iPad 2 VS 11" Macbook Air?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by deuk1219, Mar 17, 2011.


Macbook Air, iPad 2, OR 2011 QUAD CORE MBP 15"?

  1. iPad 2

    28 vote(s)
  2. 11" Macbook Air

    67 vote(s)
  3. 2011 15" Macbook Pro

    21 vote(s)
  1. deuk1219 macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    First of all, I am posting this in the iMac section because I am asking iMac users!
    I have a 27-inch Quad Core 2010 iMac.
    Its a fast beautiful machine, no problems at all.
    However, portability is the problem.
    I go overseas every summer (S.Korea, Europe) and I need something portable to take with me. The Macbook Air, I like it because I can do some video & photo editing with a full computer experience (like Adobe Flash).
    The OS X also has the App store now...
    But the iPad 2 is more portable... I dont know if the iPad 2 could replace a Macbook Air...
    What do you guys think?
  2. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    It really depends on what you want to do: I have an iMac and didn't find the need for a notebook since I got my iPad last year. However, I recently had to make a trip where I would need a full blown notebook so I got an 11" MBA.
    Personally, I find the iPad is great for 95% of my needs away from the iMac but there will always be times when it's not quite enough: The best solution for me was to get both but YMMV
  3. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    I agree. I have a heavy 15" MBP and wish I had the 11" Air for business travel. I make extensive use of Excel and the iPad is a tad deficient in the creation and editing of complex documents even with the full iWork suite and the Apple BT keyboard.

    The iPad and the Air make a potent combination and both combined probably cost less than the 15" MBP.

  4. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    We have an iPad, 11" Air, and an Aluminum MacBook. For travel, the Air is really the obvious winner if you need to do computing. OTOH, the iPad with builtin 3G is the best choice if all you want is email and web access.

    What's needed is the Air with built-in 3G. Maybe next year!
  5. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    All three ;)

    I have a 17" Macbook Pro (which is used as a desktop replacement) and an iPad. Planning to pick up an 11" MBA as an 'in-between' solution for travelling when the iPad isn't quite comprehensively powerful enough for the purpose...
  6. Terrador macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2008
    An iPad is not much more portable than the 11" MacBook air...and you wouldn't need a separate case for the Air because there is no glass exposed like the iPad. So it comes down to this: Do you have storage space and the money to drop on a $2000+ MacBook Pro?
  7. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I have 24" iMac and went with 13" MBA. Personally, I find 11.6" screen to be too small for extensive usage so I paid a bit more to get the bigger screen. I think it is still extremely portable.

    IMO iPad is a nice gadget but cannot replace a fully featured laptop. Go with the MBA.
  8. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2010
    I have a 13 inch Air and the IPad2 which arrived yesterday. I'm a photographer, and have been using the Air to preview photos for culling purposes. I'm going to try to use the IPad in the same way. I can't report on how it's going, my camera kit won't arrive until early next week but my initial experiences with the IPad are very positive.
  9. MikeGluck macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2011
    Get the Air

    I've been using the MBA 11" for about a week or two now. It's a great little machine. A bit harder on the eyes than my previous Mac (13" MacBook). The iPad2 is great for consuming content. I really, really wanted to get one with a Bluetooth keyboard. But if you're going to be creating anything - writing papers, really using iMovie, making spreadsheets - you want a real computer, where it's easy to make files, move them around into folders, etc.
  10. CHSeifert macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark - Scandinavia
    As already mentioned, get all 3 if you can stretch your budget to it ;)

    But with that said, I would advice you to go for the MBA 13 Ulti if you want to do any real serious work on it.

    Don't get me wrong, I have the iPad 1 and an iPad 2 on the way during the summer, when my 3G contract on the iPad 1 expires and I love my iPad - but it is a niche product - and if I didn't take the train and buss to and from work and sometimes need more than 8 hours of battery life from my laptop at University, I wouldn't have bought the iPad, but just stayed with the MBA 13 Ulti

    iPad is great for this: Web surfing, mail writing, bloqqing and playing games in the train, buss and in between lessons in school/University/College.

    MBA 13 Ulti is pretty much great for anything you can think of dosing on a laptop, except serious Graphic programs and music programs.
  11. room271 macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    Ok, of course people are free to buy what they like. But. If you have an iPad and Air (and even a MBP too) then you have too much money!!!

    Seriously, if you are only going to be 'consuming' content (watching stuff/checking emails/internet) then iPad is probably fine.

    But if you want to 'create' stuff like do photo-editing or even just work on Word/Office documents then the Air is best IMO. Even if you are writing lots of emails the keyboard will make a massive difference.

    Personally, I still feel the iPad is more of a toy than anything - nice to have but no way necessary. For internet access/emails most people can use a smartphone. And the Air/a proper laptop is better for actual work.
  12. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    For me the iPad works really well as a portable device for when I'm away from my mac. But the longest that I'm away from it in general is 48 hours. If I was going to be away from my mac for any longer than that I would probably want a MBA, I'd need a real mac at that point. So in your case I would get a MBA.
  13. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    As someone that owns an iPad, MBP 15" and an iMac, I can honestly say that if I were to get rid of one of the 3 it would be the iPad. I am assuming you have to choose between an iPad 2 and MBA/P, and would say that the MBA/P would best serve your needs.

    Even though I probably use my iPad more than any of those 3 devices, I still find myself having to use the other devices, and for much more simple things than I thought... for example, while the iPad does multi-task now, it is cumbersome to do something that requires multiple windows open; ie, writing a research paper. As well, you do not get a full blown web experience with the iPad, and for that reason alone if I were getting portable device for a long trip I would never consider an iPad as the sole device for that.

    As great as the iPad is, it is not a computer replacement... mostly because iOS is limited in intermediate and especially advanced computing. I even have the wireless keyboard and proper case/stand combo for my iPad, and still need the MBP for extended or extensive mobile computing. Mostly, I use the iPad for web surfing, games, and taking notes in class/ rough draft paper writing at school. When I get home, I use the iMac to take those rough drafts and make them final drafts, and then the MBP is used for more extensive web surfing around the house, and when I am on the go for an extended period. But I could easily replace the iPad in that routine with the MBP, then use my phone for games (I have an Android phone, BTW). I really like the iPad experience, but like I said, it isn't yet a computer replacement (I actually can't see a tablet being a computer replacement anytime in the very near future, and am not sure even in the long term).
  14. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Hey guys, ya know how you can double-tap on the iPad to zoom in to a paragraph or column of text? (I love this feature since it makes reading certain text MUCH easier)

    Can the same thing be done on an Air? Can you zoom in on a paragraph or column of text?

    If so, the 11" MBA might work for me. If not, it'll most likely be too small for me.

    Thanks in advance...
  15. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Control + scroll to zoom on any Mac (feature may need to be enabled, I don't think it is on by default.)
  16. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Thanks, but that's not exactly the same thing. I'm gonna guess that it probably can't be done in the same way that it's done on the iPad.
  17. ebolamonkey3 macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2011
    It's touchscreen vs mouse, so of course it's not gonna be the same...
  18. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yeah, I understand. I wasn't sure if there might be something "special" I wasn't aware of that a Mac could do that would closely mimic the iPad's actions.
  19. magicmarc macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2011
  20. maclaptop macrumors 65816


    Apr 8, 2011
    Western Hemisphere
    I agree!

    That's what I did, its the only way to go.

    These are three distinctively different products, each the best of its kind.

    The only one I can say I wanted but didn't "need" is the iPad, I bought it just for fun.

    I could not possibly narrow it down to just one of these choices. Apples products are so outstanding that it's worth it to get them all.
  21. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
  22. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    MBA 11 because I don't believe you are gaining a great portability advantage with the iPad 2.
  23. KennyKW macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011
    I need to do photo editing while travelling. So I bought a 13" MBA. I need to use different software applications such as Capture NX, PS, Lightroom and etc. I don't think that at this moment they can be installed in an iPad yet.

    I think that I am going to buy an iMac 27" for photo editing more comfortably at home. :D
  24. questioner76 macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Like many on this thread, I highly recommend all three. I have a 27" iMac, an ipad 1, and an 11" Air and I find all three indispensable. The iMac is our primary computer hub at home. My wife and I use it to sync our iphones and ipad and to keep all of our photos, home movies, and music. It's a great always on device.

    I travel every week, so the 11" Air is absolutely perfect for me. I mostly word process, email, and Citrix to my office environment on it. It's also small and light enough for me to take to work every day as a second office computer for my personal uses. I use dropbox to keep my working documents in sync between my imac and the Air.

    The ipad is fantastic for lounging and surfing at home. You can't beat it's portability, durability, and battery life. We use it to surf while watching TV, to reference recipes in the kitchen, and as my children's primary computing device.

    It really depends on your usage scenario. You may be able to get by with an ipad 2 and a good keyboard/dock.
  25. Jazwire macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2009

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