Allow me to compare Apple’s two latest mobile creations. iPad Pro and MacBook Air. Both are similar is size and power. One is keyboard centric, the other is a handheld touchscreen tablet with a keyboard accessory. Which is better?
Traditionally, iPads have been more about content consumption than the Mac, which is more about content creation. Yes, graphic designers and artists love the iPad but they love the Mac, too; thanks to apps like Photoshop and Lightroom and other professional level apps that have no counterpart in iPad’s touchscreen world.
iPad Pro and Mac are not the same yet they are more similar than ever. Let me start with price and power and mix in a few specifications.
Similarly equipped, the 13-inch MacBook Air weighs in at $1,399 for 256GB SSD storage. The similarly sized 12.9-inch iPad Pro comes in at $1,149 for 256GB SSD storage. The Smart Keyboard Folio to match the Mac’s capability is another $199. $1,348 total for iPad Pro vs, $1,399 for MacBook Air.
The entry-level MacBook Air is no slouch with an 8th generation Core i5 Intel Inside and options for 1.5TB SSD storage and 16GB RAM for an appalling $2,599. The fully tricked out iPad Pro with 1TB SSD storage, Smart Keyboard Folio, and Pencil comes in at $2,077.
Yet, they are not the same. iPad Pro features Apple’s own A12X Bionic chip while MacBook Air has a dual core i5 Intel Inside. Does it matter which is faster? Probably not. iPad Pro has more applications available than the Mac, but many of the Mac’s best apps do not have iOS counterparts.
They are not the same. Yet.
iPad Pro weighs in at 1.4 pounds and the Folio keyboard likely adds more than half a pound to that, so just over 2 pounds total. The MacBook Air is 2.75 pounds. Keyboards are a matter of personal preference but Apple’s redesigned butterfly mechanism on MacBook Air may feel more like a real keyboard than Smart Keyboard Folio, but there are other differences, too.
The Mac has a single FaceTime camera. iPad Pro has dual cameras of higher quality. MacBook Air has Touch ID. iPad Pro has Face ID. Both are capable of driving an external 5K Retina display.
From a price, specification, and performance perspectives, iPad Pro and MacBook Air are more similar than they are different. The glaring differences are in iPad Pro’s mobility– it’s handheld, vs. MacBook Air’s array of applications not easily replicated on iOS.
iPad Pro and MacBook Air are closer together than ever. What happens next year when iOS 13 comes with mouse control capabilities and macOS Bakersfield adds a touchscreen function? Apple wants to keep them separated so we will buy both, but which to choose depends upon your needs; mobility and capability vs. heavy lifting application power.
Functionality is merging, folks.