iPad Pro Ipad pro 12.9 vs Macbook

Discussion in 'iPad' started by areskins, May 6, 2017.

  1. areskins macrumors newbie

    areskins

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    #1
    With a tight budget, I'm thinking of getting a used ipad pro 12.9 and a mid-tier windows laptop rather than buying a 12 inch macbook. Is the screen in the ipad pro better than the macbook? Can you still write simple word files using the MS Word without the subscription? I only use office apps/programs, read A LOT of PDF files, and watch movies.
     
  2. alecgold, May 7, 2017
    Last edited: May 7, 2017

    alecgold macrumors 65816

    alecgold

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    NLD
    #2
    Short:
    Simple word files can be done in pages. I have no experience with it (I have "free" office from university) but my wife does everything with it.
    Reading and annotating on the 12.9 has really "saved my life". (PDF-expert with documents 5, GoodNotes, notability, others, many threads about that in this forum)
    Watching movies is a pleasant experience decent sound (a good set of headphones might be better, but the 12.9 has really decent sound when you consider the dimensional constraints).
    Screen between Macbook 12 and 12.9 I don't know, but the 12.9 is really, really good.

    what would you need the windows for?

    Not to bash or anything, but unless you need to use Windows-only software, edit large excel files, need to run OCR or write code (and not just websites) there aren't many reasons to own a laptop if you have an iPad Pro 12.9. Backup can be done on a USB-lighting stick or in iCloud (I use icloud, others use a stick) there are very few occasions when you need a laptop.
    Be aware though: it takes time and effort to do everything on an iPad. Not because it can't be done, but because I was set in my ways about doing things. You really need to reinvent how to do things at times. Had the same when I switched from Windows to Mac some 10-15 years ago, now again when I switched to iOS.

    Long story:
    I started my study at law school end of august 2015. and we do have to read such an enormous amount of PDF's, web based books and all. Think about 1500 pages per 4 weeks in the first year and now around 25000-5000 per 4 weeks. And it ain't comics, it's serious stuff. (BTW comics are brilliant on a 12.9 :D)
    I waited with buying an iPad until the Pro came out in November 2015 and borrowed the Air 1 from my father in the mean time. Switching to the 12.9 was a game changer.

    I know many people prefer reading old "real" paper books. And if I would be still on a laptop, I could fully understand why. Books have been written for centuries in portrait and for good reason. Books have been written with lettertypes that have serifs, and for good reason. Good books have a specific layout that is just right, that is enjoyable to read and have centuries of refinement behind it.
    For the last 20 years I've been reading on fuzzy CRT monitors and later on just as fuzzy monitors. These where so bad that you needed sans serif lettertypes to not get a huge headache. The monitors where tiny, cramped 11" 640x480 pixels in landscape. Webpages had usually a pretty horrible layout. If it where (scanned) pdf's all was wrong: they where designed on paper and usually with serif lettertypes to be read in portrait, so you couldn't read more than half a page on your monitor. Things got even worse when there where diagrams, photos. Not to mention the horrors of reading articles in three columns, so you where constantly scrolling up and down, around images, $%^&*#@!
    Many people that still prefer the paper books are amazed when I lend them my iPad Pro for an hour or so. I have a collection of (older) ePub magazines. So they have a nice interesting piece to read. It's almost always the same: they tend to get into the story they are reading and enjoy it seriously.
    Then I ask them to try a good book in iBooks and the same happens.

    So if you are reading really a lot, of colluded articles, (scanned) PDF's and websites, the iPad Pro 12.9 is brilliant. If you type text and don't like on screen keyboards, the Apple Smart Keyboard (ASK) is good. For the connoisseur it might not be a traditional laptop keyboard, it isn't a mechanical switch keyboard either, but I can type blind and get good speeds on it. It's also thin and out of the way. And expensive at $179(?) But worth it when you type enough and want a really portable option. A bit less portable (but still not that chunky) is a K380 Logitech keyboard. It can quick connect to 3 Bluetooth devices by using 3 buttons. It's $40 and feels nice.
    If you do annotating, think about the Pencil. With the pencil you can use apps like PDF-expert, GoodNotes or Notability to make handwritten notes and annotated pdfs. Liquid text and others to make summaries quick and easy. Nebo let's you hand write and translate your writing into legible text. I started using Coda for maintaining a website and it's easy, quick and pain free (but expensive, there are cheaper or free code editors).

    Getting back at MacBook or iPad Pro 12.9: if you want to continue the CRT tradition of landscape displays that feel cramped (be it with much, much better display) get the Macbook. But if you want to be part of the future, go with the iPad. :rolleyes:;)

    But honestly, even after well over 18 months of the iPad Pro 12.9 I still really enjoy the idea of reading on it. I can chuckle a bit when I see others read badly scanned PDF's on laptops. Poor sods.
    Sorry for my long rant. But I do hope it helps.
     
