iPad Pro Should I keep this iPad Pro 11” or wait for the next MacBook Pro? Will the iPad Pro be enough?

What’s the best combination, having in mind my current and future needs?

  • Keep this iPad Pro 11” (1000€), as my priority now is Office, iWork and documents.

    Votes: 7 87.5%
  • Buy a second hand iPad Pro 11” (700-800€) and eventually buy a Mac Mini with 16GB of RAM

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Return this iPad Pro 11” and keep waiting for the definitive MacBook Pro 13” this year or in 2020.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8

Populus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 24, 2012
946
833
Valencia, Spain.
Hello.


I’m the owner of an old 2010 MacBook Pro 13” that has been my main device for almost 10 years. But it started to show it’s age, and now it is a heavy, slow device with a blurry screen (yeah, I’m already used to retina resolutions) and poor battery life.


During the past couple of years I’ve tried a nTB MacBook Pro and a new MacBook Air. But due to the jump to 4 cores on the 13” models, I ended up waiting for a computer that would fully fit my expectations for a good price. I mean, I did’t want to spend 1500 or 1800 bucks for a dual core computer. Also, I’m not sure of the durability of this keyboards. My first request is portability, that’s why I only aim to 13” MacBooks.


But then, Apple introduced the new 11” iPad Pros. And I considered them as a possible laptop replacement... at least for my everyday usual tasks, mainly taking it to the university and typing on it (Pages), while I work on PDFs at the same time, in split view. Also to read text-books in PDF, as well as regular ePub books. Also watching YouTube videos, surfing the web, emailing and eventually using Numbers and Keynote as Office replacements.


So I went and bought an iPad Pro 11” past week. For those of you thinking “you’d be better suited with a 10,5” iPad Pro/Air”: no, That screen is too narrow in landscape mode, which is how I use my iPad. Also I usually have it on my lap, and the 11” iPP + Keyboard combination is much more solid thanks to magnets, with a 10,5 Pro/Air the iPad would be falling constantly because it is not fixed enough to the keyboard.


Well, after one week of use, I’ll make a list of pros and cons, and will compare it to a regular 13” MacBook Pro/Air


Pros:


  • It is blazing fast. Keep in mind I come from a slow 2,4 GHz Core2Duo, a Nehalem Intel dual core from 2009. It has an SSD and 8GB or RAM, but even with those specs maxed, it is a slow computer. On this iPad everything happens instantaneously.

  • It has much better battery life. On my old 2010 MacBook Pro, battery -which was already replaced once- only lasts 4 hours. With this iPP I have almost 12-14 hours of continuous work non stop.

  • Better integration with Continuity/Handoff/AirPods sync. Well, a new MacBook Pro/Air would also have this, provided that my MacBook is so old and outdated, with High Sierra being its last operative system.

  • The Keyboard. The Smart Keyboard Folio. Oh man this is a comfortable keyboard to type on. From the first time I tried it, I liked it a lot. I didn’t need an adaptation period. But that’s not all, with all the issues the MacBook Pro keyboards are having, I prefer to wait until a new design of MacBook Pros is on the streets, maybe this year, maybe 2020. In the meantime, the Smart Keyboard Folio seems durable enough, and being covered in this synthetic fabric, its crumb resistant. I think it is even waterproof, but it’s not something I’m willing to test.

  • Portability and convenience. This is the most portable computer-like device I have used ever. No MacBook Pro, current or future, can improve this. Ever. I use it on the go, I can use it on the bus as a book, as a mini computer on my lap. If I take it out on the lab, or on the desk in class, it takes significantly less amount of space than a laptop. And it is not only smaller, it is lighter. The 11” iPad Pro + Smart Keyboard Folio weights a total of 770 grams. A MacBook Air weighs 1250 grams. And the 13” MacBook Pro 1350 grams. It is almost the double.

Both the battery life and the weight are two key factors for me, and that’s the reason I’d like to make the transition. However, I’ve encountered several barriers when switching to iOS, and most importantly, when I think about the future use of my device, maybe in a couple of years, if it will still fulfill my needs. This are the “cons”, the barriers, and the use scenarios where a proper computer like a MacBook Pro would suit better my needs:


  • iOS limitations. Well, we could agree that 90% of the issues when trying to use an iPad like a regular computer come from iOS itself, and maybe some will be addressed with iOS 13, we’ll see if this happens on the WWDC announcement.

  • Storage file access, and file management. As most of you already know, it is a pain to get access to local files, not only on our hard drives, but on the local network as well. You have to upload everything to the cloud, and then download it to the iPad. If anyone have a better solution to transfer files locally (through FTP, SMB or Apple own protocol) from a Mac to an iPad, I would like to hear it. No, AirDrop is not a solution, it works too slow on my 2010 mac.

