So you're a staunch Apple lover and are torn between making a choice between the MacBook Air and the iPad. This is a rather tough decision to make, but it ultimately comes down to what your primary usage is going to be like. If you will be carrying out a lot of heavy computing tasks and working with spreadsheets, documents and video editing tools, then the MacBook Air is right for you. But if you are a casual user who likes to surf the web, watch movies and play recreational games then perhaps you should opt for the iPad.
However, you should also keep in mind that an iPad is not supposed to replace a laptop like the MacBook Air. An iPad is a device that is meant to fill the gap between a smartphone and a notebook, so you should not be seeing this as an either/or situation. There is no harm in owning both, since both these devices can be used simultaneously and in sync with each other. But Apple products do tend to be on the costly side, so not many people can buy both these devices at the same time. So for people confused about what choice to make right now, this MacBook Air vs. iPad comparison will prove useful.
More About the MacBook Air
At this moment, the latest version of the MacBook Air is available in two different sizes, 11.6" and 13.3". In effect, it is an ultra light and portable netbook, and it is in fact, the slimmest netbook available in the market right now. The aluminum unibody that is used for the design makes it possible to support the slimness and light weight of the device, and like all Apple products, the aesthetic appeal of the device is phenomenal. The latest versions were released in October 2010, and they have fast become some of the best selling netbooks ever. Here are the rest of the specifications:
- Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768 for the 11" model and 1440 x 900 for the 13" model.
- Processor: 1.4 GHz or 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo for the 11" model and 1.86 GHz or 2.13 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo for the 13" model.
- Storage Space: 64GB or 128GB flash storage for the 11" model and 128GB or 256GB flash storage for the 13" model.
- Memory: 2GB of DDR3 SDRAM.
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 320M with 256MB DDR3 SDRAM.
- Weight: 2.3 lb for the 11" model and 2.9 lb for the 13" model.
- Dimensions: 11.8" wide x 7.56" deep x 0.11" high for the 11" model and 12.8" wide x 8.94" deep x 0.11" high for the 11" model.
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1.
More About the iPad
The Apple iPad was released in April 2010 and it changed the whole world. A new revolution of tablets was set into motion, and laptop sales were also affected. Apple has left its mark on history with iPad, and there is no telling what it can achieve in the coming years. Tablet computers had been around for a while, but it is the iPad that changed everything. Subsequently, iPad 2 was released in March 2011. Here are the common specifications of iPad and iPad 2.
- Screen Size: 9.7" touchscreen with a resolution of 1024 x 768.
- Processor: 1 GHz Apple A4 processor for iPad and 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor for iPad 2.
- Memory: 256MB DDR RAM in iPad and 512MB DDR2 RAM in iPad 2.
- Storage Space: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB.
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n. Bluetooth 2.1, 2G cellular EDGE and 3G cellular HSDPA.
- Weight: 1.5 lb for iPad and 1.33 lb for iPad 2.
- Dimensions: 9.56" x 7.47" x 0.528" for iPad and 9.5" x 7.31" x 0.346" for iPad 2.
- Operating System: iOS 4.3.
When you consider all the features of both these devices, there are many considerations to make. The portability is obviously a big factor in any netbook vs iPad debate, and it is definitely easier to carry around an iPad, but this does not make the MacBook Air difficult to carry with its light weight. The iPad also trumps the MacBook Air as far as battery life is concerned, and another advantage of the iPad is that Apple's soon to be coming iCloud service will work seamlessly on it. The number of apps and games that are available in the Apple App Store also make the iPad very useful, and so does the 3G connectivity that it provides.
On the other hand, MacBook Air has a physical keyboard so it is great for people who need to type out long notes or articles. Heavy computational tasks are much better suited for a netbook than a tablet, since the iPad is much better at consumption than creation. Moreover, any external device can be connected to the MacBook Air but not to the iPad, and this is a major disadvantage today. You can also use different operating systems on the MacBook Air, while you are restricted to iOS on the iPad. The personal choice between using a touchscreen or a mouse or optical pad for navigating also plays a major role for someone interested in making a decision.
As you can see, both devices have their own niches and it would be unfair to say that one is better than the other. They are both meant for specific purposes, and ideally, one should have both the devices. Comparing the MacBook Air vs. iPad throws up many differences, but the ultimate aim of technology is to make our lives simpler in any way possible.