iPad Pro Vs MacBook Air – Which One Is Right For You?

The new iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard could finally be a legitimate laptop computer for some people. There will be a lot of people deciding between the new MacBook Air and iPad Pro. They both have similar abilities, but also some distinct differences. Here are some factors that will help you decide which one is right for you.

Comments: 13 Responses to “iPad Pro Vs MacBook Air – Which One Is Right For You?”

    Ron Melzer
    8 months ago

    MacBook Air vs iPad Pro – For casual use I would lean toward the iPad. For business use it would depend on the apps required by the business. For student use, definitely the iPad. The key is the Apple ecosystem, it all works together. MacBooks, iPads, iPhones, and Apple watch. As an individual goes from day to day, month to month, year to year, their needs will change as will the device of choice. All their work will follow them from device to device. Bravo Apple

    Douglas Brace
    8 months ago

    As someone that works in online learning at a community college, I would NOT recommend the use of an iPad as someone’s only computing device.

    8 months ago

    Douglas: Why not? Is there something specific that is missing?

    Douglas Brace
    8 months ago

    Gary, it generally comes down to compatibility. An educational institution’s LMS may be compatible with an iPad but there are other solutions that the college or individual programs can mandate that may not be, such as virtual proctoring software for secure test taking. Yes, I know there are ways around these cheating solutions and that it is a game of “cat and mouse” but that is above my pay grade to decide.

    Douglas Brace
    8 months ago

    Another example is that Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are usually not file formats that instructors accept because they do not have that suite of applications or the LMS and other solutions are not compatible with those file types.

    8 months ago

    Douglas: Just because you are on an iPad doesn’t mean you need to use Pages/Numbers/Keynote. Microsoft Office apps are available for iPad, and also Google Docs and others. Definitely right about needing to be compatible with your institutions’s system. But I’d be disappointed in my institution if they didn’t support a wider range of devices.

    Douglas Brace
    8 months ago

    I agree with you Gary and I would being disappointed too if I were a student but it is the reality. Microsoft Office is still king and mostly the Windows version because of course requirements that require the functionality of the Windows version and not the mobile, web, or Mac versions. The largest LMSs and web-based software in the world (Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas or Turnitin for plagiarism) do not support Pages, Numbers, or Keynote and I do not see that changing anytime soon.

    Carol Moncrief
    8 months ago

    My concern is how easy is it to use Photos, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers on an iPad versus MacBook Air. It seems there is more functionality of these apps with MacBook Air. Is that true?

    8 months ago

    Carol: True for Photos. The rest somewhat. It depends on what you are doing. For some people all the functions they need are on the iPad versions.

    Stephen Taylor
    8 months ago

    I moved away from Air to iPad in 2018. Will now go back to Air as the backlit keyboard is a real plus and Office for Mac on the iPad is a real struggle. Excel spreadsheets on the iPad when I’m away on business are a mare ps I use an iMac at base but the iPad Pro (with keyboard) has not met my specific situation. ps thanks Gary for all your good work. Stephen (UK)

    Debra
    8 months ago

    Great comparison Gary! I have been using an older iPad air and mainly use it for social networking and Cricut Design Space. Normally I sit on the couch or in bed therefore the light weight of the iPad is ideal for me. I am contemplating the new Mac air only because I’ve been told using fonts with glyphs is not available for the iPad? Any information regarding that? Thanks

    8 months ago

    Debra: Fonts with glyphs? I think you can type anything as long as you have the right keyboard installed. Have you looked for one?

    Mike Ganey
    8 months ago

    I have a bit of overkill in the Apple world, owning an 27″ Retina iMac, a MacBook Pro 13″ and iPad Air 3. I love the iMac for its screen and it will continue as my go-to for photo editing. I just put my iPad Air 3 up for sale on eBay, and intend to get an 11″ iPad Pro and the new keyboard case. If in fact it can be held in my lap, as opposed to the current Apple iPad keyboards which flop around, then bye-bye MacBook Pro. If the new keyboard fails the lap test, go to a MacBook Air?

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