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tsat23

I have a dilema... So my birthday is coming up and I have the option to get an iPad 2 (white/16 G) or wait for the next (rumored) revision of the MacBook Air.

The reason I really don't like the current one is that its still running Core 2 Duo and I'm waiting for Sandy Bridge to arrive on the MBA.

As for the iPad, I do not really know whether or not it would be that helpful for me. Sure, I could see myself browsing the web with it and using iBooks to read. But, other than that, I do not now whether the iPad will lose its novelty.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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15 replies
falleninsea

For me I would say go MBA.

I have the MBA and find I use it more than any other machine I own mostly because it Is so portable and quick. It has the full keyboard which makes writing papers and e-mails easier, it has a full browser so you can even watch flash content and in the end it’s a full computer that lets you do everything a computer does. It also has the kindle software for books iWork and iLife for productivity and media slicing and dicing. And lastly It has 2 USB ports that lets you add other things like an external hard drive, a 3G or 4G modem, download pictures from camera or synch you iPad.

Now for the iPad, it’s a great device. I love it for siting on the deck (its covered so no glare) and reading or watching Hulu or Netflix. It’s really handy for writing down ideas or playing games or sending e-mails. Its portability is awesome and the variety of apps are amazing. It has iLife and iWork and many other 3rd party apps like flipboard, the twitter app and Don’t forget all the games that it has and there are a lot of great free apps.

But since I got my MBA I noticed that my iPad became more of an entertainment device than a productivity device. To me the MBA just provides more flexibility than the iPad does.
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Aarfy

alleninlv, I had an identical experience with iPad and MBA -- the latter really took a big chunk out of my iPad use. If ultra-lights with SSDs come down about 30%-40% in price, I think they'll make a lot of people rethink tablets. A lot of their magic isn't the interface -- it's that snappy SSD.
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kepner

I think the Core 2 Duo in the Air is plenty fast enough. Try one. You'll be surprised how fast it feels.
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thestorysofar

Arrrrgh so tempted!! My 06 core duo MBP feels slower and less portable every day @_@
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tsat23

And as for the MBP, I would rather wait and see what next year's model offers: new body and hopefully Ivy Bridge chipsets.
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thestorysofar

Like a MBA style body with a 15" screen and a standard higher res? That'd be intriguing. The current ones are still pretty slick though.
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falleninsea

Something else to consider is the new MBP 13 inch.
The base top of the line MBA 11inch is the same price as the bottom of the line 13 MBP and it has an i5 and thunderbolt. The top of the line MBA 13inch is 1599 and the top of the line 13 inch MBP is 1499 and that’s with a i7, 4GB ram and 500 GB HD. That’s not a bad machine. And it’s a step of spec wise from the MBA as well as nicely priced for a MAC and not that big either in comparison to the 15inch MBP.
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tsat23

The advantage of waiting is likely, Lion will be out by then. I have concerns that the final release of Lion will not support Core 2 Duo, fully anyway.

And I have tried it.
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falleninsea

I can’t speak to the final release of Lion but the Beta works on the current MBA. As for the redesign on the MBA I doubt we see one for another couple years they just updated the line end of last year. If anything I see them bumping the processor and adding thunderbolt in place of the display port but other than that I would be surprised to see any major changes to the line at this point.
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adamtyree

I had the MBA and ended up returning it. Don't get me wrong, it was probably the "snappiest" computer I've ever owned, but compared to the iPad, the battery life sucked. I'm sometimes doing 10-12 hour days, and the MBA would be at 30% by 1pm with no charge. In the end, I decided the size and battery life that the iPad (and now iPad 2) provides was more important to me than the performance that the MBA gave. So if battery life isn't an issue for you, I'd say go MBA all the way.
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nitehawk

I don't own either, but I strongly considering a MBA for a gift so my wife will stop using my laptop (Toshiba Satellite circa 2007). In my view, iPad is only useful to certain people. Media people, including writers, reporters, musicians maybe, also students without a budget and high rollers. Also, I detest touchscreen gaming in general so the iPad's appeal doesn't really reach me.

MBA seems to be for people who want a small laptop without the frills of Windows. The all solid state thing really sticks out in my mind. Maybe I am wrong, but I am not sure if Apple will update the MBA within 12months since the last one was updated in 2010. I am skeptical as to what 1.8ghz does compared to a "normal laptop" like a Toshiba, Dell, Vaio etc, but the near instant on, low heating, portability and again the solid state RAM and HDD really makes it stick out. I like the 13" because of the SD card slot and I am not sure if a 11in laptop is just too small after holding one in the stores.

Also, you know the iPad 3 will be out in a year and most of the luster of the iPad 2 will be gone, laptops are not the same as I have my same laptop from 2007 and don't plan on buying another machine until 2012 (maybe Mac Mini, not sure).
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Hangampalli

Maybe you should look into the Samsung 9 series. I know the listed price is expensive, but being a windows laptop, there should be plenty of ways to get it cheaper (at least I think so). Plus, there is a rumor they will release a 11inch at a better price.

But if you're choosing between only the two, I would go Air. Unless you're running an application that needs a fast processor, you should be good. That computer has shown how important SSD's are when it comes to speed.

Also, don't hold out for Sandy Bridge on the Air. After all, they put such an old processor in the current model, I don't they would immediately change course and put in the latest and greatest.
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Aarfy

I'm writing this on a 13" Samsung series 9. The core i5 is nice, but honestly Apple made the MacBook Air sing in 4 part harmony -- and the Sammy doesn't outrace it in basic tasks. Remember the Air has an nVidia 320m and now picture the tiny 11" Air powering a great big 30", 2560x1600 monitor -- which it does, no sweat, in my office. SO... I would not expect a new line of Airs until fall, because Lion won't be out until July, and they'll want some time to tweak the new machine with the new OS. So, my man, punt on the Air and get yourself am iPad 2. Your instincts are right to want the Air, but you'll have to wait.
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Hangampalli

Powering a big monitor isn't really that big of a deal IMO. I have a really old intel celeron (7 years old) connected to my HDTV. It looks nice until you try to watch video.

And even on its own screen, the 11inch air has trouble playing 1080p Flash, which is sort of my litmus test for laptops. The current version doesn't really seem like a good value to me (even if you take out the apple/high-end tax)
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usercf49d9f498d

@Hangampalli, My concerns are more with def than size of monitor, and here I find the 11" Air surprisingly good.

I wanted to get 2560x1600 out of a spanking-new Samsung QX410-J01 laptop with nVidia 310m and HDMI out. Th GPU is rated for def that high, but it's just no go -- I can get 1080p on my HDTV, but not even that on my HP ZR30W, even with a special HDMI-to-DisplayPort cable. The HDMI is part of the problem, but it's also the way Samsung arranges its video, to favor gamers instead of people trying to drive ultra-high-def monitors.

BUT I've found the 11-inch, core 2 Duo Air deals with it beautifully, once you've tweaked preferences appropriately. It's quite a stunt to watch -- when I switch to my puny Air from my huge, core i7 Windows-desktop.

I don't do that much 1080p Flash, admittedly -- is there a particular site you've had trouble with? I'd love to run a test. ALSO: My Air has 4GB and the faster Core 2 Duo, which made it insanely expensive, but may help account for the good video. So good, I sold my MBP. Just wasn't using it.
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