MacBook Air 11" owners, is it practical to get an iPad on top of your lineup?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by anthro, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. anthro macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2011
    I have an 11" MBA, which is very very mobile. The footprint is so close to the first iPad that I think you can carry with you an MBA every time you can carry an iPad. The iPad 2's case could be different, though. With a thinner and lighter profile, it can make a little more sense to own a tablet.

    I'm not yet completely convinced, though. Money isn't that disposable for me (and probably for many others) so I want to make sure the purchase will justify the cost.

    iPad 2 will offer greater intimacy during content consumption, new apps that can only be experienced with touchscreens, a slightly (?) smaller footprint, etc; but do those benefits justify the huge overlap between the tablet and the ultramobile razorsharp 11" Macintosh? I know, at the end of the day, it will boil down to my willingness and ability to spend, but I'd like to hear your thoughts.
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    I got myself an iPad last year, thinking it would complement my (aging) MacBook for home use (surfing and stuff from the coach).

    Then my MacBook died on me and I replaced it with an 11" MBA, and since then I have to admit I've not used the iPad as much as I intended/hoped for… the MBA is just so much better at 99% of what I do that the iPad is dusting down at the night stand, and is just occasionally used for watching a movie/TV show (over Airplay) or checking mail/light surfing without getting out of bed.

    And I don't really travel with any of the two, either, the iPhone 4 is usually enough whenever I'm away from home…
  3. ovrlrd macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2009
    There are overlaps, especially once Lion comes out with the fullscreen app stuff, but depending on what you need (programming/development/certain OSX apps) the iPad will definitely not fulfill those needs in a portable manner (even when you need a full size keyboard, carrying around a bluetooth keyboard isn't exactly ideal).

    For me I like having the best of both worlds. I can do the nice consumption computing/entertainment on my iPad, and still do all the work with a nice full keyboard on the other. For video I definitely prefer the MBA as well, because it's a larger 16:9 display.

    Overall for certain tasks, one can't replace the other. Plus it is kind of hard to use the MBA one handed (while holding it up with the other hand), but that is very easy to do with the iPad.

    It is really all about your needs and your budget. I really like being able to put both into a slim bag and not worry about it. Larger laptops require a bigger bag, while the iPad and the 11" MBA can fit into much smaller bags together and still not weigh very much at all.

    For some people though, the MBA will be enough, and there will be no need for an iPad.
    For the majority of people, the iPad will be enough, and there will be no need for a MacBook Air.

    Everyone's needs are different.
  4. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Put it this way: you own forks, you own spoons. There are some foods you can eat w/ a fork or spoon. That doesn't mean you could do w/ owning one or the other. They each have their place in the tableware landscape.

    Same goes for iPads and Macs. I own them both. Sometimes I take only my iPad on trips, other times my iPad + 13" MBP. I never, however, only take my MBP anymore.
  5. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    Yeah, but a Mac is more like a spork than either a fork or a spoon. It can do much more overall than an iPad.

    I tend to agree with one of the posters above. I'm very curious about the iPad 2 and I have an iPad 1. But, I have to admit that it's more of a luxury item than a necessity. There are only a few things I'd prefer to do on my iPad: watch movies and read books. But, these days I get along fine using my MBA for both.
  6. fatbarstewar macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2009
    I sold my 32gb 3G when I bought a launch 11" MBA around November time. Not actually missed it at all since, for on the go video/browsing/podcasts etc I find it a lot better tbh, no messing about syncing and playing hd stuff natively at 16:9 is a big improvement.

    However, I am getting an iPad2, purely for fun this time. Kinda miss the odd game, it's untouchable for comics and manga, it's great for lazy couch browsing. Plus, storage and 3G isn't a concern for me due to owning an MBA so I can go cheap cheap this time, 16gb wifi.
  7. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Since I got my iPad I hadn't felt the need for a laptop (my main machine is an iMac) as it does 99% of the things I need a computer for when away from my desk. However, I will be away for a few days this week and need access to a "full" computer (mainly for development work) so I bought an 11" MBA (base model) to plug that gap.

    I have to say that I'm very, very impressed with it: It seems plenty quick enough for what I need it for and it completes my lineup of equipment (iPhone, iPad, MBA and iMac). I feel that they are all complementary devices and there is a place for all of them.

