2018 MacBook Air vs. 2018 Apple iPad Pro Comparison Smackdown

by birtanpublished on May 5, 2021

This is Lisa from mobile tech review and this is Apple V Apple we have the 2018 MacBook Air versus the 2018 third-generation iPad pro the iPad pro is available in two sizes were using the twelve point nine inch for this which really puts them pretty close together in terms of size and pricing is surprisingly similar to with this starting at 1199 and your iPad pro for the 11 inch is $7.99 starting price $9.99 for the twelve point nine inch but then if you're factoring in for this kind of laptop competition replacement thing going on 179 to 199 for Apple's smart keyboard

Cover depending on the size that you're getting and on the pencil for a hundred and twenty nine dollars you know you might be able to go without that but since it is now mouse you might really want to have it so pricing is looking similar now you're gonna get more storage 128 gigs for your starting mom price with the MacBook Air vs. 64 gigs here but here's the kicker iPad apps are generally quite small so unless you have very large file content creation that you're not using the cloud for 64 gigs could actually work for you it actually has for me surprisingly but

With this you're starting out with 128 gigs and being the fact that this runs full desktop programs which are typically very large if you want to install it the MS Office suite it's like five gigs you can be doing Adobe Photoshop alone it's about two gigs illustrator and the other two gigs you get the idea so you might really actually want to consider the hundreds the 256 gig model rather for this which is $1400 hmm similar pricing we're gonna smack them down now so let's start with the pros for the iPad pro the hardware largely

Puts in the MacBook Air to shape it has everything that is cutting edge that is nifty that people often want today so you've got a much better display to start with now that the MacBook Air has a bad screen it's a pretty nice Retina screen but not very bright so you're getting 200 nits more brightness which is a lot of nits for those of you who don't really know what that means there's a lot more bright you get P three color gamut it's a wider color gamut it's higher resolution it has the true tone functionality if you wanted to actually get less less cold we're warm

More yellow in indoor ambient light that's our thing at night more advanced ah it goes beyond that though so nice screens a nice screen you could just get it there MacBook Pro with touch bar not touch bar and get a better screen to write you've got a touch screen here something Apple's still just won't do with Mac OS products and God knows why but that's the way it is still for now and you get the Apple pencil so for those of you who looked at Windows 2 1 convertibles maybe surface pro 6 or any of them any that are out there now you actually get all

Of those nifty things and you stay inside the Apple ecosystem entertainingly enough the optional or keyboard case that we're kind of including in this because if you're comparing it to a laptop you need that keyboard keyboard cover sort of thing it's actually more like a normal keyboard the apple smart keyboard folio cover it has actual more travel and also you don't have to worry about little bits of dust getting underneath those butterfly keys and maybe messing things up because actually it's a sealed kind of design here there is no way anything

Get under those keys so you can be a little sloppier with it maybe even spill something on and then wipe it off pretty quickly and it would still work just fine obviously the iPad is the lighter product particularly if you're using it without that keyboard follow and obviously the benefit of having iOS 12 is always is that low maintenance operating system pretty much you just pick it up turn it on instant on its ready to go no software updates no application updates you know even though Apple is not as intrusive as Windows is

With those updates well you've got it don't be Auto update or get microsoft auto update you've got all sorts of things like that going on just not really a problem with the iPad it's pretty lovely in that respect better battery life with the iPads typically about 10 hours of actual use time that means when the screen is turned on and you are doing things now when it's sitting on your desk doing nothing and waiting for you the MacBook Air is around it depends on how you using it but somewhere between seven and a half to nine hours seven and a half using it

Hitting it heavy with more demanding programs and nine if you're and just chilling oddly the iPad pros for this generation are the faster ones in terms of benchmarks it's really astounding I mean what they could do with this iPad if there were more or any actual pro apps for the iPad would be astounding so and when it comes to games that is a place where you're going to find quality software for the iPad that actually uses the CPU and GPU very and you know mac OS is not exactly a gaming platform in terms of game selection beside that but if you're into

