Computers & Electronics

Has the iPad replaced your Laptop?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 28th, 2020 8:28 pm
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Poll: Which Mac?

  • Total votes: 27. You have voted on this poll.
iPad
 
13
48%
MacBook Air
 
14
52%
[OP]
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2006
18620 posts
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Woodbridge

Has the iPad replaced your Laptop?

I spec'ed out an iPad & a MacBook Air. If you can only pick one, which would you go with...

Both are 2020 models.

12.9" iPad Pro (512GB, Wi-Fi only to keep it fair) & the Magic Keyboard) for $2,138.

or

13" MacBook Air (512GB, Intel Core i7 & 16GB RAM) for $2,179.

This is the closest I could get the two. Live with it. LOL

I thought I could but after years without a computer I had enough and sold my iPhone 11 Pro Max for the new 2020 MacBook Air (Intel Core i5, 8GB, Gold).. It's crazy that I sold my iPhone for a laptop.

I also tried (several times) going with the iPad, I bought the new Air when it came out but clearly didn't learn. It just doesn't work for me.
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34 replies
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2014
753 posts
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Woodbridge, ON
Lol..... no ipad,Iphone,ipod,apple product in my house.
Deal Addict
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Oct 9, 2010
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Windsor
What do you want to use this thing for? The iPad Pro really has no useful market IMO, as it's too weak from a processor perspective, and too expensive from an iPad perspective. Maybe you have a use-case where it makes sense, but I haven't seen one other than someone developing games for iOS.

Since I believe the iPad Pro is basically just a pretty toy, I'd say the MacBook Air. However, with those specs, I'd say you're getting ripped off anyways. If you're looking for a laptop for productivity purposes (doing work), I'd suggest waiting a few weeks for the AMD Zen 2 based ultrabooks to show up and see what happens. Otherwise, basically any Intel ultrabook is a better choice.
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Mar 10, 2018
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centre of universe
Nope. And the way iPad costs so much I will be buying laptops again.
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Mar 17, 2006
6878 posts
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Burlington
i'd like an ipad to watch youtube
and i'd use a macbook air to do MS Office.

But that's just my wish, I already spent the money on my mortgage though,
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19194 posts
5255 upvotes
Toronto
It's hard for me to answer that question as I have both and do use both. I voted iPad, because I use my iPad Pro 10.5" >90% of the time for this type of device, but I still need my 12" MacBook <10% of the time for very specific usage. However, that's because I switched jobs and don't need to use some specific apps like MS PowerPoint as much as I did before.

The iPad is a better multimedia consumption device, and is also good for some types of productivity. The MacBook is usually better for business app productivity, but has some multimedia consumption limitations. One annoying thing is that streaming services generally do not allow local downloads onto a Mac, but they do allow it on an iPad. This is important for me when travelling for example.

I'll be keeping my 2017 Core m3 12" MacBook (16 GB / 256 GB) for the foreseeable future. However, I will likely be upgrading my 2017 iPad Pro 10.5" (4 GB / 64 GB) to an 11" model (6 GB / 128 GB) once it gets mini-LED (for better black levels for watching videos).
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Dec 5, 2006
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Markham
The question is wrong at the beginning
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May 8, 2007
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Fraser Valley, BC
I have an iPad (Air) and a Mac Mini (2011). No laptop computer (except an old Toshiba that works but I never use anymore).

I mostly use the iPad (for media and info consumption) but it has not replaced my computer. It's great to have both devices. Plus an iPhone (recent addition), and a bunch of AAPL stock.

The iPad is more handy and versatile in where it can be used, but it is less powerful for things that require more CPU, more open windows, and more screen area. My computer (Mac Mini) is used for the stuff that is more important (tax return, products research, stock trading, music archive, etc) or requires more power or screen size (two 23" screens), or more precise control (from a mouse).
Member
Aug 8, 2008
333 posts
95 upvotes
For consumption the iPad but for any type of actual creation or work the MacBook is still irreplaceable.
Just doing a proper cut and paste or opening multiple apps at same time will drive you crazy with an iPad!
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Mar 23, 2009
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Toronto
lexar123 wrote: For consumption the iPad but for any type of actual creation or work the MacBook is still irreplaceable.
Just doing a proper cut and paste or opening multiple apps at same time will drive you crazy with an iPad!
It depends upon the apps though. For instance LumaFusion on the iPad is great. It seems Apple built its Ax chips to handle video very well. My 2017 A10X chews through 1080p h.264 files like they're nothing with lag-free scrubbing of multiple overlayed 1080p h.264 files. It bogs down though if you have multiple 4K HEVC files, but the A12X/Z iPad Pros do much better with these for scrubbing. It's also often smoother with faster (hardware based) encoding than most MacBooks of the same era.
Last edited by EugW on Apr 24th, 2020 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Member
Aug 8, 2008
333 posts
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EugW wrote: It depends upon the apps though. For instance LumaFusion on the iPad is great. It seems Apple built its Ax chips to handle video very well. My 2017 A10X chews through 1080p h.264 files like they're nothing with lag-free scrubbing of multiple overlayed 1080p h.264 files. It bogs down though if you have multiple 4K HEVC files, but the A12X/Z iPad Pros do much better with these for scrubbing. It's often smoother with faster (hardware based) encoding than most MacBooks of the same era.
You are right... photo editing and video editing is quite good on iPad. But most office type of work is not.
Sr. Member
Jul 23, 2009
909 posts
421 upvotes
Ireland
If you are not heavy into productivity like video editing or gaming (I don't know anyone who games on a mac anyways) the iPad is more than enough. I usually use my computer to browse the web, email, and watch youtube/netflix, word processing/documents, and listen to Spotify anyways so my iPad Air 3 has served me well, without the added weight of a laptop.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19194 posts
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Toronto
lexar123 wrote: You are right... photo editing and video editing is quite good on iPad. But most office type of work is not.
I agree. MS Office on the iPad is irritating. However, some of that is getting a lot better with the introduction of mouse and trackpad support. Entering data into Excel royally sucked using the touch screen. MS Office still needs to be updated to fully take advantage of this though.