  3. JD2015 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    #3
    1. Screen/ speakers is better on iPad 12.9 for reading/watching movies imho. Saying that, MacBook is best portable laptop I have used also for this.
    2. Any device over 10" requires a Microsoft subscription to use any of their office suite. If you do not have an office subscription then it is only a read only document. A subscription for office is quite cheap and you get 1TB of cloud storage thrown in which is worth between £70/$80-90.
     
  4. Kostas3000 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    I own both iPad pro 12.9 and 12in MacBook

    Both are amazing devices.

    Ipad pro has changed my life for reading pdf and for the things I can do with pencil. If you gonna be working primarily on a desk, then it is excellent. If you prioritize portability, you might want to wait for the rumored 10.5.

    Macbook is valuable for the things that you can only do on macOS.
     
  5. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #5
    I love both products myself (I have neither lol) and would have a tough time if I had to choose just one.

    However, for what you describe - simple document writing, reading PDF files, and watching movies, I say go for the iPad. The screen is nearly identical to the size of a 8.5"x11" sheet of paper. It's wonderful for reading documents and annotating (if needed).
     
  6. cipher29 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #6
    If your needs are mostly word, PDF, web surfing, email etc, buy the iPad Pro .. I would recommend you get an O365 subscription though because Word is just better than Pages and the 1TB of storage with One Drive comes with the subscription.
     
  7. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #7
    On iOS I wouldn't say that "word is just better than Pages". They're comparable in function but Pages has a slight edge in UI design. Office for iPad is best suited for viewing and editing existing office docs on the iPad.
    But for creating docs, particularly, docs with advanced formatting, office for iPad is not that good.
     
  8. cipher29 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #8
    I would agree if the plan isn't to share docs with anyone else in a professional setting.. Most docs I work on require track changes between myself, legal departments, clients and back to me etc. I'm not sure how that works with pages, but I'm sure the moment I sent over a doc not in .doc form with tracked changes on, I would be scolded by my clients...

    If the goal is to write stories or just have docs for personal use, then I would agree - pages would likely be sufficient - reality though is the business world doesn't use pages.
     
  9. Conutz macrumors regular

    Conutz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Location:
    Joburg
    #9
    For sharing with people not on Apple devices, Pages may not be the best option. But, if your colleagues/clients run on Apple as well, Pages is seriously worth considering. I recently moved over to creating all my proposals on Pages, although they're saved to PDF for sharing (which I also did when using Word). In my view, the overall workflow is generally much better. I find working with images simpler and active tables are 10x better than in Word. I'm yet to try a full document with TOC, etc., but definitely loving it at this point. I've also moved to Numbers for spreadsheets - for day-to-day needs, it's just cleaner, simpler...and prettier!
     
  10. GoldfishRT macrumors 6502

    GoldfishRT

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    Jul 24, 2014
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #10
    So I bought an M3 MacBook to try out a few days ago and while I don't have the big one, I have a 9.7" iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil that I've had since November and I tried very hard to use my iPad as my main machine but, ultimately failed due to my general dissatisfaction with Remote Desktop and the lack of convenience in writing my college essays on it.

    With that said, I found the iPad can do lots of things and there's a lot to like about it. It's a fast system with great battery life, excellent speakers, extreme portability (for the 9.7") and UI that doesn't distract from the information I'm trying to look at. For simple word processing, email, entertainment, and document viewing it's fantastic. I also very much appreciate the LTE modem.

    So far my experience with the M3 MacBook is a conflicted one because I bought it with the intention of replacing my MacBook Pro and iPad Pro with it. It's overall a fantastic laptop and does 99% of what I was using my iPad for just as well. The screen is better, the speakers are perhaps better than the smaller iPP's, it runs full OS X and thus runs full apps, and keeps the portability. Plus it also doesn't have fans. I wouldn't say the typing experience is any worse on this than the Smart Keyboard either. I maybe don't like using it in bed as much but it floats around the house with me just as easily otherwise. But if you don't need full OS X applications then I'm not sure I'd spend the extra money personally. It's all dependent on what you need to do.
     
  11. JoeRito macrumors 6502a

    JoeRito

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #11
    BE MINDFUL of the fact that Microsoft doesn't let you use Office apps for free on the 12.9" iPad. They force you to buy the subscription service for tablets over 10" in size!
     
  12. alecgold macrumors 65816

    alecgold

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    NLD
    #12
    Simple word files can be done in pages.
    I have no experience with it (I have "free" office from university) but my wife does everything with it.
    Reading and annotating on the 12.9 is really a huge
    I have both the 9.7 and the 12.9 and the twice as large display size does make a huge difference.
    I couldn't use the 9.7 as my sole daily driver.
    Remote Desktop didn't work for me, is now use jump desktop and it works flawlessly, every time!
     
  13. GoldfishRT macrumors 6502

    GoldfishRT

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    Jul 24, 2014
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    Somewhere
    #13
    I'm a simple one app at a time guy so it was never the issue for me personally.

