I have been pitting the new iPad Pro againstthe MacBook Air for a week now, and the results are starting to become pretty clear.
I had a feeling what the results would be before I even started this little experiment so the results haven’t really surprised. I like macOS but I would say that I prefer iOS. The new devices don’t do anything to change that. MacOS is still macOS, and iOS is still iOS. iOS is still going through growing pains, but that’s not a hardware problem.
I don’t think the iPad can replace everyone’s laptop. Also don’t think that it should.
It’s about picking the right tool for the right job.
Right now, working with both has been a blast, but if I had to keep one device right now it would be the iPad Pro.
This last weekend, I actually went on a little bit of a road trip with my wife and dog.
I packed both the iPad and the MacBook Air to take with me. The first thing that I noticed about taking both was that it still didn’t feel that heavy hauling them around. It always felt heavier when I took my MacBook Pro.
At this point, I was trying to see how much I could really do with my iPad on the trip. The new Smart Keyboard Folio is much more stable on the lap than the previous Smart Keyboard Cover, but it still was tough to balance at first. For the first thirty minutes I felt like I flip flopped between the Keyboard to the digital keyboard to try.
Once I finally got a spot that felt comfortable enough to get some writing done (keyboard out on the lap) the writing was flowing pretty well.
That wasn’t the end of the issues though. My iPad has usually connected to my iPhone hotspot without too many problems before. On this trip though, the connection would continually drop out. It wasn’t that the cell signal was weak, but the iPad would just refuse to connect. I restarted both devices and still no luck.
Eventually, I gave up trying to work on the iPad. I got out the Air and opened it. It connected and stayed connected for the rest of the drive no problems. The Air fit better on the lap than the iPad.
It had already started to win me over before this, but it really put it over the top.
Day to Day
I’ve been taking both devices with me to work these days.
It makes me nervous carrying both of these devices around since they are so expensive, what with Apple’s price increases. Still, it’s been really nice to pull out the device that I think will be better for the task at hand.
I mostly just pull out the Air for things that would be more difficult on the iPad – editing a post, or running the website, or a few things at work.
Most the time I default to the iPad though. Writing, reading, and surfing the internet are just more pleasurable for me on the iPad.
Still, the Air calls out my name sometimes too. I feel like I’m leaving it behind.
The Right Tool
The experiment is all but over though. I have found a new way to do the things I would do on my Air on my iPad now. I still would like Apple to really buckle down and make some iPad specific changes with the next iOS update.
There has been much said about if the iPad can replace your laptop in the media. I don’t think that this model of iPad Pro will change whether that’s really true or not. If you could already do things on your iPad that made you happy, then you can use an iPad to do those things.
It’s picking the right tool for the job.
Only you can tell if you can, or even should, replace your laptop with an iPad.
I’m not ready to abandon the Mac yet. If I could afford to keep both devices I would, but with the price hikes and me thinking about changing careers, it wouldn’t be smart for me to spend all this money.
I really do like the MacBook Air, and expect a review of it shortly, but it all boils down to the Air isn’t that much of an improvement over my MacBook Pro (2013). It is faster and smoother, but it’s not really that much faster than that I use it for.
The iPad is a much better upgrade for me right now. Should you upgrade? Well that’s an article for another day. I’m thinking about returning this one and getting the LTE model instead to take with me because of the dropped signal when traveling, but I doubt that will be a normal thing.
If you had to choose one, which would you choose? What areas of iOS and the iPad is lacking for you? Would you want to make the switch if you could?
Check out my fuller impressions of both devices as well: