Possible MacBook Air replacement?

marcos_eirik

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I have been considering to replace my trusty old 13" MacBook Air (Late 2010) for some time. It's running 10.13.6 (High Sierra) but I don't think it will be supported for much longer. I guess you can only get so far with a 2,13 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB ram, 256GB SSD, and 320m graphics. It started getting really slow around 2016, but I fixed that with a complete clean reinstall, so it's actually fine now for most of what I do. The most demanding task I ask from it is to develop some raw-files now and then.

For it's replacement I want something physically significantly smaller than what I currently have. I was very interested in the 12" MacBook, as I really like the size and it's portability, but it was silly expensive for what it was, and is now discontinued. The latest MacBook Air is slightly smaller than mine, but not enough to be worth while in my opinion, also very expensive. When I bought my MacBook Air I was a law student and that meant typing a lot, I no longer need to do that, so I'm fine with the new "butterfly" keyboard.

However, lately I started thinking about this a little out of the box. The iPad Pro has received a lot of rave reviews about how powerful and fast it is with it's A12x SoC, and the upcoming roll-out of iPad OS means that Apple is about to pull a lot of the inherent iOS stops out. I also realized that you can get Adobe Lightroom as an app for iPad, which takes care of my only highly demanding tasks. The iPad Pro also comes out a lot cheaper than a MacBook, and is significantly smaller and lighter than any current MacBook (the 11"), and has completely superior battery life. The only problem is that I'd like it to be "lap-able", but I have seen some 3rd party keyboards that fixes that (the Brydge Pro comes to mind and looks really cool)

I'm not interested in Windows alternatives, I'm frustrated enough by Windows 10 (and Office 365) at work, don't want to deal with any of that at home as well, also not interested in Linux laptops and definitely not Chrome Books, I'm still having a good time inside Apple's fenced garden. I'm not in a terrible rush, since my aging MacBook Air is still running fine.

Currently I'm kind of leaning towards an 11" iPad Pro. Any thoughts?
 

Tram13

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Can you get deals on discontinued Apple products in Norway? I know you can in Croatia, so a 256GB 12" MacBook isn't that ridiculously overpriced here anymore. The main problem with that one is the fact the latest revision was in 2017, and two years mean a lot when it comes to Apple's updates, considering they only do about 7 years or so of updates.

The current-gen MacBook Air was released last year and it was updated this year, meaning the last year's model is for sale currently. The differences between the last-year MBA and this year's model are really insignificant. Seriously, the only difference is that the current-year model has a slightly updated display. Since it got released a year later than the 12" MB was last updated, it could get supported for a year longer than the 12" MB, if I understand how Apple software gets updates correctly. The main problem with that one is that the basic model has only 128GB of storage, and that's just not enough, while the 256GB model is significantly more expensive.

There's also a dual-core, two Thunderbolt 3 port MacBook Pro (13", without TouchBar), which could be an alternative to the MBA if discontinued last-year models are sold out, however, those are more expensive than MBA's while not significantly better. Those were last updated in 2018, and then replaced by the quad-core, dual TB3 port 13" MBP with TouchBar.

Personally, I think if you could live with an iPad, go for it, especially if you have something else as a main computer. But, I wouldn't buy it straight away. Why? Because the iPad Pro will most likely be updated this year, meaning the previous-year models would get discounted. I can't say anything about the iPadOS as I know next to nothing about it, but it is praised within Apple circles, so that's got to account for something. Perhaps it'd be better if you waited until iPadOS is released so you can try it at an Apple store?
 

marcos_eirik

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Personally, I think if you could live with an iPad, go for it, especially if you have something else as a main computer. But, I wouldn't buy it straight away. Why? Because the iPad Pro will most likely be updated this year, meaning the previous-year models would get discounted. I can't say anything about the iPadOS as I know next to nothing about it, but it is praised within Apple circles, so that's got to account for something. Perhaps it'd be better if you waited until iPadOS is released so you can try it at an Apple store?
This is my thoughts as well, it would be silly to get an iPad Pro now as it may be updated very soon with a variant of the A13. I will try it out in a store and see if it's possible to try the LR-app. I will also most likely max it out on storage, as I like to have that headroom.
 

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I'm a long time iOS user and iOS 13 did add a whole lot of features I've been missing, like a desktop-class browser (on the iPad) and way better file management.