  • Torrent file sharing: This is something I’m willing to renounce to, as I can do my downloads on an old computer. But again, an easy way to transfer those files to my iPad would be awesome to stop using iCloud as a bridge.

Future-proofing: I really want to learn new skills in the future, maybe in 2 years or even earlier, but I think I need compute power to work with this software (Final Cut, Logic Pro...) that’s why I was holding on for a new MacBook Pro. But after a long time waiting, I’ve seen the iPad Pro as a temporal fix to keep my productivity, while waiting for a better MacBook Pro design, or at least wait to see if there is a transition towards ARM. Whenever I buy the MacBook Pro It has to last at least 8-10 years more. The problem is, for most tasks, my iPad Pro fits my needs (especially if they fix the file management with a proper finder). So, spending now near 1000€ in my iPad Pro setup, and 1500 to 1800€ on a MacBook Pro just to learn to edit videos and music composition, is too much for me. If I would be able to learn to do those things on this awesome iPad, I would be happy. Sure, I can always buy a second hand Mac Mini, but I would like to have everything with me on the go, and for that, a MacBook Pro is a better device.


As alternatives, for video editing I have Luma Fusion, which apparently seems not overly complicated, although again, file management makes me Cloud dependent. I don’t know if I can learn with this software without a proper pointer to click and drag files, without right click menus, etc... And for learning music composition, yeah, I’ve got GarageBand, but once I know how to use the basics, I don’t have Logic Pro for my iPad. And I see the touch interface a bit clunky for this uses...


However, all of the above, photo, video and music edition, are fields I wanna learn as a hobby. Right now my concerns are more focused towards Office apps: No, for now I’m not paying Office 365, I’d rather stick with Pages, Numbers and Keynote. The problem is I need to refresh my Office skills, learn how to master Excel Word and Powerpoint. Do the iOS Office versions have the same functionality as the computer ones? And so, do the iWork suite for iOS have similar functionalities? Because honestly, I’m starting to use Pages and Numbers and I’m already lost, and I used them on the Mac few years ago without issues.


One of my motivations for getting this iPad Pro is because I want to learn. I know the future is on the touch interfaces, and I've been all my life using a pointer to do everything. I think the earliest I become familiar working on iOS (or Android?) The better. I don't know if they are the operative systems of the future, but they represent a challenge and learning an alternative way of getting things done. It won’t be easy, I'm open to any kind of advise: do you think it's better to become familiar with iWork/Office suites on computer and then try to learn the touch interface? Or using straight up an iPad Pro is already a good way to become familiar with iWork first, and Office 365 later?


Another concern I’m having with the iPad Pro is the external screen usage. With my MacBook Pro 13”, I use to have it connected to my 24” Dell screen. I have to admit that this is good mainly to watch movies, but if I had to make a heavy file management organizing hundred of folders, the external screen is actually a great space to do so.


TL;DR: As you can see, for the 75% of my daily tasks, the iPad Pro not only fulfills my needs, but it also does it on the most convenient way. Small, smart, efficient, intuitive. But for that 25% remaining, I’m worried about needing a Mac. So I don’t know what to do, try to learn how iWork/Office 365 work on iOS, as well as photo/video/music software on iOS (let me know any software alternatives), or just save this 1000€ and wait for the next MacBook Pro refresh like I’ve been waiting until now. A third possibility is getting a second hand 11” iPad Pro (700-800€) for all the things I do outside my home and getting a Mac Mini for the Mac stuff... I’m not sure.


By the way, this thing is a fingerprint magnet, so I’m thinking on using a matte screen protector, BUT most of them reduce the crispness of the screen. If anyone knows a matte screen protector that affect as little as possible to the crispness of this Liquid Retina display, I’d thank them letting me know the brand and model.
 
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TheRealAlex

macrumors 68000
Sep 2, 2015
1,913
1,055
The Only MacBook Pro worth buying will feature.

A newly redesigned keyboard.
Intel 8 Core 10nm CPU
LPDDR4 RAM
120Hz Promotion HDR Display.
7nm AMD GPU 11GB HBM2 RAM
 
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plucky duck

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2012
574
105
If you cannot completely ween yourself off of a Macbook, and things gets too complicated, requiring a lot of compromises that may annoy you down the road, you may be better off to wait it out for the next Macbook iteration imo. If I had to spend laptop money on an iPad Pro and still have to compromise, to me that's not a good match. At the end of the day only you can judge for yourself whether the iPad Pro fits your use case over time.
 
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DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
8,798
9,772
Philadelphia, PA
I'd suggest keeping your old MacBook for the one off tasks and work to do everything you need to on the iPad Pro. Might as well get a jump on the future of computing and not further latch onto a slowly dying paradigm. It takes time to adjust, but is well worth it in the end. I made the switch about 3 years ago and it has been a great experience.