Home Tech iPad plus keyboard or MacBook Air: The dilemma continues

iPad plus keyboard or MacBook Air: The dilemma continues


MacBook Air or iPad+keyboard? I’ve posed this question often enough and continue to go through phases of carrying my 11in Air and then having a few weeks with the iPad alone, or teamed with an Apple wireless keyboard.

Ben Brooks has again raised the issue in his thoughtful article this morning. He, too, finds it difficult to decide on the perfect on-the-road combination. He has bought the Incase Origami Workstation which holds the Apple keyboard and folds out to provide an iPad stand. I reviewed this in August and found it to my liking. It certainly makes the iPad more like a laptop and narrows the perceived gap between Air and iPad.

It really is a difficult choice. Frankly, I am lucky to own both MacBook Air and iPad. I would be hard pressed to make a decision if I could afford only one device. The iPad does almost everything and, combined with a physical keyboard, is a productive workhorse. Yet it cannot wholly replace a traditional computer at the moment.

Ben’s conclusion is very similar to mine. Blog posting, in particular handling links and pictures, is much easier on the Air than on the iPad. Picture insertion in iOS is awkward and time consuming and it is one of the main reasons I could not consider the iPad my only portable device. 

(Via The Brooks Review)


  1. Hi Mike,
    First of all, I wish you and your readers an happy New Year 2012, with a lot of interesting news and posts about Apple.
    I am sharing your views about the difficulty to choose between the Air and the iPad.
    I told you a year and half ago that I bought a Air as I was not happy with the original Ipad. I followed one of your comment on this blog.
    Even with an external keyboard, I was not doing so many tasks productively as on my old Macbook Air (2008).
    During the first months after buying the Air, the Ipad remained stored.
    I upgraded to IOS 5 but the multitasking and the improvements weren't enough to make me change my mind.
    But now I am traveling weekly on the Eurostar, and I am only carrying the Ipad with me. It is light, bright and the battery longs a lot. I quite often take the iPad with me into the bed as it is light and easy to manipulate once laying down.
    But on the Ipad, I am only reading magazines and books, doing emails, surfing the internet and using Facebook or Twitter. I scarcely do some word processing.
    I am not traveling often with the Air. Probably because I have computers in all the places, and sharing all my files through Dropbox, including with the Windows PC at the office.
    Having said that, the Air is my preferred tool for word processing, email and surfing on a daily basis. For the comfort of the eyes and my back, I am using a stand, Apple's bluetooth keyboard and a mouse. When I don't need it, it is occupying very little space in my studio in Paris ! Open, it is a powerful tool with a decent screen.
    When I need to produce large documents, edit photos, or do more serious stuff, I am a lucky owner of an iMac 27" in London.
    Funny is that I bought recently also a iPhone 4S. I though I didn't need it but now it is with me all the time. I am doing emails, listening to music and the radio, chatting with iMessenger or Whats'up, talking on Skype, surfing sometimes the net, reading Google news…
    The iPhone surprised me last week : I video edited a 90 seconds movie from several recording and picturesI took from the London fireworks. I was astonished by the quality of the video and the simplicity of iMovie for iPhone.
    Surprisingly, iMovie for iPhone doesn't work on the iPad. This is one of the mystery of Apple !
    Conclusion : the more stuff you get from Apple, the more you are using it. It is not cheap, but certainly it works very well in all circumstances and they are sharing that great interface for users.


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