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macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 5, 2010
My current gear: 2011 iMac 27", 2012 MacBook Air 13", iPad 4, iPhone 6S.

I need something highly portable, light and long lasting for grad school and work-related purposes. For school, I work on Word documents and for work, I translate scripts for videos, which too come in Word documents or equivalent in a proprietary format (proprietary enough to make .docx look universal).

I'm currently torn between a 12-inch MacBook and either of the iPad Pros. For all intents and purposes, common sense may dictate that I should go for the MacBook hands down because of work needs.

On the other hand, the reason why I am torn is because almost all of my entertainment comes from my iPad. By entertainment, I mean games, reading material and binge YouTube. I also have digital subscriptions to a couple of magazines, and I find reading them on the iPad to be more convenient than on either Mac.

I already have a couple of Bluetooth keyboards, so that's one purchase I do not have to make. I was thinking of getting the Citrix mouse and remote accessing my iMac at home for the times I need other apps that don't have iPad equivalents. I have a phone plan that provides 15GB per month and lets me share that allocation with a cellular-enabled iPad.

Am I being delusional? Is it still better to just get a MacBook in the end?


macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
Always a day away
In my experience, an iPad with a BT keyboard is no more portable than my MBP, but if you're all about reading and gaming on your iPad, I say go for it.


macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
iPad would be fine and to be honest the on screen keyboard at that size is damn good to type on.

Billy Underhill

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2016
iPad would be fine and to be honest the on screen keyboard at that size is damn good to type on.
iPad Pro with Apples dock connector key board would be perfect in my opinion. I have the 9.7" with 256gb hard drive and love it!


macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
Key West FL
Am I being delusional? Is it still better to just get a MacBook in the end?


Step #1 in ANY such decision making is to find the necessary software FIRST, totally ignoring hardware wishes/wants, period.

Only after you've located the necessary software and reviewed the OS and hardware requirements/options can you begin to review the hardware available that can run the software. Having to deal with documents in a proprietary format will likely be extremely restrictive as to your OS options. iThingies are NOT Macs.


macrumors 6502
Sep 4, 2010
If you need a laptop, get a MBP IMO.

I just can't recommend the retina macbook given the silly one port crap. MBP all the way.

If you need a tablet, get an iPad pro. If you need portability, get a 9.7''. If you can compromise size and a more cumbersome device for more screen real estate and better multi tasking functionality, get 12.

As someone above said, ascertain your NEEDS software-wise and make a decision based on that. Don't buy an iPad and try to adapt your needs to it. Its a very amateurish thing to do. Work/productivity comes first and you shouldn't make compromises on that to try and fit a device into your workflow. A device should IMPROVE your workflow and aid it, not restrict it.

Lapine Rider

macrumors member
May 15, 2010
I write novels, which means tons of all-day work on lengthy documents. I've owned (and written novels on) two standard-sized iPads and a 12" Mac Book. The Mac Book is about 1000% better, for me at least. While I need portability too, I've found that a mouse/touchpad is massively helpful for serious word-processing and that in the real world the Mac Book isn't noticeably less portable than an iPad plus a keyboard. I don't play games or watch You Tube, though, so your overall priorities may well be significantly different than mine.

As a side note, when I need _extreme_ portability I work on novels quite successfully with a bluetooth keyboard and a 6+. It's not as convenient as the MacBook, but is at least functional. Indeed, I find it very nearly as useful a setup as the iPad ever was.

God, how I wish Apple would allow bluetooth pointing devices on _all_ their gadgets, including my 6+! That would indeed be the best of all worlds for me. I find their refusal to do this so annoyingly mule-headed that I'm more tempted by android every day.
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