11" MBA or iPad as secondary computer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Kramer7, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Kramer7 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 7, 2015
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I just sold my iMac to build a much better Windows PC and I still have enough money to spare to get an iPad Air or MBA.

    Already being in love with OSX and not very fond of iOS, the choice seems simple.
    Then again, I have to read thousands of pages of pdf per semester and I'm aware the iPad would do much better in that regard. An iPad is also more portable and I could use it to kill the time in public transport... Another argument for the iPad is that I still have a year of free data on a spare SIM. It's also cheaper, the Air 32 LTE goes used for 320 €, whereas the MBA goes for 550 €.

    Arguments for the MBA would be ability to be fully productive when I can't be at home, the ability to take notes in class without having to buy a keyboard accessory and so on...

    I'm basically just thinking out loud, would you like to share your thoughts?

    Cheers and have a lovely day!
     
  2. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Sound like there are way more pros than cons for the iPad. The keyboard is remedied relatively easily. The only significant cons is not really being able to be "fully productive" with it, and it's kind of cool to have a laptop even for around the house when at home. So, I guess what does "fully productive" mean to you (especially if you have a keyboard attachment), and how important is it that to you.
     
  3. Kramer7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 7, 2015
    #3
    Thinks I would sorely miss on the iPad:

    - real multitasking
    - stereo sound (I know it technically has stereo speakers, but come on...)
    - convenient VPN and torrenting
    - a proper browser. I don't understand how Safari on OSX can be so great when Safari on iOS is so terrible
    - full keyboard functionality. I know there are hundreds of first- and third party keyboards out there, but as long as Apple doesn't fully support them, they'll always be limited. You can't even press 'Send' on these things.
     
  4. Stocks macrumors member

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    Feb 4, 2015
    #4
    I purchased a MacBook Air a couple months ago and thought it would be cool to be able to take my computer with me everywhere.

    The amount of times it's left the house: 0

    On the flip side, the iPad Mini Retina goes with me everywhere. It does everything I need while being super portable.

    Some people need a full computer to take with them. It's really up to your own personal needs.
     
  5. Kramer7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Does your MBA never leave the house because you have an iPad or because it's too clunky / impractical?
     
  6. Stocks macrumors member

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    Feb 4, 2015
    #6
    I just have no use for it outside of the house. Even before I had the iPad, I never really felt the need for a laptop. Now that I have the iPad I've found a lot of great things to do with it while on the go, but I doubt I would ever bring a laptop to do those things.

    But that's just me, many people simply couldn't live without their laptop.

    From what you posted, it seems as if the iPad along with the $55 Apple wireless keyboard would do you well. But only you could decide what you're going to want/need.
     
  7. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I get the impression from that list that you'd be happier with a MBA.
     
  8. Kramer7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 7, 2015
    #9
    I could probably find just as many pros.
     
  9. newellj, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015

    newellj macrumors 601

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    #10
    I've actually been noodling the same thing from a different user profile (i.e., I'm not a student any more). It's a close call. Some of the things I've thought about:

    iPad +
    • Has built in cell radio that is already on my plan for only $10/mo
    • Better screen, almost as big
    • Some things are better done with touch interface
    • Lighter and smaller (marginally)
    • Can be used without the keyboard getting in the way
    • Can be used with accessory keyboards and/or stands (if you brought one with you)

    MBA 11" +
    • Cellular connection requires using my iPhone as a hotspot (a big minus for me; YMMV)
    • OS X support multitasking better
    • Some things are better done with a physical keyboard and trackpad and/or mouse
    • Keyboard doubles as a built-in stand for table/desk use, no extra keyboards or stands
     
  10. Stocks macrumors member

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    Feb 4, 2015
    #11
    The built in cellular connection is something I forgot to mention, it only costs me $10/month as well. I pull the iPad out 30 times a day, I don't want to worry about turning on my iPhone's hotspot, or leaving it on and draining the battery.

    In most situations that I pull out the iPad and use it, I couldn't imagine opening up a laptop, I just wouldn't do it.

    But again, that's just me.
     
  11. Kramer7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 7, 2015
    #12
    Do you still have to turn on your iPhone's hotspot? I figured you could just leave it in your pocket and connect / disconnect your Mac via some Yosemite magic.
     
  12. Stocks macrumors member

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    Feb 4, 2015
    #13
    You can leave your iPhone's hotspot on all the time and then the MBA would connect to it just like a WiFi. But running a hotspot kills the iPhones battery, I wasn't able to get an 8 hour work day out of my new iPhone 5 when I tried using it as a hotspot, that's why when I bought my second iPad Mini I got it with the cellular feature. Always connected, it's great.

    I think it's silly for Apple not to offer a cellular option in the MacBook Air.
     
  13. Kramer7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 7, 2015
    #14
    Man, why do you guys have to make so much sense?
     
  14. newellj macrumors 601

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    Boston, MA, US
    #15
    Yes, battery is the issue...if I have my iPad with me, I usually use the iPad as the hotspot (bigger battery). I totally agree on the cell option.
     
  15. jamesjingyi macrumors 6502a

    jamesjingyi

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    UK
    #16
    It's weird. I am the other way round. My MBA goes to school every day with me and has been booted at least once every day for the past two years. My iPad is my alarm... And that's sorta it. I bought Duet Display to try and regain use but this doesn't seem to have happened. If someone stole my iPad I wouldn't be that annoyed compared to my Air which is so useful for productivity. The keyboard is full sized and great and the processor in that thing is actually amazing. I can play a few games on it at low-medium settings even though its like 1.7GHz.

    In response to the OP, I would definitely get the Air... But its up to you.

    (Also if you are thinking of taking it places, the Air probably will stand up to more than the iPad and keep its value a lot more. My friend dropped his down 3 flights of stairs and it has a dent in one of the corners and that is it.. Bloody amazing machine)
     
  16. Kramer7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 7, 2015
    #17
    Duet display seems like such a useful app, I'm surprised you didn't get your mileage out of it. If they made a Windows version of Duet, I'd probably get an iPad.
     

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