Secondary computer- Ipad vs Macbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Scorcher, May 8, 2017.

  1. Scorcher macrumors newbie

    Scorcher

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    #1
    I have a 2016 15 inch MacBook pro. this is my main computer, and it mostly stays at home.
    I am looking to buy a secondary computer and I;m debating between an ipad pro and a 12 inch macbook. I have long commutes to work, I occasionally go to conventions where I need a portable machine.
    Also sometimes I like to just work outside of home, in coffee shops and libraries.
    My main uses for this machine would be media consumption, word, excel and some photo editing.

    I was considering the Ipad pro, but I’m worried that it would be too limiting.
    What do you think?
     
  2. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #2
    I can't stand typing more than a few words using an on-screen "keyboard", and if you carry around a real add-on keyboard you might as well just have the macbook. That's IMO of course. Some people seem to do just fine tapping away at a tablet screen.
     
  3. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #3
    I just committed a bit more money to my 12.9" iPP last week, snagging a Brydge keyboard for it, with the intent of buying a VESA iMac (pro version) this fall/winter. The iMac will replace an aging, but still very serviceable late-2013 rMBP that I rarely take on the road with me now.

    I need a portable device and rarely have access to wifi, so my iPP with an UL VZW data plan (one of the older plans), remotely accessing my network files, and a fairly-powerful iMac back at the home office is the direction I'm heading. I'd offer that pairing an iPP with a decent keyboard (I've been using a Logitech K811), Apple Pencil, and case makes a decent workstation if you've got a cellular/network connection. With access to my source files, Adobe CC, Office 365, and FaceTime I rarely miss my rMBP when I leave it back at the home office.
     
  4. Scorcher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Scorcher

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    #4
    Why didnt you buy the apple smart keyboard?
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    My personal opinion is that iOS is too limiting. When you compare apps on OS X vs. iOS you see that by and large the iOS apps have less features, are more restrictive and imo, harder to use, then on a laptop with a mouse and keyboard.

    Then there's iOS in of itself, where you cannot fully multitask, you easily share files/data between apps. Lack of a visible file system is a good example of what you can do in OS X and what you cannot do in iOS
     
  6. pika2000 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #6
    Depends on what you are planning to do on the secondary device.
    If you need a laptop-like experience, then get a laptop. If you need a hardware keyboard, get a laptop.
    If stylus-like functionality is more desired, or keyboard input is not a priority, then I can argue that the iPad offers better experience in a lot of things, even on email and web browsing.
    In short, buy what you need.
     
  7. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #7
    I have both the 9.7 iPad Pro and the 1.29 iPad Pro.....and a 2016 12" MacBook. I found that when on trips if I took only an iPad that inevitably there was something that I really needed to do and couldn't because it was not an actual computer. I bought the 12" MacBook and there have been trips where I've taken both the MB and the 9.7 iPad.....and that has worked nicely. At the hotel or in other places, the iPad is great for grabbing quickly and reviewing emails, checking in on forums, etc. The MacBook is better when I need to do something with files or when I have a bunch of stuff I need to download, etc., and if I want to type lengthy documents.

    I have the Apple BT keyboard which I use with my iPads at home, but often don't bother traveling with it. No need, especially now that I take the MB with me. When at home in the warm weather I like to sit out on my deck with the larger iPad Pro and the external BT keyboard, but even then there have been times when I've taken the MacBook out to the deck instead because I knew there was something I'd be needing to download and work on.

    My 15" 2015 rMBP remains at home and serves as my desktop substitute/main computer, while the iPads go all over the house and outdoors and the MacBook usually lives in the bedroom, where I often use it in the evenings.
     
  8. jjhoekstra macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    #8
    Like others already have written, I also have both a iPad and a MacBook as secondary computer and I use both. For a trip in public transportation the iPad is perfect, just a bit of reading etc. But If there is any chance I have to do real work than the MacBook is the first and only choice. Overall I use the MacBook about 80% of secondary time, and the iPad for about 20%. The MacBook would have been enough for me and I will upgrade it as soon as it is needed. I will use the iPad till it dies and than live without an iPad.
     
  9. mdbradigan macrumors member

    mdbradigan

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Location:
    Nashville, TN area
    #9
    YMMV, of course, but fwiw - I tried using my iPad (air 2) as a travel device for nearly the exact same things - word / light coding / light photo editing / content consumption, and it was pretty annoying for all but the latter. I got a rmb and I love it.

    For my needs - if I am going on a PURE vacation, and I will ONLY need a content consumption device, I'll bring my iPad. If I plan on doing more than 0.00% content creation (including e-mails), then I will bring my macbook (and, honestly, often also my ipad, as a second monitor).

    Please note - in ~4 years with an iPad and ~ 1.5 years with a macbook, I cannot think of any instance of scenario #1 post-mb purchase. (I.e. - it ALWAYS goes with me).

    Highly recommend it. Is a much much better solution.
     
  10. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #10
    Not to my liking, relative to functionality. Part of my day is writing contracts. I use the K811, generally average around 65WPM with it. Both the Brydge and K811 have adjustable backlighting, a must-have for me. I like the Brydge but I've had it for less than a week, getting it for 1/3 of the retail price in the MR Marketplace was a bonus for me. I was looking for a solution anyway and that timing was spot-on for me, I was about ready to pop for a Logitech Create when that listing came up - the Create has backlighting and a keyboard feel that I can live with; I would have bought a Create and not the Apple solution, personal tastes/wants driving that for me. Cheers.

    Besides, but related, I also use a wideband UC microphone to dictate much of my emails/text/notes - it really speeds things up for me.
     
  11. Works4Me macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    If you ever need to look at two Word docs side by side or easily move between them, you may not want an iPad.
     
  12. bingeciren, May 10, 2017
    Last edited: May 10, 2017

    bingeciren macrumors 6502a

    bingeciren

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    #12
    MacBook without a hesitation. For one thing, the entire setup of your 15" MacBook Pro can be duplicated 1:1 on the MacBook and you may find yourself using your MacBook more frequently than your 15" Pro.

    By the way this is coming from a person who owns a MacBook, iPad Pro 9.7" and iPad Mini 4.
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    I wonder if this is one reason why iPad sales have dropped somewhat.

    Even though Apple may tout the iPad as a "replacement" for a laptop-format Mac, the inconveniences of "no keyboard" and "no filing system" put up a serious impediment to the iPad actually functioning as such.

    How much more trouble is it, really, to just carry a MacBook Air or MacBook?
    And have "a real computer" at the ready?
     
  14. bingeciren macrumors 6502a

    bingeciren

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    #14
    Absolutely agree with you. @mdbradigan very nicely summarized this as well. I find my MacBook hell of a lot more useful, regardless of having one USB-C port. It is better at multitasking by opening more than two scalable and movable windows simultaneously, drag and drop stuff among them, as well as being able to use VMs to run Windows in the background if I needed.

    The difference in size and weight of the 12.9" iPad pro with its smart keyboard compared to the MacBook is insignificant. The only advantage of the iPad Pro becomes evident when one needs artistic creation using the Apple Pencil.
     
  15. dmcelroy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    #15
    I finally made the decision to tell work I no longer needed a laptop. I've found that I can do 90% of my work on my iPad and that includes some pretty robust stuff. The only thing I use my iMac for is heavy duty multimedia work such as creating/editing video. The iPad is easier to carry around, battery lasts all day (a portable battery is also easy to take along for 2-3 recharges if I'm in a trip), and I don't mind the onscreen keyboard. I often do most of my heavy typing by voice anyway.
     
  16. Scorcher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Scorcher

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    #16
    I guess I will get the macbook. I got my 15 inch macbook pro to replace my old desktop computer. That computer was meant for power and longevity. I rationalised the weight of it by thinking that I don't take it out of the house that often. But I do need an ultra portable computer. I guess I'l just wait to see if a new macbook will be announced next month.

    Tell me, since you have an ipad pro, are you dissipated in its performance, or have you reached road blocks that led you to recommend the macbook?
     
  17. bingeciren macrumors 6502a

    bingeciren

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    #17
    I use my iPad Pro mainly for reading magazines, newspapers and books. Also it is perfect for annotating documents and creating schematics using the Apple Pencil and Notability.

    iPad's hardware performance is stellar, however you have to learn to live with IOS and change your work flow accordingly to get your work done. You will find many advocates of IOS in iPad forums about the intuitiveness and ease of using IOS. But for me, doing things the IOS way takes more time and effort and some things simply cannot be done the same way, like opening multiple scalable windows, drag and drop between windows and having access to file structure. Like I said, you will have to completely change your work flow and your thinking as well.

