iPad 2 fast enough for primary web browsing machine or should I go MBA?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jay42, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Jay42 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    I am currently in the midst of replacing my old MBP with 2 devices. I just got a 21" iMac, which I love. I want to get an ipad 2 mostly for web browsing, but I feel like I will regret the sluggishness of safari on iOS. If it weren't for the fact that I know we'll be able to open tabs in the background on iOS 5, the decision would be a no-brainer (I'd have to go MBA). I like the idea of the tablet form factor for couch and bedtime web surfing and I also like the idea of having one OS X device and one iOS device. However, I think the sheer speed and snappiness of the new MBA might be better for me - especially for watching any YouTube footage.

    Given this will be my primary around-the-house and on-the-go web browsing device and the fact that I spend A LOT of time online, will I be frustrated with the iPad 2 and end up longing for the immediacy of Chrome running on an MBA? (Also note I don't have to do any -serious- computing on the road, so the iPad won't be a hinderance in that respect.)

    I would like to know what everyone here thought about the iPad 2 as a primary web surfing machine. I know I don't need the power and capabilities of an MBA / OS X, but I'm wondering if the iPad 2 will simply be too slow given that I spend some serious time on the web. I would hate to feel like I was giving up considerable speed and efficiency in order to be unshackled from my iMac.
  2. tsboy69 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2010
    Should not be a problem. The IPad is quick and more portable than the MBA
  3. Jay42 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    I guess I'm wondering if the speed of the iPad 2 is sufficient for a power web user surfing for 2 - 6 hours a day. I know I will be ambivalent abut web surfing between the iMac and an MBA (maybe even prefer the snappiness of the MBA), but will the iPad feel sluggish (especially for streaming video) when compared with my iMac?
  4. jljue macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Brandon, MS
    While my iPad 2 sometimes takes a little time to update the screen when scrolling thru freshly loaded long web pages, I don't ever get the urge to pull out my MacBook Pro. Even when browsing with Photon to stream flash pages, I don't feel as if the sluggishness is an issue for me. The size and power of the iPad is good enough for my regular web browsing usage. I prefer to lug around my MacBook Pro only when I need to do actual work; the iPad can do some research and and most everything else, including maintaining my calendars and e-mail.
  5. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    I have been using the iPad exclusively while on vacation this week and have had no issues with sluggishness. It's a great web browsing device. IMO browsing is 50% of what it's really designed for (email and all other apps being the other half). I would def go with the iPad over the air for your current setup and needs.
  6. DaREdBaRoN macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2009
    How exactly is one a "power surfer"? I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.

    My confusion aside, the iPad is the best couch surfing device. That's what it was designed for. The A5 chip is more than enough power to handle anything on the Internet (except flash, apparently:D). The tablet form factor is so much nicer than having a notebook in your lap. iPad 2 for sure
  7. deadlystriker macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2011
    I would say iPad 2 very good for browsing, the A5 and increased ram makes a better experience.

    However since you intend to use primarily for the web, I would suggest MBA. You get the full web with no limitations when using OS X, as opposed to iOS (flash). Depends on which sites you frequent.
  8. aery macrumors member


    Nov 27, 2009
    I'm thinking about doing the same thing. Just got an iMac about a month ago and thinking about getting an iPad for on the go or when I don't wanna be stuck at my desk and am just doing some surfing (and games!)
  9. antonis macrumors 68000


    Jun 10, 2011
    iPad 2 is super fast and Safari is very sharp especially after last iOS versions. It's way more portable than any laptop, won't get warm during hot summer days and it can be used for vast periods of time without recharging. Even the MB air's 5-6 hours of wifi usage seems too small compared to the iPad's power efficiency. If you don't need to produce content (aka making some actual work) iPad is way better than anything else. After all, that's what it is designed for.
  10. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    Recently I have been using my iPad2 for web browsing a lot. One inconvenience with an iPad2 is associated with opening multiple tabs from the same main web page, such as opening several different threads for reading from the front page of macrumors. Overeall, an iPad2 is very good for use in web browsing and email writing. With an iPad2, I can do web browsing and email writing anywhere I like in my house. Although I can also do these things with my Air, I might just not do these with my Air because moving and holding my Air is much inconvenient in comparison with my iPad2.
  11. Jay42 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    My apologies for the confusion. What I really meant by that term is that I am some one who browses the web extremely quickly, uses a lot of keyboard shortcuts, opens many background tabs (something you can't currently do on iOS), and watches a lot of streaming video on the web. I am ready to give up my chrome extensions for the portability of an iPad, but I'm not sure I want to give up any speed.

