iPad power users - do you feel a pull towards a M1 Macbook?

I’ve been an iPad user for over 10 years and I’ve seen it grow in its usage. I began using as a simple e-book reader and casual browser and nowadays it has completely replaced my mobile computing needs.

But since the release of the M1 Macbook Air last year, I’ve been feeling a pull towards the M1 Macbook (as my main mobile computer) that’s growing larger and larger. The M1 has an excellent battery life, is lightning quick and Mac OS is, of course, a more powerful and versatile operating system than the iPad OS. That said, the iPad is still a better computer for certain functions and still has that unique modular magic: it’s a screen, a notebook, an e-book reader, a writing machine, etc.

So, I would like to ask all fellow iPad power users: are you’re also feeling this M1 Macbook pull? If not, what’s keeping you in the iPad camp?

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The iPad does everything I need except for hosting my photos library and Plex library. They sit on my Mac Mini, a laptop would be no use for them.

The Mobile Connection, lightness, thinness, Apple Pencil and easily removable keyboard (naked robotic core) are better for me than a far less adaptable Mac laptop.

Even if money were no object, I’d go with an iMac and iPad rather than adding a Laptop into the mix.

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I do not, because none of my mobile workflows would benefit.


I have a similar setup. I use an iMac for more heavy duty and the iPad for mobile and for functions where the iPad excels.


I feel like the iPad is putting me through an identity crisis! I’ve always been a laptop person, but having a laptop and 12.9 iPad Pro is a bit overkill. I think the best solution would either be an iMac or Mac Mini, but now I’m playing the “what-if” game (what if I NEED a mobile Mac??). But honestly my laptop stays at home now.

I just got the new iMac which serves me well at home. My iPad handles all my walking round needs. I have a 2015 MacBook Air which handles the times I’m traveling for any extended period. I sometimes find tasks that I just can’t do on the iPad so like having the Air available. With iCloud syncing for documents I have all my files wherever I am.

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I made that choice a couple of years ago. I went with an iPad for mobile. But, althought it has suited me reasonably well, I’m beginning to feel the need for a mobile Mac. And the recent changes in the Macbook line-up (speed and battery life) are making that need increasingly stronger.


I have extensively written about my iPadOS disappointment in other threads so apologies if I’m repeating myself. In short: yes. The iPad remains a crucial part of my workflow because I have a huge need for handwriting copious amounts of notes, reading ebooks and PDF for research, and as a mobility machine (in the Before World) since I am on the road often (which is why I think I can call myself an iPad power user even if it’s not my main machine).

However, I am tired of asking this beautiful machine what it can’t provide and what it’s visibly not designed to provide in Apple’s vision; I’m tired of having to make do with lighter apps where features are missing compared to the desktop counterparts.

So I am giving up on the iPad as a mobility machine. I will be buying a 14’ MBP when they are released, downgrading from my 15’ Intel MBP to have something ultraportable, and a 5G portable hotspot if the laptop does not come with an integrated 5G modem. The iPad will remain at home or be my mobile clipboard when I need it.

It makes me sad, to be honest. The iPad is what initially made me switch from Windows and Android. But I feel like the promise of the device never truly materialized for me.


I’ve read part of your other posts. It made me reflect on something I’ve been thinking about for some time but hadn’t fully articulated. The iPad is a great machine (and I love it to death) but I’m constantly hitting a performance wall that I wouldn’t with a Mac. I believe David Sparks mentioned recently on some Mac Power Users episode that he’s making a similar transition as well (I may be wrong about this).

That continuing performance limitation and the M1 Macbook are what’s making me tilt towards a MacOs mobile workflow.

I just need a sub 1kg / 2 pound Macbook to make the jump. A cellular connection would be the cherry on top, but that doesn’t seem to be a possibility in the near future.

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My laptop/tablet use balanced out after m1 addressed the battery life limitations of the Intel models. I like that I can work to each form factor’s strengths without worrying about that or performance.


