How to Choose Between iPad Pro and MacBook Air
Apple has made it no secret that it’s looking to phase out the MacBook Air as its entry-level laptop, focusing instead on its tablet range, with the iPad Pro standing out as the very best of the bunch. But with more people than ever before working from home, the ability to work on a traditional keyboard on a laptop is still vital.
So, if you are looking for a new device for your home office, how do you choose between the iPad Pro and the MacBook Air? Here we break down the most important factors you should consider.
Cost is likely to come into your decision-making process if you’re deciding between the two devices. The iPad Pro starts at $799, while at the time of writing, the MacBook Air starts at $999 (though it often goes on sale for less).
Both devices come with a variety of storage options at different price points. The 11-inch iPad Pro with 128GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity starts at $799, while the 13-inch MacBook Air, also with 128GB of storage, starts at $999. However, the iPad Pro has an advantage in that it works with Apple’s Smart Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil, both of which are sold separately, adding to the overall cost.
If you need to carry your device between work and home, or on the move, the iPad Pro wins hands-down on portability. It weighs in at just over a pound and is only 5.9mm thick. On the other hand, the MacBook Air is not the lightest laptop in the world, with the 13-inch version weighing 2.8lbs and the 11-inch iPad Pro weighs only 1.03lbs.
If a comfortable keyboard is more important to you, the MacBook Air is a clear winner, with its traditional laptop keyboard, it is much better than the add-on Smart Keyboard or third-party Bluetooth keyboards for the iPad Pro. Apple’s MacBook keyboards are rightly renowned for how great they feel to type on, and the Air is no different. The keys are well-spaced, and there’s a pleasing amount of travel.
For processing power, the iPad Pro and MacBook Air shouldn’t be too far apart. Both use Apple’s A-series chips, which are surprisingly powerful. The higher-end iPad Pros use the A12X Bionic chip, while the MacBook Air uses an 8th-gen Intel Core processor.
However, the MacBook Air comes with more memory and storage, which improves its overall performance. For example, the MacBook Air comes with at least 8GB of RAM while the iPad Pro only goes up to 4GB of RAM.
The iPad Pro has an impressive 11-inch or 12.9-inch display, which uses Apple’s ProMotion technology, which allows for a responsive, variable refresh rate up to 120Hz. Meanwhile, the MacBook Air comes with a 13.3-inch Retina display, with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels.
Overall, when choosing between the iPad Pro and the MacBook Air, think about the tasks that you’ll be using the device for. If you’ll be doing lots of typing or working with complex software, the MacBook Air is definitely the better option. But if you want a device that’s more portable, has a bigger display, and comes with pencil support, you should choose the iPad Pro. Ultimately, when it comes down to it, it depends on your personal preference and the tasks at hand.