iPad vs MacBook: What should you buy?

Choosing between an iPad and a MacBook is getting more difficult. Comparing and choosing between iPad vs MacBook was easy before Apple announced the M1 chip for iPads. After all, one is a tablet and the other is a laptop.

However, things have changed now that Apple has released a new iPad Pro 2021 with an M1 chip in two sizes: 11-inch and 12.9-inch. In comparison to the older iPad, both offer improved performance, brighter screens, and upgraded features. Apple is now taking direct aim at the PC with the iPad Pro, making purchasing decisions a little more complicated.

With macOS Big Sur’s new design language and the M1 chip’s ability to run iPhone apps on the macOS, MacBook Air M1 is more like the iPad. The new iPad Pro 2021, on the other hand, has the same M1 chip as Apple’s recent Mac products.  As a result, the iPad is more computer-like than ever before.

With so many similarities, there can only be one winner in this comparison, so let’s get started.

iPad vs MacBook: Form Factor and Configuration


iPad Pro comes in 2 sizes: 11-inch and 12.9-inch display variants. If you want to use your new iPad Pro as a laptop. Then you need to buy a keyboard. Which is sold separately with a price tag of around ₹31900.00.

The basic iPad Pro model comes with an 11-inch screen, 8GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and a Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 11‑inch with no cellular connectivity start at ₹131700.00. Remember, we do not add the Apple pencil yet. Which increases this budget by ₹10900.00.

The base variant of the MacBook Air costs you around ₹99900.00. Comes with an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD storage. Oh, and obviously gets you a magic keyboard.

Yes, the iPad Pro features Apple’s new Liquid Retina XDR display and a more modern and versatile design. It also has 10,000 mini-LEDs in the panel, which provides a high refresh rate. When paired with a magic keyboard, it can act as a tablet as well as a laptop-like device. This addition will make iPad Pro better for entertainment since you can use it as a standalone tablet.

There are several ways to upgrade both devices, but the MacBook Air eliminates the hassle of trying to find the right one. It comes with a reasonably-priced keyboard and you get more value for money when it comes to memory and storage.

As a result, MacBook Air is the winner of this round.

iPad vs MacBook: Software 


Software is the most crucial difference between the iPad Pro and MacBook Air. whereas, iPad runs on iPadOS, while the MacBook Air runs on macOS.

iPadOS is a mobile operating system designed specifically for the iPad, which is based on the iPhone OS. on the other hand, macOS is a full-fledged operating system.

Overall. macOS is far ahead in terms of productivity when compared with iPadOS. Since it was designed for laptops from the start. So if you used any other windows system earlier, the experience will largely feel very similar. Also, MacOS can run mostly all of the iPad’s apps, but iPads can’t run some of the macOS apps. For example, Final Cut Pro isn’t available on iPadOS. Logic Pro? That doesn’t exist on the iPad, only a simpler version does.

Overall, the MacBook Air has a more consistent app selection and a more familiar operating system, making it much easier to multitask with multiple programs. And the iPad Pro isn’t the most suitable device for the job.

iPad vs MacBook:  Connectivity


For connectivity, iPad Pro comes with a single Thunderbolt / USB 4 port. On the other hand, MacBook Air has two USB Thunderbolt 4 ports, plus a 3.5mm audio jack. However, both the device doesn’t provide much in the way of the physical ports.

In terms of cellular connectivity, only iPad Pro has this option. Means you can work and play over 4G or 5G connection on the go.

iPad vs MacBook:  Display


MacBook Air can’t beat iPad Pro over the camera and display quality. These are two areas where the iPad Pro truly shines.

The iPad Pro 12.9-inch version comes with a mini LED panel with a Liquid Retina XDR display. Best and brightest. iPad Pro display delivers true-to-life detail with a 10,00,000:1 contrast ratio, which is great for viewing and editing HDR shows. The brightness of the iPad Pro display can go up to 1600 nits of peak brightness.

Compared to the iPad Pro, the MacBook Air display is out of the competition. MacBook Air display comes with a Retina LED-backlit display that supports up to 2560 x 1600 resolution with a max 400 nits brightness. 

Oh, and don’t forget the iPad Pro display is a touch display. So, no worries if you don’t want to use the keyboard. It’s a complete package for entertainment and portability.

iPad vs MacBook:  Battery


The MacBook Air has a 15-hour battery life, whereas the iPad Pro only has 10-hour battery life. The numbers are slightly lower if you use the cellular version.

This is not, however, a downgrade for the iPad Pro. because the display quality is determined by the user. It is not a big issue if you want the best, brightest, most colorful display possible. Because a full-screen brightness of 1,000 nits required a significant amount of power.

iPad vs MacBook: Winner


If you’re looking for the best laptop for college, the MacBook is the way to go. The MacBook has more productivity-friendly software, a magical keyboard, a long battery life, and a full operating system.

The iPad Pro is the best option for you if you want a brighter display with a touch screen, a better camera, and don’t need to use a keyboard all of the time. The iPad Pro is still a fantastic, dependable device, but it comes at a higher price tag.

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