iPad iPad vs Macbook Air Debate

Discussion in 'iPad' started by iPadDad, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. iPadDad macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2014
    Hey guys,

    I thought I would share my thoughts on the whole notebook vs tablet debate.

    Apple has released the new Macbook Air 12", it is increadibly light and beautiful. Here is my argument though. There are lots and lots of businesses whose personal have replaced their notebooks with tablets. Many people don't understand that allot of the business work (if not all in some peoples cases) can actually be done on a tablet, and can even be a better option when portability is an important factor.

    A lot of people argue that many companies programs couldn't run on a tablet, one of the main reasons for this is because the IT infrastructure and programs the company uses arn't built to support tablets. The problem (but not unsolvable problem) is that many companies IT infrastructure and programs are well established and would require a lot of work and money to be able to be optimized for tablets, BUT, the bottom line is, if that company wanted to redesign thier infrastucture and programs to be compatable with tablets...they could!
    Sure there are always going to be examples that one could argue where it wouldn't make sense or be feasable and thats fine, i am not trying to create the impression that tablets could be everyones main computer. So, comparing a notebook to a tablet isn't all that far out. Especially if your work tasks could be run on a tablet and if your company has build its systems and software to run on tablets or could if it wanted to, then it doesn't matter what you use.

    So if this is the case for you, then my comparrason below would make sence. (The comparrason below assumes you type using the on screen keybord)

    New Macbook Air Features vs iPad Air 2

    Now got a retina display - Air 2 already has it
    Now thinner than ever before (13.1mm) - Air 2 is 6.7mm
    Now the lightest notebook on the market (2.1 Pounds) - Air 2 is 1 Pound
    Now with 9 hour battery life - Air 2 10 hours
    Now with 1.1/ 1.2 or special order 1.3 Ghz processor - Air 2 has a 1.5Ghz processor
    New colours, Silver, Space grey or Gold - Air 2 the same
    Now more portable than ever - Air 2 at least twice as portable

    I am a less is more kind of guy and I think with the speed of the new Air 2 being equivalent to many entry level MacBook Airs and seeing how advanced the apps coming out of the App Store are becoming, the iPad Air 2 is a fantastic choice for users whose work flow can allow it. I mean going to work with just your iPad & iPhone, what a pleasure!

    P.S i am already doing this and it is great!
  2. nj-morris macrumors 68000


    Nov 30, 2014
    I think that the iPad will replace a laptop when Apple focus on doing so. They can do this by adding advanced processors, bigger screens, trackpad support, support for desktop apps, a file manager, better storage and memory, a flash player, and some OS X features (NOT full OS X). The iPad Pro will hopefully have this stuff. But for now, a lot of people use tablets as their main computers (e.g. Me) Tablets are the future!
  3. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I like how casual the iPad is when I'm at a coffee shop. It almost doesn't look like I have a computer with me. I can relax with it.

    When I'm on my MacBook, I'm not as relaxed.

    I want the new gold MacBook, though.
  4. Mliii macrumors 65816


    Jan 28, 2006
    Southern California
    I think you make a lot of good points here. I use my iPad Air 2 as a replacement for an older laptop and I really don't miss the features of the laptop much at all. I have added a Bluetooth keyboard for lengthy writing projects, but I appreciate the versatility of the iPad.
    If Apple really wanted to hit it out of the park with the rumored pro, they would include some of your suggestions.
  5. Noble Actual macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2014
    Can you code on the iPad? Nope.

    That's the one thing for me and tbh, I can't imagine coding on that small of a screen.

    Still its nice to have an iPad where you can read, watch stuff. It just feels more natural and better than a laptop.

    There are many things I wish I could do on an iPad instead of my 13" MBA.
  6. KadMac macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2009
    One of my issues in switching from my Macbook Air to an iPad is the fact that iPad can't always display the desktop version of a website in the broswer. Sure, Safari gives you the option in iOS 8 to force a website to the desktop version but it doesn't always work if the website prevents it.

    I hate being stuck in a mobile version of the website when using a tablet.
  7. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Use a different browser that allows you to specify the user agent.
  8. iPadDad thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2014
  9. KadMac macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2009
    Does Chrome do this on iPad? Not familiar with the term "user agent".
  10. newellj, Mar 23, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015

    newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Try doing major work in Excel or Word on an iPad and get back to me on how well it worked and how long it took. I love my iPads - i have two of them myself. But iOS is simply not comparable to OS X for working on spreadsheets, word processing or presentation materials.

    That also assumes that you've got an accessory keyboard for the iPad, which puts the size and weight issues on an equal footing at best. In reality, a lot of iPad keyboards have poor key size, stroke and layout.

    During Sandy, I was unable to get to work and had no utilities for a week and my only way to stay connected and get my work done was on my iPad. There were lots of things I couldn't do and the things I could do took massively longer than they would have if I'd been able to connect with a laptop running OS X or Windows.

    The iPad/rMB debate isn't either/or. They're complementary.

