TiPb TV 1: Should you get an iPad or MacBook Air?

Should you get an iPad or MacBook Air, or more properly, who should get an iPad and who would do better with a MacBook Air? That's the topic for the very first episode of TiPb TV, our new, more conversational, video show.

Rene and I go back and forth on the pros and cons of the smaller, less expensive, iOS powered iPad and how it compares to the only slightly bigger, double the price, Mac OS X sporting MacBook Air. This is the first time Apple really has two very different products in overlapping categories and there's really no best answer, just a breakdown of which might be best for you, for your kids, for your parents, or just for your inner geek.

Keyboard vs multitouch, storage, speed, battery life, portability, and which is better for things like reading, watching, and browsing vs. production and productivity are all huge factors in the decision (as is cost of course!)

So if you've been trying to decide between an iPad and a MacBook Air this holiday season check out our very first TiPb TV and we'll try to help you make the best choice possible.

TiPb TV 1: Should you get an iPad or MacBook Air?

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Georgia

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

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TiPb TV 1: Should you get an iPad or MacBook Air?

42 Comments
  1. Back to the drawing board.

I picked up an Ipad today to test out in the field on the construction site. Carrying a laptop is a pain. I'm hoping that the Ipad with the otterbox defender will be much easier to tote and use on site.

I wanted a MacBook air something fierce but now that I have my iPad I'm fine. I'll get a MacBook pro later on and dump pcs all together eventually.

For road work, as I do, the iPad is perfect. To do multimedia work (iMovie, iPhoto etc...) the Air would be better. But then I'd just get a MBPro for that stuff.

are there cliff notes for your video. im lazy.
i want an air mostly for the webcam. and for ipad, you have to have a computer to make it useable. so, you have to have two devices anyway unless you download directly from itunes, right?

I got the MBA in August 2009 to travel around the world. The plan was to use it to write my blog, store & back up photos and once the trip is over to sell it. Luck had it that I was able to start using it in my new job as a work laptop. An awesome piece of engineering, design and functionality. With the 128GB SSD, I run Aperture and PS CS5 on it in a "functional" way. It is slow compared to a pimped up iMac but for a device of that size it does EVERYTHING! Now I am actually selling it and buying the latest MBA with 2.13GHz processor, 4GB RAM and 256GB "drive". iPad just doesn't cut it for me. I love its form and easy of use but I see it as "content consuming" device rather than "content creating" one. Being a hobbits photographer, iPad will not do for me. But I am sure it will do just great for others.

Hey guys, love the site keep it up! Just one suggestion on the T.V. episode.... I know it's the first one and all but, you both need microphones.Either on you or closer to you. The camera mic is just not cutting it. just a suggestion.

One problem with using the iPad as a sole device (especially for Mom/Dad), is how will you upgrade to the next iOS? Until we can unchain from iTunes (Mac or Windows), it'll never be able to be a sole device. I wish it happen, less complicated.

That was excellent y'all! Good job!!! I agree with Mrmercedes22 about he mics but it's really no biggie for me but what is a biggie is the one blurry camera aimed at Georgia. She looked fuzzy. You looked great, Rene!
I really enjoyed the first episode! I can't wait for the next one.

Enjoyed your video, especially the conversational style. Thought it was a good first effort. Agree with you about the quality of the second camera. A single camera would work if your seating arrangement was altered. Keep up the good work. I look forward to many more future videos.

iPad vs. MacBook!
I'd love to see you guys do a formal use challenge between an iPad user and a MacBook Air/other Mac Laptop user. Like see if the iPad could match what Georgia was talking about doing on her MacBook at 3:15. Cuz for a lot of what she said, there is an app on the iPad that could do that too.
Sorta like a scientific test where you both try to do the same "typical" things a user or even power user would do day to day on their computer.
Probably would make sense to do after iOS 4.2 comes out so the iPad gets up there with its features.

I fear I need neither an MBA or iPad. iPhone 4 is great for light mobile use, MB Pro is great for medium to heavy mobile use (compiling Xcode projects, blogging, Photoshopping, etc.)
Then again, as soon as I come up with a good idea for an app, I'l need an iPad 2.0...

You missed the fact that if you have an iPhone your Macbook Air has 3G but the iPad doesn't unless you pay an extra $150 + $360/year ($510 in the first year alone). That actually makes the MBA less expensive than the iPad.
(I understand that those of you in the US have problems with your carrier that make it more complicated).

Great video, someone just posed this question to me today, I will forward the link.
As an aside, the "Title" at the beginning and end is different from the actual topic of conversation. (I believe it said something about buying an iPad now vs waiting for the 2.0 version).

Just asking but can you run the full Adobe Master Collection on the iPad? Illustrator, Photoshop, Premier, etc? I believe there is a significant difference between the two, one has actual computing power (Office, Adobe Suites, etc.) and the other is based on thousands of apps albeit with very very limited capabilities.

Nice video, lookin' forward to the next one. Um, how do you use something in your sleep, Georgia? @7:32, you talk about using it when sleeping.

Bravo Georgia & Renee, you did a great job !!! I would so much rather enjoy watching TIPB on a video podcast show than just audio. I know there would be some investment in getting a system setup for doing a more professional show with cameras for each person and possibly video by skype or something with Dieter and Chad, but it would be very successful and more enjoyable being able to watch you guys on my appleTV or demo an application your talkin during your picks. I've enjoyed watching Leo with MacBreak Weedkly and Ipad Today, and would love to see something similar with you guys eventually.
I understand it would be a slow process getting everything setup, but it would be much more enjoyable. By all means, keep up the great work. You guys have a great cast to discuss news. Please let your listners know when the podcast becomes video as I will subscribe to it without any hesitation.
Keep up the good work and keep the news rolling in.

@Simon criticism is a good thing but it often helps when you are constructive and tell people what you did not care for so they can maybe incorporate any fixes you may suggest.

Wow! That was a big waste of time. You guys just rambled on for 8 minutes. Very little good content and you contradict yourselves on which one to buy. They aren't even in the same category. One can install full blown programs the other can't. Try comparing an iPod touch to the iPad. That is a better comparison. It's like you just compared the iPad to a 27" iMac. Totally different products for totally different uses. Fail!

Thanks everyone for the comments and I am happy that most people enjoyed the style of the video.
I would love to know what we could do to make the videos better so please let me know. loved the poo emoji thanks =)
These are aimed at those who dont now which device to get so are a bit more basic but we will be doing others which deal with other issues. Something you want us to cover let us know.

It was a good first effort, and I enjoyed your interplay. If you truly want to improve future videos, cut the time to under five minutes, get some help with scripting and direction, then rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse some more. There are no shortcuts to crisping it up ... just hard work!

Great job for a first video. Would be nice to have better close ups of the products. Personally, if you want a 13 inch MBA. It's $1500.00. Might as well put a little more money, and get a better Mac or laptop.

49ers fan needs to stfu, this video wasn't just for you, others took something from this and had good ideas to improve this, you sound like a dip .

Agree with others; have iPad, but need to choose main machine, so it's between MBA and 13" MBP; that's the comparison I need (wish they'd upgrade the MBP with the 13" MBA screen!). Wonder when a 13" MBP upgrade's coming...

Really enjoyed the video! Good job :) the only thing that is making me have doubts about the iPad is the way to hold it when using it. Doesnt look "comfy" as it can't really anchor anywhere. Anyone care to share their iPad holding experience? :)

Helpful info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident, and I'm shocked why this twist of fate did not took place earlier! I bookmarked it.