Games actually I would probably go at the iPad pro in terms of performance in terms of screen quality in terms of software selection in fact it's gone so far as Blizzard said that now all their games are going to be available for mobile OS so if you're looking for diablo immortal that's gonna be on the iPad again with applications iOS apps typically are much cheaper than desktop counterparts nice right so if you're looking at something like procreate or affinity for the iPad which is a Photoshop standing that's quite powerful infinity is like 20 bucks versus

Photoshop which is on subscription model which is gonna be at least ten dollars a month at this point sweet you have optional 4G LTE a lot of people actually like to have it built into the device so they don't have to deal with tethering so only on the iPad not on your Mac and this is about the pro no konnan it's a funny thing multitasking is still is not a smooth and easy thing on the iPad I kind of actually avoid using it as much as I can unless I really have to bring it up but the nice thing is it does give you focus because most of the time you're doing a single

Screen kind of thing it gives you focused on just what you're doing distractions from slack from your scrolling Twitter feed all those things that really actually can kill your productivity in a way using a laptop or a desktop a Sena problem here all right so what stands in favour of the MacBook Air a very traditional not particularly innovative clamshell style laptop without a touchscreen does have a fingerprint scanner the iPad has face ID by the way I kind of like face ID better but one can live with either one first thing I'd like to say is where are the

Pro apps or the iPad pro Apple their pro apps are like Final Cut Pro you know not iMovie this thing has the horsepower inside this iPad of something like a 15-inch MacBook Pro but the applications at the so called pro level are why some people are awful cranky who are looking at this especially given the price tag is the same as a pretty nice laptop looking for those kind of programs and with the MacBook Air it's a laptop darn it Jim Star Trek fans out there yeah it's got the laptop ergonomics you don't have to worry about the improve but still kind of floppy

Folio too if you want your display tilted here here or here you can do that with the iPad pro you have to display positions right there you have a trackpad that's a whole brouhaha it's funny in my Twitter feed there's been a very days long discussion about well there are two finger touched to select text and scrolling is sufficient versus using the one finger if it's anything like a mouse substitute I'm sorry or trackpad soap so it's not for precise quick motion motor memory kind of stuff a trackpad is still where it's at and that gets into the the

Fact that you can do some of these things with the iPad pro now because it has USB C you can plug in a monitor but the weird kind of thing is because you don't have that Mouse interaction so right now pretty much all programs only support mirroring modes so that's nice you're looking at your big screen monitor but you're still having to look over to the iPad screen whenever you need to interact the tap to switch programs all that sort of thing it's still feeling kind of half-baked in that way now programs will third-party apps will start to add extended display mode

And that's when it really will start to shine so it might be able to just join it when it keeps switching from mirroring modes say when you're on your apps screen and then jumping to two screen mode then back again I'm not really still sure how that's going to work also when we're talking about monitors with the MacBook Air you want to plug in a 4k display you've plug in a 4k display great life is normal it runs at 4k it fills the whole screen with the iPad because it's doing that display mirroring so it's mirroring only the resolution of the iPad which happens to

Be a different aspect ratio besides 4 by 3 and most monitors are sixteen by nine you have a whole lot of black space around the picture on your screen it's it kind of reminds me of what Android first started supporting displays but things are a little bit Kluge like that the Mac being a Mac means you have access to USB flash drives external hard drives full USB mass-storage I mean you know everything it does everything you can plug in printers and all that sort of thing with the iPad limited you don't get really mass storage you can do things like import images from an SD

Card that came from your camera or something like that but no full file system access so because of the way Apple architected the wall garden to make sure you can't mess thing up I suppose on the file system whatever the reasons are it can be kind of annoying when you just want to grab some file store them on a flash drive given to your coworker that sort of thing everything really has to go through cloud and there are times when you just don't want to do that sometimes now I talked about the fact there are no pro apps there are still some very good

