iPad Pro and MacBook Air???

Discussion in 'iPad' started by BaddAdvice, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. BaddAdvice macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2016
    So, this has been discussed ad naseum before, I’m sure, but allow me to ponder.....

    I am 100% drinking the Apple Kool-Aid here and am completely on-board with the iPad Pro as my daily driver of non-work media consumption, email, and integration with with Apple ecosystem (messages, FaceTime, etc.). I’ve set the new Pro up as a mini-laptop with a Magic Keyboard and folio cases whilst at my desk and the Keyboard Folio whilst traveling. I should be content, right?

    Well, last week I stopped by an Apple store while out of town on business (this is dangerous as I’m often bored while traveling for work and tend to buy things I don’t need) and played around with the new Air. I’ve never owned or used a Mac in the past, been strictly a Windows user, but was intrigued by the way the Mac integrates with the other Apple products - iPhone, Watch, and iPad - all of which I currently own. So it got me to thinking, especially since my personal Windows laptop died a few months back.

    So, here I am, looking at all the reviews of the Air online and convincing myself, “yeah, I should get one of those”. But, aside from money which, let’s face it, is a pretty big deal considering the Air at its base configuration is over a grand and really doesnt’ “bring it” in the processor/RAM/SSD size category, I’m thinking about the learning curve coming from Windows to MacOS.

    Anyone else in the same boat? Should I just forget about all this nonsense and stick with the Pro only, as it ticks the boxes neatly for me. Is MacOS something I should explore? Is the MacBook Air the device I should explore MacOS with? Should I go with the 11” Pro or the 12.9” inch..... oh wait, wrong thread....... :)
  2. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    I have an 2017 iMac as my desktop, 2017 MBP and 10.5 iPad Pro. while I could consolidate to just the pro or the MBP, each serves a unique purpose to me. I only opted for the MBP over the air because there were some good deals over Black Friday which made the prices comparable.
  3. Maukey, Dec 10, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018

    Maukey macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2010
    It's all in whether you can find a good use case for the MBA. I personally have a 2017 13" MBP and a 2018 12.9" IPP. I use them both a ton. My IPP is my go everywhere, couch, bed, toilet, super consumption device. My MBP mostly stays on my desk and is used during the day while I'm working like now LOL. I work from home and while working I use my MBP for researching, internet browsing, responding to text messages, etc. I actually use my iPP while working to. It's used as a TV. I stream DirecTV to it to follow news, sports, etc. during the day while working. Love this setup and couldn't do without it personally.
  4. ericwn macrumors 68030

    Apr 24, 2016
    It sounds as if you are not sure wether or not you have a need for a MacBook Air. I try to think of my devices as tools and try to consider what tasks I can give them to perform.

    If you are not sure at this point if you even need a Mac, maybe live with the new Pro a bit longer. From your post it sounds like the pro is overkill and your tasks could easily be done with the regular iPad - but only you can judge that.

    There is a learning curve in order to get the best or the most out of any computer platform, if you are not done learning iOS maybe intensify that first. The Mac does things different than windows and takes a bit of time to master. There are some good books available like the missing manual series that you can read through in order to get more out of it.

    Best success!
  5. MK500 macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2009
    I would go for it and pick up the MacBook Air if it's not a financial hardship for you.

    If you occasionally used your Windows laptop that recently died, you will likely use the MacBook Air about the same amount. Desktop browsers are just nicer for some work. Having a full file system is really great for organizing your photo collection or whatever historic work files (word, excel, etc) you may have around.

    There are lots of ways the MacBook will be nice to have as a quick utility tool while using the iPad Pro as your primary device.

    That's how I work. I own a 2015 MacBook Retina and it's great to pull it out when I need it. But mostly I'm still working on the iPad Pro.
  6. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    I have both the 11" iPad Pro and 12" MacBook. Granted I don't use my MB as often, but I usually do most work processing tasks on my MB and everything else on my iPad. Plus, the MB is great for grad school as I use it for classes and such. My iPad is mainly for video consumption, email, NY Times, messaging, etc.
  7. omelet1978 macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2012
    I use the iPad pro as my main device. I have a 5 year old Windows laptop I keep in a drawer for the 1% of the time I need it.

