MBAers, do you have an ipad, what do you use it for? MBA can do everything of an iPad


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 30, 2011
I really like the design and the portability of the iPad. It's perfect. But, I can't see myself using it since,

1. I don't play games. (so, I'm not hyped about retina display)
2. A lot people say how good it is to view pdf's on iPad, I think MBA can do just that, and with better with the trackpad.
3. I don't have lots of pdf to read, plus, I like to write notes in books, so pdf won't work as well.

I've read a few guys selling their iPad, because MBA is doing everything, no need for iPad.

Who has the MBA and iPad and want to share the story? Please let the world know.
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macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2010
This is Frank's story of his ipad and Macbook air...
Bought an ipad, sold it for financial reasons, came into a windfall, bought an Air. Have no desire to buy an ipad at all right now.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2002
Gaming is better but the retina display really shines when it comes to small text. The iPad gets way better battery life than the Air, doesn't get hot, and doesn't make fan noise. It's easier to use laying down or standing up. It's better for many situations, but worse for many others. It really depends on the person.


macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2010
San Diego, CA USA
Sitting around the house, it's easier to web surf on the iPad than my MBA. Especially while laying in bed. iPad is easy to read in bed, MBA not so much. Playing games is also easier on the iPad in my opinion.

At first, I was skeptical. But I got the iPad for my birthday and I quickly became a believer. I didn't pre-order the iPad 3, but I will get one eventually. The extra resolution should make reading even easier on the iPad.

However, if you need to enter a lot of information (like this forum post) then typing on a real keyboard on the MBA is much easier.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 1, 2012
New York
I have both and a MBP and I use my iPad primarily for media consumption on the go, for example, it airplanes, trains, cruises, or anywhere that having a complete computer may be cumbersome due to tight space or I don't want the possibility of my computer being ripped off (not that I want my iPad ripped off, but I would rather lose that than my computer)


macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
iPad excels at a few things vs. the Air:

* Travelling. Whether on a plane or commuting on a bus, or throwing into the backseat of the car, the iPad is significantly better while on the road.

* Bringing it to work. These are my devices, so I'm not going to use them for my main job. But whereas an Air on my desk would be out of place, I can have the iPad there.

* Sharing with Family (lets say I want to show pictures to my in-laws or something). I don't like people touching my air, but the iPad is easily cleaned. =)

* Reading ebooks.

* Small games and other time wasting apps. :) iPad is a funner little toy.

Don't get me wrong, if I was forced to pick, the Air would be what I choose, hands down. But I like both.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2005
Barcelona, Spain
I also have both... They suit different purposes.

Unlike other posters, the Air is actually my bring-to-work machine now :) I use it after working hours to do my own thing while I wait for the traffic to die down, that way I can make some use of my time instead of wasting it looking at someone else's tail lights. I do some Xcoding then and work on websites. I plug it in to my monitor there because I hate the tiny 11" screen with its small fonts.

I have a dual-screen setup at work so sometimes I would even connect the Air to the second screen, and use both with one keyboard/mouse using Synergy (using a Bluetooth PAN link between my work laptop and the Air). Works great. I could never do any of those things with an iPad.

But, at home I greatly prefer my iPad for anything I don't use my desktop (mini) for. It's so much more convenient with its apps, always-on etc. If I do something serious I sit down at the desktop anyway.

Oh, and the iPad ROCKS for travelling. Fits much better on seatback trays, battery life is like double the Air's, and it is even more portable.


macrumors newbie
Sep 29, 2011
Ever since I bought my MBA 11", I've been using my Ipad exclusively as an eBook reader.

I thought I would use it to read emails, check twitter, facebook & listen to MP3s, etc but all of that happens on my iPhone. Guess it's time to invest in a dedicated eBook reader now :)


macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
I have been using a MacBook Air since February 2008, and just purchased my first iPad (Verizon 32GB), which should arrive Friday. I resisted the first two generations for the reasons you point out, but I think now there is enough iOS-specific content for it to make sense (iBooks, for instance, as well as iPad-only newspapers and magazines).

For the past few years, I've traveled with my MacBook Air along with my work Windows PC. As it turns out, I'm going on a business trip at the end of next week and will see how it works with my iPad instead of my MacBook Air. Now if my employer would adopt Ultrabooks (they have too much invested in custom software to adopt the Mac), it would be ideal, as I could easily fit both (in neoprene sleeves no less) in my current notebook bag.


macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2011
I agree that the air can do much- but there is no way for me to use it as a reader for ibooks. This is something that I want to do yet it looks like I will have to get an ipad to do it.


macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2005
My iPad got massively more use than the MBA, so I ended up giving away my MBA. I've still got an iMac at home and will be given a Windows 7 laptop by a family member who doesn't want it anymore.

My iPad is my reader for everything. RSS feeds, Kindle books, PDFs, you name it. There was a period when I purposely went without my iPad to see if my MBA could do the job. It couldn't. Battery life is subpar, fans are noisier (than the noise-less iPad), bottom of the computer heats up. Not comfortable to use anywhere except on a desk and maybe on a lap (but even that's not so comfortable because of the small screen and tiny text).

The iPad, through Evernote and Dropbox (but primarily Evernote), is my repository for all critical files, media player on the go, gaming machine and web browser while on the can (just admit you take it in there, too).

