If you have a MacBook, is there any need to get an iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by jtsang777, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. jtsang777 macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Right now, I don't have an iPad but I do have the 2016 MacBook Pro. Why do people use iPads? Do you think its unnecessary to have both if the MacBook Pro could do the same things?
  2. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816


    Aug 2, 2008
    Southern California
    It depends on your use case.

    I'm a manager/supervisor. Most of my work revolves around email, accessing resources from web-based databases, and reading and marking up PDFs and Microsoft Office documents. I just came back from a business trip and the most important device I had was my phone, followed by my iPad. My laptop stayed in the office, yet I still had access to all resources to do my job and in a form factor that allowed me to be extremely mobile, as was a requirement since I was visiting several sites, surveying facilities, and providing personalized training and instruction.

    Can I or do I even want to use an iPad for 100% of my job? No. But, I've been in emergent situations where I was 'off the clock' and all I had was my phone and tablet and was able to take care of business. That's not an Apple thing, that's a 21st century, use the cloud, thing. If you're cloud centric and regularly need to be mobile, yes, an iPad Pro is a great companion device and if I was honest, it's the first device I reach for in many cases.

    If, on the other hand, you need a device for simple consumption, there's no need for an iPad. I finished a graduate technical degree with my 2011 MBP and a cheaper 7" Android tablet that I used as a eBook reader, review/read documents, watch movies, read emails, etc.

    Hope this helps.
  3. subjonas, Mar 4, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017

    subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    This is an age old question, but it pretty much boils down to: it depends on what activities you do and where you do them. Everyone has different needs. Some people don't have any use for iPads over laptops and maybe they never will. Some, like me, use the heck out of both. If you don't know why you'd use one then you might be part of the former group. It's also possible you just haven't found a use for one yet.

    I'll tell you how I use mine. My device combination is actually a 15" MBP, a 12.9" iPP, and an iPad mini.
    - I use the MBP almost exclusively for heavy duty creative applications only available on MacOS.
    - I use the iPP for sketching and for light work on the go--emails, calendar, internet research, typing up documents, etc. many times at a coffee shop. (I should add, I also have the smart keyboard and pencil.) Occasionally I'll also use it as a second display with my MBP on the go. I always keep the iPP in my bag so I usually have it when I go out. The MBP would be too heavy for this. In contrast I barely notice the weight of the iPP. Also it has more than double the battery life of my MBP. Also I can't draw on the MBP.
    - I use the iPad mini for reading and movies in bed and around the house. I carry it with me almost all the time when I'm home. Neither the MBP nor the iPP would work for this since both are too big and bulky.

    I find this combination of devices about perfect for my needs, but your needs will likely be different. I'm guessing you have a 13" MBP, and I'll assume you don't draw. If that were the case for me, with such a portable, good battery life laptop, I'd have no need for the iPP, and all I'd want is the iPad mini for consumption around the house. But if you don't do a lot of reading (or prefer paper books), and you only watch movies/shows on your TV, then it's very possible the iPad simply doesn't fit your life. And if that's the case, good for you, you can save money and have one less possession to worry about.
  4. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    As the previous poster said, it all depends on your needs. I'm a teacher. I use the 12.9 iPad with pencil as a digital whiteboard for my classes, as well as a mathematical notebook. My MacBook Pro on the. other hand is used for writing up tests, handouts, technical documents, and to keep a database for my student records.
  5. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    It's a very subjective question.

    I do real work on my laptop, but for casual web browsing, YouTube, social media, email, and some other light tasks, it's way easier to just pick up an iPad than to use even the most portable laptop. If you watch Steve Jobs' presentation of the original iPad he explains it quite well. It's basically a device between a smartphone and a full computer, designed to do some things better than either. Whether or not that's something you need is up to you.
  6. Mike Boreham macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2006
    I have a 12" MacBook and an iPhone 7+, and I take the MacBook with me everywhere that I would take an iPad. But it is a very personal decision.

    You say you have a MacBook Pro, which even if it is the 13" is still quite a bit larger than the 12". I deliberately downsized from 13" (late 2013) to 12" to be avoid the need for another device.
  7. DanDilla macrumors member


    Nov 15, 2016
    Lüneburg, Germany
    I got a MBP 15" and an iPad Air, as I'm using my MBP for work, the iPad is pretty nice for managing my calendar, get quick overviews over documents and - most of the time I'm using it - browsing on the couch.