    I was a bit tempted by the Macbook Air but decided to pass for now. Y series chip and a slightly dimmer screen than IMHO it should be combined with the higher price. I might still get one but I'm curious as to the update they do for it next year to see what if anything they improve on.
  8. BaddAdvice thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2016
    Thanks much for the comments and use cases thus far - keep ‘em comin’!

    As a bit of an experiment, I picked up one of those USB-C to digital AV dongles to attach an external monitor via HDMI. My thinking is, this is how my laptop was set up, using an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Of course, it’s not a direct “apples to apples” (see what I did there) comparison as the iPad’s screen is always on, for the most part, and I have no external mouse/trackpad, but it does give me more of a laptop replacement feel. The dongle isn’t the most elegant solution, but it’ll do for this experiment. I do like have a larger screen to look at and especially one that’s a bit farther away (I’m old and I hate wearing reading glasses), so there’s that.

    But, you guys/gals are all right - there’s really nothing I need a laptop for, the iPad generally covers all the bases. I would like to be able to have two Word or Excel docs open at a time and I’d like to get a better understanding of the MacOS, but is that stuff worth the price of admission? Probably not.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me blabber on.....
  9. flur macrumors 68020


    Nov 12, 2012
    Since you asked about the learning curve for MacOS - I absolutely hated Win8, so I kept on with my Win7 machine and never updated the software. I didn’t care for Win10 any more than Win8, so in 2015 I bought a 13” MacBook Pro. There are several things that MacOS does differently, including some super basic things in how you find and move files, that can be hard to get used to, but overall I found it to be a fairly easy learning curve. And there are some things, like having multiple desktops and gestures to switch between desktops and full-screen apps, that IMO make MacOS way easier to use than Windows. Ultimately, I’m happy I made the switch and have zero desire to own a Windows machine again. (I do still work with Windows on the SP4 I have for my corporate job.)
  10. Macintoshrumors macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2016
    I drank the koolaid and have never thought about going back to windows. My setup is a Mac mini with a ultrwide monitor, iPad Pro, Xs, watch s4,airpods annnd a Apple TV. All work great with each other and I have never had an issue as with windows it was a daily thing.
  11. BaddAdvice thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2016
    I’ve gone back and forth with this these past few days, my finger hovering over the “Buy it Now” button many times, but I still can’t bring myself to pulling the trigger. Here’s my rationale - there are really only two things the Air would bring, campared to my iPad. 1. A touchpad. I think I would like the gestures and the overall accuracy of the touchpad vs. my finger. However, I think the Pencil currently suffices on my iPad. 2. Full OS vs. mobile OS. Having never used a Mac before, I’m sort of excited about learning a new OS, so that would be fun. But, that fun would most likely wain as I become more familiar with the MacOS and it would just be another tool in the toolbox. One I really don’t need, BTW.

    The integration with my iPhone, Watch, and iPad would be cool and all, but not something that I need in order to enjoy my day - all my devices are intergrated already, so adding an Air to the mix really wouldn’t do much in terms of me going about my business.

    Looking at the base model, I’m sure I’d fill the 128gb pretty quickly and would have to rely on external storage, which would be another price consideration. Then there’s all the doo-dads I’d want to get as well; docks, Magic Touchpad, CD/DVD drive, etc., etc., etc.

    So, I think I’m going to just calm down and get more cozy with the iPad. Of course, check back with in 20 minutes and I’m sure I’ll have different feelings!
  12. cornerexit macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2014
    IPP and then get a MBP when they release a new one. That is what I’m doing. The IPP is just too convenient and mobile. It’s been my go to for many years. I only fire up my Mac mini a few times a month.
  13. omelet1978 macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2012
    Since you already have a Mac Mini, one thing the iPad will have over the MBA is LTE. Makes a huge difference to me but not sure if it would be helpful to you. I use it everywhere.
  14. Mainsail macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2010
    If the iPad pro is satisfying all of the OP's mobile computing needs, both personal and professional, he might consider a Mac Desktop. If you have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, you can probably find a new Mac Mini on sale for the low $700s.

    For some folks this is a good combination; Mac Desktop + iPad + iPhone......covers most of the bases and gets you fully into the ecosystem. Desktops are generally more reliable and less likely to fail than laptops. Portability has a price. There are more integrated components; keyboard, trackpad, display, battery.....so, more stuff to fail. Also, you carry a laptop around, so it just gets more exposure to hazards than a desktop that sits in one place.

