Swapping Macbook Pro for iPad to supplement iMac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JRKyte, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. JRKyte macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2013
    Hi all,

    I have just signed up here to specifically ask this question as I usually just prowl these boards and get my answers but my question this time is quite specific.

    I did a quick search and couldn't find anything that matched (maybe my search criteria is a bit vague) so apologies if this is a duplicate, also if this is the wrong sub-forum, please can a mod move it to the appropriate section.

    I have a Mid 2011 27" i5 iMac, a Mid 13.3" Macbook Pro and, probably irrelevant but just incase, a 16GB iPhone 5.

    I am a third year student in media *mainly focusing on web design/development* and do freelance design and web development work.

    I am starting to think it would be a good idea to sell my Macbook pro and buy a 16GB iPad, currently I would say I work 95% of the time on my iMac and 5% of the time on my macbook pro.

    Now many people would say "well, why not just sell the macbook pro and not buy anything if you do so little work on it", I would do this but I can recall a number of occasions I've needed to make a quick change on my macbook pro while I've been away and unable to use my iMac.

    - I use Coda to develop on my iMac, so for iPad I have looked at reviews for Diet Coda and this seems to cover me for making small changes to sites i'm working on on the go*.

    - Any graphic work could be covered by the plethora of apps for this on the iPad*.

    - File transfers can be handled via dropbox and for projects for University I use pages and keynote (which obviously have corresponding iPad apps).

    - And finally, I can use cellular on my iPad by setting up my iPhone as a wifi hotspot (I knew there was a reason I mentioned I had an iPhone!) and then just piggyback my data from my phone to my iPad.

    *Obviously these apps are no where near as powerful as their desktop counterparts, I understand and accept this.

    My Question:

    Am I seriously overlooking anything here? I don't want to sell my macbook pro, buy an iPad and then suddenly realise that I made a huge oversight and am now stuck with a useless bit of tech!

    Has any one had a similar situation?

    Any input at all would be ace!

    Thanks a lot
  2. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    My wife went to an iMac and iPad but just uses it for personal stuff. She prefers the iMac when typing a lot and doing any serious graphics work due to the big screen. Otherwise she is quite happy using the iPad. Since I got my iPad I find I use my MBP a lot less.

    16gb might be limiting. I have a 64gb model and have 20gb free. I do have a lot of books and video loaded.

    The real question is what would do if you're using the iPad and find something you can't do on it. Will it be a minor annoyance or a job killer? I've run into web sites that wouldn't work properly on the iPad. Remember that there's no Flash on the iPad.
  3. ronjon10 macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2009
    I'd recommend selling the iMac to fund a monitor for the mbpro and potentially an ipad. I know some folks have worked out a good workflow for their ipad, but I just haven't figured out a way to make it a work tool. It's great for consuming, but IMO, not creating.
  4. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    I have a 16 GB iPad, along with the Logitech keyboard cover (which is far, far superior to the virtual keyboard). I also have a stylus that works with the iPad. With those two tools I find that I can leave my Macbook Pro at home a good amount of the time. I'm not familiar with web design or development, but given the very small amount of time you spend on your Macbook Pro it sounds like an iPad might be able to replace it.

    Otherwise, I second ronjon. The iPad really excels at "consumption" and not creation, at least at the moment. Selling your iMac isn't a bad idea - that way you could use your Macbook Pro as your main system and use the iPad as your portable, yet still retain the ability to bring your full computer out with you if you ever really needed it.
  5. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    Your stylus and keyboard allow your iPad to act as much of a creation device as a consumption device. Given the vast majority of software for it (such as Notability, pages, etc.), you can easily create as much as you can consume.
  6. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    I agree. For most things, my iPad works great for productivity with apps like Pages and Bento. My only limitations are the archaic web pages that my university still uses (I'm a professor), such as a flash seminar room or gradebook for online courses. I have an iMac and and iPad but I think I might need to pick up a base Air for when I travel. I'm trying to talk myself out of a 13 inch rMBP, but that screen is tempting.
  7. JRKyte thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2013
    That's one of the many reasons I always turn to my iMac, the large screen is now just so familiar to me and for graphic work it's nice to be able to see the entire piece at once all the time (in most cases). Also, with web work, it's invaluable to be able to code on one side of the screen and have a preview open on the other side so I can see changes in real time - this was another +1 for the iPad, as with the 'Diet Coda' app you can wirelessly run it as a dedicated preview window, with everything moving towards mobile in the world of the web, this just makes so much sense!

    I was a little concerned over the space issue, a 64GB could be an option, thanks for your input on that !

    As for flash, I left flash development behind a couple of years ago in favour of HTML5/CSS3 - I will no longer accept jobs that involve flash design or development. Sure, certain websites still have flash and I wont be able to load them on my iPad, but all my resouces I would need access to do not use flash.

    As for the job killer scenario, if I can't think of the reason not to replace my MBP for an iPad, i'll have to do it and just see what happens, if I do come across that scenario and it really is just not realistic to use an iPad for development, then i'll have to take a hit to the wallet and buy a Macbook Air - I am still a student for 12 weeks so I will receive educational discount (£850 for the base Air, I believe).

    Thanks a lot for the reply!

    Selling my iMac isn't an option, until I sell it to fund a newer iMac. Although I spend the majority of my time creating for the web (relatively light CPU/RAM work) I do sometimes have to use programs like After effects and Premier pro (quite heavy CPU/RAM usage) - I upgraded my iMac to 16GB RAM and I rarely see the dreaded beach ball even when using these programs. I don't think I could face the performance hit of selling my iMac basically, I do game occasionally as well.

    I would agree the iPad is great for consuming, really great(!), and creation on it will be improved upon through the future iterations of the device. But, my workflow with the devices will probably be:

    - Begin creation on the iMac
    - (testing live on iPad for mobile sites)
    - Take iPad with me to client presentations, as a display device for presentations (keynotes) or live site previews.
    - Any quick changes at said client meetings can be handled with 'Diet Coda', or if I need to work away for a couple of days, I can use the iPad for light development work

    I'm not certain, but fairly sure I can use my iMac's bluetooth keyboard with the iPad, which I plan on doing, if I cannot do this, I will certainly look at a keyboard for it because I do not much fancy writing for a long time on a touch screen device, especially being so used to being able to touch type, which I wont be able to do on the touchscreen keyboard (ironic!).


    Thanks for all the replies, It may seem like I've already made my mind up, which I 99% have, I just wanted to see if any one could point out a gaping hole in my plan. This has given me some things to muse upon further though so thanks a lot guys.
  8. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    The tools help, but it really depends on what you're trying to do. If you're doing a task that is performed in a single program then, as long as the program you need is available in some form for iOS, you're probably fine. It's when you get into tasks requiring multiple applications that you run into trouble, or if you need to reference multiple files. It's not impossible to do, but it's not as fast and easy as on a computer. As I mentioned before, the keyboard and stylus allow me to bring my iPad in place of my Macbook Pro very often, but there are still scenarios where I'd be very uncomfortable with trying to use my iPad in place of the Macbook Pro.

    Just to confirm, the Apple Bluetooth keyboard works fine with the iPad (and theoretically, any Bluetooth keyboard should be compatible with it as well).

Share This Page