    It doesn't have a real productive value for me, it's more a fun thing as it's not really comfortable for me using the MacBook when lying around.
    I also often use it when in public transportation when space is rare, but since I'm working with audio there are not many professional apps which doesn't act more as a remote for an app on the MBP...
    At least not for my type of work (Record/Mixdown/Mastering), professional interfaces are unlikely iOS supported at the moment and there's not much I can do there outside the studio (too much ambient noise/ audio distraction)
  8. Channan macrumors 68030


    Mar 7, 2012
    New Orleans
    If you've gone this long without an iPad, then there's no need for an iPad at all. Now, if you want a device that is really thin and light, has great battery life, and is genuinely fun to use (opinion), you might want to consider buying an iPad. I need my MacBook Pro for school as it's just more convenient to take all of my notes on and do homework with two apps running side by side, but my iPad gets used for everything else.
  9. akash.nu macrumors 604


    May 26, 2016
    Other than the work specific things that people mentioned, I'd seriously consider iPad for the fun bit as well. Properly optimised iOS games and apps are awesome on iPads. Plus the convenience factor.
  10. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Judging from the thread title, you mentioned is there any need to get an iPad if you have a MacBook Pro, there may not necessarily be a "Need." The MacBook Pro can do many things that iPad can do. But the iPad serves as a middle ground where somebody doesn't want to lug around or carry their MacBook Pro. I think the iPad has more portability and mobility when they want to complete certain tasks that doesn't require the use of a laptop.

    IPad, in my opinion, primarily serve as a media device for, reading, movies, photo editing, and or general quick uses for an in between.

    There are many times where I don't want to use my laptop and I just want to use my iPad because it's lighter, easier to hold, and I don't necessarily need the use of a keyboard at all times either.

    I think you'll find out that there's a difference between need and want when it comes to an iPad. The MacBook Pro is great, but so is the iPad. And they're nice to have in tandem with each other.
  11. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    It really does depend on the individuals usage. The fact that you are asking if you need one pretty much means that you don't. I tried to make the iPad my computer but eventually went back to a MacBook. Not only do I have no use for an iPad, I don't miss it at all. For my work flow, an iPad adds nothing but a headache of having to touch the screen too many times and figuring out a way to hold it or prop it up. However, many people benefit from an iPad when it comes to PDF's and other things that the Apple Pencil really comes in handy for.
  12. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    You didn't say whether you had the 15" or 13" MBP...

    The question I have for you is, "If your MacBook was 1.5-3 lbs. lighter than it is, would you carry it with you more often?"

    If you never leave home without your MBP, and most of what you do with your MBP could be done on an iPad, you'd be able to lighten your burden - maybe that's important to you, maybe not.

    If you often leave the MBP behind when you go out, maybe the lower weight and bulk of an iPad means you'd carry it with you far more often, presumably benefitting from having it with you (as a writer, I appreciate having a keyboard with me when the inspiration strikes). As photographers sometimes say, "The best camera is the one you have with you."
  13. ericwn macrumors 68020

    Apr 24, 2016
    If you can't find a reason to use a tool for yourself in the first place, then maybe your needs are well covered already. Maybe spend a bit more time browsing these forums to get an understanding of what others use their iPads for.
  14. Greenmeenie macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2013
    if you had an iPad Pro instead of a current MacBook Pro, you could answer your own question if an iPad would be enough for you. But since you don't, unless you buy one, you won't really know. For many people the answer is no. But for a growing number of people the iPad is yes. If you can afford getting an iPad in addition to your MacBook Pro, I'd do it. Even if the iPad can't replace your MacBook for your main tasks, I think you'll find it so much more enjoyable for many daily tasks. And who knows, you just may find it can indeed replace your MacBook for your main tasks as well. Only you can really answer that. If it can, you can then sell your MacBook Pro. Otherwise, I'd wait until your MacBook Pro reaches its end of life, and then replace it with an iPad Pro. But then you'll have the same dilemma in reverse. You'll still have to figure out if the iPad Pro is enough for you to do all your work. Seeking others advice is a valuable tool in helping you decide. But Sometimes you just gotta take the plunge. Because until you really own one, you'll never truly know.
  15. akash.nu macrumors 604


    May 26, 2016
    Exactly my case. I bought an iPad and after over a year having not used it for anything more than a bit of social networking and some gaming I resorted to making it a test device for the development team and just stuck with my MacBook Air for work.
  16. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    As others have said, it depends on what you're trying to do with each. I used to do all of my computing with a 2011 MacBook Pro, but found that the computer was plugged in and sitting on my desk 99% of the days of the year, so I later upgraded to an iMac. I have a work iPad and a home use iPad, and more recently bought a MacBook for work and travel. I can tell you how I use my iPads, which may help you to get a feel for what use cases there are.

    At work (hospital/clinic):
    iPad (standard size, no keyboard case but an Otterbox Defender-like full case, use with Apple Pencil and other styluses) acts as a paper replacement. I take notes, reference notes, reference books, reference websites, read emails and give basic replies, text message with team members, and use "scanner" apps to digitize papers for further markup or reference. It is always with me, and fits into my white coat pocket.

    Despite being incredibly thin and light, the MacBook requires that I carry a small messenger bag with me, so I don't always bring it. When I do, it is almost always for tasks that are more keyboard-heavy. I have tried the iPad with its keyboard case but found that I prefer the MacBook, not because of the feel of the keyboard but because I like having a mouse and being able to multitask a bit more easily.

