Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 19, 2023
I've been on the same Macbook Pro for a long time, about 14 years now. It's on its last leg and doesn't even leave my house anymore (I have a Windows laptop from work for a mobile computer). I'm thinking it's about time to upgrade.

I'm thinking about replacing my MBP with an iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard, and getting a desktop iMac for home. I figure the iPad can do pretty much anything I would need on a mobile device (MS Suite, browsing, video chat, multimedia), and I'd have the iMac for my more heavy-duty computing needs. I don't really have that many heavy-duty needs honestly, but I used to do some hobbyist video and photo editing and music production, and I'd like to have those capabilities. When I'm at home, I prefer the desktop ergonomic experience for computing.

One thing I'd really like to be able to do is run a remote desktop app on the iPad and access my iMac remotely that way. Essentially, I envision turning the iPad into a functioning Macbook by accessing the iMac remote desktop. I How feasible is this from a functionality perspective? Do you foresee performance issues?

It bugs me that they tied the superior processor and higher RAM in the iPad pro to the higher SSD capacity. Of course they did. I Really don't need more than 256GB for my mobile device, and I don't care about the nano texture glasss, but I don't want to sacrifice the performance, especially if I'm trying to run a remote desktop setup. Any thoughts on the performance difference between the tiers of iPad Pro?

I'm leaving on a 6-week trip soon, and I don't want to take my MBP, so as not to push it to finally croak. I'm thinking about going ahead and geting the iPad Pro for my computer for my trip. I would need to stagger the purchases a bit, so I'd get the iPad first, look to get the iMac the next time they get refreshed, and in the interim continue to use my MBP as my "desktop".

Any thoughts about how this would work? I've done some research on the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. Seems like it can do the things I need out of a mobile computer for the most part. The only red flag I've noticed so far are the clunkiness of multitasking on iPadOS.


macrumors regular
Feb 10, 2024
Halifax, NS
The one thing I haven't done with my new iPad Pro that you mentioned was Remote Desktop, but everything else has been fantastic. Multitasking for the type of tasks you're doing shouldn't be much of an issue. You'll find a workflow that makes sense and go on your merry way. I say, if there's time, get the new gear and trial run it before your trip. That way you'll have the opportunity to return it and get a new MacBook Air or something instead if it doesn't work as you had hoped.


Apr 23, 2010
I never cared for desktop computers. Laptops are just as powerful, portable if needed and have built in battery backup.
  • Like
Reactions: teralpar


macrumors 68000
Jun 8, 2021
I wouldn't seriously worry about any performance delta between the two iPad Pro tiers for what you're doing. If you were natively running FCP or Logic or Davinci apps, maybe, but for basic work the 9 core will be fine.


macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2011
The 'Sunny' South Coast UK
This is exactly what I do 😇

I use my new M4 13” 99% of the time. My iMac I use for photo editing (very rarely) and video editing. However, I’m experimenting with LightCut on my iPad for video editing/production too! I’m not fussed for the video editing aspect of organising and producing videos from my drone footage as it takes me ages just to produce a five minute video…which kind of says it all about my editing skills haha! LightCut on the iPad is saving me time and hassle but is a work in progress.

Ive yet to decide if I need the Magic Keyboard but it wouldn’t take much to convince me I do. I’ve already got an Apple Pencil 2 but need to pick up the new Pencil Pro.

I would be interested in the Remote Desktop app you mentioned and will keep an eye out for the replies and suggestions you receive.


macrumors 6502
Aug 24, 2017
Honestly, I think you have a pretty good plan, though I do wonder:

- If you want to replace your MacBook Pro with something small, fast, lightweight, and that will do everything you need... why not just a MacBook Air? It costs roughly the same as the iPad Pro, and Apple Silicon Macs can run iPad/iOS apps (unless the developer specifically doesn't make the app available). Hook the MacBook Air up to a nice display, and you can enjoy a surprisingly good pseudo-desktop experience too. And even the old base-level M2 MacBook Air will have more than enough power for whatever you need.

- If you specifically want an iPad but don't have "heavy duty needs," wouldn't the iPad Air (or even the regular iPad) do all the things you need, and for much less money?
  • Like
Reactions: aurora_sect


macrumors member
Sep 9, 2016
The 9 core just isn’t as good at multitasking but it has the same single core performance. I think the latter is far more likely to be important for Remote Desktop. All you are doing is receiving a single video stream and displaying it


macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2022
I'm skeptical that remoting into a Mac from an iPad is going to be a smooth experience for serious productivity, but definitely curious to see what suggestions might pop up.

I'm impressed that you've had your MBP going for so long. I believe in getting maximum life from my devices and had a late 2012 iMac that I used for nine years, that is my record. And the last year or so I had to host the whole system on an external NVMe drive, which was ok but not quite ideal. Really I would have replaced it sooner but I was holding out for the imminent release of an M1 Pro or better desktop.

Apropos that, if I were in your position and felt a Mac was essential, I'd probably get the new iMac before the iPad, though I also don't like doing to much personal stuff on my work computer. So I also think the earlier suggestion just to get a new Macbook Air and call it a day is pretty great. But it all depends on your priorities.

If what you really want is an iPad now, then go with your plan but maybe don't expect too much from a remote solution. I do pretty advanced music production and fairly basic photo/video stuff and to me it seems like an iPad can go pretty deep on the latter, while I'd personally hate to be recording audio and mixing on an iPad except in very limited situations.
  • Like
Reactions: Sm29180
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.