My next iPad is going to be a MacBook Air!

I think I’m done with trying to use my iPad Pro as a productivity tool and I know many MPU people share my grief. It’s just too inflexible and workflow-stifling to be useful as a mobile work machine. I’m also not a huge media consumer and that seems to be what its (still) best suited for.

So I will probably trade mine in for one of the upcoming MBA updates that I’ve been hearing about with the new M1 (M2?) CPUs. I know the current MBA comes in at the same weight or lighter than an iPad with its heavy magic keyboard attached so I’m hoping the new MBAs are even lighter.

Curious to know if others have done this or considering doing the same?

PS - To add some more color: My current setup is a MacBook Pro (2019 since I’ve yet to get a chance to snag a fully loaded M1 Max MBP) that I keep at home most of the time (I travel a lot so I need a laptop to move around with me). The MacBook Air will be an adjunct device that I can use when running around during the day.


Absolutely. I moved to a MacBook Air M1… and it is like night and day. I cant believe I convinced myself to use the iPad all those years. I am much more productive on the MacBook Air.

You say the MacBook Air will be an adjunct device. The base model MacBook Air M1 is more powerful than your MacBook Pro. I predict you will use it all the time and ditch the MacBook Pro.,


I don’t understand why people compare the MacBook to the iPad Pro. For me it are 2 different devices with different purposes. The MacBook is for most of my work. The iPad is for reading, writing (including handwritten notes), research, editing screenshots, and more. The MacBook is very good (and in many cases better) at the productivity part, but I find the iPad more versatile device for the rest.


I would guess it’s typically more of a “if I’m going to spend $1000 or more on a device, which device should I get?” rather than a matter of expecting them to be functionally identical.

Kind of like a marketing book I read that was explaining that $2000 TVs don’t necessarily just compete against other $2000 TVs - they also compete against family vacations, fancy jewelry, new wardrobes, and other $2000-sized expenses.

The answer, if money is no object, is absolutely “get both - you’ll probably find you like each device for different purposes”. But money is usually an object. :smiley:


For me, I saw things like this:

This implies that for these things, the iPad is better than the MacBook. And it might be, for a lot of people! But in my case, the iPad wasn’t able to do any of these more efficiently/effectively (except for handwritten notes).

I think it’s because people who do podcasts, websites, or YT channels like to talk about making the iPad their main computer. For a lot of career fields it’s just not feasible. I think most of us have yelled “Just do it on your Mac!” when listening to a podcaster talk about trying to get something done on their iPad.


I’m coming to the same conclusion.

I just enjoy my Mac more and frankly Apple hawking M1 iPads up to 2000 dollars was just twilight zone territory for me.

I’m tired of being held hostage to the iPads storage tiers and other niggling irritations.

I’m due for a new device this year and I’m likely heading in the Air direction

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A Mac is great computer until you have to spend a few hours walking around trying to type on it while cradling it in the crook of your arm. I used to occasionally log 3 - 5 miles a day walking around our building so I’ve been using iPads since the iP2.

I believe that people should pick the software that they need first and let that determine what hardware/OS they need to run it. (And also whether or not they need to be highly mobile). As you said, they are “2 different devices with different purposes”.


I think this is how Apple is marketing iPad Pro, as a computer replacement. Also the accessories that Apple produces for iPad are meant to transform it into a laptop.


They do, but much like the Mac, you would think everyone who uses it is a content creator (and uses the Pencil a lot). Even if they show a Pages document, it’s full of pictures. They aren’t pushing pushing Numbers on it.

I think the MacBook Air is a great computer. I don’t have a need for a Mac in my life (the 2018 Mac Mini on the corner of my desk is usually booted into just to update software every few months). I use a Dell laptop for work, but other than accessing our specific systems that are only available to do on Windows I can get all of my main work done from an iPad Pro with a keyboard without issue. My wife only needs a computer for email, some marketing for her business, and her social media usage or content consumption. The iPad Pro is the main computer for both of us, for very different use cases. We could use a Mac for these, but we like the modularity and versatility. As David said on many occasions, I also just smile hen I get to use my iPad for hours to get work done in a at MacOS doesn’t light me up. I don’t think this should always be a competition or argument. Apple makes some great devices. Use the one that works best for your needs and you enjoy! For me it’s an iPad, but for you it’s a MacBook Air. That’s wonderful!


Why does this still summon so much passionate debate!? Different people expect different things from their “computers”. For some, an iPad is all the computer they need; others chafe at iPads’ limits (more accurately iPadOS’s limits, perhaps?) and are better served by macOS machines. And so the world turns.

An iPad may well be a “computer” made by Apple. That doesn’t make it a Mac. Nor should it. And yes, some of the things we perceive as limitations are mystifying/frustrating, but we do have options…


This is the lead subject on ATP tonight. @pendolino must be Marco Arment. :slight_smile:

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I am thinking of trading in my 11in iPad Pro for an iPad mini and just use it as a media consumption device.


not everyone can afford to buy both, so have to make a choice.

So my choice to life in both world is to use a iPad Pro 11‘‘ and an Mac Mini M1. I use the ipad for nearly everything but when it comes to data handling and automation my Mac Mini handles it in the background using automator apple script and of course Hazel as a really grat tool for paperless workflow and document management. I really love the combination as it vprovides the possibility to use full Mac OS power with the easy to use everywhere capability of the ipad. But my usecases are more document related than creation of sound or video. As the Air hs pencil and Magic Keyboard support now I guess this is an alternative to the iPad Pro in the future as the Profi has so much unused power. I wonder how the pro will be differentiate in the future from the air. As the chips get so much power this can only be intersintg for the power user graphics or sound work.


Well I plan to get a M1 MacBook Pro (they’ve been quite sold out for the top specs) as well so I’ll probably do that first and then get the Air. Now that everything’s on the cloud it’s easier to move between two devices after the initial requisite settings are taken care of.

LOL. Do you read these forums? Picking software is at least a yearly thing. :joy:

But seriously, this is generally the right approach. Choose the device that works for your situation.

My M1 MacBook Pro is the best iPad I ever owned. Which is to say the Achilles heel of every previous laptop I tried to make my “most things” device was battery life. Apple Silicon solved that. I take it to work most days like many might take an iPad — to use at lunch time, to do some things that are just too hard on a company provided, locked down Windows laptop, to, ahem, skive a little — and I just don’t bother lugging the power brick.

If Apple would reprise the form factor (and weight) of the old 12" MacBook with Apple Silicon, I think that would be an incredible device that would replace a lot of iPads. That device handled like an iPad, too. 920 grams!


I used to support some “above my pay grade” individuals who made decisions about tech without consulting me. So I occasionally had to deal with things like $250,000 color printers showing up unannounced at our back dock, or requests to set up $$ enterprise level Windows Only software on a VP’s iMac.

Thus my suggestion to choose the software that you need, then buy the hardware that the software requires. But it was always interesting finding workarounds when people failed to do that. Especially when I told them how much it was going to cost :grinning:


When they first came out with the iPad pro, I rushed out and bought a 13" model. I still have it. I mostly use it for 3 things:

1-Reading magazines
2-Reading stories with pictures and playing games with my grandkids
3-When I travel, I use it as a second screen for my Mac. I consider that to be it’s killer app.

It’s too big and heavy and frustrating to try and use for much else.

I recently got a new iPad mini for my wife, WiFi only. If I get another iPad, it will be one of those. A great little device that’s light and easy to use.