The answer is not so clear cut either way, I believe…. I’ve got to start off by saying that in my experience, there are a lot of people who just aren’t aware of what an iPad can do.There are some things you can do on an iPad that you can’t do on a MacBook and visa versa.
I used to work in a retail store here in Bendigo and while my main role was being out on the road talking with schools about Apple technology, when I was back at the store/office I’d help quite a lot with retail customers coming into the shop as well. Typically a customer inclined towards buying an iPad would come into the store saying they just wanted an iPad as a supplementary device to do emails and web surf and that’s probably about it. Often customers, within months of using an iPad, came back and said that it was now their “main device”.
How did an iPad become their “main device”?
- Firstly, they had no idea of the breadth of software that is available for an iPad and once they discovered more useful apps, their use of the iPad broadened.
There are about 700,000 applications available for an iPad and amongst those are approximately 50,000 that are aimed at the education market, plus hundreds of thousands of games.
- Secondly, they got used to the “instant on” capability of the iPad, particularly those with the cellular models. Wake the iPad up with one click and you’re instantly on the internet and looking up whatever you want. Love it.
- Unlike other mobile devices which use the Android operating system, the iPad doesn’t need (and in fact you can’t even buy) anti-virus or anti-spyware software for the device, so you’re very safe doing internet banking with an iPad for instance.
- Buying and reading books on the iPad is a lot cheaper than conventional books and also saves quite a few OH & S issues for folks, like students, who would normally have to lug around a collection of books in a school bag or rucksack. Warning….if you like reading in bed before sleeping, you might want to look into some sort of nose protector because if you fall asleep while reading…well you get my drift!
- Also, an iPad is an ideal device to take with you on holidays because of it’s light weight and good battery life. Plus the two cameras make is easy to take photos and stay in touch with the family via “Skype”.
One really useful application for European travel in one called “Word Lens”. Point the rear camera at a page of writing, or a sign in French, for instance, and wallah, what you’ll see on the iPad screen will be that page translated to English!
So what are the downsides to the iPad versus a MacBook I hear you asking?
- Well typing on an iPad is slower, even if you buy a third party, add on keyboard from Logitech or Belkin as an example.
- Then an iPad currently doesn’t multitask as well as a MacBook. With an iPad you’re pretty well focused one the task that’s on screen at the moment, whereas with a MacBook you’re able to truly have multiple tasks running at the same time.
- For applications that require a lot of processing power, like AutoCad or the Adobe Graphics suite, there is really no choice. A MacBook is the way to go.
- You may not be aware that on both devices, you can talk to them and they will convert your speech into typed text. An iPad needs an internet connection to do this, but the MacBook can be set up so that it’ll do dictation without an internet connection. This can be very useful for people who like to dictate for convenience or others who may have a disability.
So what are the advantages of a Macbook over an iPad?
- Firstly you get access to the full versions of software designed for the more complete OS X operating system.
- Then there is the built in, back-lit keyboard, which is, I believe, much better suited to, for instance, a student writing a thesis.
- And you can buy and use more demanding applications like the Adobe Photoshop and video editing software for the MacBook and be totally satisfied with running them on the MacBook, where as you can’t with the iPad.
I own and use both devices by the way.
So enough about what I think, what’s your opinion and why?
I’ll look forward to hearing it.
Over to you……