The new iPad or the Macbook Air?!

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Camchops, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. Camchops, Oct 6, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012

    Camchops macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2012
    I am in high school, and need something to get a fair amount of school work done on, lots of surfing the web, check my emails, play games, watch movies, and take it with me where ever I go. I've narrowed down my choices to the 64gb iPad 3, and the 256gb MacBook Air. What would be better for me? I know that there is quite a bit of a price difference between the 2, but I'm willing to pay it.

    BTW; i have 2 windows 7 desktop computers at home.
  2. JoelBC macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    I face the same question -- only for work rather than school -- and opted for the iPad 3 and can say that it was (at least for me) a mistake...the conclusion that I reached was as follows:

    -- IPad is a fantastic device for consuming material;

    -- MacBook Air is a fantastic device for *both* consuming material and producing material.

    The point that I am making is that for presentation, spreadsheet, word processing (and other) creation of materials the iPad is far less than optimal (even with a separate keyboard).

  3. TjeuV macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2011
    You can almost do the same on both devices but it just handles differently. In your case, I'd say; go for the macbook air. I've tried both and the macbook air came out as the absolute winner.
  4. augustya, Oct 6, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012

    augustya macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2012
    Yep ! That is what it is !

    Couldn't agree more ! a iPad cannot take a place of a full fledged value adding, producing computing device. e.g is what you mentioned below...

    The point that I am making is that for presentation, spreadsheet, word processing (and other) creation of materials the iPad is far less than optimal (even with a separate keyboard).
  5. IXDoubleDXI macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2011
    Central Florida
    I'd recommend an MBA. I had an iPad 2, but could get so much more work done on the MBA, it was better off. I am planning on picking up the supposed iPad Mini, but will be keeping my MBA. I'd say stick with the 256gb one, i made the mistake of getting the 64gb (Sounded like a good idea at the time), but later had to upgrade to 128gb.
  6. WilliamLondon macrumors 68000


    Dec 8, 2006
    While I'm not in high school I have just started back at school and faced the same dilemma. In the end I decided (it was an easy decision actually, as I have owned an iPad gen 1 in the past) to go with a MacBook Air (11", 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM, i7) because it provides more functionality which I felt was needed as a student. It's so small, the difference in size and weight is negligible between it and the iPad, but the functionality is far superior.

    I no longer have my iPad gen 1, and I did enjoy it when I had it. I believe an iPad can serve a purpose especially when you consider reading and viewing PDFs (the degree programme I'm in is all about reading PDFs, both journal articles and books). My Kindle doesn't display PDFs well (at all), but I love, love, love the form factor, so I'd love an iPad with that form factor with a high enough display resolution that makes viewing PDFs practical, hence, I'm praying for an iPad Mini (with good specs) that would perfectly complement my new MBA.

    Last resort would be an iPad (base model) or (forgive me Apple!) Kindle Fire HD (or Nook) should the Mini not happen and I decide against a full sized iPad.

    Hope this helps. BTW, I love my MacBook Air, it's exactly the laptop I always wanted!
  7. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    IMO, ideally you should have both -- they are very different devices, with totally different usages. For example, if a lot of your textbooks are avaible as ebooks, then it would be much easier to read them on an iPad than on an Air. But if you are writing a paper, then as other posters have said, an Air is a much better device for that. If you can only have one, then go with the Air. The iPad just isn't ready to be the only computer for most people. I'm on my iPad about 80-90% of the time, but every so often there are things that I can only do on a "full" computer, like my Air or my iMac.
  8. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Would this be your only computer? If so, a MacBook Air most definitely. The iPad is not yet ready to completely replace a regular computer, especially for a student. The Air is much more capable device, and almost as portable. If you ever need to update the firmware on a gadget, or watch a DVD, or run a Windows program, or view a flash website, you'll be needing the Air.
  9. CJM macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2005
    I asked this question recently when I found myself wanting to do more with my iPad. I can type on the onscreen keyboard just fine and, though I make the occasional mistake, never drastically yearn for a physical keyboard, even if it did get some getting used to.

    However, that said, having to fight against the locked-down, walled-in ecosystem Apple has built for the iPad is, at times, very frustrating. I do enjoy tinkering with my machines, and having to wait for jailbreaks after every OS update is frankly starting to piss me off.

    Anyway, I looked at Anand al Shimpi's review of the latest MacBook Air and was almost sold on the device.. Except for the fact it still uses TN tech instead of superior IPS for the display panel.

    So I'm going to wait for a couple more generations to come out and then migrate over. If Apple stick with intel processors, they are going to be coming out with some very fancy, long battery life ultrabooks in the next couple of years. Thin laptops will be the norm for a lot of people. A retina MacBook Air would be an instant purchase for me.
  10. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    op i own 2 ipads and a mbp and the air is so light and portable it really is the best of both worlds between ipad and full sized notebook.

    imo the mba would be a better decision for your computer needs.
  11. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    I would say go MBA 11" with 8Gb of RAM for you...I am typing this on my iPad3 64Gb 4G model with a speck shell on the back, an :apple: Smart Cover on the front & a Logitech ultra thin keyboard cover on the front as well = its a great combo for portability with email, etc...but you still need to have a PC or Mac to use it with!

    Being stationed overseas, we now can't ship any Li Batteries via USPS and our base PX doesn't carry any of the 8Gb MBA models so I'm contemplating special ordering one (~3 month delivery time:mad:) or getting a 13" MBP (but they need to be refreshed soon as that screen resolution is poor compared to either MBA screen size :mad:).

    My only choices now are if I pick up the current models which are mid product cycle or wait for refreshes due to the long wait times for delivery being stationed OS...
  12. Elec macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2012
    The base model MBA only costs $999. Actually, with the school discount it will only cost you $949.

