In need of a new portable device: MacBook Pro or iPad?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by adamlbiscuit, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. adamlbiscuit macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2008
    Hi guys. I'm saving up for a new portable computing device but I'm unsure which one would be the best choice. I honestly can't make my mind up, should it be the iPad or the MacBook Pro?

    I already have a 24" iMac and a white MacBook. However, the white MacBook isn't in the best condition and it's getting old. I want to replace the MacBook with either an iPad or a MacBook Pro for my portable computing needs.

    Obviously the iPad is cheaper so that wins on the price front. But I've NEVER owned an iOS device before, so I'm wondering if I should risk it or stick to what I know.

    I use my MacBook for web browsing,word processing, e-mail, listening to music and instant messaging. I don't game on it (That's a job my iMac does nicely.) Also, more importantly, I am also a digital artist/web comic artist, and while I do most of my work on the beautiful 24" iMac, I sometimes like to work on projects when I am out and about.

    I've seen some pretty good drawing apps on the iPad and have even tried them out myself at the apple store, but I just wasn't any good with them. I couldn't draw for toffee using my finger and the touch screen. I know it takes practice but it made me question whether I should just get a MBP and stick to my graphics tablet for drawing. Bear in mind I mostly do the drawing on the iMac so I guess whether I can draw on this portable device isn't that important a factor. Still, having the option to work on my projects out and about is nice.

    So yeah as you can see theres lots of conflicting things in my mind here. Can anyone aid me in choosing what to get?
  2. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    To me it sounds like the MacBook Air is best for you I would avoid the iPad I see it getting an update after Christmas.
  3. adamlbiscuit thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2008
    Yeah the impending update for the iPad has also entered my mind on numerous occasions. I don't mind products updating by any means, but if I were to buy an iPad and it updated just a week later, I'd be kicking myself.

    Interesting suggestion for the MacBook Air. The problem I have with the MBA, though, is that it's really expensive and yet you don't get much spec wise when you compare it to even the current white MacBook. The 13" MacBook is what I'm considering mainly because of the design (shallow, I know) and it's only a little bit more expensive than the cheapest white MacBook. *shrug*
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    If you do a lot of word processing, you probably will want to avoid the iPad. It's great for browsing, short emails, music, movies, etc. But you don't want to be typing a lot on a touch screen. That said, the 13" MBP is a great machine for what you ask of it, with netbook type battery life as well.
  5. adamlbiscuit thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2008
    Yeah I do have troubles with the iPad's touchscreen and making typos, but I do have a spare apple bluetooth keyboard lying around I'd use in conjunction with the basic dock to keep it upright. The kind of word processing I do is notes and scripts related to my webcomic projects, I don't write essays by any means.

    What makes it a harder decision is that I am saving up money for this device, and I am nearly half way there when it comes to the 32 GB iPad. If I were to choose that I'd be able to get it sooner than if I were to get the 13" MBP. The concept of waiting is something I really need to get better at, I admit.
  6. akbc macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    MBP sounds like the better deal for you. iPad wouldn't be sufficient to do any heavy word processing, lacking an official MS Office suite, having to lug around a separate keyboard and such. It's a good device for web surfing and light e-mailings, but not for anything more serious.

    Drawing on it would be weird, too. At least with a real computer, you can attach a tablet at any point to do some professional drawings, but so far, that option is missing in the iPad section.

    So, if you're saving up for it right now, worry later. But I think the MBP would better suite you, and they generally get updated soon before/after the holiday season, specially in January. So why not wait it out a little and see what other options are available for you?
  7. adamlbiscuit thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2008
    Yeah, having to lug a keyboard around is a worry. The drawing on the iPad issue is more concerning still, but like I say I do have my iMac. I've seen some styluses for the iPad too that are specifically for sketching. Still the software is a bit limiting for me, I was hoping if I did get an iPad I'd be able to work around that but I dunno, I've just thought if I have to work around a devices limitations then it might not be right for me.

    I really want a MBP. I've never had one before and I've really enjoyed the MacBook while it's been on top form. I think I might get one of those and later get an iPod Touch for an introduction to iOS and who knows in years to come I may get an iPad when it's more mature?

    Thanks for the help so far peoples. :)
  8. willieva macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2010
    Right now the ipad isn't a great as a portable device like you want. However it is brand new and will most likely get much better in the very near future. The next version of ios is coming out in a month, and a new ipad is probably 6 months away. If your macbook is still working keep using it as long as you can. In a few months the device you want might be different than what it is now. Computers just get better and cheaper the longer you wait.
  9. silentnite macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2009
    Outer sight.. Outer mind
    look at it like this by the time you have enough money saved, you'll be closer to a 13" Macbook Pro refresh. I'm thinking sometime around Nov. we could see the i3 or with some luck an i5 as an option this would be a great computer for what you need and then some. After Christmas you'll have a better choice for an ipad 2 and some of apples competition arriving with a pad. It's just a matter of waiting it out if you can.
  10. PhelpsiPhan macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2009
    New Jersey
    i dont have an issue at all with the iPad's on screen keyboard, i absolutely love it. I can type on it with the same speed and error frequency as on a real keyboard,

    I would say ipad or MacBook Air
  11. clerraford macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2010
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    32GB ipad is my target too, but however as I went through this thread I realized 13" MBP is also not a bad option either.I just want to avoid touchscreen..right now I have to use a bluetooth connected key pad and that makes it uncomfortable in being portable...
  12. Haakonsen macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2010
    Skip the Pro.
    Buy a MacBook AND a iPad.
    I cannot see why you should have a Pro, your needs are not that heavy.
    So; purchase a MacBook instead of a MBP and use the saved money for an iPad. They can't replace each other and the iPad is awesome!
  13. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I actually asked this same question a while back.

    I ended up getting the iPad and it was an AWESOME device. I am a student so it became like another limb when it came to reviewing powerpoints, reviewing notes on patients during hospital rounds, and holding all my textbooks. I still miss it very much. I don't have it anymore because my mom gave me the puppy dog eyes and I let her have it.

    I have a macbook pro and a macbook air, and I would just say that I can get a lot more done on my macs, but they are no where near as convenient as the ipad. Ultimately it would be up to you what is more important. I will defintely be picking up a second gen ipad when it comes out.
  14. iMav macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2008
    Columbus, WI
    You'll hate the iPad for these tasks. Text entry is horrific.

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