Macbook Air and iPad

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rook02, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. rook02 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    I am in the market for a new notebook. I was planning on doing a combination of a Macbook Air (11" or 13") and an iPad. I am a medical resident and read a lot of journal articles (PDFs) and online text (textbooks/medical websites). I also have to create a lot of presentations as well. In my free time, I also stream videos online.

    I was planning on getting an iPad for light internet use, note taking during lectures, and reading journal articles/online textbooks. The Macbook Air would be more for personal use, as well as, making presentations.

    Do you guys think that would work? If so, what would be a better option for me, the 11" or 13"?
  2. Mike84 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    I think that would work. For me, personally, being a law student and all I need a bigger screen, so the 13 MBA, which is what I currently have, is the best.

    Remember, if you have an iPad you will need the keyboard to take lectures unless you really want to use the onscreen keyboard.
  3. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    The 11" MBA and iPad combo works great for me.

    I use the iPad for reading books and magazines and reviewing documents. Also on airplanes, and in meetings, and surfing in the evenings. It works great for consumption and is good for lightweight production like notes and email. But as it needs a computer to support it and doesn't run full featured apps I have a MBA as well.

    I chose an 11" MBA for maximum portability and it's surprisingly capable. A great full featured mobile computer. But the 13" is great too. Just a matter of which screen size or capacity you prefer.
  4. Funkymonk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2011
    Ipad for note taking is gonna suck ass. I think only having a 11" MBA work fine for you. Your a student, save your money.
  5. namtaB macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2011
    I have both. The MBA is well worth it. The iPad, not so much. Note taking on the iPad will be a major obstacle unless you get the keyboard which makes no sense if you have a MBA.

    What makes the iPad good are its various apps. Its a good device to surf the net, use the various apps, and review documents and presentations on. But its useless to create any kind of work on b/c of its onscreen keyboard. I tell anyone who asks to think of the iPad as a bigger version of the iPhone. You're probably not going to take any notes, create documents, etc. on an iPhone so don't expect to do the same on the iPad unless you pair it to the keyboard in which case like I mentioned before you're better off the the MBA.

    11 v 13 - best bet is to go to Apple store and see them side by side.
  6. Troilus macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2010
    I'd say the 13 MBA and iPad, which is what I use now for my law PhD. The iPad is perfect for journal pdfs and the like, and the 13 MBA is the perfect companion for research and writing. If you have a chance, take a trip to an Apple Store or a BBuy and try out the 11 inch (I personally found the screen too small.)
  7. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    The 11 inch air is a great machine. it wiggled its way to being my primary machine i like it so much. i think you would be better off with the air and skipping the ipad.
  8. IconicM macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2011
    Houston, Tx
    I think the iPad, MBA is a good combination.

    MBA doesn't do apps and so doesn't let you do this

    hand write notes: Notes Plus &

    notes + task management: notebooks by Alfons Schmidt

    Record lecture and time sync your notes to the recording: Soundnote

    In my perfect world, someone would combine the above three apps into one and then add Speech to text & hand writing to text....maybe when Apple installs OSx on iPad. One can only dream...
  9. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    I say get the MBA and ditch the ipad idea all together. The MBA is more than convenient enough for light internet use IMO.
  10. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    Start with the 13" MBA. If that doesn't suit you after a while, then consider the iPad. The MBAs might be updated for a bit so now might not be a bad time to buy. The iPads will likely get updated soon.

    The 11" MBA is small, which is nice, but can be a drawback. It is mostly useful if you travel a lot and need to work on airplanes, which are cramped. The drive space on the 11" is also small at 128GB max.
  11. The Catalyst macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2009
    I'd highly recommend using a laptop while taking those lecture notes (and that's coming from someone who uses a MBA and an iPad daily).
  12. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

    Jun 11, 2010
    Skip the iPad. Seems entirely redundant for your uses/needs. You need to take notes and create presentations? Physical keyboard on MBA works much better. Reading online articles? Safari Reader is about the greatest thing I've ever used for that purpose.

    Usually I'm loath to offer buying advice since peoples needs and uses differ so much, but in this case the the only remotely difficult decision is, 11 inch or 13.
  13. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    I find that the iPad is fully sufficient for my 'mobile computing' needs. I have been using my prior notebook solely as a desktop since getting the iPad, and will replace that with an updated Mac mini when it updates next. (Waiting for quad-core.)

    If the few things that you can't do on the iPad don't have to be done "on the road", then I'd recommend the same. iPad for mobile (10 hour usable battery life really is an incredible bonus,) desktop for 'heavy lifting'.

    I have a friend who is very much a "must own the latest/greatest the instant it comes out" kind, (yes, he waited in line for every iPhone, plus both the WiFi iPad and 3G iPad,) and he has both a fully loaded 11" MacBook Air as well as the 64 GB 3G iPad. I just asked him today, and he said he almost never uses the Air.

    Of course, he doesn't regret getting the Air, that's just not his style. But he openly admits that the iPad does 99% of his mobile computing.
  14. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I have both the 11.6 MBA and a 3G iPad. I use them both but probably use the MBA a bit more. If you can swing both that is a great decision. I will say the iPad is killer with the battery life and 3G
  15. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I agree the MacBook Air may well be enough, unless there are specific iPad apps you want or need to use (there are some medical apps out there). I resisted the urge to buy the first iPad last year, partly because I'm a longtime MacBook Air user (since the very first model came out 3 years ago).

