March 6, 2011

iPad vs. MacBook Air

This is the big one that a lot of people are asking themselves, and probably even more so now that the iPad 2 is out in the open (albeit not in stores just yet).

Should I get an iPad, or should I get the MacBook Air?

I’ve got both. My Air is the 11″ version, because frankly although the 13″ version is portable and excellent, the size difference makes it less of an option for the ultraportable road warrior.

So, iPad vs. MacBook Air 11″ then. It’s on, what should I buy, which is right for me?

Here’s the thing: the iPad and the Air are two different things that occasionally overlap.

Again: they are different things!

Buy the iPad if you

  • want to get in the App game
  • want a tablet to consume web content on
  • want to read books
  • want to watch movies
  • want to do social web stuff on the go
  • want to play games
  • want to write the occasional email or text

Some of these things are more than possible on the Air as well, just not as well or easy. After all, pulling out the iPad to read up on Twitter on a cramped bus is a lot more convenient than doing the same with the Air.

Buy the Air if you

  • need a ultraportable Mac
  • need to produce content on the go
  • need dedicated software for heavy lifting
  • need to publish content

The Air is a fully fledged computer. You can do anything on it, including almost everything you can do with an iPad.

Wants and needs for most of us.

There are no obvious winner, it all depends on what you want to do. I both consume and create on my iPad, but the creation is limited to light writing, compared to being able to do anything on the Air, which incidentally is the best typewriter on the market.

Wants and needs. Buy both.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.