As Apple increased the hardware line and integrated the ecosystem, we see functions offloaded or move from one device to another, so all devices get utilized in much the same manner and using the same apps. What about Mac vs. iPad? That war ain’t over. Yet.
My husband and I work at a Chicagoland private school; we manage and monitor hundreds of Windows PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, and, yes, many, many iPads. While iPhone and Mac are obviously different in many ways, this question pops up all the time.
Which is better? iPad or Mac?
The proper answer is, “It depends.” That’s because everyone uses their devices in different ways and for different purposes. Here at work Nathan and I have used MacBook Airs because they do everything and are easy to take from one location to another. Nathan decided to test out a new iPad Pro for a month– to replace the MacBook Air.
Nothing. At least, nothing bad.
He added Apple’s expensive Smart Keyboard Folio so the keyboard traveled wherever he went. Almost all of our school applications are web-based so Safari or Firefox or Chrome on iOS worked as well as Safari or another browser on the Mac. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is almost exactly the same size and weight as the MacBook Air. All the basic applications we use– Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Messages, FaceTime, Maps, et al– work on both Mac and iPad Pro.
Is there an advantage on one side or the other?
iPad Pro’s keyboard is very good; solid, firm, nice feel. MacBook Air uses the infamous butterfly keyboard and while Nathan has yet to have a problem, the fear of a gotcha moment hangs over every key.
iPad Pro is faster at graphics than MacBook Air, however, the Air runs more professional applications– Final Cut Pro, Garageband, Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop and Lightroom). Both handle files with ease via iCloud and Dropbox. iPad Pro can edit 4K video with ease.
The Mac often needs a place to land before using (Apple no longer calls them laptops), while iPad Pro can be handled as any iPad. One hand to hold, one hand to navigate the screen.
After just over a month of Nathan using iPad Pro to replace the MacBook Air, it’s my turn to swap out for the month of April. So far, no problems, a few adjustments, and one commonality. We both would like to see a touchscreen Mac.