I have a base model 10.5" Pro, and I had the keyboard cover for a while until it broke... I bought it used for very cheap.

I'm not investing any more in this iPad since I'm waiting for them to refresh the 11" Pro. But using a keyboard with iOS worked out way better than I expected, not having tried it before I bought the keyboard cover. I have a very good and portable laptop (13" MBP) but I still like the idea of using my iPad.
 

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Depending on your use case an iPad pro might be enough. If all you doing is basic internet and media I doubt you’d need anything more
 

JimCorrigan

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I'm a long time iOS user and iOS 13 did add a whole lot of features I've been missing, like a desktop-class browser (on the iPad) and way better file management.

I have a base model 10.5" Pro, and I had the keyboard cover for a while until it broke... I bought it used for very cheap.

I'm not investing any more in this iPad since I'm waiting for them to refresh the 11" Pro. But using a keyboard with iOS worked out way better than I expected, not having tried it before I bought the keyboard cover. I have a very good and portable laptop (13" MBP) but I still like the idea of using my iPad.
This is the route I am considering for replacing my 6 year old iPad Air (slow as balls), and 10 year old MacBook Pro (er, slower than balls).
 

marcos_eirik

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I'm a long time iOS user and iOS 13 did add a whole lot of features I've been missing, like a desktop-class browser (on the iPad) and way better file management.

I have a base model 10.5" Pro, and I had the keyboard cover for a while until it broke... I bought it used for very cheap.

I'm not investing any more in this iPad since I'm waiting for them to refresh the 11" Pro. But using a keyboard with iOS worked out way better than I expected, not having tried it before I bought the keyboard cover. I have a very good and portable laptop (13" MBP) but I still like the idea of using my iPad.
Yes, I am also patiently waiting waiting for iPad OS to be made available so I can check it out. You have much newer hardware than I have, so I guess you can stomach waiting longer. I do have a desktop computer along my MacBook Air and iPad, but I'm looking at gradually phasing that out. I'm also curious to what they have in store for the iPad Pro update, or even if that will happen now, or they will launch that later as some rumor sites say that the iPads are on 18-month refresh cycles.

Depending on your use case an iPad pro might be enough. If all you doing is basic internet and media I doubt you’d need anything more
Yes, it's mostly that, and occasionally developing/editing raw-files from my system camera(s), so I'm probably going to need the extra oomph that the Pro offers.

This is the route I am considering for replacing my 6 year old iPad Air (slow as balls), and 10 year old MacBook Pro (er, slower than balls).
Yes, I also have a "slow as balls" iPad Mini from 2013, it has served me well, but eventually got slow lately. It was sort of prematurely dated as it was the last generation (A5) before Apple switched from 32 to 64 bit processors in all of their iOS devices. (the A7 and onwards) However, it did help to reset it to factory settings and restore it.
 

marcos_eirik

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iPadOS was released earlier this week...?
Well, only have to find one with LR installed to try it out then. Must have missed it since my iPad Mini is way outdated and stuck on iOS 9... Anyways, will be waiting for the next refresh before I pull the trigger on it.
 

Perc

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I had an iPad mini retina, or two actually, because reasons.

I replaced it with a 10.5” Pro, which really made all the difference. The mini was frustratingly slow even back then, it just wasn’t fast enough to use for anything this side of reading ebooks so I ended up not ever using it.
 

marcos_eirik

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I had an iPad mini retina, or two actually, because reasons.

I replaced it with a 10.5” Pro, which really made all the difference. The mini was frustratingly slow even back then, it just wasn’t fast enough to use for anything this side of reading ebooks so I ended up not ever using it.
Yes, the Pro must have made a big difference, so much more power. My iPad Mini was very nice and fast for about 2-3 years, before it gradually started getting slower and was cut off with iOS 9. That being said, I didn't use it for very heavy tasks, I mostly used it for keeping my notes when preparing for exams at the University, as well as showing people pictures I had taken, I also used it for light media stuff like YouTube etc.

Lately mine got intolerably slow, so I decided to reset it to factory settings and then restore it. That sort of worked, it is now still slow, but tolerably so. I now mostly use it for showing pictures and looking up recipes when I cook. Also, the headphone jack died on me a couple of years ago.
 
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