock lol (in landscape mode with that black apple case accessory)

    Sounds like you just need a iPad... Not another Notebook (paying $1,499 or $1,799 for a notbook to use as a media device is a little much :eek: )

    Just get an iPad and if you seriously want a desktop buy the 24inc display, so you don't feel like your always on your 15" screen or get a base line iMac.... Those are sweet too
  5. macrumors 6502a

    For what will you be using the iPad/Air? You say you want it for "web browsing, mail etc," which is a little vague. If you're only going to be web browsing and writing emails, an iPad should be fine, as you pointed out that your only problem with your Touch is that its screen is too small. The "etc" part is what will determine if you need more than an iPad, if the "etc" includes much more than listening to music, watching videos, reading ebooks, or using whatever random apps that are/will be available for the iPad. It won't replace your MBP, but it will be an excellent supplement that is ideal for light productivity and entertainment in an extremely portable package with a breezy interface. Just don't expect it to be a notebook.

    IMO, it doesn't sound like you need anything more than an iPad for casual use around the house. To me, it's silly to spend $1000+ on a device for mobile computing when you already have one. My 15" MBP is my only computer and I use it all around the house and out of it (e.g. at work).

    Rating your options from best to worst:
    (1) iPad
    (2) Mini
    (3) Air

    It should be mentioned that I don't plan on getting an iPad. I have an iPhone, and between that and my MBP I don't see any need the iPad fills. (I'm not big on ebooks, and Stanza works just fine.)
  6. macrumors 6502

    For just web browsing and email, the Macbook Air seems more practical imo.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Why do people but 15 and 17 inch MBPs? I just cant get around it. The 15 inch is what? $200 more expensive? Thats a very nice external display, I dont think people realize how thin and light the MBP is when they buy the air. Anyway, for you, since you already have a MBP, I think you should get an iPad. Quick simple use around the house is what the iPad is built for.
  8. macrumors 68000

    This is a money question, not a tech question.

    Do you want a 13" macbook air OR iPad + macbook?

    What's your budget.
  9. macrumors G5


    The Air is awesome and and highly portable—you can pick it up one-handed, and it’s enough power for me to do heavy work on.

    However, the iPad is even MORE portable, probably more fun (certainly if you like cheap games!) and costs a ton less.

    Think what you could do with an iPad plus $1000 still in your pocket :)

    (If you didn’t already have an MBP the answer wouldn’t be so simple. But there’s not much risk in the iPad for you: if, occasionally, you DO need full notebook power, just go get the MBP.)

    Also, you can use the iPad as a remote screen/mouse/keyboard for your Mac, using an app like Jaadu VNC. (Which is supposedly getting an iPad version—so maybe wait for news on that.) This works surprisingly well, although it’s a little laggy. For some tasks it would be like having OS X and all your MBP stuff running on your iPad.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    iPad for sure. If possible then 3G version. You already have a laptop so its no use to spend more on the Air. iPad will be good for light browsing and movie watching. The demo video posted by engadget looks great.

    I plan to buy one myself. Can't wait :)
  11. macrumors 6502

    The iPad will probably never support flash based sites like hulu, etc. I guess the decision between iPad and a MacBook Air would be driven by the type of sites you intend to visit, etc. I guess it also depends on whether you prefer a full on keyboard or are willing to use the virtual keyboard (I don't see the keyboard stand thing being very compatible with the couch ).

    The MBA is much easier to handle than a MBP you can one hand carry it around. You could always got the refurb route for the MBA and save some money. As you can see the in the Buyer's Guide, the MBA is under a refresh watch.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Due to your typo, I'm not sure what you mean. You can't understand why people buy 15/17" MBPs? If so, why?

    Good point, although if the iPad gets big enough, such websites may come up with a iPad-compatible distribution method. (I know it's a stretch, esp. since that hasn't happened for the iPhone, but then again, alternatives to Flash such as HTML5 are becoming more widespread.)
  13. macrumors member

    huh? In case you didn't know there are places known as Apple retail stores where potential buyers can pick up each machine before buying. So to say that people don't realize how heavy each machine weighs is pretty absurd. I have both the unibody 13" MBP and the MBA, and the MBP is much heavier. Yes the 13" MBP not the heaviest machine in the world, but the air is noticeably lighter.

    As for the original poster, If you are only looking for something to use around your house, just get the iPad. However I would get the Macbook Air and use it as your primary travel machine. Why get an air and only use it around your house? Do you live in a mansion?

  14. macrumors 68000

    your situation is same with me. i have a 17" unibody that i always left inmy office since it's pretty hassle for me to bring it back home.

    i do have mac mini attached on my lcd tv and it's not convinience to browse website on a big screen. brings me a neck pain and eyesore. i use macbook air only to browse websites. my iphone 3gs is handy and very portable to use anywhere at home but sometimes the small screen is really bugging me. the next thing im gonna do is sell my macbook air and buy 2 ipads for me and my wife. it's gonna fit my needs. browse websites everywhere at my home and must be feel more comfortable than the air.
  15. macrumors 6502

    Perhaps, this is all part of Apple's master plan ;)
  16. macrumors 6502

    I'll pass on the Air and probably get the iPad.

    Even if I got a Mac Mini for my desk and used my MBP around the house or on trips, they both offer similar options. The iPad will give me a chance to explore a different user experience. (OS and apps)

    Thanks to all for the feedback.
  17. macrumors 68000

    and dont forget that u can
    play alot of games which dont exist on mbp.
  18. macrumors 6502


    Both i think - the iPad doesn't replace what I need from the Macbook Air when i'm out on the road but it will make a nice sofa computer.
  19. macrumors 65816

    I had a long analysis written up to post in here yesterday, and it would have been the first reply but it got eaten by Safari somehow :(.