Programs out there and obviously the ecosystem for ipads is immense you do have Microsoft Office for example and it has a lot of the features but still not all the features like I'm talking about things like doing paragraph styles for writers who actually want to make things look very pretty and presentable that's important in Excel if you want all of the charting options pivot charts those aren't there the core stuff is there and we'll get into a bit more of what that means and again with the pro apps no Final Cut Pro obviously but you do get iMovie you do get GarageBand you get a

Lot of overlapping functionality there so it's not a horror story on the iPad either just don't expect every last feature for Photoshop we're gonna have to wait till 2019 to see this totally new read redesigned kind of tonal change touch you I think that Adobe is working on for the iPad and probably will see this for touch screen Windows laptops as well when that happens I can't say what the features are gonna be and learning curve and if it's gonna be everything that Photoshop has been for us on the desktop so far but that's not until 2019 there are still some good programs

Though for those who like to draw this procreate with a fantastic brush engine that I actually enjoy drawing in more than I enjoy drawing in Photoshop I'll often start my drawings in fact my digital paintings on the iPad and then when I'm ready for the last steps I'll transfer it not using a flash drive obviously over to my desktop and use something like a Wacom Cintiq to finish it up also there's affinity photo and now affinity designer for vector word and those are very powerful affinity photo is a lot like Photoshop in terms of the way it works you don't get every

Feature obviously but there's a good deal to work with the challenge is it can get kind of bogged down and it's not super stable just yet but it is only $20 it's a work in progress and designer is pretty exciting as an illustrator alternative because Dobby ain't said nothing yet about what they're gonna be doing to give us a real illustrative replacement for the iPad because their current version their app is weenie it's not know you've heard me talk about multitasking on the iPad pro before and it's getting a little better but it's still not

Really fantastic not very easy to do I kind of avoid doing it unless I have to do it but you can't drag and get to apps kind of side by side no floating windows like you would do on Mac OS or something like that also there's still that got you that we've had for a while now yes you can have Safari open and on one side you can have word open on the other but what if you need two different word documents open and often you do it because you're taking information from one and pacing it's the other comparing and revising no can do the same thing with apples on

Pages it's not that it's about a third party program so that makes it really hard to use for a lot of business people I suspect who do need to have multiple documents open at the same time on their screen and then there's Safari which is a perfectly fine mobile browser and for everyday casual web browsing it works fine but again for business people who might need Java or need plugins their intranet isn't rendering properly on it some content management systems WordPress is pretty good they have a wordpress output the rest of it it's not always there and Apple requires that

Every browser use their WebKit engine so you're not really gonna have a fundamentally different experience on that level even if you're using Firefox or Chrome on the iPad so what does all that mean I mean it sounds like I just totally trashed the iPad pro dead 9 not really because those fundamental hardware innovations are still there making for very quick easy low maintenance user experience with a touchscreen on glorious and good-looking touchscreen with that pencil support there's a lot of good stuff there so what you should take away from this

Isn't just the kvetching about these things but it's about what you need to do with the product in the end for a lot of people as their home laptop replacement they're just going to be streaming Netflix are going to be browsing the web they're gonna be using everyday normal web pages not in intranets and all that sort of thing it's actually fine if you just want to sit there and write the next great novel in Ulysses you could do that you know you're gonna have a little lesson most fun time sometimes selecting text and editing and all that kind of it's gonna

Be slower than it would on a Mac but yeah you can do all those things you can use iMovie and have a lot of fun and any footage that you've taken with the capable camera that iPad pro has certainly the MacBook Air doesn't have one and yeah it's good but for those of you because of that Pro moniker because of the price tag for those of you who are thinking that this might actually replace say your 13-inch MacBook Pro or your MacBook Air or even a Windows laptop now you know what caveats to still keep in mind will iOS 13 next year change this we don't know

You know Apple acute secrets really well but I don't I never say that you should buy Hardware this year to wait for what might happen with that hardware next year buy what you need them

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