    As a side note, it will be interesting to see how things sort out if Apple introduces the iPad Pro, which people currently expect to have a 12.9" display. That would create an extremely interesting product overlap, where the iPad has a bigger retina display than part of the Macbook lineup.
  11. Mliii macrumors 65816


    Jan 28, 2006
    Southern California
    True, but as you point out, it will still (likely) be running a version of IOS and not Mac OS X.
    I've found that I can use my iPad Air 2 largely as a replacement for my laptop (I write), but it would be SO much easier with a few tweaks.
    It will be interesting to see what Apple decides to do if, and when, it introduces an iPad Pro line. They could really make this a killer, MUST HAVE device -OR- they could go the route they've taken of late and adopt the incremental approach to a "pro" version of the iPad.
  12. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    The whole state of Apple OSes is interesting.

    There's a reasonable position that iOS has begun to stagnate. The things that proponents of this view typically cite don't interest me much for an iPad, at least not for any current iPad, but they're not crazy by any means.

    There's a group that argue that OS X and iOS need to converge like Windows is doing. I am doubtful on that, too, but it's also not crazy.

    On the hardware side, one interesting thing about the rMB is that it blurs the existing boundary between "ultra portable notebook" and "mobile device."
  13. tmarks11, Mar 23, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015

    tmarks11 macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2010
    The MBA11 already did that. After I bought a MBA11, I gradually used my iPad 3 less and less until I used it not at all.

    Everyone seems to think that the rMB is revolutionary in size and weight... but it is really only slightly smaller, thinner, and lighter than the MBA11.

    rMB: 11.04" x 7.74" x 0.52" 2.03 lbs
    MBA11:11.80" x 7.56" x0.68" 2.38 lbs
  14. myrtlebee macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2011
    Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
    Apple has not released a new 12 inch Macbook Air. Apple has released a new 12 inch MacBook. That said, I am definitely a tablet fan moreso than a notebook fan. But as far as which is better for conducting business, at the moment a notebook wins, in my opinion. As you mentioned, Apple is slowly, but clearly merging the tablet and the notebook. Will be interesting to see what they do next.
  15. Tmelon macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2011
    As much as I enjoy my iPad Air for light web browsing, email and Netflix, I just can't get any work done on it. I don't want to hold it up the entire time I use it so I had to get a stand to prop it up and then entering data on the screen at any angle is uncomfortable so I had to carry around my Apple Keyboard which pretty much ruined the portability of it. Also the lack of split screen doubled the time that various tasks took because I had to keep switching between windows. Hopefully the iPad Pro and iOS 9 will provide some sort of split screen, but I'll stick to my rMBP for business.
  16. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    For writing a draft, an iPad is great. Heck, I have an iPad Mini, and I've written tens of thousands of words on that little baby screen, with and without an external keyboard. A full size iPad is splendid for this.

    For editing...it's less than ideal. Copy & paste really needs to be improved; selecting with your finger works great sometimes, and is a massive exercise in frustration at others.

    And of course, it's pretty pathetic at multitasking.

    That said, I use my iPad and iPhone 95% of the time in place of either my tiny Windows laptop or my 17" MacBook Pro. I simply don't need a whole lot more than it's capable of right now...though it takes workarounds to do some things. As the platform continues to evolve--like adding split screen multitasking--I think more people will be able to shift their work from a laptop to an iPad. We're not there yet, but we're getting closer.
  17. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    I'm going through the (almost) same debate; just substitute a rMB for MBA.

    I'm replacing either my iPad or getting a new slim Mac this year. It really comes down to form factor and iOS vs OS X
  18. iPadDad thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2014
    I dissagree completely, myself and my collegues work soley in iPad Air 2 and we do allot of work on Numbers and Pages, the equivallent to Excel and Word, and we create and edit presentations on Keynote and we find them all outstanding!
  19. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Maybe a tablet will replace notebooks one day, but it is not there yet.

    Waiting for the iPad Pro and Surface Pro4. Lets see what they are offering later this tear. Right now I find my needs to take both iPad and Air
  20. GDF macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2010
    I love my iPad Air 2, but if I could only have one device, it would be my Macbook Air. iPad is great for surfing the web and apps, but the Air has a real keyboard and is so much easier for typing emailings, using Excel, Word and Powerpoint.

    The keyboard is my main gripe with the iPad and iPhone or any other device like that, except for a Blackberry. Of course others, seem to have to no problems typing on them, so its probably just me. :)
  21. tentala, Mar 24, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015

    tentala macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2015
    +1 I totally agree. For general notebooks (not only MacBook Air), tablets still have a long way to go to be able to replace them.

    When manufacturers try to make their laptops smaller, lighter yet more powerful; and tablets are made to have functions closer to laptops, their "converging" products will replace both laptop and tablets.
  22. Tmelon macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2011
    Yeah, tables have some catching up to do. ;)
  23. tentala macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2015
    Thank you. I fixed it.
  24. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Sure you can, there are even code editors for it. That said, you'd want a BT keyboard for that and then it's not much different from a laptop. I think the screen estate is acceptable for coding purposes.
  25. kupkakez macrumors 68000


    Apr 4, 2011

    Thanks for posting this! I'm currently torn on an Air 2 or this new Macbook. I don't do any work on my personal computer as I have a dedicated work laptop so I'm leaning towards having an air as well.

    I have owned an Air 2 but sold it thinking the 6+ would fit the bill but now I find myself wanting the bigger screen but kinda stuck between an MBA or another iPad.


    This is one of my biggest complaints as well. I keep Google Chrome on my iPhone to circumvent this but it would be nice if I could JUST use Safari.

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