    With MacBook, especially coming from your 15" MacBook Pro, everything will be exactly the same as before. You don't have to re-invest in new programs either, you simply do a migration assistant and continue on. I also use Resilio Sync to keep my Downloads and Documents folder synced between my MacMini, MacBook and my iPads. That way, I have access to my up-to-date documents from any of my devices.

    I have one last thing to mention: When MacBook was first introduced, there was quite a bit commotion about its a) lack of cpu power and b) lack of ports. To play it safe, I decided to get the maxed out MacBook, namely the 1.3 GHz core m7. And for lack of ports, I bought a $40 USB-C port adapter with power pass. So far I have not run into a situation to justify any of these shortcomings.
     
  18. entropyfl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    #18
    I wouldn't even bother buying another laptop.. I'd just use the 2016 model you just bought.. its not like there is a 10lb weight difference so its hardly inconvenient.

    I have a iMac in my home office and Laptop that I use downstairs and for work trips.. Only thing that bugs me is keeping them in sync.. think if I had to do it again I would just buy a laptop with bigger storage and nice Apple Cinema Display for the desktop work etc..
     
  19. bingeciren macrumors 6502a

    bingeciren

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    #19
    Try Resilio Sync. You can sync selected files or folders using the free version among multiple devices.

    I have two MacMini servers in different locations and have my traveling MacBook. I sync my Documents and Downloads folders with no problem. There is no cloud involved, so there is no storage space limit and if any of the machines are local and using the same network, sync is done using the local network. The only caveat is that ideally at least one master machine needs to be up and running so that modified files have a way to propagate. It works with NAS and IOS devices as well.
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #20
    I frequently have PDFs, word and excel spreadsheet open, so that's one reason why I prefer a laptop. plus I use remote access tools, such as RDP and gotomypc and in both cases without a mouse using them is a trial in frustration
     
  21. Fabmac macrumors member

    Fabmac

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    #21
    I had the same cuestión, I buy an air2 some years ago and I love it but there are a lot of things which you do slower or you can't do with an iPad... so I buy an MacBook Air... and it's a different story
     
  22. Scorcher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Scorcher

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    #22
    Ok. So apple just updated the ipad pro and gave us a preview of multitaksking on ios 11. Knowing sll that the ipad pro can do now ( or will be able to do in a few months) what do you think? Im leaning a bit towars the ipad now, but im still worried about the keyboard and being limited by the os
     
  23. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #23
    What do you think you're doing to do that you won't be able to? You've got the laptop if you HAD to bring it with you, add an external keyboard to an iPad and along with a text editor/Google Docs and Affinity Photo you're good to go for just about anything.

    For me buying another full laptop would be a waste of money.
     
  24. mdbradigan macrumors member

    mdbradigan

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Location:
    Nashville, TN area
    #24
    For me (and again, this is an opinion, so ymmv) - the sole advantage to having an ipad over a laptop for general computing is in weight. Screen, storage, battery, these are fairly equal. The moment the macbook became as light as an ipad, the choice was made for me. I tried using an ipad for mobile computing for simple things - e-mails, light coding, etc., for a year...and never enjoyed it. Just far too limiting. IOS11 multi-tasking looks better. In fact, much better. But it's still not as easy to create content on iOS as it is on MacOS. So - for me - this is a no brainer at all. The macbook is FANTASTICALLY light - and still works as a full computer. That's phenomenal for me. And it makes the decision beyond easy for me, personally.

    If you want to solely consume content, maybe write an e-mail or two or a static thing like blog / article / book (i.e., with little copy / pasting / visual editing) - iPad. If you ever, at ALL, plan on creating content - macbook. YMMV - absolutely - but that's my experience. I *love* my macbook. I'm... mildly enthusiastic about my iPad. It's.. ok. My macbook is indispensable in a day to day way. My iPad is a neat toy. Once we have better interfaces - think holographic manipulation, gesture based controls, etc. - things that will take the place of a mouse or trackpad for manipulation, I expect these devices will achieve more parity. But, in my opinion, macbook is 100% the way to go for light mobile computing.

    If you get a chance - borrow a friend's iPad and try to use it for a week to do your "normal" tasks... see how you like it. For me, I couldn't handle the lesser productivity.

    Either way though, I hope you thorough enjoy your purchase - they truly are both great machines.
     
  25. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #25
    If it was only one machine I'd generally agree with you...but he already has a MacBook Pro.
     

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