Also, Citrix Workspace VPN doesn't work well with the iPad because it has not been updated to take advantage of Apple's new mouse and trackpad support. Ironically, Citrix years ago had developed a custom proprietary Citrix-only mouse that worked perfectly with their software, but it worked only with their own software and nobody else's. I never bought one though because they were US$150, hard to find, and it seemed stupid to buy a $150 mouse just for one app, esp. since I already owned a MacBook anyway.

Once these types of apps get full general touchpad and mouse support though, business type productivity will be much better on the iPad. I suspect this is the domain of iPadOS 14. iPadOS 13.4 introduced this, and iPadOS 14 will solidify this.
Member
Aug 8, 2008
333 posts
95 upvotes
EugW wrote: I agree. MS Office on the iPad is irritating. However, some of that is getting a lot better with the introduction of mouse and trackpad support. Entering data into Excel royally sucked using the touch screen. MS Office still needs to be updated to fully take advantage of this though.

Also, Citrix Workspace VPN doesn't work well with the iPad because it has not been updated to take advantage of Apple's new mouse and trackpad support. Ironically, Citrix years ago had developed a custom proprietary Citrix-only mouse that worked perfectly with their software, but it worked only with their own software and nobody else's. I never bought one though because they were US$150, hard to find, and it seemed stupid to buy a $150 mouse just for one app, esp. since I already owned a MacBook anyway.

Once these types of apps get full general touchpad and mouse support though, business type productivity will be much better on the iPad. I suspect this is the domain of iPadOS 14. iPadOS 13.4 introduced this, and iPadOS 14 will solidify this.
Maybe in the future once they perfect it. But at this point in time and in the near term there is no way I would spend $2.2k for a loaded iPad over a MacBook. Just the keyboard is $450!
I would get an iPad Air or iPad 11” AND a MacBook air with i5, 256 SSD, and 16mb ram. Get an external storage if you need more. All combined for about $2.5

This will give you much more flexibility and even a second screen for your Mac using sidecar.
Newbie
Sep 2, 2017
18 posts
10 upvotes
For the past 18 months I used an iPad Pro 12.9 as my main device for 95% of my business needs. It’s a device I really liked using.

Having said that, if I had to choose only one device it would be a laptop, as the iPad wasn’t as efficient at getting work done in many cases and that last 5% it couldn’t do would be a deal breaker if I couldn’t do it.
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Mar 25, 2003
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Jan 12, 2020
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bembol wrote: I spec'ed out an iPad & a MacBook Air. If you can only pick one, which would you go with...

Both are 2020 models.

12.9" iPad Pro (512GB, Wi-Fi only to keep it fair) & the Magic Keyboard) for $2,138.

or

13" MacBook Air (512GB, Intel Core i7 & 16GB RAM) for $2,179.

The new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro is a game changer.

Image

It is Apple's next great design.

(Of course like their most recent great design: the now classic AirPods, it won't be fully recognized until a couple years in.)



If a buyer's use-case works for iPad OS, and that's still a pretty big if, then the fact pointed out by the OP, that the iPad Pro/Magic Keyboard combo actually costs less than the MacBook Air is big news!

Plus, Apple has been working to make that if smaller every year by adding more laptop features to the iPad - - file access, external storage, iPad-specific trackpad support, and now a true laptop keyboard option. These have all helped to bring it closer to being fully usable as a laptop replacement.

However, that is a mistakenly narrow way of looking at the iPad Pro. It is first and foremost the world's best tablet. For example, let's not forget that it works as a kickass direct view drawing/notetaking device with the Apple Pencil. That's a feature the MacBook Air will never compete with.

Image

"There’s a reason Apple’s videos about the Magic Keyboard always show someone grabbing the iPad with one hand and walking away with it. That’s the killer feature. That’s what separates it from every Mac laptop. It’s a laptop—until the moment you decide you don’t want it to be that anymore. And then it’s not."

...and when it's not, the iPad Pro weighs 1.04 pounds. Compare that to the inalterable 2.80 pounds weight of the MacBook Air.
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Nov 21, 2002
10322 posts
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Winnipeg
no it didn't because the 8yr old laptop can still run latest software and browse the the same as it did when I bought it was able to speed it up with more ram and an ssd too. The ipad 3 I grabbed at the same now has out dated limited browsers, limited apps, can't run newer os since 2016 which was mostly security updates as 10 came out that year and it wasn't supported just security breaches.Oh...it also cost twice as much and acts as slow as molasses.

thanks Steve...wherever you are.....
Deal Fanatic
Jan 21, 2008
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If you could only have 1, I'd rather have a laptop over a ipad. While it is true that for many people, they will probably spend more of their time on ipad, there are still some specific instances that just require a laptop. At least this is the case for me. There are certain things I need to get done that "just work" on a laptop that really doesn't on an ipad.
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Mar 14, 2009
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My personal take is that you should really compare a PC based laptop to the iPad. The Windows platform has the most applications and a ton of really great freeware. I actually prefer the interface over MacOS also. Plus you can get a really great PC based laptop for a fraction of the cost of some super fancy fi fi MacBook. I say the best option is to grab the iPad Pro (cheaper base model) *and* a cheap PC based laptop. It will come out cheaper than both options in the OP and you’ll get the best of both worlds.
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