iPad or Macbook air?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by madsilencerr, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. madsilencerr macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    Hello! This is my first topic in MacRumors and i really want help. So, i have a Mac mini mid-2010 2.4ghz with 4 gb ram and the perfomance is more than enough for me. (i am a student, mostly internet use, iWork, iLife, Gimp,blogging,video editing and some xCode). The thing is that i want something portable now. My school gives 20% off the ipad price and no discount for the macbook air. I want to use it for iwork,ilife,internet,youtube,social and blogging. ( video editing would be also good but not necessary)
  2. Frosties macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    wait for what's coming on the 12'th then you have better choices. An iPad can do pretty much these days but I like my real keyboard and better multitasking on a computer but then I don't have an iPad myself just used one, yet...
  3. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    So you think that the upcoming apple event may bring more devices than just the iPhone 5?
  4. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2012
    One consideration is whether you're going to use the device more for content creation than content consumption. If it's creation -- typing papers, editing videos, etc. -- then you're better off with an MBA because typing on glass sucks and because Office-style suites have some major drawbacks. For example, I've been using Quickoffice for more than two years, and it frequently has problems with Word docs longer than a few pages.

    I bought a 2012 MBA because the iPad has so many drawbacks and limitations as a content-creation device. I now use my iPad only for checking email, browsing and the handful of apps that I find useful.

    I hope that helps.
  5. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    Thank you really much for your help! I think i am going with the macbook air.
  6. curmudgeon32 macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2012
    This hits the nail on the head. iPad is great for consuming, kind of weak for creating. The Air is good for both, and I think for the 11" anyway, the portability is about equal.
  7. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    Yep, of course the 11, anyway i my mac mini has dual display so i could use the one with the air.
  8. 3dflyboy1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2011
    California, USA
    I bought an iPad to use for school, but now I just find it more useful for only reference things like textbooks (which are all on my iPad, I don't have to carry any enormous books anymore!). Other than that, I think the note-taking aspect is far overrated unless you spend so much time with it that it becomes second nature. I'm looking around to buy a 13" MBA at the moment. I need to round out my device ecosystem. :)
  9. dpkform macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2009
    I have owned every recent Mac and iOS device

    I have them all.

    I got rid of my 2012 MacBook Air and stuck with my iPad. I use it 90% of the time. I have Logitec ultrathin keyboard which I love, though if I did a LOT of typing would probably go with a larger, less convenient one like Logitech Wireless larger keyboard.

    10% of the time, I use my other computer which is a new Retina MacBook Pro. After getting used to the Retina MacBook and Retina iPad, I can no longer tolerate the display on the MacBook Air. It is a good general display, but still downright awful compared to Apple's gorgeous retina displays.

    Oh, I also have a 2011 Mac Mini running Mountain Lion server, used primarily as a home server, and occaisional HTPC hooked up to my TV.

    I would say unless you know you NEED the additiobal capabilities of a computer, the iPAd is quite capable these days. I own all of the above, but reach for my iPad over 90% of the time.

    Or, if you can use your Mac Mini for those occaisional tasks that need a full computer, I would suggest an iPad retina. Order one online from Apple. After 14 days you can ask to return it. You then still have 14 days to ship it back to them. So you have a total of 28 days to try it. Get the iPad, try it for 28 days, and if does not work for you, return it and get the air

    Or wait for the 13 inch retina that is supposedly going to be announced soon. It's really hard to go back to a non-retina display when you are used to retina. Only other decent non-retina display I like is that on my Google Asus Nexus 7, which is almost retina quality anyways.

    You MUST get a keybioard for the iPAd and the sort of use you are talkng about. I highly recommend as do most people, the Logitech ultrathin keyboard, as it literally feels like part of the iPad instead of an accessory. If you MUST have a larger keyboard, again I prefer the logitech wireless keyboard - older model, where the carrying case converts into an iPad stand for vertical or horizontal use. It also has a home button on the keyboard - so you dont have to use the one on the iPad. This makes it much nicer to use than Apple's Wireless keyboard which does not have a home button.

    Mac Air Pros
    -full size keyboard
    -backlit keyboard
    -full software compatability with computer apps
    -full computer apps generally more capable than iPad apps - but this advantage is shrinking fast, and you may not actually need the extra capability/compatability of desktop apps

    Ipad Pros
    -Retina display much sharper, beter color, vastly better viewing angles than Air
    -large selection of keyboards to choose from, and even a backlit one on the way
    -double the battery life of an 11 inch MacBook Air, 3 or 4 hours more than 13 inch air
    -runs totally silent, no fans at all
    -lots of inexpensive apps
    -smaller and lighter to carry
    -dumbed down file management, sharing files not quite as easy in many cases as with a full computer

  10. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    Bad or good news...

    Come on now. I told i am a student and your tell me to buy a retina mabook pro??? Lol What budget do you think i have?But anyway, you are right about the iPad. I just talked with a schoolmate and he told me that we are gonna USE the iPad at school, so i am going with iPad (the bad or good news...)
  11. flyguy206 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2008
  12. Lolleh macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2012
    I tried using an iPad 2 for college and in all honesty it wasn't enough. It was insanely annoying to have to toggle back and fourth between Pages and Safari when doing research papers.
  13. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    Well i guess i am going with iPad since i HAVE to for school. But this topic will help people in similar situations with me (sorry for my english)
  14. infobleep macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    Thanks for this useful topic. I was going to post something similar but don't have to.