    Food for thought.
  15. BaddAdvice thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2016
    Damn you......
  16. DoubleFlyaway macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2017
    Yeah. I kind of want a mac mini, but I’ve been IPad-only for a year and really don’t need a desktop or a laptop. That doesn’t stop me from being tempted, though. I’ve thought about picking up a used mini on eBay, but I don’t feel like I know enough about what to get.
  17. BaddAdvice thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2016
    Well, thanks to Mainsail’s very level-headed and logical suggestion, I just bought a Mini and a Magic Trackpad 2. Basically, I’m getting a faster, more powerful Mac (than the Air, at least) for a few bucks less and won’t be taking up any more room on my desk. Now the fun begins - learning the Mac OS!
  18. DoubleFlyaway macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2017
    A new one?
  19. BaddAdvice thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2016
    Yep, just the 8bg RAM, 128gb SSD base model, but the new 2018 version. I like that there’s a ton of I/O ports so I can use my old USB external drives should I run out of room (which I’m sure I will).

    Got it at Best Buy and they price-matched B&H, so that made the deal a bit sweeter. That, and I had a whopping $5 Best Buy Rewards credit burning a hole in my virtual pocket!
  20. DoubleFlyaway macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2017
    Awesome, have fun!
  21. BaddAdvice thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2016
    I’m sure now I’ll be bombarding the MacOS forum with dumb questions like, “how do I right click?” and “where’s my Start Button?” :)
  22. Mainsail macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2010
    I guess this would be a bad time to tell you that I recently sold my iPad, so I am just using an older (2014) MBA plus an iPhone Xr.

    Lol.....no worries. You seemed to really like your new iPad Pro, so a Mac Mini will be a very nice complementary device. They will work well together with iCloud syncing and storage. I pay $1per month for the 50GB of iCloud storage, and it works great for me.

    It's a great combo. Enjoy!
  23. BaddAdvice thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2016
    Yeah, I’m really looking forward to playing around with the MacOS. The Mac Mini never even entered my mind until you posted about it. But, looking over the specs, it pretty much ticked all the boxes and is more powerful than the Air I was contemplating; not by much, mind you. But, it’s considerably more affordable, so that’s cool. And it’s BT 5.0 and has all those I/O ports! I already have the Magic Keyboard (which I really like) and picked up a Magic Trackpad on sale, so along with my relatively new external monitor, all in all, I’m pretty much set up.
  24. Mainsail macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2010
    Good luck and let us know how it worked out for you.

    I primarily use my older MBA in clamshell mode at my desk with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. When it gives up the ghost, I might explore replacing it with a Mac Mini. After 33 years nose to the grindstone, I am retired from a regular 9 to 5 job and primarily work on family real estate and volunteer committees (budgets etc.). So, unlike many on this forum, I don't necessarily need to carry a laptop around with me for work. I can choose where and when I want to work on documents, spreadsheets, presentations and the like.

    For me, the idea of using iOS for mobile and MacOS for desktop seems kind of liberating.
  25. Davefevs macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2015
    Bristol, UK
    I’d been Windows all my life, until I got an iPad v3, and then only got an iPhone 4 or 5 years ago with an old iphone4. Guess I got sucked into the Apple ecosystem that I said I never would.

    3 years ago I was destined to buy a surface pro, until I used the stylus and ended up buying the iPad Pro v1 12.9, that I'm typing this on. Still got original iPad, but battery doesn’t hold a charge.

    2 years ago I set up my own business, and did the extravagant thing and got a Iphone 7, and then needing a laptop for the business, I went OTT and bought the MBP 13” Touch. I’d done a bit of research, and thought that I’d head down the Parallels or boot camp route. Never have. I don’t use my MBP that much, but you pick up stuff pretty quickly. I still hit the wrong control / function keys, but the integration with my other devices is great.

    Interestingly I bought the new IPP 11” last week....but am returning it. Although this IPP gets low on storage, I'm working around it. The £900 was not justifiable in the end, and I didn’t want to pay the extra for the 12.9.

    So i’m Sticking with my IPP v1, Iphone (now an 8+...wife has the 7) and MBP.

    I could certainly see people keeping old IPP (rather than upgrade) and spending a similar amount on MacBook, giving them the best of both worlds.

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26 December 10, 2018