    Almost all my complaints with the iPad could be solved by a more convenient Microsoft Office with better formatting options and an actual pointing device to be fair.
     
  14. Ixidor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    #14
    I think the real question is, how much do you value portability.

    While the iPad Pro is better for your use case than the MacBook (as many have stated), you mentioned that you also plan on buying a separate mid-tier (i.e. cheap) Windows laptop, which I assume is for use cases that the iPad is insufficient for. The problem with this approach is that both devices may weigh a lot if you have to be mobile frequently.

    The problem with the MacBook, is that while it can do everything, the iPad Pro is simply better for movies (larger screen) and reading PDFs. So the iPad + laptop option seems to be the better option if weight is not too much of a concern.

    Honestly, if I was in your shoes, I'd pick the Surface Pro 4 (or any similar high end Windows tablet). I personally use the iPad Pro 9.7 + MacBook, but if I was on a strict budget and if I can only pick one device, I'll go for the Surface Pro because it'll fulfil all use cases.

    The downside to the Surface Pro is the battery life (my experience was typically 5 hours), so you may need to carry the charger around, adding weight. But how is this worse than carrying both an iPad Pro + mid-tier Windows laptop around? Therefore, it depends on how you value portability. Personally, I had a Surface Pro 4 but I sold it and bought a MacBook + iPad Pro (9.7) which weren't nice on my budget.
     
  15. JimmycozSTL macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    #15
    Sounds like the iPad Pro will be fine for your needs. And this may be a controversial opinion, but you most likely don't need to pay for Microsoft Office on the iPad. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote do everything that an average consumer would need to do with Office, and they're free. You can also go back and forth between Office docs and iWork docs pretty seamlessly. You can send iWork files as Office files and iWork can open and edit Office files, so there's really no need to pay for Office.
     
  16. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #16
    It's only a "controversial opinion" because it is only true in the most basic of scenarios. :)
     
  17. Cosmo M3 macrumors regular

    Cosmo M3

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    #17
    I think you'll be fine with the 12.9" iPad Pro - I plan on using mine heavily for my MBA this summer.
     
  18. MyopicPaideia, May 8, 2017
    Last edited: May 9, 2017

    MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000

    MyopicPaideia

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    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    #18
    Indeed, and it is true for both platforms going between proper full versions and the online tablet solutions provided. Both iWork and Office are shadows of themselves on iOS.

    If productivity software is important to you, you will need to choose your iPad Pro and budget Windows laptop option if you're on a budget. Although, I hate to say it, the used surface pro 4 suggestion might be the way to go, either that or keeping an eye out for a good deal on a 2015 rMB and a 2015 12.9" iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard and Pencil included.
     
  19. rowspaxe macrumors 68000

    rowspaxe

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #19
    Seemingly pointless and redundant macbook vs ipad pro thread pays off with in the bubble endorsements of Pages.
     
  20. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #20
    Just forget about Windows laptop. Why? iOS and MacOS will sync together perfectly especially with Pages (iWork suite). Anyway I have 15 inches MacBook Pro I am tired of lugging this little heavy so I leave it at home and take my 12.9 iPad Pro with me everyday. Logitech keyboard and Apple Pencil is so light to carry in my backpack.
     
  21. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000

    MyopicPaideia

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    Mar 19, 2011
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    Trollhättan, Sweden
    #21
    While I agree he would be better off with a macOS laptop, the keywords are "tight budget." OP can't get a 15" MBP and an iPP on his budget judging by the fact that he is looking to either buy a rMB OR a used iPP and Windows laptop.
     
  22. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #22
    Or an used MacBook and used iPP wouldn't be hurt.
     
  23. Robnsn2015 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    #23
    I've had the larger iPad Pro since December 2015. I highly recommend it. Like people have said earlier, the screen is roughly the size and shape of an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper, which makes is very good for PDF reading. This is especially true if you like writing directly onto the PDF document. You can't do that on any Mac.

    Also, I would recommend the MS Office 365 subscription. You can get a one-year subscription for about $52 from Amazon. It comes with the full Office suite and 1 TB of OneDrive storage. It also comes with OneNote.

    OneNote has become a killer app for me. I was once an Evernote junkie, but OneNote is a much better deal. In fact, I use iPad Pro and OneNote everyday for my job, especially for taking notes at meeting.
     
  24. Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #24
    I also would recommend this. I don't actually use OneNote nor do I have the Apple Pencil, but I use Word and Excel often, and the 1 TB of OneDrive storage is a great deal. Having OneDrive really helps you with using the iPad as it gives you a file system. I also use Documents by Readdle instead of Microsoft's OneDrive app to access my OneDrive space, and that gives me a central file manager to keep my files organized.
     
  25. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000

    MyopicPaideia

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    Trollhättan, Sweden
    #25
    Yes, that would be very nice, if he could swing it inside his budget window...
     

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