    For example, I coach a junior soccer team and use my iPad extensively for that. I have it in an Otterbox defender case which gives great protection and means I'm not worried about taking it to training: There is no way on earth I'd take a MBA to an outdoor training session as it's far too fragile
    I also really like the immersive experience of reading newspapers or surfing the web on my iPad and I think it will remain my device of choice for those tasks.
    On the other hand, if I need to do some development work whilst out and about, the MBA is perfect.

    So, it all depends on your individual requirements: For some people, an MBA will be a better fit than an iPad; for some, it will be the other way around; and for others there will be a place for both devices. Of course, for some people, neither the MBA nor the iPad will be of any practical use at all.

    The only "downside" to buying the MBA is that I've used my gadget budget for a couple of months, so I definitely won't be getting an iPad 2 :)
  8. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    I say this is a pretty good analogy.

    I got rid of my iPad when I bought the 11inch MBA. However I miss it so I'm getting the iPad 2 when it's released.
  9. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    For someone who only plans to use an iPad for general "computing" needs such as web browsing and e-mail, then it doesn't make much sense to own both a MBA and an iPad. However, the iPad's strength and differentiator is iOS and the apps you can use on it.

    For example, I would stick with a Macbook Air whenever I want to mainly do web browsing, e-mail, and the like on the go. It's better to have a real keyboard and Flash support than relying on the iPad's limitations in these areas.

    However, the iPad is perfect for many things that I do, such as reading RSS feeds, watching media, playing games, reading e-books, making music, and very soon for light video editing jobs. In other words, if you mainly plan to use "apps" on your iPad for creating and consuming media, then the iPad is a great supplement!

    So for certain users, it makes no sense to have both. For others, there is less overlap and they supplement each other very nicely.
  10. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2010
    Ipad would be good for games, and longer battery life.

    But honestly once I got my MBA, I hardly touched the Ipad, which is why I sold it.

    I'll still be picking up an ipad 2 though. I enjoy new tech. :D
  11. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    Will Apple ever combine the MBA and iPad, like the old Windows convertable laptops/tablets we've seen for years?

    I think it could work. The main reason Windows tablets never worked was the OS and stylus input.

    Imagine an 11" MBA that when open as a laptop runs OS X Lion. Then when you pivot and rotate the keyboard to hide behind the screen you have a iPad running iOS 5.
  12. Goldfrapp macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2005
    Why would you compare two devices that run two rather different OS's??

    One is iOS, another is Mac OS.
  13. Star-fire macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2007
    Sure it is. I use my iPad (well it's sold now) as a ebook reader, gaming device and for entertainment in general. I just sold my MBP so all I have is the 11" and it's used more for light Adobe work, typing, etc.
  14. yegon macrumors 68030

    Oct 20, 2007
    I often think this when using my 11". That would be an awesome piece of tech.

    Dell released one in a similar vein recently didn't they. Sadly, it was an underpowered turkey with a shockingly low quality lcd, ghastly viewing angles and pitiful battery life;
  15. gonnabuyamacbsh macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2010
    I really want an ipad but I can't justify it having the 11" :(

    Maybe the next ipad will make it an easier decision
  16. rovex macrumors 65816

    Feb 22, 2011
    Agreed on all counts. If you got the money an entry level MBA 11" is totally worth it. Beats the IPad in every single way. However, if the iPad had a retina display and significantly more ram, I might look at things differently.
  17. Crosbie macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2010
    Brighton, UK
    My gf bought an iPad so she could stop lugging her MacBook around for work... But never really learned how to do the things she needs using the iPad. (It was always, 'I can't bring it today because I need to do this and this...' (but iPad can do this and this, you just need to...) 'okay but I can't learn about that today because I have to do this and this...' etc. )

    She switched to an 11" MBA and that's working out really well - because we could just restore it from the backup of her MacBook and it just worked the same way. The iPad still gets used... but for movies and web surfing, and rarely. It could have taken over if she'd had any tolerance for a learning curve.
  18. kettlecorn macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    If i kept my MBA, i would not need a ipad. And vice versa. Ipad with a macbook pro is a better combo but the MBA really same almost the same screen size and weight is similar with an actual keyboard so if you have that, I dont see much of a need for an ipad. I did end up getting one because i sold my MBA and got a 13" MBP.

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