    That said, if you do want an iPad, wait until tomorrow's announcement of the new models. With the supplies of the old model dwindling, I'm guessing the new one will be available soon, perhaps as early as tomorrow. Even if you do wind up with an older iPad, note that Apple's selling refurb 16GB Wi-Fi models for $430, and it's likely that the eBay market may be flooded with similarly-priced older models when the new version comes out.
  16. cjbryce macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2008
    Replace 11" with 13" in the above and you have my view too.
  17. EnialusMeliamne macrumors member

    May 30, 2009
    I've been lurking here since about the time I bought my first Mac, but rarely comment. That said, I'm endeavouring to do more of just that, and seeing this thread it seemed a good place to start.
    I own both a MBA and an iPad (Wifi), and both of them are integrated completely in my work/home routine. For the iPad, my primary use is as a planner type of apparatus, as well as my news reader, magazine reader, comic reader, etc that I can't see myself doing on a computer screen). All of my tasks, calendar, etc are synced over each of my gadgets (Big fan of Things, Evernote, Dropbox/Goodreader and MobileMe), as well as any files I may need on a trip, etc (again, using Dropbox/Goodreader). If I'm on a plane, the laptop is in my bag, and my iPad is in my seat pocket. If I'm at work and in a meeting, I'll take notes using either Evernote or Penultimate depending on the meeting and if I've planned for the meeting ahead of time (where I would use Evernote extensively). For my Evernote addiction, the iPad is my perfect venue for notes review, and look up for use at the office and I use it extensively in that capacity. It's also a great resource for reviewing office specific guidance documents which I have loaded in iBooks (along with many back issues of Macworld). My MBA will be primarily used for extensive files modifications (I use the iPad for minor tweaks, but over time a keyboard is best, hence the MBA in this role), as well as a source for updating data on the iPad (Movies, video podcasts and the like). Could I work without the MBA? Probably? Would I prefer to use both in the mediums that I've incorporated into my lifestyle? Definitely. All things said though, it's really your call from the realm of what works best for you, and if going the iPad route as a sole source, what apps you purchase.
  18. rook02 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    Ok, so I see that a lot of people are saying that the iPad is not great for note taking. Is that even with all of the note taking apps and a stylus?--Notes Plus, Penultimate, etc.

    The other thing that I forgot to mention is that my program does give us a Dell business laptop that I am using right now. It doesn't have much power, but it gets me by.

    Considering that, do you think buying the new iPad right now and holding off on the Macbook Air/Pro until the next revision would suffice my needs? The reason I am pushing the iPad is because of the many medical apps that I am currently using on my iPhone, but think they would work a lot better with the bigger screen of the iPad--especially medical imaging and reference apps.

    I appreciate the feedback guys. Thanks.
  19. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I bought an iPad right after they were released last April. Then I got a 13 inch Ultimate MBA in October. The iPad is still a good choice for reading books, such as Amazon Kindle titles and the like, and is also excellent for news content. That said, I think the MBA does many things, such as data input, faster and better than the iPad does. The bottom line is that I wouldn't spend extra money on an iPad if I were going to get either an 11 inch or 13 inch MBA.
  20. Cheerwino macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2011
    Sounds like there are apps that would make an iPad worth it for you, so I think go for it.

    I have been debating an iPad purchase and decided that apps are the main reason to consider the iPad (I don't own one now). It just doesn't seem like a computer replacement and I don't find it great for web browsing or e-mail (probably because I attempt to type in complete sentences). But, apps specifically designed for the iPhone/iPad are far more compelling. And you're doing real learning in a highly specialized field, not playing Angry Birds!

    Now with the new iPad2, I say go for the iPad and try to make your Dell hold you over. If you've got more funds, get an Air too (or maybe hold out for the potential midsummer update--maybe even land a discount on the current Air by then). Get as much Air as you can afford. Personally, I'd favor the bigger screen over higher specs, especially for creating presentations.

    P.S. Since you're in medicine, you might be interested in "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. Awesome book on diet and the body. I'm not a doctor, but I play one in the forums. :D
  21. turkey1 macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    I'm in the same boat. Not a medical student lol, but have a 13 MBA. I can't think of anything I would need a new Ipad for, but I miss mine a lot. Something seems right about browsing pulse or reading on the IPAD. Every time I think I need one though I think well my MBA has flash and office plus I can tether it to my EVO. I wish I could just rip my keyboard off sometimes and use it as a MACPAD. Why don't they make a OSX tab with a keyboard dock? I would pay any amount of money for it.

    I had a Love/Hate thing going on with my Exopc(win 7 tab) loved I had a full OS in my hands hated that is was so clunky.
  22. Bakari45 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2010
    If you read a lot, I say get both the iPad and the Air. I use my iPad everyday for reading documents, RSS feeds, surfing the web and watching videos. While the Air can do the same thing, you just can't lay in bed and hold the Air the same way you hold an iPad. I really wish Apple would find a way to combine the two—running both the iOS and OS X.
  23. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
  24. GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2005
    This is exactly what I wish they would do! Have a MacBook Air with an A4/A5 chip as well so you can work on the normal chip and the A4 chip can keep running in standby, keep mailboxes updated using the 3G (of course it would have to have that built in too). That would be brilliant.

    Since they're definitely aiming to converge the iOS and Mac OS features, I wouldn't be surprised if they go in that direction.
  25. grawk macrumors 6502


    Jan 26, 2004
    Southern York County, PA
    My mba 11" ultimate and ipad are a perfect match. The battery life on the ipad (and I do use it with a keyboard when I need to take notes) make it my primary choice over the mba when I'm going to be in meetings all day, etc. I also love it for reading kindle books, browsing the web, and doing research.

    The air is when I need to keep multiple windows open, do more complicated content creation, and for general computing when I will have power more often (5 hrs is great, but it won't get me through my day away from an outlet).

    Bottom line from my perspective: mba11 and ipad 16 wifi are a match made in heaven. And if you've got the air, you might even be happy with the $350 (refurb) ipad 16...

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