Saturday, January 21, 2017

Can the iPad Air replace the MacBook Air?

Lauren Dezenski compares the Apple’s slimline
tablet with its streamlined laptop

With all the upgrades Apple keeps rolling
out for its tablets, we wanted to know if
you could really ditch your laptop for the
iPad. There was only one way to fi nd out: replacing a
MacBook Air with the iPad Air for a day.
So we’ve got two obvious points of comparison
between these two products: hardware and
software. We wanted to compare the two most
alike products in Apple’s lineup (by name and by
look), and hardware-wise, the two actually aren’t too
di erent when looking at pure tech specs.
Tech specs
The iPad Air model measures 169.5x240x7.5mm, and
weighs 478g; while the Macbook Air weighs 1.08kg
and is 300x192x170mm when the laptop is closed.
Although the MacBook Air is nearly double the
weight of the iPad Air, both live up to their names
as being light as, well, you know. You obviously
don’t fl ip open the iPad beyond peeling o its Smart
Cover, so the user experience is blatantly di erent.
Then again, you can choose which colour iPad Air
you’d like, while the MacBook is relegated to that
same silver that can only be altered by accessories.
Using the iPad to do anything for extended
periods of time also depends on your accessories,
and arm strength. The iPad Air’s inability to stand on
its own accord is like a baby that can’t do much else
but lay on its belly. Thank goodness for mum and
dad’s help propping him up.
Not to point out the obvious, but the two di erent
products o er di erent user experiences, most
notably in the operating systems.
Sure, there are loads of apps out there to allow
you to do many of the same things on the iPad as
the MacBook, but don’t expect to do the same things
in the same ways.
Case-in-point: word processing. The iOS version
of the Pages app, for example, is powerful and
there’s really not much you feel you’re missing when
tapping out a quick story. But copy-pasting things
like quotes or numbers or anything really from the
web browser to the document is time-consuming
and requires more gestures than I’d like. Of course,
this all is made easier using a wireless keyboard,
but that’ll cost you.
Again, pointing out the obvious, but you can’t
have multiple windows open on the same screen,
so if the aim is to multitask, you’ll be switching back
and forth between apps. This is easier on iOS 7, but
still more of a hassle if you’re trying to work between
multiple documents.
Let’s not forget about price, either. The cheapest
11in Macbook Air will set you back £849, compared
to the 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad Air’s £399 price tag.
Buying advice
As you’ve caught on by now, trying to compare the
iPad Air with the Macbook Air is comparing apples or
oranges. Sure, you get some of the same things from
both products, but ultimately they’re two di erent
products o ering di erent experiences. And it’s up
to you, the buyer, to decide which is best for you - or
whether you’ll just get both.

Guide to buying tech from the US

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