Now here’s an interesting dilemma. As tablets such as the iPad grow more prevalent, many people are supplementing their laptops by purchasing a tablet device too, but is this really necessary. Do we need a laptop or tablet, or possibly both? We have news of an interesting look at the Apple MacBook Air vs. the iPad 2, which has attempted to look at just this question and has come up with some conclusions.
We’ve written many times at OSM about both of these devices and haven’t hidden our enthusiasm for either. As a MacBook Air user myself I can’t imagine being persuaded by anything else and haven’t yet been lured to the tablet side, but Brooke Crothers over on Cnet uses both an 11-inch MacBook Air and an iPad 2 on a daily basis and has looked into the pros and cons of each. Of course depending on what you use your devices for your needs will differ. We’ve speculated a lot in recent weeks about the MacBook Air refresh for 2011, about possible features, price and news of a new processor, but the MacBook Air being compared in the Cnet look is the current version. Crothers takes a look at usage of these devices at various points in the day and in various locations to try to decide which is most suitable.
At home in the office the MacBook Air is the instrument of choice but the moment the home office is vacated the iPad 2 comes into play, mainly for the portability and immediacy of the tablet. At airports the iPad is once again the choice but for productivity the Air is more necessary, so Crothers notes switching between the two is more frequent. In hotels the Air comes to the fore, making the hotel room more of an office, and it’s noted that the Air is almost as portable as the iPad when moving around a hotel.
However, when at conferences it becomes more complicated. When working, the MacBook Air once again wins out with its sheer productivity in limited time, and again its lightness helps with this whereas other laptops would be more cumbersome. However, if it’s just a question of taking brief notes and doing more listening than writing, then the iPad is preferred. If you want to find out more about either of these devices head to the iPad 2 product page here or the MacBook Air Apple page here, but bear in mind that the Air should be receiving upgraded models within the next couple of months.
So in conclusion is it best to opt for either the laptop or the tablet, or are they complementary? Crothers decides that although he is surprised at how often the iPad comes out tops, when it really comes down to productivity the MacBook Air comes into its own. It sounds then like having both devices will give you the best of both worlds. We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Do you own both a laptop and a tablet? Which one are you more inclined to use most, (of course this will vary depending on your circumstances)? Let us have your comments on this.