    While some other more casual users might be more patient with safari on iOS, I know I would be frustrated in the long term if I felt it was slower and probably go back to using my iMac.
  12. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    If the speed thing is really that important then the iPad will slow you down because the soft keyboard is harder to type on, sites load a bit slower and tabs arent as efficient as on a fullsize computer.

    That said, i much prefer the ipad for internet browsing because its all about the form factor. I hate sitting at a desk or using a laptop to browse the web now.
  13. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    Limited to nine tabs in Safari in iOS 5. Some other browsers allow more, but they lack the faster Nitro engine Safari has.
  14. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    I'd go try one in an apple store, and see what you think for yourself.

    For me, I am a power surfer and held off on buying an iPad untill about 3 weeks ago simply because of the lack of keyboard shortcuts.

    But since I purchased it, I am a total convert, I can't actually explain how much use it gets - it has really surprised me.

    For me at least, the way that I surf on the iPad is so different that I just don't think about browsing in the same way that I used too. My one annoyance is that new tabs open infront of what I am currently viewing.

    In terms of speed, it is actually faster for surfing than my 2.13GHz macbook with 2 gigs of RAM, and not annoyingly slower than surfing on my Mac Pro.

    Finally, in 3 weeks there has been just one occassion where I reached for my laptop to do something that on the iPad was just too tedious (an online form that just wouldn't display properly). But tbh after completing the form on my laptop, I went straight back to the iPad to continue browsing.

    Other benefits such as battery life, size etc have already been stated.

    In short, I think its fantastic, but it has changed the way I surfed a little (but in a good way - not being restriced by the shape of a laptop is the first boon!)
  15. Lara F macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2005
    Montreal, Quebec
    The form factor of the iPad is fantastic, no question - even the MBA can't match it in portability/convenience and couch surfing.

    That said, from all you've said I suspect that won't be enough to make up the negatives. And one red flag I noted was that you like streaming videos. If they're iOS compatible good, if not don't let people say that iSwifter, Puffin etc. are a good Flash replacement.
  16. kellygeorge macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2007
    Ive got both

    As someone with both devices, I would recommend the Air. You will find that the air is just as fast (or faster) than your macbook pro was. I trade off on taking the Air and the iPad to school, but if I am going to using it a lot, I take the air. You may get annoyed with the iPad' limitations (even though it has some great strengths).
  17. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    I have an iMac and am selling my iPad 2 to get an MBA (I haven't decided which size yet).

    It really just depends on your work flow and casual usage. I like to split mine 50/50 for the most part... and the fact is, when it comes down to it, the iPad can't fulfill that other 50. I like to multitask vigorously and do 20 things at once... and that's just not very easy on an iPad. Also, I can't program on an iPad (I love programming on my iMac, but sometimes I want to lay down and be lazy while I program, ya' know?)

    Plus, the 64GB limitation sucks.
  18. Sinnthetic macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2011
    I say the new MBA 11 or 13 because of one major reason.

    Lion Full Screen capabilities.

    I recently got a new MBA and this is my first Apple product and with the gestures and full screen + full keyboard have made my internet experience such a great experience.

    Seriously the gestures make my MBA 11 feel and look even better then a iPad.
  19. egendomligt, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011

    egendomligt macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2009
    In my experience with the iPad and iPad 2, iOS is sufficent for surfing one or two sites at the time. However I can't get the same experience as on my MBA, where I tend to use a lot of tabs and load several tabs at a time and jump between them repeatedly, plowing through the internets like a troll on speed :p
    The iPad 2 is better than the first iteration, but even that throws loaded sites out of memory after a few tabs, forcing you to wait for a reload of the site when you jump back to that tab. And the checkered pattern is never far away if you blast through engadget quick enough...

    So the question is i guess, is your "primary web browsing" equivalent to couch surfing? :)

    Note: I haven't tried iOS 5, but as long as it doesn't bump the RAM I doubt it'll keep more than a couple of sites in memory. But who knows.. any iOS 5 users care to comment?
  20. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    I had the iPad 1 back in October and I just couldn't get into it. I think that was due to the fact that I had a laptop in front of me at all times and (obviously) I could do much more on that than with the iPad.

    Don't get me wrong, the iPad is great for casual browsing, but I could never get that full experience.

    Right now I have one space with Facebook, gmail, etc., one with about 10 tabs from this site, and another dedicated to tech sites and blogs; you just can't do that with an iPad.

    So it's great if you dont do that; if you just browse a few sites in total or at at time and don't need to download anything, however you're going to run into the occasional video or site that "just won't load" or want to download something only to find that you can't.

    It's a great device, however for my uses, I couldn't justify a 500 dollar toy.

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