What to buy; Macbook Air or iPad Air?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by boomdog, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. boomdog macrumors regular


    Oct 3, 2013
    The most Easterly point of the UK
    Okay so obviously it comes down to usage I know, but either would fit the bill. My girlfriend currently has a 2009 Macbook (2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB ram) which is getting a little slow. Not a major issue for her uses however I just bought a new rMBP for work so she is getting extraordinarily jealous. She claims to want something lighter, with better battery to take out with her. Key tasks while out and about are social media, emails, internet, music etc. All the tasks covered by an iPad basically, but when she is at home her work require writing articles, editing photographs, designing logos so she obviously needs a full computer.

    So, will upgrading the 2009 Macbook by increasing the Ram and installing an SSD keep it workable for another year or two (I have an 240GB SSD laying around - yeah shocking I know)? If it will I'd just need to invest in RAM and could then purchase her a iPad air to carry around.

    Or would she be just as portable with a new Macbook Air? We may have to sell the 2009 to fund the purchase.

    So, vote please:

    1.) Upgrade the 2009 and buy an iPad

    2.) Buy a Macbook Air
  2. loox macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2011
    1. Ipad air

    She'll live on it.

    And you'll get very, very lucky tonight ;)
  3. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I'd vote for the MBA, as the MBA can do everything the iPad can do and more. At the moment, I have both an iPad mini and an 11" MBA, and find myself using the iPad mini occasionally, and the MBA all of the time.

    While the iPad is a lovely device, I find myself using it solely for consumption of content - surfing, reading the newspaper when I am on a train, checking (but not replying to) emails, whereas with the MBA, I will create content. My job requires a lot of writing, and the 11" MBA is every bit as portable as an iPad, and a lot more useful.

    The bottom line is that while the iPad is great, it is not all that comfortable to write on, even if you have an external keyboard (which I have), above all, if your life/job/work/hobby requires that you write a lot. Touch screen may be the future, but, for serious writing, I'm still a lot more comfortable with a proper keyboard.
  4. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    I have an iPad and got a 2012 11" MBA at a very good price a few months ago. (The Air was meant to hold me over until I get either a new MP or MBPr)

    I find that I´m using the MBA a lot more than the iPad now. Heck, after Mavericks pushed I books onto the MBA I often take my MBA over my iPad to be for reading, as I don´t need to hold it when reading.

    Ohh, and you can do so much more on an MBA than iPad
  5. Weerez935 macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    I would upgrade the current macbook and get the ipad. My wife had a 2010 white macbook and we put 8gb owc ram and 120gb ssd and it made a world of difference.

    Now I have a MacBook Air and I love it too, but I take it to grad school. I use it because of the size, school requires sites that use flash, and keyboard for notes. I love my MacBook Air but I prefer editing photos / videos on my wife's macbook even though it's older.

    In her case an ipad air and her MacBook Pro would have better screens for photo editing in my opinion. The air's screen isn't bad but it's not great either.

    Upgrading her 2009 pro would probably be more than sufficient for articles and photo editing. As far as portability goes the difference of an ipad or a MacBook Air 11" in a sleeve is going to be weight. However if she goes with the air she would only have one device to manage instead of two.
  6. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    If it has to be one or the other - I'd get the Macbook Air. iPads are great, but they're what you get when you have everything else.

    Meanwhile "social media, emails, internet, music etc." sounds like a job for a phone.

    She might be fine with just the iPad on the road, but you don't know until you try. Might be worth starting off with a secondhand one to see how it goes (there ought to be plenty around with the new models coming out).
  7. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Agree with the previous post. I have both a Macbook Air and an iPad - I love both but if I had to choose between the two, I'd go for the Macbook Air.
  8. boomdog thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 3, 2013
    The most Easterly point of the UK
    Thank you all for your advice. I think I am going to double the ram and instal an SSD in her MacBook and see how she feels. She is adamant that the 2009 MacBook is too heavy to be portable. She does have a slight build but I'm not convinced their is that much difference between the 2009 MacBook and the new Air. Thanks again.
  9. MacLC macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    As most have said, the MBA is generally a better choice but especially because she is using one now so there will be a seamless transition. However if she can continue using the older MBA for a year or two more with more RAM and a spare SSD, that would be best (AND SAVE THE SPARE CASH!!!!)

    The new MBAs have ram soldered onto the motherboard and I didn't realize the older ones were upgradable. If they are, all the better :D

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