    What it boils down to is that the iPad is fantastic for handwriting, fast access, and reading. A full Mac system is still superior when it comes to other forms of work.

    At home:
    I use the iPad for basic web browsing, reading (books or articles - again, marking them up with aid of the Pencil), online shopping (Amazon/eBay), video chatting with family, and texting. It's more comfortable and convenient to be able to go anywhere in the apartment and be on any piece of furniture. While the MacBook is the thinnest and lightest of the Mac systems, the iPad is still more mobile. It feels faster to get into and out of, as well - and I say that despite owning an Apple Watch, and using the "watch unlock" feature with my Macs.

    The iMac (or MacBook) can be used for all of the above, but it gets used for heavier media activities and type-heavy activities (particularly since I have a mechanical keyboard, which blows away the MacBook's keyboard).

    When traveling far away from home:
    I generally bring both, but end up using the MacBook more. If I could choose only one device, it'd be the MacBook.

    Looking back, it has now been about five years since my first iPad was given to me as a gift. I couldn't think of any uses for iPads before that gift, and immediately after receiving it, I couldn't think of any uses then, either. It has now become my most-used device, actively receiving use during many hours at work and probably receiving the most screen time at home. Maybe I could have used my MacBook Pro (and now, my MacBook) in the same manner, but they just don't feel anywhere near as portable or convenient by comparison.
  17. JamesMike macrumors demi-god


    Nov 3, 2014
    Because of all my traveling reducing the size from my 15 inch MacBook Pro to an iPad Mini 4 was nice.
  18. ackmondual macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2014
    U.S.A., Earth
    From the sounds of it (and other posts confirm this), you probably don't need an iPad. If you really want that extra portability, then it could help with that.

    For me, I don't own a MacBook. I actually have a $200 win10 laptop which I hardly use (it was mostly for my tech group), and a $200 Chromebook (which is superb for web browsing, moderate amount of office docs, and managing files). TBF, the CB is 14" which is an excellent size for viewing, but does make it more difficult to carry around, as it barely fits in my bag.

    The CB is the main reason why I don't use my Ipad Air for web browsing anymore (unless I have no choice). However, I still keep my iPad around for games. I've already purchased hundreds of $'s of them on my Ipod Touch 5. I'm transitioning more and more to the Ipad Air since my IpT5 is running on 3.5 years, and it's only a matter of time bef. the battery goes.
  19. chevelleguy3 macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2013
    Mckinney, TX
    I have a 2016 15" MacBook Pro, iPhone 7+, and a 9.7" iPad Pro. Previously I had an iPad Air 2 before the Pro. I thought the same question back when I considered buying the Air 2. My current iPad and the previous one were both Verizon LTE and Wifi. I use the MacBook Pro for most of my actual computing needs such as Photoshop or FCP. I also use it for work. For just the casual web surfing, YouTube videos, email, etc I prefer to just pick up the iPad. It's light and easy to carry around, plus the built in LTE is nice to have as I can take it anywhere. I know you can always tether to the iPhone for data access, but that's just one more step.
  20. boltjames macrumors 601


    May 2, 2010
    I travel a lot. My 12" MacBook combines with my iPad Air 2 and I can board a plane with a whopping 20 hours of battery life, 100+ movies and TV shows, and those two devices combined weigh less than one of those Microsoft 2-in-1's and the MacBook Pro with no compromises to the tablet or the full-keyboard or media capacity.

    iPad is lousy for typing. MacBook not flexible enough for movie watching. You need both.

  21. Isamilis, Mar 7, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017

    Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    I have 13" MBA and for years very rarely I need iPad. The weight difference (ipad+cover vs MBA) is not that big, but MBA gives me fully functional computer (and keyboard) plus I can charge my phone on it. I also bring my Kindle always with me to read books while waiting or commute. But again, it depends on your needs.

  22. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    I used an iPad at the gym while doing cardio. Have you ever try putting a laptop on an elliptical or treadmill machine?

    Also, when I fly in China they make me turn off my iPhone. Flight mode wasn't acceptable. A laptop also takes up a lot of space and really is not convenient when you need your tray for food and beverages.
  23. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    that's a big use for me, too. The other use case where I find my iPad way better than my MBP is reading, especially something in long form like a novel. iPad is way better on cramped plane seats, too.

    I wouldn't say everyone who has a macbook needs an iPad, but there are definitely uses and situations when the iPad works better.
  24. Kate. macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2009
    But nothing happens when I draw on my MBP's screen with an Apple Pencil.

    My MacBook Pro is my productivity tool where I write, organize files and pictures, etc.. My iPad is my creativity tool where I draw, paint, do hand lettering, read graphic novels, and play games. They each have a place in my life and do their jobs very well.

    And if you've ever been stuck in bed sick or with an injury, an iPad comes in pretty handy to pass the time.
  25. akash.nu macrumors 604


    May 26, 2016
    This is EXACTLY what I do.!

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