12" Macbook as an iPad replacement

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by hardax, May 3, 2016.

  1. hardax macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I find a lot if the stuff I do on my iPad Air 2, sitting on the couch would be much easier to accomplish using a laptop. Remote maintenance of a file server, file transfers, Teamviewer sessions etc. All doable on an iPad but not ideal.

    My question is, how is everyones experience using the Macbook sitting on the couch? Right now its really easy to grab my iPad, rest it on my crossed leg and start using it. I worry how comfortable the Mackbook would be either having to balance it on my leg or having it flat on my lap and be all cramped up trying to type or scroll etc.

    Any thoughts on how easy it is to grab and use while sitting cross legged on the couch?
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    As an owner of a MacBook and iPad Pro 9.7, I'd say that the iPad is still a bit easier for content consumption on a couch. In a tight airport seat, I also sometimes prefer the iPad even for light editing in Word or PowerPoint because it is virtually waterproof. That said, for the tasks you are talking about the MacBook is better. The weight balance is excellent, and it fits nicely on a lap.
  3. Boston007 macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2010
    I agree with KPOM. Laptop on the couch is just not comfortable, especially if you are typing. The iPad is a better device for that.

    That being said- After I got my iPhone 6S Plus my iPad usage dropped considerable to the point I wasn't even using it.
    I would have my Macbook Air 11" from work and use that at home much more. I have a coffee table so sitting on the couch watching TV was a very pleasant experience. I've since purchased the new Macbook, because I didn't want to use my work computer at home anymore. I'm giving my mother the iPad since I never use it.
  4. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    Opps, I presume your referring to using the Ipad without KB ?
  5. tsang2320 macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2014
    There are two usage situations on a couch for me and I prefer the MacBook in both cases.

    1. Light, short videos and net-surfing: I often type quite a bit in searching and maybe write a reply or comment. Holding the iPP on a hand while type with one hand on the screen is less pleasant to me. Also, the screen tends to be filled with fingerprints every day or two.

    2. Movie or light work on a couch: it's tiring to hold the iPP for long period, even if you lean it against you. Another thing is the screen ratio that the giant black boxes to suit a 21:9 file on the iPad. Of coz that's because I consume videos more than magazines and webpages on a couch.
  6. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    Not without Pencil support.

    I strongly considered this last year. To be honest, I though a MacBook and a cheap iPad mini for iOS games and PDFs would be perfect for me but now I have th pencil so the ipad will always have a place with me. A MacBook can't replace an ipad and an iPad can't replace a MacBook for me.
  7. cwosigns macrumors 68000


    Jul 8, 2008
    I have the 12.9" iPad Pro. I bought it in January thinking that it would be my go-to device for everything, since all I ever really use my laptop for is web surfing, email, and some light office work (MS Office suite). The IPP is a great device, but with the smart keyboard cover...it's a little unwieldy at times. So I decided to upgrade my 11" MacBook Air to a 2016 MacBook M5 and...I am thinking about selling the iPad Pro (I have an iPad Air 2 that I can still use for reading, media consumption, etc). But I am really loving this MacBook.
  8. WickedPorter, May 4, 2016
    Last edited: May 25, 2016

    WickedPorter macrumors regular


    Sep 28, 2012
    +1 here. For on-the-go or "anywhere" work, MacBook and 9.7" iPad Pro are a perfect arsenal for me. I use them both throughout the day. Pencil is a must ... love having the option to annotate & draw diagrams in my OneNote notebooks, but also love using OneNote on the MacBook. They both have their extreme advantages when it comes to getting things done and compliment each other very well in pretty much any scenario/environment. I have a 15" work-provided MacBook Pro, but that is basically used as my desktop, or when I need extreme performance (which I'm finding I hardly ever do).

    EDIT: 25May16: Just the MacBook now. The iPad, while super cool, started collecting dust in more real world practice, i.e. when the iPad "newness" wore off.
  9. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I don't have the current Macbook (have various other machines including iPads, a Surface Pro, other laptops than in my sig, etc.) but in general a tablet is a lot more comfortable to use in situations where a laptop is not - e.g., in bed, on the couch, etc.

    But it depends on what you're doing. Much better for reading or watching video.

    Much worse for trying to type stuff.

    If i had to have a single device, i'd still take the Macbook. But if you can stretch to having two devices, one doesn't fully replace the other.
  10. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I have both the MacBook and the smaller iPP. I don't have a problem with either on the couch. There are times I prefer one or the other, but each is enjoyable to use. Sometimes I like holding the iPad in portrait orientation and just reading - the web, magazines, books, or writing in my own notebooks. Other times it's nice to sit back and use the trackpad on the MacBook for navigation. If I really feel like I need the MacBook in a better position, I just put one of the pillows we keep on the couch on my lap and it works fine, even for lots of typing.
  11. RUGGLES99 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2015
    If you haven't drunk all the apple koolaid, a windows convertible fills the bill as both laptop ad tablet. With my Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro (all in one) I can use it as a laptop or swing it around and it becomes a 13.3" tablet that weighs about the same as my RMB, and with an equal screen resolution and MORE ports.
  12. BeatCrazy macrumors 65816

    Jul 20, 2011
    I recently got a Dell Inspiron 13" 7000 2-in-1 laptop. Seriously, it's garbage. Good for basic laptop work when I must use Windows, but not's not good from a UI, build-quality or visual appeal, compared to either a rMB or iPad.
  13. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Any windows device, especially a 2 in 1, are really a crummy iPad alternative. Nevermind the weight and form factor arguments, but much of the value of an iPad is that it's as reliable as an appliance. It's instant-on and rarely do you have to struggle with any kind of software issues. The battery lasts for real-world 10-15 hours, and weeks in standby. You'll be lucky with a Windows tablet to go overnight on standby which completely destroys the appliance-nature of the device. You have to know that you can count on it being ready to use at any time. (I'm on my second Surface Pro device as my primary Windows computer, FWIW).
  14. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    I actually keep both on my coffee table and I pick one up depending on what I am going to use it for. Apple News, iPad easily. Browse MacRumors, MacBook.
  15. Picapau21 macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2015
    I never got used to an iPad, even on the couch. Bought it twice and both times gave it away to a family member.

