iPad or MBA question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Parabola, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Parabola macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #1
    I have a 13" MBP 2008 (1st generation of aluminum body) with a busted screen. I had dropped it a couple years ago but at the time it only caused a bit of flickering once in a while. Now it has completely blacked out but the hard drive is fine and there is plenty of storage space remaining.

    My main concern is that I need something for creating simple documents for my job. I have been using Microsoft Word but am willing to try Pages or a different app. Also, I prefer OSX over OSi, and have a limited budget of $1000.

    So the question that I have is MBA 11" or some version of an iPad?
    It seems like a bit of a vague question without knowing all of my needs, but in general what are the merits and demerits of each. I'm leaning towards a MBA but if there is a way to use an iPad as a screen for my broken MBP then I 'd be open to that as well, considering that an iPad would be the cheaper option.

    Right now I am using an iPod Touch as my MAIN computer.
     
  2. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #2
    if you have already a MBP experience I would continue witha MBA ... a fine machine. nothing against iPad but for what you describe I think the MBA fits better; you can also easier reuse your current software and transfer data from the disk of MBP.
     
  3. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    Mar 1, 2010
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    New Jersey
    #3
    Forget the ipad and get a MBP or MBA to replace what you have. A real keyboard is critical for doing real work with typing, documents... Typing on an iPad takes up a large percentage of the screen.

    That should be your main computer, not an iPad. If money is tight consider refurbs. Here are some MBA refurbs. Great deals and the same goes for iPads. I just purchased my first iPad, iPad2 refurb 16gb Wi-Fi (they include a new battery and outer shell) for only $319 plus tax. My serious work, especially creating documents is only done on my MBP. All refurbs include the 'same-as-new' warranty and the option to purchase Apple Care within the first year of ownership
     
  4. ChristianJapan, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

    ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

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    #4
    agree that the onscreen keyboard need space; but you can still connect a BT keyboard and save space plus have a real keyboard feeling.
     
  5. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    New Jersey
    #5
    Agreed that you can connect a BT keyboard.... But that solution works best at home and might be a bit cumbersome to take with you, plus the iPad might then need some type of stand to prop up requiring one to carry a bunch of stuff.

    As long as you understand the pro's and con's of each option you can decide which is best for your needs. For myself, the computer (MBP or MBA) is the foundation.
     
  6. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    #6
    Not saying that this is right for the OP, (he probably should get an MBA because its his only machine) but I love my iPad in conjunction with the Adonit Writer Plus.

    Although I obviously dont have Mac OS X, I find I can do quite a bit of work with it. I seem to be able to focus for longer periods when writing (because the apps always take up the full screen), and using dropbox works very well as a file manager.

    There are some drawbacks, but for me, especially when traveling, the 4G internet and 10 hour battery life outweigh the 5-6 hour battery and no cellular data of the MBA.

    Plus the screen of the new iPad blows the MBA out of the water right now.

    All that being said, while I dont travel with it, I do have a 15 MBP to use at home if needed. The iPad plus Adonit is not my only machine.
     
  7. Parabola thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #7
    Thanks for the feedback. There are some good points which I hadn't considered for the MBA such as easy to transfer files (OSX) and cheap refurbs.
     
  8. TyroneShoes2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    #8
    While that is a common workaround, the keyboard isn't the issue. The issue is editing what you write, and that is only easy with a mouse.

    The "mag-glass" editor on iOS is slow and clunky, and mostly annoying and unusable (we hope that it at least gains reasonable speed in iOS6). The reason connecting a mouse or trackpad to an iPad does not work is because in OS X a mouse driver connects in software to a mouse pointer, and iOS has neither a mouse driver nor a software mouse pointer.

    Bottom line, if you need to edit your copy more than just a little bit, the iPad sucks. If you don't, it's wonderful, and it's the answer.

    The other limitation of the iPad is single-"document" screens; if your workflow includes having multiple documents open simultaneously on the desktop, stop right there because the iPad does not have a desktop and will not allow multiple documents open at the same time.

    So the classic "iPad or MBA" question boils down to how much you might expect to use the mouse, and whether you need multiple documents open on the desktop. Answer those 2 questions first, and the answer to "iPad or MBA" becomes much clearer.

    Apple will never make the iPad an equivalent of a laptop, and will never make a laptop the equivalent of an iPad. Sure, there is convergence, but there never will be total convergence. They do not want you to pick either of the two obvious answers to the question of "iPad or MBA". They want you to need both.
     
  9. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Exactly!!!!!
     
  10. rpg51 macrumors 6502

    rpg51

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    Jul 4, 2012
    #10
    If you are word processing think about

    getting a 13" instead of an 11". Or at least try out the 11 to be sure you are happy with the smaller screen. The money difference between the two is minimal.
     
  11. Parabola thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #11
    I didn't realize that an iPad vs MBA is a "classic" dilemma in the Mac community. The "want to need both" point summed up things perfectly though. When I was debating to myself I often thought, "why isn't there just one product that is the best of both?"

    As much as an iPad is portable and convenient, I'll definitely get a MBA because there's no way I'd be able to do any serious work with just an iPad. At least in my situation.
     
  12. rpg51 macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #12
    Best of both worlds -

    I have used both. I find that the MBA meets all my needs. I think the MBA is every bit as portable as the iPad. I find the iPad difficult and uncomfortable to hold and use. Add an external display and a good usb external keyboard to the MBA and you have an excellent desktop to boot with no need to deal with syncing data and apps etc.
     

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