Odd Reaction to Air vs. iPad

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by hjb, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. hjb, Jun 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013

    hjb macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2011
    Two years ago, I bought a iPad2. I've been using it in place of a portable computer. I use it every day for word processing (Pages: 1-5 page documents, mostly, but some as long as 10-15 pages with some graphics), email, schedule, showing Keynote presentations, and other general office (and fun) use. When building Keynotes, or OmniGraffle diagrams, I start on the iPad, then move to iMac 21.5" for fancier designs, more detailed work, etc.

    I visited the Apple Store today to check out the latest 11 and 13 inch Airs, and to again consider the 13 MPB Retina. My intent: choose one of these so that I could do more efficient work on a portable. I was surprised to find that I preferred my current iPad + iMac setup, and I wondered whether others had gone through similar thought processes.


    1. The built-in 3G connectivity in the iPad (which I use often) is a missing feature on the portable Macs. Yes, I can use the iPhone's connectivity, but this seems like a workaround.

    2. I've gotten used to the iPad's touch screen, and surprise myself by typing directly onto the iPad surface most of the time (external keyboard via Bluetooth sometimes).

    3. The experience of working with the 11-inch screen sets expectations that don't resolve as nicely as they do on the iPad. Specifically, because I can only open one screen/document on the iPad at a time, the experience is always easy to read and solid. When I open two docs on the Air 11, they're both a bit too small and because the Air is a computer not a tablet, I can't quite bring the screen closer to my eyes.

    4. The experience of working on the 13-inch screen is better, but now I'm spending over $1,500 for something that weighs twice as much as the iPad2 (2 1/2 times if I consider the retina MBP13).

    5. There are some things that I can't do on the iPad that I can do on the Air: build and modify FileMaker databases (so I do them on the iMac when I get to my desk), use Adobe Creative Suite (which requires more concentration that remote environments provide, for me, much of the time), watch Flash video (infrequent occurrence, though sometimes annoying), and... okay, now I'm struggling a bit for more. I so rarely print anymore; when I do, it's at home on the iMac.

    I do like the idea of actually typing on a proper keyboard into, say, Pages, and certainly, but what began as a likely purchase of an Air today is beginning to look like a full-sized iPad upgrade later this year. I've surprised myself, and I would like to hear other people's experiences.

  2. ladeer macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    wow it seems your body has evolved/adapt to the touchscreen experience! well, good for you i guess, because everyone is different. because i use a laptop at work (as most people do), i guess i never had the need/opportunity to adapt what you have accustomed to. for me, i do have ipads. in fact, i have gen 1, gen 2, and gen 3 ipads, and found myself never really using them much. (i bought them cuz they were pretty :D) now they just lie around the house as media devices, you know, things you watch tv on (hulu) when you use bathroom or go to bed. it's not that i never tried though. i remember each time when i bought an ipad, especially the ipad 3 LTE one, i tried to bring it with me. it turned out i just don't need it that much. i can't really do serious work on it for that i need a good keyboard. i enjoy a lot of watching video and reading ebooks, so i think that's the most i got out of it. in sum, if you really find ipad to be a capable device for your content-creation needs, well good for you! for me, it's next to impossible. even blogging is hard. for example, tumblr has a great ipad app, but for me i would like to do some simple photo editing (iphoto) first and add some text overlay, before i embed it into my blog post. that's not easy at all on an ipad! with a mba, you also get the true multi tasking and file system benefits. all in all, it's just at least 30x more utility for me.

    oh, i did own a 11 inch mba before (6 months ago) but i returned it cuz, like you said, the screen was too small for multi tasking. now, i really enjoy the 13 inch. at home i connect it to a 27 inch monitor and bluetooth keyboard/mouse. at work, it's plenty for me to do works from excel spreadsheet to windows 8 in vmware, from taking screen shots, to doing research for vacation (looking at photos from many websites, constantly having 20+ tabs on my safari, checking prices from diff sites at the same time, etc.)
  3. Omne666 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm in same boat.

    Doing more and more on iPad, but was waiting for the new airs because the iPad cannot do some essential stuff I like doing ....specifically photo management. Tagging, faces, GPS etc.

    I already use Pages & Numbers comfortably on iPad..
  4. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    My work doesn't accommodate an iPad as my primary machine. If I primarily wrote for a living, then yes, it'd be fine. But there are a few too many full blown PC (and I'm including Macs in this definition) that I need. I also find that using a PC is just faster for certain repetitive tasks. The combination of shortcut keys and the precision of using a mouse and cursor is a bit easier sometimes than touch. So no, I couldn't do with primarily an iPad. But what I HAVE done is replace my iMac with a MacBook Air hooked up to an external monitor. When I need to travel, I just unplug the MacBook and go. It's been a great setup so far.
  5. sachaullymce macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2013
    In my work, I use iPad mini and MBa, the iPad used for data collection on the field, and since the data collection on the field is walking around the project, so indeed iPad is a proper computer to use where your "workstation" is where you stand.
    Most activity on iPad mini:
    - Tap Form (for data collection)
    - Chat (to communicate with the team)
    - Email (to communicate with the rest of the world)
    - TurboViewer (to see Autocad drawings for reference)
    - PDFMax (to see technical reference)
    - MindNote (for ideas tree)
    - Reminder (sync with MBa)

    Activity on MBa:
    - the rest of "real" application including iWork
    - hook to external monitor and an expansion for more serious work (not all the time)

    Other thing:
    - I used to read eBook or PDF magazine on iPad, but since I have "screen rotate" app on my MBa, I never read PDF on iPad as MBa have bigger screen .. :)
    - Tried work on iWork on iPad, but just waist my time since I still have to fix them add this..add that in my MBa to make it more proper.

    So in my opinion, iPad is not replacing my laptop, even the smallest laptop, the work atmosphere is different, however this is in my world of work, could be the same and could be differ.

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