iPad iPad or MBA for business travel (secondary device)

redryder

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 7, 2010
96
0
I have a company windows laptop that I take with me on business travel. It’s on lockdown and is purely for work. I’m thinking of buying a 2nd device for entertainment when I travel. I’m torn between getting the new Macbook Air or waiting for the ipad 5 or ipad mini2. I have the ipad 3 currently so I’m familiar with it, I’m also very familiar with OSX. My current ipad 3 stays at home when I travel, it's an essential device for my wife and kids. :)

Ipad Pros
  • Casual games
  • Love the tablet form factor for reading RSS feeds, web surfing, using it in the toilet, etc

MBA Pros

  • Freedom of OSX, so much more flexibility than IOS
  • install more complex games

  • I don’t need to convert videos in handbrake before I can watch them (unlike the ipad)
  • Keyboard and mouse beats touchscreen (I have fat fingers and I hate typing on the ipad)


I don’t need another laptop for work, so an ipad seems like a logical choice. Having said that, a MBA does have several advantages over the ipad’s restrictions and can serve as an entertainment device as well. The only thing is I can’t hold it in my hands while on the plane, or at the dinner table when I’m eating alone in a hotel.

What do you think my next purchase should be?
 
Last edited:

iAndyPham

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2013
27
0
You didn't specify what kind of entertainment you look for. E.g. for heavy gaming, or photoshoping, video editing (as a hobby) you would certainly need a laptop. For watching movies, reading eBooks and casual gaming, definitely an iPad. I have both MBA and iPad, but when I travel, I prefer mobility and surely the iPad has served me well.
 

Dunbar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2010
556
113
Los Angeles, CA
I would get an iPad Mini 2 with LTE. Travel is about the only time I use my iPad 3 LTE but it is a great travel companion. The longer battery life of the iPad comes in very handy when travelling. I just wish I had the Mini form factor. My MBA stays at home unless I'm going to be travelling for 5+ days.
 

hakr100

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
829
7
East Coast
I think the iPad is a very decent, very portable travel entertainment device. It's also ok for checking emails, bank accounts, and all sorts of "light" uses.

I sold my MBP a few years ago to get an iPad III and once I got familiar with the latter's limited file system and how extremely difficult it was to edit my work output (I'm a professional writer and editor), and the lack of a mouse, I regretted dumping the laptop for the iPad.

So, this week, I sold my iPad III and in a week or so, when I get the time, I'm going to get a new MBA.
 

Harmonious Zen

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2013
622
238
If you're just needing a device for entertainment on business travel, just get the iPad. More portable and is a great device for video, books, casual gaming. No sense spending a ton of extra money on computer you don't need.
 

emuyshondt

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2009
78
0
I travel a lot, and usually carry a MacBook Pro and an iPad 4 LTE. I use the iPad the majority of the time, and only pull the MBP for heavier editing of presentations, spreadsheets and longer documents.

I much prefer not having a keyboard when I am just looking for entertainment. I mostly read, watch movies, listen to music, and surf the web. I also take care of most personal and work-related e-mails. I don't need a keyboard for any of those things. I find it much more comfortable to use a tablet sitting in a comfortable chair, sitting in an airline seat, or laying in bed. The airline comment is especially true when flying economy, as sometimes the seat in front will lean so far back that it is difficult to open even a small laptop.

Even in my office, I carry my iPad around all the time, and leave my laptop docked. There are a few cases where I'd rather type on a keyboard, but that is more an exception. I have access to my work e-mail on my iPad through Outlook Web Access. Only Sharepoint requires me to go back to my laptop and a Windows virtual machine, from time to time.
 

Patriot24

macrumors 68030
Dec 29, 2010
2,811
784
California
I often travel with both an MBA and an iPad 3 with LTE. The MBA is primarily for work tasks when I'm in the office or onsite at a customer's building and need to do heavy lifting. Outside of that, it is all iPad all the time.

The built in LTE makes the iPad a must have when sitting in airports, taxis, and hotels with crappy wifi. I even use it when in the office and not in need of the power of the MBA (it is great for taking to meetings, etc).

If the Mini 2 comes with retina, then I will be selling my 3.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,369
LTE iPad. Why on earth would you want to schlep two laptops with you? Bleh. One is bad enough. When possible I travel with just my iPad. iPad is great for travel.

But I'd wait for #5 or Mini w/ Retina.
 

SMDBill

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2013
255
1
If you're already forced to carry a laptop for work, I'd just go with the iPad mini. Screen isn't what you're used to with the iPad 3 but probably superior to what your Windows work machine has (guessing). If you use windows, that Mini will still look good. Plus the form factor is about perfect, it's extremely light for longer usage and the battery life is awesome.

We just got one at our house a month or two ago and that thing gets a workout. So light you could stick it in a pocket if you had one big enough. Much more pleasurable to hold than a larger iPad, especially on the road where you'll be in planes, cars, buses, hotel rooms on who-knows-what-kind furniture, etc. Plus it's fun to carry to restaurants or other places while out and about if you get down time on your travels.
 

TJ61

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2011
811
3
The only thing is I can’t hold [an iPad] in my hands while on the plane, or at the dinner table when I’m eating alone in a hotel.
There are any number of cases or stands that will prop up an iPad.
 

iSee

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
3,525
253
...using it in the toilet, etc
TMI!

An iPad sounds almost ideal for this unless relaxing for you involves typing.
It sounds like you need to maximize portability and the cell-data connection might be the difference between misery and happieness at times.

