Replacing my iPad with a MacBook, am i crazy or?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by nph, May 3, 2018.

  1. nph macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 9, 2005
    #1
    My next laptop will probably be a MacBook for easy travel on flights, etc as a complement to my 15". Actually planning to replace my iPad (which today is complementing my 15" MBP) with it. If only project Marzipan happens this year. I have an iPhone Plus and I realize the only thing use my iPad for now is play a game and read at night. With a MacBook I can read in bed as well. Maybe I am crazy but it feels so small and light I can bring it everywhere just like an iPad.

    Any thoughts from people who has bought the MacBook and skipped/upgraded from the iPad?
     
  2. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

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    #2
    I skipped the iPad for the reasons you say. When I got my MacBook I also thought I would use it for reading at night, but actually I never did. I find I prefer to read with my iPhone 8+ (since changed to an X) or Kindle Voyager. You might find different, but reading at night might be one thing the iPad is better for.
     
  3. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #3
    For watching Netflix I prefer iPad. One important feature on iOS is you can download shows locally which is great for the plane. You can’t do that on macOS. Furthermore, on iOS some of the TV apps are much better than their corresponding web-based streaming interfaces on macOS.

    Mind you you can do that with on an iPhone too so if your iPhone screen is big enough, it can replace the iPad for yet purpose.
     
  4. simonmet, May 13, 2018
    Last edited: May 13, 2018

    simonmet macrumors 68000

    simonmet

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    #4
    Some good comments from EugW above. The iPad, as you’re probably aware, is better tailored to content consumption and I think the apps reflect this.

    It’s a debate I’ve been having with myself recently too, but I settled (decided at least) on a MacBook over an iPad for highly mobile situations. I like to read forums but also contribute yet even with a keyboard case the iPad still trails and feels like a compromise compared to a laptop with a dedicated keyboard. It’s all the little things that add up and sometimes some of them are extremely frustrating. For example:
    • There appears to be no way to increase the key repeat rate (and reduce repeat delay) in iOS as there is in OS X. I can’t stand waiting for a slow back-space erase. It’s one of the first settings I always change when setting up a Mac environment.
    • The iPad keyboard cases typically only let you view the screen at one angle, and very often this isn’t the ideal or best angle, compared with a laptop where there’s at least some maneuverability.
    • If you need to charge while typing using an iPad keyboard case, the lightning cable sticks out the side of the screen, which frankly just looks silly.
    • Once you add a keyboard case to an iPad, you’re basically at the weight (mass) of a MacBook anyway.
    • OS X has a big range of full OS utilities and extensions that can sometimes come in quite handy, even when you’re on the road or on a plane. Try changing your MAC address on iOS! Same goes for access to external hard drives and thumb drives (albeit adapters required for most).
    • Can’t (really) code or work in Terminal on an iPad. A MacBook is surpringly good for this, especially running Terminal full-screen.
    • I’m currently typing this on an iPad with a Kensington keyboard case, and though the keys feel good and they even have backlighting, the arrow keys seem to inexplicably turn into Page Down (all of them) quite regularly, which is beyond infuriating. I’ll blame Kensington for that one.
    • Many iPad apps are still just blown-up iPhone apps. Full-screen mode on OS X however has gone a long way to making many desktop apps very usable on the MacBook’s small screen. Though I don’t expect anyone to seriously attempt using something like Logic or Final Cut.
    Sure there are benefits to the iPad. If you get a Pro model the screen quality is amazing; also, pencil support is pretty cool. But I see in that instance the iPad being a high-end and expensive canvas which I don’t really need.
     
  5. newellj macrumors 604

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    Boston, MA, US
    #5
    I am currently/recently on a hunt for something very portable, mostly to do work. That involves mostly using web resources and Word and Excel files.

    I started out thinking that a 10.5" iPad Pro with the Apple Keyboard and Pencil would work well. Compact, light, and when I access our system via a virtual desktop app the Pencil works like a one-button mouse. LTE connectivity would be a plus (no need to use the phone as a hotspot).