    Just not useful. I prefer to type website address', reply on forums, send emails, messages, etc etc all whilst on the couch.

    I hate having to balance the iPad on my lap and then try to type either on the on-screen keyboard or wireless keyboard.

    Also I now feel that not having a mouse/trackpad is a deal breaker. Absolutely hate having to touch the screen to scroll or click or do anything really. On an iPad you can't even send an iMessage from the keyboard. There is no shortcut key for it.

    EDIT: I have just checked and apparently in the iPad Pro they now have a send shortcut. All I can say is....Finally!!!
  16. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Some people just never get used to the form factor. My wife doesn't like them. She uses the family one we keep in the kitchen to look up things from time to time, play music, reference recipes, make video calls. But she uses her MacBook Air the vast majority of the time. I like that I can hold the iPad like a book for the reading I spend most of my time doing, and with the new keyboard, quickly attach it if I need to type something (and yes, as you note, the enter key now sends an iMessage). I'll also note that the ipad with the new keyboard is quite stable on your lap.
  17. Picapau21 macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2015
    Thats probably the only thing I miss about the iPad - It was great for reading magazines/newspapers and having recipes and videos on in the kitchen. I have an iPhone 6plus which does the same thing but the larger screen of the iPad was helpful.
  18. Wowereit macrumors 6502a

    Feb 1, 2016
    I've sold my iPad Air and fully replaced it with my 12" MacBook.
    Wasn't that big of an iPad user anyway and ran too often into the limitations of iOS.
  19. where is it macrumors 6502

    where is it

    Jun 19, 2012
    Many moons ago I used to have an iPad.

    It was fun at first but I am very much a content creator.

    The iPad showed it's limits in that department.

    I have waited a long time for a marvel that is the Macbook to come along in the form we see today.

    It truly is a near perfect tool. So yes, a definite iPad replacement.
  20. Precursor macrumors 6502a


    Sep 29, 2015
    I have the 12.9 IPP, bought in December and still enjoy using it tremendously. However, the limitations have pushed me towards getting as laptop. Sometimes I thought of selling it and buying the RMB. Instead I purchased the RMB and decided to keep the IPP. Plus, having a mobile secondary display with Duet is fantastic. Nothing beats IPP's comfortability for watching Netflix, reading books/comics in bed. Two different animals.
  21. AFEPPL, May 7, 2016
    Last edited: May 30, 2016

    AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    Laptops are designed to sit on your lap and be useable, you can use both hands for typing...!
    The iPad for me has never been comfortable, it works fine for very light quick browsing but that's about it - it always has to be held and doesnt support its own weight. Then there's the typing on a glass screen without feedback.

    My iPads are collectors for dust, i guess for many people it's the same hence the meteoric crash in sales for apple.
    Small game playing or traveling in the car to keep the kids amused is a good workflow, but anything productive - I'm reaching for the mac....
  22. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    Ipad to me is one of those cute toys you have to invent numerous scenarios for to justify spending $500-$1000 for and find after the initial fun part it's just easier to pick up your smart phone or MB. Nearly all the points many make to justify an Ipad are equally the weakness of a scaled up OS that comes from a phone with restrictive interface/connectivity.

    Of course those lucky ones that do not actually need a laptop they plug that gap where using a smart phone becomes not practicable for extended periods or maybe for those that are rally hung on apps. There are plenty of content devices out there. There is nothing special about this on a Ipad

    If your not tied to IOS then windows or even some android tablets offer far greater range of freedom and functionality you just choose amongst a vast array of options where you want to jump in from the low end with equivalent of better battery life to top end performance that are equivalent or better than MACs ie you can pick what suits you and not try and fit a limited range in to your usage.
  23. Macbook14in macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2016
    My iPad Mini is collecting dust since. You can't get any work done with an iPad.
  24. bjet767, May 7, 2016
    Last edited: May 7, 2016

    bjet767 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2010
    I guess I don't get it, but the MacBooks and iPad are really two different beasts and one doesn't replace the other.

    OSX is a full featured operating system with very little restrictions attached to it, while iOS is, well it's iOS and there are severe limitations such as file access, speed,email, multi-tasking and even internet browser functionality.

    If all you want to use your iPad for is to browse the internet, read books, watch videos, look at pictures and some light work the attached keyboard of the MB will bother you a lot. If you want a full featured OS and use a keyboard then it is a far better device than the iPad.

    Before anyone slams me I have both (MB and iPad Air2) and use both devices a lot. Each device fills a niche and if funds are limited choose the one which best fits your needs.
  25. geekiemac macrumors regular


    Feb 13, 2016
    I originally bought my iPad 3 as a travel replacement to my work HP laptop. I never quite managed to use it properly for work. While consuming information works very well on an iPad - reading, annotating, etc. - producing content is another topic. I work a lot with MS Office, and working on a file is so much more comfortable when you have a screen and a real keyboard and a trackpad... at least for someone my age. I guess all millennials out there feel more at ease with a touchscreen, but that's not my case.

    Long story short, I finally got myself a rMB which I'm very happy with. The iPad is now living a happy life as my niece's gaming console. :)

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