    I was essentially saying that I thought off the bat that iPad would be good for on-the-couch browsing, email and that sort of thing, 15" MBP being too large and iPhone really too small especially for enjoyable browsing. However, on thinking more beyond the coolness factor, I was coming down more so on the side of the Air. The next rev was going to be of great interest to me before iPad's revealing, and in terms of the things I tend to need/want to do, it really still makes more sense.

    I spent the last few months trying out using the iWork apps on my MBP, at work in an otherwise Windows XP environment, and the compatibility is just not up to it for any one of the three applications. Presuming that the iPad ones are based on '09 and not much more has been done about that compatibility, I would say it would be more trouble than it's worth.

    The iPad also seems to make far less sense as a music device, and definitely as a video device, especially with its 4:3 screen, which was a surprise to me until I pictured holding a wide-screen device that size in portrait.

    So if I can resist the coolness :cool: factor I'll be waiting at least to see what happens with the next Air rev - hopefully they find some clever way to make it perform better despite the likely Intel graphics solution, and hopefully it gets a 16:9 display with glass cover, glass trackpad and 4GB RAM!
  20. macrumors 6502a

    I can't seem to get past thinking of it as a hyperthyroid iPod Touch. I have an iPhone that does all the things an iPad can do (and more) and while the iPad would make some of these things better from just being bigger and its handful of improved apps, it still pretty much has the limitations of my iPhone (Browser without java/flash support, no real file system, no "full size" apps, limited interaction with other devices, no tethering, DRM etc).

    Maybe I'll be able to think of it as a Kindle that does more rather than a "netbook" that does less once I hold one.
  21. macrumors 6502


    For me as well it's just a bigger screen product - browsing on the iPhone is quite frustrating plus it's dead slow to navigate but I still can't put it down ;) If the iPad can get some control surfaces for Logic Pro i'd be all over it - I'd prefer Apple to make that software though.
  22. macrumors 6502


    It seems that many people are caught up on the lack of what an iPad has versus what is really "needed". Many folks equate raw power with practicality. I can't speak for you, but I'll offer my example. I only use my computer to browse the web, listen to my music in the background, look at pictures I've taken on vacation, and compose a simply word processing document. I rarely launch Excel and PowerPoint. A vast majority of the time, I consume information, not create it. Likewise, a majority of the "average" user consumes information rather than creating it. So we have established that there are consumers and creators, and of course each has a spectrum within it's own; for example some consumers JUST browse websites on the lower end of their spectrum and some consumers also need to create information more often than passive browsing.

    The iPad is the perfect device for consumers of information with little need for creation, whereas Macbook Pros are intended for creators who for all definitions of the word "need" raw processing power; i.e., people who use that raw computing power for editing photographs for their professional endeavors, professional photographer with the media, cutting and splicing movies for broadcast, etc.

    Ask yourself the question first: am I primarily a consumer or a creator? Next, within each of the groups establish to what degree you either consume or create: your decision will be made easier this way. I just upgraded my top of the line iMac (from 3 years) ago with the bottom of the line iMac (today), I don't need a huge screen, raw processing power, better video processor, etc.

    I learned long ago, that the "I gotta have the BEST" system will just drive you bankrupt. For example, in 2005 according to my naïve self I HAD to have a G5, when all I did was browse the internet, and send emails: OVERKILL. If the iPad had been available then, it would've been the PERFECT match. The offering of accessories for the iPad, i.e. the keyboard plus dock, offers a bit faster input for those who on the consumer scale have to reply to emails and compose letters and documents a greater percentage of the time. If you only reply to one or two emails a day, do you really NEED a physical keyboard? No: take your time with the on-screen keyboard, practice will make perfect and with a little bit of time you'll become more fluent using the on-screen keyboard.

    I hope this has helped, bud (or buddette). :eek:
  23. gri
    macrumors 6502a


    MBA for me. I need it to give talks and than work in the hotel on grants, papers etc. Not possible with the iPad. And I have a iPad mini with which I can even make phone calls...
    Waiting for the MBA with 4G RAM and bigger HD and better screen.
  24. macrumors regular

    I have an iPhone, and I am about to be inheriting my parents old MacBook pro (pre-unibody) and I still plan on getting the 64gb ipad with 3G. I want something to use at home with a bigger screen to type emails on and browse the web (iPhones screen is too small for prolonged surfing) and I don't want all the bulk of bringing a laptop everywhere I go. the laptop will mostly be used right at my desk, and the iPhone will mostly be used for quick on the go calls, texts, and small apps. the ipad will be used mostly for emailing, watching movies, listening to music around the house, and I think it will be amazing once I get a slingbox and use it as a small portable tv for in the house. I'm really looking forward to the release of this product, and yes, to an extent it is only for a niche market, but I can see this thing being as big of a product as the iPod touch.
  25. macrumors newbie

    I have a MBAir and am very pleased with it. When the iPad was announced I immediately wanted one. But as I let the want wane and the need prevail, I realized that the Air does everything that the iPad can do and more. If you don't need to Skype or iChat, print, or plug in peripherals on the go like a memory stick then go for the iPad. It's cheaper and very cool. But if you're looking for something that is ultra portable with full functionality and you're going to keep the MBPro stationary, then go for the MBAir. I bought mine open box at Best Buy for $999 and it's been great.

Share This Page