With the arrival of the new Mac Air, is there really any purpose for the iPad?

Dazzle7000

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#1
I'm really afraid to ask this question because I know how loved the iPad is, but doesn't the new Mac Air do everything the iPad does and more, and is easily transportable at just over 2 lb.? True, the iPad is a pound lighter, but what features does it have that the Mac Air doesn't? Don't get me wrong, I still crave an iPad, but have to ask myself if I need both the Mac Air and the iPad. No flames please!


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Kadelic

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#2
The iPad does come in a 3G model that would allow online access in places where the MB Air couldn't.


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Europa

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#3
It's a touchscreen and it's a tablet, not a laptop, so it's held and used differently. It's also cheaper - price is a huge factor when people are deciding which to get. I'm sure you could get by without the iPad, but it would probably be nice to have both.
 

Kadelic

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#5
Another thing to consider is that a MB Air is a "stand alone" device whereas the iPad depends somewhat on a Mac or Windows PC for syncing, backup, and software updates. I know that is going to change somewhat with iOS5 and the cloud. I guess the decision would also depend on if you also have another Mac or PC at home for syncing etc. What I'm getting at is that I wouldn't choose iPad if it were going to be my primary computing device.


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Europa

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#7
Watched it all. Very well done comparison video. Bonus points awarded for the sexy British accent. :)
 

Tinman

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#8

I have both the MB Air and iPad and they don't overlap as much as you might think.

The iPad is much more portable even though I use it mainly around the house and office. While I could move the Air around as I do the iPad it is just a bit more cumbersome to do so--and sometimes just impractical (e.g., reading an ebook while going to sleep).

More than the touch screen is the fact that the Air is a true laptop and is a clamshell design. Sometimes this is a plus: such as not needing a case or other means to prop up the display. But whereas I have stood in line waiting to board a plane and fired off an email or two with my iPad I would be far less inclined to do so with the Air. It is not the weight it is the fact that it is a clamshell form factor which would make using it while standing up awkward indeed.

All that said I am blown away by the Air--more so than by the iPad. Moreover it really is a full fledged Mac inside that beautifully tiny package. It has plenty of design features that to me make it seem like more bang for the buck, even if it is more expensive. For the extra money you get far more memory, much faster CPU, full OS X and all that comes with it, I higher resolution display (albeit non touch sensitive), a full keyboard, etc. Ironically the iPad charges via the same old sync and charge cable used by iPods for years. The magsafe power adapter would be far better--and get more use from me--on a tablet as I often reach for the iPad while it is plugged in, forcibly yanking out the sync cable. While I like having magsafe on my laptop I would like it even more on the iPad.

Before Lion I felt a little cramped with the Air's display (I prefer the 11" Air for its size). Even though it has a decent number of pixels I often felt I was not using it all efficiently, compared to the iPad, as usually apps were "windowed" whereas the iPad always is full-screen. Of course I could, and did, mitigate that by auto hiding the dock and maximizing windows that benefitted from it (many do not). But Lion's full screen mode now takes that a step further.

As much as love the Air it is not quite able to be my "main PC." While it is indeed a full fledged Mac, it is not my only Mac. So in a sense that aspect is similar to the iPad to me: still need another PC/Mac. If I had to choose either iPad or Air it would be a tough call.

Michael
 

Dazzle7000

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#10
It's a touchscreen and it's a tablet, not a laptop, so it's held and used differently. It's also cheaper - price is a huge factor when people are deciding which to get. I'm sure you could get by without the iPad, but it would probably be nice to have both.
Thank you for being gentle with me. Europa! When the iPad 3 comes out I'll bet it will have some new features that are irresistible and unique!
 

Tinman

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#14

Keep in mind the video compared 2010 MB Air running Snow Leopard against 2011 iPad 2. The new Air should be even faster--and of course Lion has some iOS-like features added to it.

But all in all the video was interesting. I never compared cold boot times but always assumed the iPad had to be faster. In normal use I rarely cold boot but good to know the Air is even faster at that.

The main thing of course is that you won't usually be using your iPad while it is sitting on a desk in front of you. If I was only going to be using an iPad like that it is a no-brainer: the Air wins. But the ability to pick up the iPad and use it while standing in line, in bed, relaxing on couch or whatnot is hard to quantify objectively.

This thread has me thinking as I really want a new Air. I did purchase an iPad 2 when it first came out but ended up returning it. Felt as if there was not enough difference in it and the one I already had. I put that money towards the Air and never regretted it. But as the months have rolled on the iPad 1 is feeling dated: some games don't really run right as they seem to be meant for the iPad 2. But my Air does not feel dated... in fact it feels new again after installing Lion.

Right now I am leaning to CL'ing the Air, or handing it down, and getting the new Air. I know the backlit keyboard is welcome as well as the increased speed. Considering I already returned one iPad 2 I'm thinking just wait for the 3 and then CL or hand down my iPad 1. Sounds like a plan! :)

Michael
 

patrickj

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#15
The magsafe power adapter would be far better--and get more use from me--on a tablet as I often reach for the iPad while it is plugged in, forcibly yanking out the sync cable. While I like having magsafe on my laptop I would like it even more on the iPad.
That's a great thought. I often do that same thing - grab the iPad off a stand while it's got the sync cable in. I don't often manage to yank the cable out, but the risk is definitely there and even partially pulling it out probably damages that sensitive, awkward bugger of a port on the iPad 2.
 

Dazzle7000

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#18

Keep in mind the video compared 2010 MB Air running Snow Leopard against 2011 iPad 2. The new Air should be even faster--and of course Lion has some iOS-like features added to it.

But all in all the video was interesting. I never compared cold boot times but always assumed the iPad had to be faster. In normal use I rarely cold boot but good to know the Air is even faster at that.

The main thing of course is that you won't usually be using your iPad while it is sitting on a desk in front of you. If I was only going to be using an iPad like that it is a no-brainer: the Air wins. But the ability to pick up the iPad and use it while standing in line, in bed, relaxing on couch or whatnot is hard to quantify objectively.

This thread has me thinking as I really want a new Air. I did purchase an iPad 2 when it first came out but ended up returning it. Felt as if there was not enough difference in it and the one I already had. I put that money towards the Air and never regretted it. But as the months have rolled on the iPad 1 is feeling dated: some games don't really run right as they seem to be meant for the iPad 2. But my Air does not feel dated... in fact it feels new again after installing Lion.

Right now I am leaning to CL'ing the Air, or handing it down, and getting the new Air. I know the backlit keyboard is welcome as well as the increased speed. Considering I already returned one iPad 2 I'm thinking just wait for the 3 and then CL or hand down my iPad 1. Sounds like a plan! :)

Michael
 
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#19
Excellent video. However, the Mac Book Air used for comparison with the iPad 2 is last year's model, so results using the new Mac Air would come out even better for the Mac Book Air.
This is very true, Dazzle. Although I would rather see a comparison video between the new MB Air and the new iPad that should be coming out in October. :)


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