Ipad Air vs Macbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Bbafett, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Bbafett macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2012
    We are looking at getting a computer type device for the kids to pull up web pages on as well as work on school projects. We were looking at imacs but the price and lack of portability decreases the desire for it.

    Then we looked at the different Macbook air/pros and trying to find one that will do what they need for several years and runs good. Ipad Air is another possibility using a bluetooth keyboard with a case on the ipad. Using the including iworks apps it would have the same type things they need that computers have for word processing/spreadsheets/powerpoint.

    Wanted to get other people's take on ipad air vs the Macbook. Price is important and we also have two other laptops and ipad minis in house for parents. This would just be for kids.
  2. saotomefirst macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    Well, it would depend on how old your children are, but I'd be more tempted by an iPad Air. Since you already have other ways to get increased computing power and/or storage from your notebooks if and when needed, the Air would be the best option, as it's by far the lightest option - their backs will thank you one day ;)

    I have both and Air and a MBP 13'' at home, and the only reason I carry the MBP around is because I'm a programmer, and unfortunately the iPad's lack of flexibility for installing Virtual Machines is unforgivable in this case. For light computing, though, I use iOS over Mac OS 9 out of 10 times,

    You can even check if your children will adapt to using an iPad. Consider lending one of your iPad Minis to them to see how they'll react and take your decision based on that.

    Hope this helps :D
  3. Bbafett thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2012

    Thx for your input. My wife and I are going to talk to them tonight to see what they would prefer between the ipad air or most likely the macbook air/pro. Either one would be more than they have now to use on a regular basis.
  4. Dominus Mortem macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    The iPad is great if they want to play games, read books, listen to music, run specialized tools that don't need a good keyboard, etc.

    The iPad doesn't have a decent keyboard option, the bluetooth keyboards are hard to type on, smaller than average and have to be charged.

    The iPad also has no file system per se., so file management is a bear on those things. You don't have MS Word, PowerPoint or Excel to work with (or Photoshop, which I use constantly) and if you did, it would still be a pain to do essays and schoolwork. They don't have USB ports so you can't use thumb drives on them, which I find indispensable for carrying essays and power points to classes.Printing from iPads is no easy matter either. There are a few students who do use them for classwork, I see one every now and then, but they are the exception and rare. I tried taking notes on an iPad once and it was hopeless, I couldn't keep up. With a laptop I can transcribe any lecture word for word without getting behind the professor in speed. 95%+ of students around me use a laptop and by far the most common that I see are as follows, in order of popularity:

    Macbook Pro 13" (older model with DVD)
    Macbook Air 13"
    Macbook pro 15"
    Variety of PC notebooks
    I see a few Macbook Air 11" models around
    I see the retina version of the 13" now sometimes, but most students don't use them, probably due to cost. I've never seen anyone lugging the 15" retina MBP to school but I do know one girl who hauls a 17" Sony to school all the time, it must weigh 10 lbs.

    I use the retina Macbook Pro 13" at School. It's powerful, never, ever strains my eyes, big enough, light, fits on any desk, runs all the software I need, can dual boot to Windows if the need arises and has the very best keyboard and trackpad money can buy and has about 6 hours of runtime on the battery with moderate use, 5 hours if I'm really hammering it. I don't have the Haswell model, which I'm sure would be much better.

    I have an iPad too, but I use that for music mostly and it's actually a damn good dictionary, language translator and thesaurus come to think of it. So it has it's place and what it does well it does exceptionally well - it just can't replace a laptop.
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I'd agree with the above post...The iPad is a great device, but it isn't a laptop...I'd check out the refurbished section in the Apple store. A 13" or even 1 15"cMBP as retina is probably not essential, should see your kids through schoolwork etc. As far as gaming goes, well, the HD chipsets in the Laptop range have been upgraded but they are never going to be great gaming machines...For that you really would be looking at an iMac, or even a Windows PC.
  6. Bbafett thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2012
    I think I am leaning towards the mid 2012 13inch macbook pro with optical drive. 500gb hard drive. They don't need the retina version and not crazy about the small amount of storage you have on those or the lack of disc drive in case you want to play a movie on it or something. I could do without the disc drive, but don't feel that the SSD would be necessary or benefit them for what they are doing. I have a mid 2010 pro and it runs great with Mavericks on there.

    Also, this bigger hard drive would allow us to partition it for a backup for my wife's windows computer that she uses for work. We would just need to get a copy of windows. Would this slow the the computer down doing this?
  7. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    I have this laptop with a 750gb hard drive. I love it.
    That said, I use my iPad Air for 90% of what I do, typing on the Air's keyboard. Go with the iPad minus a BT keyboard.
  8. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    One advantage to an iMac lies in its lack of portability. It is much easier to supervise your kids internet activities when on a desktop than a portable device.

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