Ipad Pro or Mac

bapegg

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2019
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I am looking at purchasing either a new Mac or new IPad Pro in the near future and can't decide which direction to go. I currently have a 2010 Mac Mini and an IPad Mini 4. The Mini is showing it's age and will won't run Mojave or Catalina and the IPad Mini is small. I am considering either the IPad Pr0 11 or 12.9 along with either another Mac Mini or an IMac.

My normal use of either is surfing the web, listening to music/watching videos, along with some word documents and some spreadsheets. I also do a lot of reading books (especially on the IPad Mini) Either way I am looking at getting a Mac or IPad with at least 512GB of storage. My current Mini has a 320GB HDD and the IPad Mini has 128GB of storage. If I go with the IPad Pro, it will probably replace both the Mac Mini and IPad Mini. If I get a new Mac, I will keep the IPad Mini for a while.

Can the IPad Pro replace both for me? And if so, should I go with the 11" or 112.9" version? Thanks for any/all advice.
 

loybond

macrumors 6502
Aug 1, 2010
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The True North, Strong and Free
Sounds to me like the iPad Pro is a great option for you! With iPadOS you'll be able to many things previously reserved for computers, which makes it a real option for many more people now. I'd recommend the 12.9" if you see yourself using it on desk tops, stands etc. If you're often handheld, you might like 11" better.

I see that many people like the keyboard case, but if you want a keyboard, I'd recommend a keyboard like the Magic Keyboard 2. It's light, slim and feels great. It also allows you to position it however you want, which is better ergonomically I think.
 

JPamplin

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2009
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Nashville, TN
Owning both an iPad Pro (with pencil and keyboard), and a Macbook Pro, I will tell you that it is POSSIBLE to operate primarily on an iPad, but not IDEAL.

It really depends on whether you mostly do content creation or content consumption. Even with iOS 13 refinements to the Files app and other features, it's still not as versatile as a Mac.
 
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bapegg

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2019
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I do more content consumption than creation. If I go with the IPad Pro, I’ll keep the Mac Mini until it stops getting security patches/updates or dies. I also have a HP desktop that duel boots Windows 10 and Linux. I hardly use the HP compared to the Mac and IPad.

I also do a bit of network admin which can easily be done from an iPad.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
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Can the IPad Pro replace both for me?
I'd second @JPamplin here - I like my iPad, but I'd see it as an addition to a full desktop/laptop, not a replacement. Many people I know have - and make good use of - iPads, but they all have laptops as well.

That said, the iPad is technically capable of doing everything you want, so it's partly a case of personal preference.

The iPad is great for 'content consumption' - armchair web browsing, video, music, photos, reading etc.

Some 'content creation' applications also really work well with touch control or the Pencil - esp. freehand drawing/writing - so its no great surprise that some photographers/artists rave about it, and that there are already sophisticated graphics apps for iPad, with "full" (whatever that turns out to mean) Photoshop coming Real Soon Now.

Where the wheels come off is anything that requires extensive keyboard use and, especially, that mixes keyboard with operating the GUI. The on-screen keyboard might be fine for jotting meeting notes without hiding behind a laptop, but only if you're going to go back and edit out all the typos and autocorrupt errors later. Actually going back, accurately positioning the cursor, selecting areas and cut/copy/paste is horrible.

...so you add an external keyboard, which helps a bit because it doesn't take up half the screen, more of the punctuation is there and you get cursor keys & other shortcuts for manipulating text (and it sounds like iPadOS is going to improve on those) - but in the process you convert the world's best tablet computer into the world's worst laptop. You lose the ultimate hand-held portability in favour of a floppy keyboard that has to be placed on a desk, and face the ergonomic train wreck of continually switching between keyboard and screen (gorilla arms syndrome - same subject comes up whenever someone asks for a touchscreen on a Mac). Meanwhile a mouse/trackpad is a far more precise way of accurately selecting things on the screen than using your fat human fingers - and the Pencil is only better in a small subset of cases where it draws on your muscle memory of writing with a pen/brush. With a mouse/trackpad you can see precisely where the cursor is - and even take your hands off - before initiating the action - with touch/pencil, positioning the cursor is the action.

Same thing goes for screen area - going with a larger screen tablet makes it a 'better' laptop replacement but less usable as a hand-held tablet/camera/music player etc.

So it really depends on what you do, in particular what proportion of your use is "word documents and some spreadsheets" - personally, If I want to write more than a sentence or two, I put down the iPad and walk to my Mac. Even trying to write a MacRumors post (esp. with selective quoting) - let alone other sites that use HTML markup - on the iPad results in profanities.

