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Which Is Better For College Ipad Or Macbook
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Should I Get An Ipad Or Macbook For College?
Apple's newest iPad Pro is its most powerful tablet yet, but the MacBook Air is still a no-brainer for students.
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Looking for a lightweight computer for the back-to-school season? You may find yourself deciding between Apple's MacBook Air and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, both of which pack a lot of processing power into a sleek design. They also share some similarities when it comes to specifications: both have screens that measure around 13 inches, and both computers run on Apple's M1 processor.
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But there are important differences between the two that you should consider before you decide—the biggest is the software that powers each computer. Each of them has specific strengths and weaknesses, but the MacBook Air generally excels in many situations that are important to students.
While both have their advantages, the MacBook Air is still the best choice for many students. It may not have as advanced technology as the iPad Pro, but it offers a great typing experience, more storage than the base model, an extra USB-C port, and most importantly: software suitable for multitasking. These advantages make it a good choice for general work and productivity. The MacBook Air is also notably cheaper than what you might expect to pay for an iPad Pro with Apple's Magic Keyboard, or even a reasonably priced third-party keyboard case.
So, the iPad Pro has the edge over the MacBook Air in many areas, not just the most important ones for school work. The iPad Pro has a very good selfie camera that can keep you in the frame during video calls, a high-quality rear camera for taking photos and videos, a bright touchscreen, and Face ID. It's also very flexible as it's a tablet first and a laptop replacement second.
Both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro are designed with portability in mind. The MacBook Air weighs 2.8 pounds, making it one of the lightest laptops around, while the iPad Pro weighs just 1.5 pounds.
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However, it's important to remember that the weight of the iPad Pro only refers to the tablet without the keyboard. And if you plan to use the iPad Pro for school, you'll probably want to pair it with the best keyboard you can afford.
Apple didn't say how much its $349 Magic Keyboard for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro weighs. But a customer weighed the keyboard on what looked like a food scale and shared the results on the MacRumors forum last year, indicating the case weighed 1.57 pounds. That makes the iPad Pro Plus Magic Keyboard 3 pounds, which is slightly heavier than the MacBook Air.
Of course, there are many other options besides the expensive Apple keyboard. But our favorite iPad keyboard case, the $200 Logitech Combo Touch, weighs about 1.7 pounds, which still makes the iPad Pro heavier than the MacBook Air.
If you've used a MacBook Air in the past, the new model will feel very familiar. It has a wedge-shaped design that differs from the MacBook Pro, and is available in space gray, gold, and silver. Inside and out, it's a traditional clamshell laptop, unlike the iPad Pro and many Windows rivals that offer touchscreens and 2-in-1 designs.
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The iPad Pro generally has a more modern and versatile design. It has thin bezels that frame the display, the screen looks large, and can serve as both a tablet and a laptop-like device when connected to a keyboard. This may make the iPad Pro better for entertainment since you can use it as a stand-alone tablet, but the MacBook Air still offers a better combination of portability and productivity.
The most significant difference between the iPad Pro and the MacBook Air is the software. The iPad Pro runs on iPadOS, while the MacBook Air is powered by macOS. The first is a mobile operating system designed specifically for the iPad that is based on Apple's iPhone software, while macOS is Apple's desktop operating system.
Overall, macOS is still superior to iPadOS when it comes to work and productivity. Since it was designed from the ground up for laptops, it has a traditional windowed interface that makes it easy to switch between apps, web browser tabs, and additional desktops. If you've used a Mac or Windows laptop in the past, the experience will feel largely the same.
The iPad has come a long way in recent years when it comes to work-related features, but it still has limitations. Apple's iPad software allows you to use apps in split-screen mode and pin an app to the sidebar next to the main app you're working on.
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There's also a convenient file manager for accessing documents stored on your iPad and cloud-based apps, and the new iPad Pro now supports Thunderbolt 4 for improved compatibility with peripherals. Not to mention, Apple added mouse and touchpad support to the iPad in 2020.
However, there is a learning curve that comes with switching to the iPad Pro as your primary computer. Apple's multitasking gestures take some getting used to and still don't feel as natural as the standard mouse and keyboard experience. Opening multiple apps at once is only really easy on the iPad when you're using apps that are specifically docked at the bottom of the screen.
On a laptop, you can click on any program you want to open, whether it's in the dock or while using another app, and open it in another window. It's also easy to resize and move windows to your liking on a MacBook vs. an iPad. To maximize your iPad as a work device, you should also remember Apple's special multitasking gestures, like swiping between apps with four or five fingers left or right.
Another big difference to consider is that programs designed for the iPad don't always work the same way they do on a Mac device. Yes, there are many productivity and creative apps available on the iPad, but some of the most popular ones are missing some features on the iPad.
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Take Microsoft Word for example. Although the iPad version supports many features, you will lose some capabilities such as adding and updating citations, which are only available in Word for Mac and Windows. This can be especially important for writing research papers. The version of Adobe Photoshop for iPad has lagged behind its desktop peers in the past, as well as having a different interface.
Creatives can benefit from the iPad Pro's Apple Pencil support when it comes to drawing or touching up images. But overall, the MacBook Air has more stability when it comes to apps and a more familiar operating system that makes it much easier to use multiple programs at once.
The MacBook Air's keyboard also feels sturdier than that found in most keyboard cases. Additionally, it comes with a second USB-C port so you can use an accessory and charge your device at the same time.
The bottom line here is that the MacBook Air is still better at most productivity-oriented tasks. But if you're going to choose an iPad Pro, make sure that the programs and apps you need for school work offer all the features you need to complete your assignments.
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Both the iPad Pro and MacBook Air have a lot going for them in performance, which is why it can be difficult to decide between the two. Both run on Apple's M1 processor and come with 8GB of memory (RAM) at the base level. However, the iPad Pro has an extra core in its graphics processing unit (GPU) compared to the base-level MacBook Air.
According to benchmark tests, the iPad Pro beats the MacBook Air when it comes to graphics processing power, but they perform similarly in general computing tasks.
The iPad Pro scored higher than the MacBook Air on the 3DMark Wild Life Stress Extreme benchmark, a test that evaluates how a device performs under long periods of heavy load. Anecdotally, I also noticed that the iPad Pro exports large image files from Adobe Lightroom several seconds faster than the MacBook Air.
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