Falling out of love with iPad since MacBook Pro 14" purchase

No question that I love iPad, however for the past few months, since I purchased my MacBook Pro 14" I’m finding I’m using it less and less.

I still love iPadOS, the 12.9" is a great size, I have the Magic Keyboard and I love the convenience of always on LTE/5G.

Sadly however, the friction that it brings to so many activities means that where I have a choice between my 14" MacBook Pro or M1 12.9 iPad, the MacBook Pro is winning. Especially given the weight difference is only about 200g.

Am I alone?


Same. For me the iPad is reduced to a content consumption device. Maybe for artists who use the pencil it’s different. I‘ll probably not buy an iPad Pro again.

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Same. After my iPad Pro M1 died, I replaced it with an iPad M2 Pro. I mainly use it for reading and highlighting. That’s it. Even then, I find myself using my M1 MBP which I plan to update to an M3 overspec’ed to last 5 years+. I agree that I probably will not buy another iPad going forward.


After getting my M2 Air I found that I was rarely using my iPad. Just sold my 12.9 in and have been using my iPad mini for consumption.

If the iPad was bringing more friction and dissatisfaction to your time on the computer I’d say there’s nothing sad about leaving it behind. You made the right choice for what you need.

I could never go back to the Mac. For me it’s three things that keep me on the iPad.

  • I find too much friction and unnecessary complexity with macOS compared to iPadOS. I spend less time maintaining the iPad, more time using it.
  • At this point not having a touch screen and built in cellular would be a downgrade.
  • The iPad has a more adaptable, flexible form factor. With the iPad I’m not forced to keep the keyboard attached as I would be with a laptop.

This last bit is a key part of the fun for me when using the iPad. I experiment constantly with different physical arrangements of the iPad with stands, etc.

The latest has been using a simple lap desk with an attached, adjustable clamped arm (Twelve-South) that is easily portable between my desk/bed/futon and adjustable to heights and angles a laptop wouldn’t be. Since trying this out I’ve stopped putting the iPad in the Magic Keyboard except to take it out of the house. I’d guess that many/most people wouldn’t want to bother with this but I find it’s a fun and interesting way to change postures while working. And the iPad is very stable and balanced in the clamp/arm so there’s no concern that it might tip over.

And when I’m not working I can ignore the keyboard/mouse/trackpad while watching a video.


It’s all about using the right tool for the job. iPad is great at many things, but if you’re more productive on a Mac, then of course you’d use it.


You are not alone. My iPad is convenient but I only feel the “true joy” of computing when on in Mac OS. While the walled garden of iOS keeps me safe it hampers my ability to express myself like I want.

The Mac is my work machine. And I prefer to use it in my office, rather than elsewhere in the house. More for psychological reasons than technological/ergonomic reasons. My brain is wired to work when I’m there.

For me, the iPad is for content consumption, social media and discussion forums. Like here and now—I’m typing this on my iPad Air with a Folio keyboard.

At this point, I’d prefer to have an M-series laptop rather than a 12.9” iPad. Unless i got the iPad for cheap. My wife has one, and every once in a while I say, “Wanna trade? My more portable and light iPad Air for your iPad Pro?” She says nah.

I also have an iPad mini. I got a little carried away.

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Since the M1, my iPad keyboard usage is down but my Pencil usage is up. I’m happier with the work I’m doing on both Mac and iPad, overall.

The only iPad that makes sense (for me, at least) is a iPad mini if you have a 13"/14" MBA/MBP imo.

Waiting for the newer version of mini…

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I am more on your side. For me, the iPad has its sweet spot in portability and contempt consumption, not work. And what is more, since getting the biggest iPad I decided that my new computer would be a Mac Mini, not a laptop, a good chunk of the cost of a laptop is the glorious screen which in my case sits mostly unused.


Correct. “In 2010, Steve Jobs sat in an easy chair on the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and showed off this new tablet and proclaimed that the tablets would one day outsell PCs. He used the analogy that PCs were trucks and tablets were cars”. - Forbes Aug 5, 2021.