    In the middle of the return period Best Buy had a one-day sale on MacBooks - $950 for the base configuration, which made it cheaper than the iPad Pro 10.5" when accessorized. I'd had a MacBook back in 2015 (two, actually) and had hated the keyboard but for $950 and a 30 day return period (bought a new 4K OLED TV earlier this year) decided I'd give it another shot. The MacBook is only a little bigger and a little heavier than the iPad Pro with keyboard so it seemed like a reasonable alternative.

    I returned the iPad. Moving Word and Excel files in and out of iOS didn't work very well for me, and I have never gotten used to the iOS version of MS Office. Bottom line - for anything other than just watching videos, Mac OS works tons better for me than iOS. The Pencil turned out to be a poor substitute for a trackpad or mouse (really poor). I was continually hitting the iPad display with the fingers on my right hand (odd but lots of people seem to have the same problem). The portability of the MacBook is as good as the iPad, and it's easier to set up (and you can set up the display angle to whatever works best, unlike the iPad/Apple Smart Keyboard).
     
  6. simonmet macrumors 68000

    simonmet

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    #6
    I agree. Apart from a few select capabilities, almost everything is slower, more limited and way more frustrating on the iPad.

    The MacBook is far from perfect. It’s frustrating that there’s never any Apple product which is exactly what you need, but for about the same price or not much more you’re way better off buying a MacBook over an iPad in my opinion. Apple has been (as usual) very clever with its marketing of the iPad Pro, but in the end it’s just that: marketing.
     
  7. newellj macrumors 604

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    Oct 15, 2014
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    Boston, MA, US
    #7
    I will say in the iPad Pro's favor that there are graphical things that seem to just whiz on the Pro, things that you couldn't do without an expensive add-on for the MacBook (which it might not have the horsepower to deal with anyway). The woman who sold me the iPad Pro was a graphic artist and - oh - the things she was doing on that iPad. But those are not things I will ever need to do (or be able to do).

    In the end, though, I agree. I bought the MacBook as a niche, secondary (or really tertiary) tool. At $950, it was irresistible and I think that's probably my verdict on the 2017 MacBook - it's much improved from the two I had in 2015.
     
  8. simonmet macrumors 68000

    simonmet

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    #8
    If I could afford to, I’d love to have an iPad Pro for its screen and the artistic and pencil-based input opportunities it offers, but this is a niche. I’m no artist, and for the majority of what I do an iPad either cannot replace a small laptop in the same size-class, or it can’t do so as well.
     
  9. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2016
    #9
    Where did you find an MacBook for $950? How long ago?
    only price I have seen on them is $1300.
    However they had the the MacBook Pro 256 on sale form $1500 to $1300 this past weekend. Same price as the MacBook but you get the bigger screen, and better specs.
     
  10. newellj macrumors 604

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    Oct 15, 2014
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    #10
    Two weeks ago - one day flash sale at Best Buy. Crazy price. If I'd taken the time to claim the education discount it would have been a full $400 off the regular price.
    --- Post Merged, May 14, 2018 ---
    Agree on all of those points!
     
  11. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

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    #11
    WOW that is a great price!!!
     
  12. newellj macrumors 604

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    #12
    Yes, especially considering that Apple sells the refurbished version for $200 off, $350/$400 for a new-in-box copy is amazing.
     
  13. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2016
    #13
    The refurbs are $200 off?
    Where do you purchase at the Apple website?
    Think the refurbs are worth it?
     
  14. newellj macrumors 604

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    #14
    Apple home page, all the way down under "Store" - US link: https://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals

    I think Apple refurbs are a great deal. They are returns or warranty service items that should perform the same as a new item. They have the same warranty and accessories, just a different box.

    Looking at Best Buy's inventory, my guess is that BB thinks or knows that there is a refreshed version coming at WWDC in early June.

    Happily, because of last year's shopping at Best Buy, my return period on the MacBook is good until 6/14. Otherwise, you should be aware of the two-week return period that applied to most Apple products (including the refurbs).
     
  15. LarryC, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018

    LarryC macrumors 6502

    LarryC

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    #15
    Quote: "Replacing my iPad with a MacBook, am i crazy or?"
    Yes. You are indeed crazy, but that has absolutely nothing at all to do with replacing your iPad. I am joking, of course. But yes, you are crazy. With the way that the world is today, normal is much more frightening.
     
  16. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Thanks i'm going to take a look.
     
  17. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Going to have to take a look. If the refurbished is a simple return that would be excellent.
     
  18. FilmIndustryGuy macrumors regular

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    May 12, 2015
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    Manhattan Beach, CA
    #18

    I went through different product always chasing the 1 thing that does it all. At end i use the MacBook 2017 for work travel and on the go, the MacBook pro 15 2017 for work in home and heavy stuff name things open with 4k external monitor, printer and paper with sticky taps for planning sticking them all over my huge wall mirrors and writing revisions with multi color pens so i can see everything at once and compare revisions. Also got a kindle oasis for 1 handed reading. I skipped the iPad since it tried to be an all in 1 travel device but all i used mine for was wasting time. my brother got the 10.5 and loves it but he doesnt type much like I do. im convinced most people on here asking these questions use apple devices for games and youtube fooling themselves they need these things for productivity reasons. If you are productive and usually on the go i can tell you the MacBook 12 2017 is something you wont fall out of love with. if i could have only one thing, id keep the 12 inch and the multicolor gel pens I use.
     
  19. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2016
    #19
    Honestly for some reason even when the Macbook Pro 13in 256 was the same price as the Macbook I still liked the smaller macbook with the less powerful processor, smaller screen, and less ports.
    Just appealed to me more.
     
  20. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #20
    If the MBP 15" is just for home, why didn't you just get an iMac? I'm curious. Do you sometimes use the 15" Pro away from home?

    My setup at home is an iMac with dual 27" screens, and my setup on the go is a 12" MacBook. I'm not a pro, but I'd find using a 15" MBP as a home workstation kind of annoying.

    As mentioned before, I also have an iPad, but I just use it for entertainment and occasional surfing (although I prefer laptops and desktops for surfing).
     
  21. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2016
    #21
    Yeah the iPad was great. Mine is the Mini 2 Retina I got back in 2013. To be honest its funny I didn't use it as much as I thought. Thought I was use it more for movies and surfing but it was more for surrfing with a bigger screen.
    Doubt I'd get an iPad so soon as my old one works ok but I find myself wanting to use the Macbook but I am assuming eventually that will die down as well and that was a costly purchase.
    I think my iPad back then was like $600 or so odd dollars, today a Mini is 400 and a 9.7 even cheaper.
     
  22. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #22
    I use my iPad Air 2 on the couch or in bed, or else bring it with me to other places.

    I find using a laptop in bed or on the couch a bit awkward, although preferred if I need to do a lot of typing.

    However, I figure if I get a 6.5" iPhone, I'd probably use my iPad a lot less for email and casual surfing.
     
  23. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

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    #23
    You are accurate. Used my phone still more but enjoyed the ipad when the phone was charging.
     
  24. Mr. 123 macrumors regular

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    Sep 20, 2016
    #24
    I own both a 2015 MacBook Air and the new 2018 iPad for travel while I use a MacBook Pro with a Cinema Display at home.

    I use the Air for serious writing, editing etc when I’m not at home. I use the iPad for watching movies and series on Netflix and iTunes, browsing, some writing (editing text mostly)...

    Sometimes if I’m away, I just bring the iPad if I don’t need to do really intensive work which I prefer doing on the Air.

    I don’t have the MacBook that is being discussed in the thread but still, I think both devices are great. I can do most things I do on the Air with the iPad but if I have to work for a long time I prefer using Air.
     
  25. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

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    #25

    I actually like the MacBook better than I like the air & pro.
     

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