iPad 2 or... MacBook Air 2?

Last year it was hard enough to decide between the starting-at-$499 original iPad on iOS 3.2 and the starting-at-$999 new MacBook Air on OS X Snow Leopard, but now we have iPad 2 on iOS 4.3 (soon to be iOS 5! and the just-released MacBook Air 2 on OS X Lion... decisions, decisions! (Never mind a possible Retina Display iPad 2 Pro/iPad 3 on the horizon!)

Have you been waiting and debating between the two? If so, which are you getting and why? Vote in the poll above and give us the details in the comments below!


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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There are 27 comments. Add yours.

JeremyHD says:

All of them:
iPad 2
iPad 3
MacBook Air 2
iOS 5
What a wonderful solution! No more hard decisions :)!

Liviu says:

yo tambien me quriea pillar uno y voy a esperar por que si realmente tienen intencion de sacar nuevo el ano que viene, algo me dice que no sera abril si no antes.

Matthew Snider says:

Honestly, this is like comparing a Volkswagen and a Mercedes. Stupid pool if you ask me. The Macbook Air and the iPad are two completely different beasts.

DiamondDNice says:

100% agree. I think Rene thinks its a good comparison but most consumers don't think like that.

j-rad says:

The point is I want BOTH but can only afford ONE. I want the super sexy air, but most of my time I spend at the exact same spot. Plus, the mini will have a second life as an hdtv when I upgrade from it in a few years. Given that 90% of it's life it'll never move and will be plugged into a wireless keyboard and external monitor, do I just get the mini and save $400 (for an ipad upgrade later in the year). Or, will having the sexy air actually change the way I use my computer, and I actually WILL benefit from it's sleek design... Decisions, decisions...

mat8823 says:

How can you call something stupid if you can't spell poll.

Moi says:

With the Ipad you know that the software that you have already invested in will run on future ipads (for iphone games on the ipad: unjailbroken ipad 2x pixels, jailbroken retinapad (iphone retina resolution)), with the ipad 3, chances are good there will be all sort of solutions. Plus what do you get when you rotate a macbook air sideways to read a book? A lot of strange looks!

Michael Pierce says:

Why the hell would you rotate a laptop

bubbatex says:

Ouch, sarcastic point missed....

chris canty says:

I have been reading this site a little more lately. And the only problem I have is the often ridiculous polls. Waaaaaaaay too many variables in the question. You could easily have a 1000 scenarios from different people.
Both devices are great in their own right. The Macbook Pro will offer more in the realm of "real computing" so if you dont have another computer or your other computer is older - get a new laptop, then snag a ipad for 300 bucks off craigslist. Paying $800+ for an ipad is laughable. Memory is not that expensive, Its pure profit for apple.

DiamondDNice says:

bad question form the outset. i wouldn't be picking between them. This just assumes the cliched line that tablets are a replacement for a laptop. its not for me.
other. different tools for different jobs. it would be between a macbook air and a macbook pro. a tablet wouldn't be in the running.
tablets are not a replacement for my laptop. if i want a tablet i'll buy a tablet. if i want a laptop i'll buy a laptop.

Robert says:

I love this dssreing, very similar to my go-to salad of red wine, evoo, salt, pepper, garlic, & the secret awesome-ness of dill best with romaine/tomato/cucumber YUM!!

Vinay080 says:

I already have an ipad 2.. and a windows vista laptop(4 yrs old). thinking whether its time for the big leap to Apple laptop?

bubbatex says:

Me too - looking hard at the lower priced MacBook Air 13".

Pedro says:

Just knliilg some in between class time on Digg and I found your article . Not normally what I want to examine, but it was absolutely value my time. Thanks.

Carl Hancock says:

This reminds me of another question I often ask myself... should I get an apple or a refrigerator? Stupid question right? So is yours. The iPad and MacBook Air aren't the same type of device so comparing them is silly. They have different uses and one isn't a replacement for the other. I have a MacBook Air and an iPad. They compliment each other, one isn't a replacement for the other. Get them both.

Muddybulldog says:

Not that I want to get in the way of a snappy headline, but the new Air is MacBook Air 4, not 2.

Julian says:

Last time I checked, there's more than two generations of the MacBook Air
Besides, it's comparing apple and oranges.

EagleyeSmith says:

The only reason I don't have a MacbookAir is because I don't have a grand. But soon, soon my friends. I can't wait.

Bkrnrd says:

I just bought a 13 inch air and am going on a motorcycle trip this week with both the air and my iPad. I plan to write a comparison of the 2 as I use both for downloading pics and videos to post on my blog. Should be interesting. I really like the air for the brief period I've had it.

pstmstr says:

Recently, TIPB posted a poll asking if readers preferred the IPad or MacBook Air. Since I was going on a motorcycle trip to Colorado, I decided to take both for a ride and compare the pros and cons of each. 
Both devices were very easy to download photos and videos from the sd card of both my digital camera and gopro video camera.  The Ipad was limited due to having only a 16G model but was actually easier to play videos and photo slideshows than the macbook air.  Of course the ipad was also easier to use to surf the web, check the weather, and review email.
The Macbook Air was a stellar performer as well with super fast downloading of photos and videos and also very easy to post photos to Facebook from within the iphoto app.  I also used imovie to make movie projects to post to facebook and youtube on the Air.  Something I couldn't do with the gopro movie format on the ipad.  If and when imovie will recognize movie formats other than ios, the ipad could be as effective in uploading movies.  
My experiment convinced me that my 3 year old unibody Macbook is sufficient for me and my ipad can be a suitable traveling companion.  So much so that I returned the air today.  You mileage may vary but for my usage, the ipad wins as a traveling companion.  The thinness factor of the Air sure is cool though.

felface says:

F**k off no-one wants your bs adverts here

Nolaweer says:

you definitely love chanel 2011 with confident

Tablet Shop says:

Great write up - I confess I have thought of some new entries for my own blog. Lots of interesting content here. Keep it up.

XiiAo says:

and to think all that gear costs is your life sviangs if your not on contract the i phone is 1000 dollars the ipad starts at 500 the usb is standard and no idea what the other tool he uses costs