I’m considering ditching a Mac for an iPad

Posted by kdow on Jan 27, 2016 9:26:02 AM

I love my Mac. I’m the guy who went mad and bought a retina MacBook Pro when it came out, only to be forced to upgrade soon after because the GPU was shit.

But I love using my Mac. I’ve awesome apps, a setup flow for any fresh installs I need to use, and anything important syncs beautifully between my devices on the cloud.

Before I continue, I must preface that I have a Mac I use at home (which honestly just doubles up as a sort of work machine with games installed) and a Mac I have at work. Both have similar setups (MacBook Pro running with a big screen — my work one is a Thunderbolt, mechanical keyboard and a Magic Trackpad, alongside a stand and some other fluffy bits).

Last weekend an incident happened that shifted some of my ongoing thoughts. Gem, my fiancé, had an issue with her Mac. Now her MacBook Pro is old. It’s more than 5 years old at this stage. But years ago I maxed out the RAM, removed the SuperDrive (remember those?!) and installed two fast hard drives. The boot drive is an SSD.

Up until last weekend, everything was performing fine, until it got a white screen of death. I did what you should do; backed it up, wiped everything and went through a re-install process from my other Mac via Thunderbolt cable & Target Disk Mode. However, it didn’t work. Her Mac just isn’t running anything. I suspect the RAM is at fault. So, in lieu of me having to do any additional IT work, I decided to give her my Mac, which has a user profile for her stuff, and just use my iPad for the day.

And the day was fine.

My normal habits ware barely interrupted. I watched a Counter-Strike tournament on Twitch, illegally watched some football streams, browsed Reddit and caught up on some emails without much ado. And then it hit me; why bother with the big, bulky, uselessly powerful MacBook Pro when I can just use an iPad. Granted, I might need a keyboard to go with it in order to have some input when writing posts or emails (I’m a sincerely fast typer).

Okay I can’t write code, update websites or multi-task in quite the same way I can on a proper Mac running OS X, but I barely noticed it and my iPad is a first generation Air which has no actual multi-tasking (the Air 2 has some, and the iPad Pro has proper multi-tasking).

Moreover, I’m in the market for a new iPad because I’ll be travelling so much this year. Mine currently only has 16GB of space (I’ve no idea why I bought that model), which is fine for 7 hour or less flights (like the Dublin->Boston one), but won’t suit me going from Dublin to Singapore or Sydney.

I’m going to hold out until the iPad Air 3 is announced, likely in March. I think if that gets launched with faster touch id, 3d Touch & Apple Pencil support, I may just get that. The only reason that would otherwise win is that I reckon the iPad Pro would be huge on an aircraft tray table. The only reason it’d lose is keyboard support. But I’m willing to be swayed!