When I went without my iPad and relied on just my MBA and iMac, I missed my iPad sorely. Now that I no longer have an MBA, I find I barely miss it. I do still need some sort of a laptop when I'm out of town and need to work. But those occasions are far and few between.


macrumors 68030
Dec 14, 2009
Yardley, PA
I won't...

...curl up in bed with my MBA.
...lay on the floor and play some Leap Frog games with my son with my MBA.
...flip through Reeder articles on the toilet on my MBA.
...bother taking my MBA somewhere I want to play games over an iPad.
...also use my MBA in the bathroom for... research. Yeah, that's it... :)


macrumors 6502a
Mar 5, 2010
when you have the 11-inch macbook'll have no desire to buy the new ipad.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
Aberdeen, Scotland
when you have the 11-inch macbook'll have no desire to buy the new ipad.
I have an 11" Air, and I desire the new iPad. I don't use my iPad 1 nearly as much as I expected, but i do use it every day to read magazines. It's much better at this than an 11" Air, primarily due to the portrait orientation. With the retina display, it'll be even better.


macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2009
when you have the 11-inch macbook'll have no desire to buy the new ipad.
That is a pretty stupid comment, as many people in here obviously disagree with you.

For me I use my iPad for games, reading PDF (easier because it is more book like IMO), wireless secondary monitor for my Air, and AirPlay. I find with my Air, iPhone and iPad, the iPad is easiest to go to shows on the internet and throw them up to the Apple TV. Of course it can be done with the others, just not as easily.

As others said, bed reading/watching and traveling are iPad wins for sure.


macrumors member
Feb 10, 2012
Well, last year I bought the wife a 13" MBP, this year I bough myself a 13" MBA, and we preordered a new iPad 32gb white wifi. A couple reasons we got it are:
1- my wife takes college courses online, and can't stand reading her books on the laptop, so the iPad will be great for her studies.
2- though my 3 and 5 year olds have iPod touches, I think there are some great educational apps and games for their ages on the iPad.
3- for me, I just can't wait to behold that retina screen! I'm a techie and I can't wait to find all kinds of uses for it!

Also ordered a new apple tv for the loving room, our current apple tv2 will go to the kids playroom. Yes, I'm slowly turning all my family into apple fans! It's great we can stream all purchases to the apple tv now, including movies, as we buy all our movies and tv shows for kids through iTunes, I love how it all comes together.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2010
Parts Unknown
I have the 11" MBA and the iPad 2 - with a "3" due to be delivered on Friday.

Yes the MBA is an amazing device and can do pretty much everything. So good for me, that I sold my iMac and bought a TBD to use with the MBA. So now it is my only PC. I like having it synced all the time. I like having a huge splay at home and portability when on the go. It is great for when I need do do more creating.

The iPad, however, gets a ton of use in my house. When I just want to browse the web, or use an iOS specific app, or read an iBook. I wouldn't want to have to pick one.

I think, as with most things, your needs are going to dictate what works for you.

My mother ONLY has an iPad (my original iPad 1). She doesn't need a full blown computer for what she does (e-mail and browsing). If the iPad needs maintenance, I use my MBA to do it for her.

Some people are completely content with just a MacBook and see no need for an iPad. It's all just a matter of personal opinion and usage needs.

Speaking of opinions, that was just mine. :)

glen e

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
Ft Lauderdale
Anyone who claims one is better than the other is just looking thru his eyes and making a stupid proclamation. The Ipad is far better for business travel, sitting in airports, viewing PDF's at a job site, teaching a group standing up, using by pilots as a flight instrument and a myriad of other things where you need information standing up...Mazda just equipped their entire sales force in the US with Ipads for selling cars standing near the car, not in some small office....And check out any hospital these days...
but it CAN'T create content well....

They simply don't compete, and I use both religiously....

Most of these type threads are from those in dorm rooms who have never experienced a lot of other type of computing situations...

agree with the wife thing, she got an ipad, sold her imac and has not once looked back - she is a internet/photo/ email person....
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macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2011
Memphis, TN
I wouldn't dare use my MBA while navigating in the cockpit, but I never leave my iPad at home when flying. It's a great navigation device, and virtual clipboard I strap to my leg. They're quite popular for this purpose and I've spoken with a half dozen pilots that use them this way and convinced several more of their utility.


macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2009
I think the iPad is perfect for when you're away from home on holiday and don't want to have to worry about work or the possibility of someone stealing your MBA. To me the iPad is great for entertainment and is good for work (with Numbers, Pages & Keynote) but if I lost the iPad I wouldn't care - the data on it isn't a problem (not so confidential) or as important as that on my MBA.


macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2004
Southern York County, PA
I have both a macbook air 11" and an ipad (have the new one on order). I use them both all the time. There's VERY little overlap in my usage. The ipad is great for music creation, games, recipes, email, facebook, etc. It's also good for carrying along to client sites where it's much more of a hassle to find power, go through security, etc. It's not quite ready for every day exclusive work use, but for limited use it's great. Plus the whole 10 hr battery life thing.

The macbook I use as my primary computer for work. I have it when I need to use the keyboard a lot, am going to be working for long stretches, and have at least limited access to power.