Upgrade to Macbook Air or get an iPad 4

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mathiasmf, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. mathiasmf macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    Hey. I have a Macbook Pro 13" from 2010 and an iPhone 5. My Mac is getting a bit slow, and i want a new one. However i don't know if i would keep it and get a new iPad 4 for when im on the go.

    I like the Macbook air because of it's portability, design and flash storage.
    I want a computer thats portable? Do you recommend an Air or an iPad 4?

    What's your experiences. I know an iPad can't replace a Mac totally

    Best regards,
  2. rbrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    I swapped a 2010 13" Pro for an 2011 11" Air. I also have an iPad 3. I use the Air every day, the iPad barely once a week. The 11" Air takes up about the same space as an iPad, but can't comfortably be used walking around. If I had to choose between them, it would be the Air without a doubt.
  3. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Maybe try upgrading the RAM and/or hard drive in your 2010? Upping the RAM (assuming it's not maxed out already) and a change to an SSD (assuming there isn't one in there already) will make it like a brand new laptop :)
  4. rbrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    That would certainly make it run better, but it won't make it any more portable. I'm amazed at how fat my 13" Pro got - when it was new, my first Mac after a 15" Vista Dell, it was slim, light and fast - then I played with an 11" Air in the Apple store, and suddenly it was fat and heavy and slow.
  5. danielsemper macrumors newbie


    Oct 24, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    go for the Air, you have more uses for it.

    It is portable, you can install software like Photoshop and it is better for typing emails, or connect USB memories :)
  6. mrcsmcln macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2011
    I say get both, if you can. I was in your position this summer. A longtime Apple fan, I decided to go all out.

    I sold my MBP (13-inch, mid 2010 with 2.4 GHz C2D, 4 GB RAM, and 128GB SSD) and got $900 for it. I used that money to buy a rMBP (15-inch with 2.6 GHz i7, 8 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD). Then I bought an iPhone 5 (16 GB) and sold my 4S (16 GB) for $225 on eBay Instant Sale. Tonight I'm pre-ordering the new iPad (Wi-Fi + LTE, 16 GB).

    It's plenty of money to spend, no doubt. But I couldn't be happier with my purchases. I'm in college so money is tight, but I like my devices so I'm willing to work and save.

    The point (for me, anyway) is that these three devices all have their place in your daily life. An iPhone can't replace an iPad can't replace a Mac. Similarly, you'll learn that in many cases, an iPhone is more suitable than an iPad is more suitable than a Mac. If you use the technology enough, you'll find it's well worth your money.

    If money is an issue, then I suggest getting the iPad. Keep your Mac for the time being; I can't see a mid-2010 MBP being unbearably slow granted you keep it maintained. You'll have a laptop for when you need it, and an iPad for when you don't. If you get an Air, you'll replace your current laptop and you'll have no iPad to fill the gap between your Air and your iPhone.

    Best of luck!
  7. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    In terms of portability, the greatest advantage of the iPad -- aside from the lower price -- is the battery life. What might work best for you probably depends on how much portability you want or require.

    If I had to choose just one for myself, it would the the Air, because it is more capable. The iPad is a practical smaller/lighter/lower price alternative for media consumption, but trying to do anything productive apart from reading email and writing short replies is a lot more difficult for me. YMMV.
  8. cfs112 macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2012
    It really depends on what you'll be using it more for. My sister just recently got an Air, she does a lot of web browsing and word processing and its perfect for her. My girlfriend has an iPad, she uses it mainly for web browsing and online shopping and that's perfect for her. I have a 2012 MBP, and after borrowing my gfs iPad for a week, I found that I preferred using it for web browsing and watching videos over my MBP. Of course, I still used my MBP for music and video editing, but still, the iPad 4 seems plenty powerful and once you add on a wireless keyboard it definitely competes with the Air.
  9. mathiasmf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    Thanks for the great replies so far. I might go for the iPad 4, since it has just been upgraded. It's a cheaper, yet good solution i think. Then i will probably upgrade my Mac next summer when the new Macbook Air's will be released (hopefully). Thanks so far

    Any other with good advice/experiences?
  10. pjfan macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    Columbus OH
    I have MBA 13" 2010 that I purchased for the similar reasons from a MBP 15". I originally required it for all my travel... Since then, the iPad 2/3 have totally changed my opinion.

