Opinion: iPad Pro or MacBook in 2020?

Appleosophy | Opinion: iPad Pro or MacBook in 2020?
iPad Pros and Macs

With the release of the new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro and the additions it brings to the product, such as a trackpad and a better keyboard, it is time to think about which one is best for you.

Since both now have a trackpad and mouse, it changes the game for Apple and consumers, especially if you are someone who does a lot of work on the go.

For starters, let’s talk about students. What is best for them:

If you are a student that is just looking for something to browse the web on, write papers and make the occasional PowerPoint/Keynote presentation, then the iPad Pro might be for you. Essentially the type of student who is more casual in their usage. They can read books from Apple Books or the Amazon Kindle apps, and watch content from Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and Prime Video from the large screen that the iPad Pro provides.

One thing students will have to make sure of is see what homework and class management services the college uses, whether that is Canvas, Blackboard or other services. Both services should enable students to upload and turn-in assignments right from the app.

Students who do more, such as subjects like STEM, depending on which STEM field you are in, might need to step up their game and get a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. Again, it will depend on what apps and money you will need.

Students who are old fashioned and prefer to have a laptop, by all means, go for a laptop like the MacBook Air.  It is incredibly slim and portable, fits in backpacks and laptop bags well and can do the job and then some if you factor in the specs of those laptops.

Outside of schools and colleges, let’s talk about your average consumer:

The iPad Pro is quite a powerful device and can do more than a lot of lower-to-middle end Windows laptops. With the addition of the new Magic Keyboard, you can write Pages and Microsoft Word documents more accurately than before.

Additionally, you can make and do PowerPoints and spreadsheets from the iPad Pro too. It can record and edit video in iMovie.

The ones who love binge-watching their favorite TV shows and movies, and travel often, the iPad Pro could be the way to go. All of the top TV streaming services are available to use on the iPad Pro and they look great on its refulgent Liquid Retina Display.

Artists have a way to not only make and edit movies like we said before, but with the Apple Pencil, they can make great art right from the iPad using apps like Adobe Illustrator, Pixelmator and Lines Sketch, just to name a few.

Even authors have a place with the iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard with apps like Microsoft Word, Pages and Scrivener. Journaling apps like Day One are also nice on the iPad Pro too.

When it comes to high-end users and those that new more out of a device, the MacBook Air and more so the MacBook Pro are going to be what you need. If you want to use green screens in making and editing videos, then using a MacBook Pro with Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple’s Final Cut Pro is the way to go.

Although you can do Photoshop on the iPad now, it can still be highly recommended for people to use the Mac version of it.

The future music makers and producers out there…yeah, GarageBand on the iPad is not going to be enough. Apple does have its own app called Logic Pro X for $199 that works on both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro and is a great way to get into pro-like music production.


The 11-inch iPad Pro costs $799 and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro costs $999 through Apple. Apple’s new Magic Keyboard for both of those devices is going to cost an additional $299, so you’re pretty much looking at a $1,000 purchase either way you look at it.

The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro already have a built-in keyboard. Apple’s MacBook Air starts at $999, the 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 and the 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is clearly going to cost more because it has newer tech in it, as well as the new keyboard on it too.

The conclusion:

Obviously, both the iPad Pro with the new Magic Keyboard and MacBook have a purpose in today’s society and that it all comes down to a user’s preferences. However, we are getting closer and closer to the point where the iPad Pro is truly becoming a device that pros are beginning to use as a daily driver to get their work done.

If you are planning on just being the type of person that needs to write the occasional paper, surf the web and watch streaming services, then the iPad Pro is the one for you. If you are planning on making videos from the iPad Pro with its 4K camera, make sure it is a project where everything can be done on the iPad Pro beforehand.

Those who are looking at doing more and need a device with a better processor and more RAM, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are going to provide that, especially the MacBook Pro.

Needless to say, this is an investment, but the good thing about these products, along with most other Apple products, is that they will have app and software updates for years to come.

David Becker
Author: David Becker

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