    That MBA, even with the small storage space, still destroys the iPad in just about every aspect. Having a full computer with a keyboard can make all the difference. And at that price it doesn't cost much more than the high end iPad.

    Of course, if you start adding more memory and stuff to it, then the price will soar, but to compare the two as closely as possible, you would have to use the base model MBA.
  13. sineplex macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2010
    i had ipad 2, for 12 months, sold it. had an ipad 3 for 5 months, sold it.

    My advice : "GET THE AIR". You can do everything on it without restriction.
  14. E3BK macrumors 68030


    Mar 15, 2008
    +1 on the MBA. I barely even use the iPad anymore. lol. The MBA is so light and easy to travel with. You can multitask which is something I was missing on the iPad.
  15. Paddict macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2012
    Northern Hemisphere
    Student = iPad, Business = iPad, Entertainment = iPad, Laptop nerd = Macbook
  16. irDigital0l Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    honestly students should get a laptop first. its way more functional.
  17. Paddict macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2012
    Northern Hemisphere
    bluetooth keyboard, not only is it lighter as a unit, it's so much more practical..your iPad can be in any position as u lay back on the couch and the bluetooth keyboard can be in the most comfortable place you can position it. I havent found a thing my iPad cant do better for the three above mentioned than my Alienware laptop can. and for microsoft office, Onlive desktop (easy solution)... ok your turn
  18. irDigital0l Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    Not sure if your serious or your just not secure of buying an ipad instead of a MBA.

    1. A laptop is still better for typing. You don't have to carry around a keyboard. Plus MBA have a backlit keyboard.

    2. Its better at multitasking. Writing a school window with safari, another window with pages, etc.

    3. Its light enough to carry around, light enough to put on your lap comfortably, and doesn't become hot at all. I don't know about you, but I can't type on my iPad unless its tilted.
  19. Tigerman82 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2010
    I'm a university student and I'm getting an iPad for lecture notes, quick surfing and other things (watching movies if I travel). One thing about Macbook Air is that it costs about three times more than a basic iPad. Especially for a student this is a deal breaker.

    As for the keyboard... I plan to buy Logitech Ultrathin keyboard which doubles as a cover for the iPad. I've heard that the thickness of iPad with the Ultrathin keyboard as cover is the same as the thickness of a Macbook Air. I also like the idea that you can use the iPad+keyboard -combo and then use just the iPad -- you cannot do this with a Macbook Air.

    I don't think I'm getting the new Ipad, though. I know every device will have its share of negative criticism but the new iPad's bigger battery (which they needed to use for the Retina display as they didn't have IGZO-technology then) resulted in long charging time, increased size and weight (although not significant), possible heat issues etc. That is why I will wait for the iPad 4 (the Mini would be too small for my use). On the other hand, if you're the sort of person who buys these Apple products, sells them within two years and uses the money to buy the upgraded models, it could be a good thing to buy the new iPad now. Unfortunately I'm the sort of person who doesn't sell but sticks with the products he buys.
  20. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    The MBA is the ultimate in portable computing imo. It has the capability's of a full sized PC in a size factor that is barley bigger then an ipad. Love my 2011 MBA!!!
  21. What mac, Oct 7, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012

    What mac macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2012
    Northern Ireland uk
    You should go with the MBA simply because, and a few other guys have also said it, it is a computer opposed to tablet. I love my ipad2 and use it 80% of the time but where it is limited is for actual spreadsheets, word processing for my sons schoolwork(15), anything more than basic function and of course you have a better hard drive.

    Sorry for the gibberish explanation but I am currently tearing my own hair out wondering just what to buy. I went to buy an iMac (base model) in August only to get rapped up in the update debate(still waiting), my current thinking is 13 MBA £1249 ,13 MBP £1249 hd 4000 graphics or at the minute the front runner is the 15 MBP (£1499)with the nvidia graphics. Before anyone points it out the 11 MBA will do me.

    What are your views on refurbished cause I have realised you can basically buy refurbished with apple care or a new item for the same price

    :apple:ipad2:apple:iPhone 4/4s:apple:apple TV
  22. gibbo132 macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2010
    I got the new iPad the day it came out and used it almost constantly preferring it over my 15" MacBook Pro for web browsing etc...
    However I have since got a MacBook Air and I am ashamed to say the iPad Harley gets used! The Air is just much more functional than an iPad and it is so light. You don't begrudge using it on your lap, unlike my 15" MBP!
    The iPad can't be used to type long essays or any amount of text really! I'm using it to type this and it is fairly annoying!

    Having said that an air plus a rumoured iPad mini for games/ would be an epic combo!
  23. Elec macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2012
    That's simply not true. As I mentioned above, the MBA costs a student $949. The base model iPad costs $499 (no student discount). That's not even double. So your quote of "three times more" is simply a lie.

    And the fact of the matter is that the $949 MBA is many levels above the base model iPad. If you want to try and have a fair comparison, you would compare the $829 iPad, which still isn't nearly as good as the MBA, and costs only $120 less.



    Please read it.
  24. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    The $829 iPad has LTE. I don't think the $949 MBA has it.

    I have a MBP and an iPad. The iPad gets used a lot more. The lack of a clamshell deign makes it easier to use while lounging. I also like LTE which makes it great for travel. The form factor is better for reading.

    I still think you need some sort of main computer. I would probably get the iPad and a cheap Windows PC for the times I need it for installing a program, running flash, running Office or whatever. Also, it could be used as a media server for the iPad. You can use Logmein or other options for taking it over with the iPad when you need it.
  25. Elec macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2012
    Yes, but the MBA has many, many extra features, abilities, or just plain old better specs. so when comparing the two, it's only fait to compare the closest models.

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