    I have a 13" MacBook 2009 which has served me well and isn't about to be ditched but I do need to get something lighter to carry around. The weight of my MacBook 2009 isn't so good for my back. Nor is the heavy power lead.

    Mostly I'm either doing e-mails or working on a spreadsheet. However I sometimes use Unix on it for working with my metadata on photos. I doubt the iPad would offer any form of unix. Certainly my iPod Touch doesn't and it's the same iOS I believe.

    I am also not keen on the idea that it's not as easy as hitting copy and paste to get documents from an iPad to another computer.

    Of course neither solution allows one to play DVDs but I could live with that drawback.

    I did look online at light weight Toshiba and Dell PCs, I already own a much heavier Toshiba laptop from around 2005. However the prices were much as same as a MacBook Air.

    I see Apple are selling a refurbished 2011 MacBook Air.
  15. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    Go with the beautiful macbook air! Stay away from toshiba and stuff.
  16. infobleep macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    Thanks for your comment madsilencerr. I did just what you had suggested.

    I decided that I didn't want to go down the PC route because I have a Synology diskstation. Now the diskstation is formated to ext4. When I copy and view files hosted on it, on my Mac, they show the creation and modification dates, with ext4 supports.

    However when I use SMB to connect, which is how a PC might connect to it, the change date is displayed as the creation date, which is wrong. However it's not every file where the creation date matters to me but there are some where it does. So that was one big reason to stay Mac.

    I didn't go down the route of a refurbished MacBook Air because the 2011 models don't offer 8GB of RAM which I require because I already struggle with just 4GB on my current laptop. I run Windows 7 virtually and it would be nice to be able to run it and other programmes at the same time.

    So I went for the 13" 256GB model with the memory upgraded to 8GB. This also allowed me to pay £79 for a years one to one sessions.

    I enquired in advance and was told it can cover absolutely anything related to the MacBook Air. So I can look forward to being taught automator and applescript! I do have some books on automator and applescript but finding the time and motivation to sit down and learn it myself is another matter. I much prefer having some tuition. I didn't think anywhere would offer courses in applescript but it just so happens Apple does if you buy a new computer and pay £79.

    I might also get some tips on iMovie and even garage band but Applescript is my main goal because it would be really useful.
  17. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    You are welcome, I wish you the best!
  18. veronicazora macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2012
    MacBook Air. I have both an iPad and a MacBook Air, and find my iPad to be almost useless for real productive work.The iPad is brilliant at being a lightweight machine for viewing the Web, email, watching Movies and podcasts, and Viewing images. Yes there are apps that allow you to do editing in a minor way. You cannot import images directly to a folder structure as you would normally do. I would not use it to store images directly. It is very portable and the battery life is great. I take mine with me all the time. The MacBook Air is a lightweight laptop. All the current ones are very fast. They will also run all the normal applications such as Aperture, Lightroom and Photoshop and will handle RAW files. Processing times are not that bad. In my opinion, if you want to store files then get the Air along with an external drive.
  19. saadishahid macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2012
    Macbook Air for being more flexible

    IPad is great for media consumption. You can watch videos, surf the web, play games, read a book. But it is still very limited to do some "actual work" . I find it difficult to type even a single page on it, let alone whole assignments. the iWork package available is also just Ok. On the other hand, Macbook air is a fully functioning computer. Only thing you will miss is the screen of IPad if you choose macbook air.
  20. glittersparkles macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2012
    i debated about this at point too.. i went with a retina macbook pro, but thats more because i preferred the feel of it compared to the airs and normal pros.

    however, as a student (i am too) i can honestly say that an ipad shouldn't be used to replace a computer, for there is nothing that an ipad can do that a computer can't.. seeing as the macbook airs are ultraportable as well, maybe the computer would be more beneficial? but thats my opinion.. hope you enjoy whatever you choose :)
  21. LiquidWordz, Sep 29, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012

    LiquidWordz macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2012
    MBA for sure, i don't know how you can even justify getting an ipad (a tablet) over a proper laptop machine.

    Multi task delay will make you work longer, and slowly drive you insaine.

    And ontop of that, if your going to write a big document, you need to buy an external keyboard. so why would you walk around with a very mobile ipad and then have to carry a keyboard around ontop of that?
    Ok...lets say you pick up a bendy flexi keyboard (still **** to type on one of those) still can get damaged and unresponsive.

    IMHO: get an MBA, you might aswell go into minus in your bank account and get what you will use constantly and confortably rather than settle for something that is in your price range at this given moment.

    Its not like your buying the ipad for just 1 month.

    All the other contributing memebers here, mostly have both, so they are not limited to just using one, so they are not forced to do ALL on just one machine (tablet in this case)


    Invest in the machine you really need, rather than settle, its not like you can buy both.
    And you will most likely use it for a longer periode of time.

    ALSO: There is a 5% discount for Students, 8% for FE students and 15% for HE students.
    So if you have a friend/GF/family member who isa uni student, tell him to hook you up, and get that jucy 15% off.

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