Add the Mac and iPad together and Apple is the planet’s largest personal computer maker. Both are personal computers, both can be workhorses, but which you use depends upon your work requirements.
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t see that Apple has been pushing the iPad as a Mac notebook replacement. This past year was Mac’s best year ever. Look at the lineup. Incredible power at the top in Mac Pro, plenty of powerful notebooks and desktops.
The key to understanding which device to use is to understand what you expect it to do. If what you do requires a keyboard and access to applications that bring you online sources of information, photo management, graphics design, and even media editing, which is better?
Mac? Or, iPad?
Again, it depends.
An iPad with a keyboard– iPadOS 13 has keyboard (and more shortcuts), mouse, and trackpad support, plus new functions to use split-screen effects– can be powerful even at the entry-level. A $329 iPad with a $25 Bluetooth keyboard is an inexpensive yet powerful device with mobility, a good camera on both sides, but limited storage, though iCloud can rectify that issue.
Microsoft Word for iPadOS brings plenty of the features you would use on Mac or Windows PCs.
If there’s a weak point in the comparison of Mac vs. iPad, it’s going to be in media editing– image, video, and audio– so it depends upon what your media requirements are going to be. A Mac with Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite of apps is an incredibly powerful device fit for professionals, but it isn’t as if one cannot create good media on an iPad.
Photoshop on the Mac is not Photoshop on the iPad. Ditto for iMovie and Garageband, both Mac staples, both less powerful and capable on the iPad, yet both can be used to create excellent video and audio media.
While those of us who cut our teeth on the Mac find iPad to be limited, it’s only because we have an expanded workflow, so the key to using either one or which one is to know exactly what you want to do, and, importantly– how you want to do it.
iPadOS 13 has the Files app and while that works well for average users, it is not the Mac’s Finder which can be customized and integrated into a workflow iPad users cannot dream about.
Whether at work or home or on the road, I take the device that I know will be most useful to me at the time; Mac or iPad. So, make sure to understand your workflow, what you want to accomplish, and how you want to get it done before making the choice.