I look forward to playing with iPadOS when it releases - apparently it even has limited mouse support - but honestly I'm mostly interested in trying the 'sidecar' features with Catalina.
 

bapegg

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2019
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Thanks for the input everyone.

After reading your replies and some more research on my own, I am going to give the IPad Pro a try. I dusted off an older Dell Inspiron 11 2 in 1 and worked with both Word and Excel. I put the laptop into tablet mode and did fine with both. I know using Windows 10 (even in tablet mode) will be different than IPadOS on the pro. I feel that I'll fine.

If things don't work out as planned with the IPad Pro, I will have the Mac Mini to fall back on. If need be, I'll upgrade to another Mac Mini or IMac. I will have a year to make that decision (when High Sierra stops getting updates).
 

TheGenerous

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2010
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I'm an Austronaut
I also have a Mac Mini 2012 and it hasn't shown its age.
Since 2013 that I bought it I added a SD to store the OS and all applications.
It also has 16 GB of RAM that I added.
For the use you mention you give your computer I'd recommend upgrading it.

Mine,

Code:
Mac mini (Late 2012)
2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
16 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB
MacOS Mojave 10.14.6 (18G95)
 

bapegg

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2019
7
1
0
I also have a Mac Mini 2012 and it hasn't shown its age.
Since 2013 that I bought it I added a SD to store the OS and all applications.
It also has 16 GB of RAM that I added.
For the use you mention you give your computer I'd recommend upgrading it.

Mine,

Code:
Mac mini (Late 2012)
2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
16 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB
MacOS Mojave 10.14.6 (18G95)
Unfortunately the 2010 Mac Mini is at the end of its life as far as any OS upgrades. It is stuck with High Sierra. One of the first things I did when I got it from my son was to upgrade the RAM and add an external HDD.

Th main reason for considering the IPad Pro is that I actually find myself using my iPad mini more than the Mac Mini in the last 6-9 months.
 
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Seed101

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2015
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‘My normal use of either is surfing the web, listening to music/watching videos, along with some word documents and some spreadsheets.“

= iPad Pro + maybe a physical keyboard.
 

wallah

macrumors member
Mar 2, 2011
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I am looking at purchasing either a new Mac or new IPad Pro in the near future and can't decide which direction to go. I currently have a 2010 Mac Mini and an IPad Mini 4.

My normal use of either is surfing the web, listening to music/watching videos, along with some word documents and some spreadsheets. I also do a lot of reading books (especially on the IPad Mini) Either way I am looking at getting a Mac or IPad with at least 512GB of storage.

Can the IPad Pro replace both for me? And if so, should I go with the 11" or 112.9" version? Thanks for any/all advice.
I think you are going to love your new iPP! For your use case (no heavy vid editing or coding), it should be really great. If you learned how to update your MacMini RAM & HDD, you are certainly able to adapt to using the file system. It's different but it works, and is getting more capable all the time. I feel like I get material improvements in use every time the OS is updated, so feels like good value, e.g. new iPad OS coming.

I use a good keyboard case and Pencil with my 2nd gen 12.9 iPP. Wrote grad level papers on it no problem with a little adaptation. Have mine in keyboard mode all the time so I'm never holding it, so weight of larger size isn't an issue for me. The good keyboards have very good quality keys. Use Pencil all the time, even for scrolling: slower para by para for reading, or flicks to cruise fast through long web pages. You will love the screen - it has a really premium feel and performance, PIP video, all works flawlessly. The sound from quad speakers watching a movie is excellent.

It's a premium machine with a premium price, especially once you're all in with kb & pencil. I had a 13" MBP side by side before deciding. I am so comfortable being hands-on with the screen, with both hands at once doing different things, esp with a stable kb case, that my hands can't go back to the size and ergo of what seems like a small touchpad anymore. And you'll have the MacMini to use in a pinch.

I don't think you will regret getting a 12.9" b/c big is better on iPad, unless you want to shove a mini in your pocket. To mitigate price stress, consider the 11", get a 12.9" 2nd gen, or think about smaller storage on a 3rd gen 12.9"--they can handle USB-C portable drives now. Enjoy! If money is no object, definitely get the 112.9" version :p
 

bapegg

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2019
7
1
0
Thanks everyone.

I ended up ordering the IPad Pro 11 and it arrives tomorrow. I compared the 11 and the 12.9 side by side and the 12.9 is bigger than I want. I am also not going to use any key folio case at this time.

I have a Catalyst case on my IPM4 and like the protection so bought one for the IPP11. I also don’t see myself using the pencil much. As far as a keyboard, I have the Mac Mini keyboard that I’ll use when needed.