Much like @geoffaire my iPad Pro is the only computer I use. My files are on Google Drive and sync to a pc that backs them up locally and to Backblaze B2.

The M1 MacBooks are great machines, but they aren’t what I need.

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I wish that someday I can do that (iPad as my only computer). I really like the idea of the iPad as a modular computer, that can be anything you need it to be (as proposed by Federico Viticci last year.

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I currently have a 2018 iPad Pro 11” and a 2018 MacBook Pro 15” (Mac is maxed out).

The iPad still performs as well as the day I got it and is the device I use for every day work alongside my work Windows machine.

There are few tasks I use my MacBook Pro for these days, as I bought it for a job that I no longer do. I may be tempted by any 14” MBP as something a bit more portable but still powerful and I would probably use that a lot more than my 15” which spends about 80% of the time in my desk drawer but the times I use it I love it!

If the day comes when iPad Pro’s are given the professional workflows then I may be tempted to just have a 12.9”… but that seems to be a while off!

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I have a similar setup (iPad and desktop) and it’s ok for most of my work.

How portable would you like your 14" MBP to be?

That doesn’t seem like the right word!

No pull at all. My switch to the iPad solidified in 2016. At the time I had an iPad Air 2, MBP 13”, and MacMini. I just gradually stopped using the laptop. It wasn’t intentional. I just really enjoyed working on the iPad so I did. The Mac Mini at that time, as now, was just a file server. After about 6 months of barely using the laptop I sold it. I switched to the 2017 13” iPad Pro when they were made available and will stick to that for the future. Also, from now on I’m calling it a 13” because it is. :laughing:

I think since the fall release of the M1 laptops there is a LOT of FOMO going on! It’s a very attractive laptop and I can see why people feel the pull if they have a use for a Mac that is equal to the iPad.

I’ve always loved the Mac and have used them since 1992. I still enjoy using a Mac, just not as much as I enjoy using an iPad. The iPad (OS and hardware) just clicked for me and provided the perfect balance of power and simplicity for my workflow. I never feel that I’m missing anything that the Mac offers but I would absolutely miss the tablet form factor. I don’t see myself ever again owning a laptop that has has a screen and keyboard permanently attached. And, to be honest, I now greatly prefer iPadOS to macOS so there’s that.

It’s pretty amazing that we have such a range of fantastic computers to use and I for one appreciate them all. It’s bonkers that I have a watch that can do what it does. Still blows me away sometimes to think about it. The phone, tablet, laptop… all of them!

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I enjoyed reading your positive and grateful perspective—our world needs much more of this! Thanks for sharing the positivity and your perspective on the iPad. Your post almost persuades me not to worry about purchasing the 14” MBP, if/when it comes out, but not quite! :laughing:


Thanks for the toughtful feedback. That’s a great setup. I’ve enjoyed the iPad’s magic spell (hardware and software) for several years as well.

I agree with you regarding Apple’s range of fantastic computers. It seems to be an exciting time to be an Apple enthusiast. On the one hand, the Macbook seems to be expanding its features into a territory that was previously (more or less) unique to the iPad (battery life and speed comes to mind). Time will tell if it will also become ultralight (again, like the 12" Macbook Adorable) and cellular. On the other hand, the iPad looks to be gaining laptop features as the years pile on (Magic keyboard, trackpad, similar RAM capacity, near identical processor, etc).


Maybe it isn’t the proper word. I’m sorry, but English isn’t my first language.

Pretty portable I think - the smaller form factor over the 15” and it not being as heavy would definitely be welcome. Something that I can easily move from my office to the sofa if I wanted to, and even to take to a coffee shop potentially.

I’d prefer to invest in the 14” MBP over getting the Magic Keyboard for my iPad which seems a bit pointless when I can just connect my Mac Magic Keyboard and Mouse up to it anyway!

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