    As my evolution from engineer to more business items occurs, the apple keyboard and griffin stylus have displaced 90% of my MBA while traveling.... If I'm at a hotel overnight, then I still bring the laptop for work on tabletop, but never for my lap anymore. Logging into servers via GUI requires the MBA (IMHO) so I need to have it around. At home, I simply don't reach for a laptop.

    I'm handing the MBA to my wife, and will have rMBP for 100% office time (with multiple vm environments and serious admin/coding and screen real-estate tasks), and when I do need to bring it along, it won't way me down tremendously.

    In summary what works amazing for me:
    - iPad 3
    -- Bluetooth apple keyboard (full size)
    -- the keyboard/iPad stand (works awesome on planes & restaurants)
    -- griffin stylus to displaces all my physical notepads (penultimate app)
    - soon to be rMBP 15" for workhorse (currently MBA, and I'm still happy!)

    If I were in your shoes, I would throw an intel (my preference due to reliability) SSD in your 13", and re-assess your needs... RAM recommendation is a great and needed if you're going to keep this machine. If you feel the 13" is struggling with SSD, then it might be your graphics usage, in which you need to move up regardless. Then buy an iPad 4 with accessory to fit your experience needs. Twelve months from now, a series of great upgrades from intel will be coming out, and these machines are really going to make the 2012 upgrades salivate... You'll be prime for upgrades come 2013 Q4 - 2014.

    Personally, I will never own a system without SSD as primary drive; it truly revolutionizes your workflow. You may be surprised at how your 13" performs after $200 of upgrades.
  11. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    Why don't you increase the RAM in your 2010 MBP and add a 128/256Gb SSD to hold you over until next year?

    I too am waiting for Broadwell to hit the 11" MBA's hopeful that the battery life will get closer to the 7+ hours we now get on the 13" models...I was trying to decide between a 13" 2012 MBA open box @ $1,070 and a 13" 2011 MBP open box @ $806...

    With the MBA I get a higher res screen, lighter machine and USB3 but I'm limited to a 128Gb SSD and 4Gb RAM.

    With the MBP, its heavier by 1.5 lbs, the screen resolution is the same as my 5,2 9400m Whitebook its replacing (but its a little lighter), the CPU is faster than the MBA or my Whitebook, I can upgrade the RAM to 8Gb (with RAM I have) and use the MBP RAM in my 2011 iMac so that both machines will have 8Gb RAM in them and lastly, I got a 512Gb M4 Crucial SSD for $349 = I'll have a more powerful CPU, double the RAM and 4 times the internal storage over the MBA for $85 more than the cost of the open box 2012 MBA with the open box 2011 MBP = this machine will tide me over until Broadwell hopefully meets my mobil computing needs fully.

    My Whitebook is going to a family member and I got a good deal on an open box iPad3 64Gb 4G model for $737 (it was $118 more than the iPad2 32Gb 3G NIB model I was going to get when the iPad3 came out - for for the $118 more, I got 1Gb RAM, better cameras, 4x GPU and double the internal storage space)...I use the iPad and MBP in tandem throughout each day as they compliment each other very well!
  12. Melbourne Park macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    You can remove the dvd drive from the 13", and put in an SSD into it instead. Boot from the SSD, and you'll have either more capacity, or better backup, or maybe both. And more speed too due to the SSD.

    As others have said, wait for the upgrades in a year or so.

    Who knows what will happen then ... it seems to me that the new powerbooks with the Retina displays, all owe a lot to the Air. Yet they've left the airs I guess as sort of lower cost machines. Perhaps the next Airs will have touch screens, that you can operate with the lid rotated and hence as a tablet, or use then as a notebook with the screen in its current place. Imagine a 15" air that was as thin as an iPad, with a reversible touch screen.

    Apple will have to do stuff like that IMO, they have to be the innovators, the last thing Apple needs is Microsoft getting strong in hardware.

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