Sales in the first 3 quarters of FY 2023 show that Macs and iPads are basically tied, with the iPad slightly ahead. The iPad may never eclipse the Mac, but the way we use our devices continues to change and both devices may yet be replaced by something else.


While many share your viewpoint, I’ve always been more than happy with the multi-touch interface I have with my MacBook via its built-in trackpad. The touch screen on my iPhone is acceptable only for performing considerably less complicated tasks.

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Do not let it bother you. You can use both.

This is only a problem for people who think the iPad is a computer. It’s not. Neither is my Tivo, Kindle, or iPhone… Yeah they can run apps, and do stuff, and can be almost as good as a computer but its not… Use an iPad for what it can do, but the people that prefer it over a Macbook Pro are people that don’t really need a computer. You can use both. They are not the same thing.

imo, the 12.9 is a an extremely large screen size for an iPad. at that size, one should tote a computer.

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I am a very recent purchaser of a 12.9” iPad Pro (replacement for an older iPad Pro). My main device is an Intel MacBook Pro. I use them for different things. iPad is mostly for reading (work and fun) and recreation generally. It handles a few contained work tasks, e.g. some email, updating my task manager, etc.

For more complex tasks I’m happier on my Mac. I am enjoying the side-by-side view on the larger iPad (side-by-side never felt big enough on the regular iPad), and I’ve started some very tentative dabbling in Stage Manager after reading @Denny’s blog posts about it, but mostly if I want to have multiple windows open (a common occurrence for me), I prefer to be “at my desk”.

Worth noting though that I use my Mac with an external monitor and generally speaking I’m not keen on multiple windows on the MBP screen either. I like space! I rarely voluntarily subject myself to the MBP screen nowadays - I just switch to my iPad if I need to be mobile unless there’s something I really can’t do on it.


Of course it is.

I’d be interested in your definition of a computer.

I can run Affinity Publisher on an iPad Pro with a 12.9" screen and do anything in that app that I could do with a Mac. Why would I resort to the Mac that lacks a Pencil, touch screen, and built in cellular? In my use case (laying out/designing documents with Affinity Publisher) the iPad is the better hardware choice because it has more hardware options/configurations. This especially true when mobile.

And when I’m done working I can use it without a keyboard being in my way.

If your reasoning is simply that it’s not a computer because it can’t run Xcode well then, I guess we have different definitions of computer. I’ve seen some assert that in order for a device to be a computer it must also be capable of being used to as a device on which software can be written. Aside from that it’s a computer in every other way as I understand and use that word.


I still have the 2018 ipad 12.9. To me, that is the best iPad Apple has ever made :laughing:. It still runs flawlessly. I don’t need the fancy CPU and graphics, I just use it to watch youtube videos on my treadmill or playing guitar.

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can you install apps on your ipad without the AppStore?

Can you install it without the AppStore?

What you have there is a really big iPhone… Its cool, and I own two, but they are not computers…

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No and no.

But I certainly don’t consider that to be a defining line between calling the iPad a computer or a… “computing device” or whatever term you might have in mind.

When I need an app, I go to the App Store. I have far more app options in 2023 via the App Store than I had 20 years ago when I installed apps on my Mac via the open web/cds. And the process for purchase/installation/updating is far faster and easier via the App Store.

The vast majority of my Mac apps are also sourced from the App Store. I can’t remember the last time I bought a Mac app outside of the App Store.

In general I consider the App Store a much better purchase/installation/updating experience.

Call it a big iPhone or a banana if you want. I’ll call it a computer. :nerd_face:

It’s all subjective… I just gave my opinion… There are some here that will say a calculator is a computer. I look at the iPad (and iPhone) as just devices, as ultimately Apple controls what you do with it (like Tivo, Kindle, etc)…

Though, I will say, I can make my iPad closer to a computer with iDOS2. It’s a great MS-DOS emulator that Apple doesn’t want me to have. Turbo C++ and all the DOS games run perfectly…

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