retina MacBook or iPad Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dj64Mk7, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. Dj64Mk7 macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2013
    Hi there! As some of you may aware, I may be receiving a grant for some assistive technology from my state government, and am trying to explore my current options.

    Originally, we had applied for the grant to get a Surface Pro 3, which was denied. Currently, we are waiting to hear back about the same grant for a retina MacBook, but I want to look at other options in case this grant is denied as well.

    Now that I've given some background, here's my situation:

    I currently use an iPad Air provided by the school district to do my schoolwork on. It works well, except for the limitations that the IT department has placed on the software, which I can list if anyone is curious.

    I am attracted to the retina MacBook because it is literally ultraportable and has a Retina display, which I need because of my vision impairment. It is powerful enough for me in the base configuration, and the infamous 1 port doesn't bother me at all. I love the fact that it is fan-less. The keyboard doesn't bother me; I actually like it quite a bit. And I love the fact that it comes in gold, just like the iPhone.

    With the iPad Pro, comparisons to the Surface Pro 3 are inevitable. Both are available with detachable keyboard covers, and both have available styli. These were major selling points for me and the Surface, and I believe Apple may have finally perfected them with the iPad Pro.

    It is important for me to have some sort of physical keyboard, as the device I purchase from this grant will be used at both home and school day in and day out.

    Having a stylus still important, but secondary. Writing is a challenge for me with my disability, which is why a keyboard (whether software of physical) is important. A stylus is important for notes and classwork/homework where drawing is necessary, especially in a class such as chemistry.

    Thank you for your recommendations! I will gladly expand and explain any questions or comments, just ask!


    Tl;dr : Should I get a retina MacBook or an iPad Pro?
  2. pjfan macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    Columbus OH
    Not familiar with your specifics, but here is what I found with Air 2 (really any 9.7" iPad) vs MBA, vs 15 rMBP. Lap computing was far and a away better with MBA --- which leads my personal temptation to the new MacBook, especially with the use cases I've read here on the forum. I never settled for small keyboards, and paired my iPads to full size apple keyboard. No doubt i could make it work in tight spaces, but the MBA was tremendously more productive for me... I know apple wants the iPads to be more creation devices, but I feel as though they can only do that for true artists. If you have one sole device, it must be a full operating system if you plan to efficiently do school work, in my opinion.

    The iPad is terrific for me to consume content on, mess around in forums (imagine MacBook could displace forums) and other hobby things. The ipad pro keyboard combo is probably really nice, but that doesn't affect my use case enough to sway me away from MacBook.
  3. Dj64Mk7 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2013
    What's bolded is what's important. At school, I don't necessarily need a physical keyboard, as the iPad Air has already proven. I don't need too much power. I need to be able to quickly take notes, which any device will be able to do easily. Where power becomes an issue is outside of class, where I have to, for instance, quote a book or story while writing an essay. Or making music and/or editing video shot for a school project.

    The larger size of iPad Pro is perfect for not just consuming content, but also creating it, as in the scenarios above. Apple Pencil helps to prove this point. As for the Smart Keyboard, I would be most concerned that it will be trash like the Surface Pro 3 Type Cover, although hands-on articles say that it is similar to the retina MacBooks' keyboard.

    What are limitations of iOS 9 on iPad compared to limitations of OS X El Capitan on MacBook? (i.e. what can one do that the other can't?)
  4. pjfan macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    Columbus OH
    Quoting a book, or providing references in an essay is. Witter in ios 9 than ios 8, but my muscle memory is all about command+c. Might be a generational thing.

    Don't get me wrong, I think iPads are great, and the Pro has a purpose. If there is a committee that will review your request, put forward an argument for both. I've had a terrible time getting people to be comfortable with me writing (writing, not typing!) notes in business meetings on an iPad, so you might have a bias on the committee reviewing your request. A laptop might be perceived very different (could've been the reason for surface issue).

    The iPad is truly a home/hotel device anymore for me, and I'm back to real pen and real paper then laptop creation.

    Best of luck, and I hope you get approval for the device that helps you the best. A tenured Apple Store team member might offer great observation/conversation if you can swing by one.
  5. Dj64Mk7 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2013
    I just used that example because it's something we've been doing in English class, and something we will continue to do. For the specific example though, Split View in OS X would work just as well as iOS.

    I am not sure how the group is organized, but I don't have any direct contact with them, just with the case manager (or whatever their title is, I just know them as [name redacted] from MD Promise) who comes to my home, and who has to be there in the store when we purchase whatever device the grant is approved for.

    The entire reason for considering the Surface (and now iPad Pro) in the first place is because writing with pen and paper is hard for me. I have trouble with pushing down on the paper with too much pressure (which time and, surprisingly, mechanical pencils have helped solve somewhat), and also where my hand and wrist/arm begin to hurt after just a sentence or two of writing. Together, a keyboard (whether software or physical) and stylus (Apple Pencil in this case) can work together to help me do my best to work around these issues.

    Funnily enough, I bring up the iPad Pro just in case the retina MacBook does not get approved. At this point, I am simply very interested in having a discussion about different use cases for these two devices that are uniquely similar to one another.

    The next trip I take to the Apple Store will hopefully be to buy one of these wonderful devices. I can only hope.

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