When I used to commute to NYC, I lived off my old 12" iBook to keep from going crazy, but I would have traded it in a minute for an iPad. I know it's not quite the same thing, but a notebook is a little bigger and heavier, a little harder to pull out and put away, not so easy to tuck under your arm for a second, a little more obnoxious to connect to a network, etc.
 

Melbourne Park

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2012
281
31
How can you edit and what about USB?

Outside of the browsing style of things, can you edit Word documents on an iPad?

And is there a way to transfer a Word file using a USB card on an iPad?

My friend is a Queen's Council ( a senior barrister in Australia ) (best friend since school almost 40 years ago) and has asked me about getting a Pad device. He has an iPhone 5, and loves it ... but he fears Apple, and does also want to be able to edit some Word documents.
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,073
5,102
Outside of the browsing style of things, can you edit Word documents on an iPad?

And is there a way to transfer a Word file using a USB card on an iPad?

My friend is a Queen's Council ( a senior barrister in Australia ) (best friend since school almost 40 years ago) and has asked me about getting a Pad device. He has an iPhone 5, and loves it ... but he fears Apple, and does also want to be able to edit some Word documents.
Yes, you can edit Word documents on an iPad (you'll need to buy an app for it).

No, iPads don't work with USB cards. There are several ways to get files off an iPad. You can email them, you can upload them to online services like Dropbox, Skydrive, etc, and you can hook up your iPad to a computer and use iTunes to copy the files to your computer. There are also apps that lets you connect your iPad to a local network, provided there is a wifi router on the network, and transfer files that way.
 

Wolfpup

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
2,718
64
I have a company windows laptop that I take with me on business travel. It’s on lockdown and is purely for work. I’m thinking of buying a 2nd device for entertainment when I travel. I’m torn between getting the new Macbook Air or waiting for the ipad 5 or ipad mini2. I have the ipad 3 currently so I’m familiar with it, I’m also very familiar with OSX. My current ipad 3 stays at home when I travel, it's an essential device for my wife and kids. :)

Ipad Pros
  • Casual games
  • Love the tablet form factor for reading RSS feeds, web surfing, using it in the toilet, etc

MBA Pros

  • Freedom of OSX, so much more flexibility than IOS
  • install more complex games

  • I don’t need to convert videos in handbrake before I can watch them (unlike the ipad)
  • Keyboard and mouse beats touchscreen (I have fat fingers and I hate typing on the ipad)


I don’t need another laptop for work, so an ipad seems like a logical choice. Having said that, a MBA does have several advantages over the ipad’s restrictions and can serve as an entertainment device as well. The only thing is I can’t hold it in my hands while on the plane, or at the dinner table when I’m eating alone in a hotel.

What do you think my next purchase should be?
Pretty good list, though I'd assume RSS feeds would work MUCH better on a real PC. If nothing else, Thunderbird works great for 'em. I have no means of using them on my iPad.

Likewise web browsing is hit and miss. An iPad can be great in bed for web browsing, but is much more limited than a full PC like the Air, and like you mentioned if you have to actually enter data on it (like writing on this forum even!) the iPad's a lot worse for that.

On the other hand, the cell phone models have GPS, and it can be used longer on battery, so it's got advantages for some things.
 

jmpnop

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2010
821
34
It really comes down to how much you prefer one over the other. I'd take the MBA since I much prefer full desktop OS over mobile OS. As you said iPad logically is a better choice since you're already carrying a work laptop but from your post you seem to prefer the MBA. In your case I'd lean towards the iPad since getting another laptop doesn't make much sense and iPad would offer functionality that your current devices don't.
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,073
5,102
Pretty good list, though I'd assume RSS feeds would work MUCH better on a real PC. If nothing else, Thunderbird works great for 'em. I have no means of using them on my iPad.
There are a ton of RSS reader apps for the iPad...
 

Wolfpup

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
2,718
64
There are a ton of RSS reader apps for the iPad...
Be that as it may, they'd have to have the exact functionality Thunderbird gives you (I've actually never seen another reader that handles RSS in such a competent way) AND would have to sync with a PC.

I wish they could, as it would be handy to get through a story or two while on a mobile device.
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,073
5,102
Be that as it may, they'd have to have the exact functionality Thunderbird gives you (I've actually never seen another reader that handles RSS in such a competent way) AND would have to sync with a PC.

I wish they could, as it would be handy to get through a story or two while on a mobile device.
I used to use GoogleReader to sync my RSS feeds, but they are shutting that down. A lot of alternate solutions are being tried, but I haven't settled on one yet.

Still, you should give RSS reader apps on the iPad a try -- I had one that I liked over any desktop readers I tried, and I'm hoping it gets updated to work with one of the alternate sync solutions.
 

esskay

macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2008
305
7
  • Keyboard and mouse beats touchscreen (I have fat fingers and I hate typing on the ipad)
How about an iPad with one of the keyboard/cases? Case helps prop up the iPad for viewing, keyboard provides flexibility to bang out some quick emails/etc when needed on occasion.
 

Wolfpup

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
2,718
64
How about an iPad with one of the keyboard/cases? Case helps prop up the iPad for viewing, keyboard provides flexibility to bang out some quick emails/etc when needed on occasion.
Depending on your needs that might be decent, but multitasking, cutting and pasting, web browsing, etc. are all a lot better on a real PC. iOS isn't really up to dealing with a website like this decently-I'm sure some do, but it's extremely crippled by comparison to OS X or Windows.