Apple’s iPad Pro M2 (2022) and MacBook Air M2 (2022) share some of the same specifications: Apple’s impressive M2 chip, up to 16GB of RAM, and 2TB of storage space, so you'll get roughly the same performance out of both devices. Both are also lightweight, portable, and priced very similarly.
But that’s where the similarities end: After all, one is a tablet and the other is a laptop. They run on different operating systems, have different cameras, screen resolutions, cellular connectivity—the list goes on. Both the iPad Pro and MacBook Air are excellent productivity companions, but if you need a new computing device for more complicated tasks than checking emails, one will suit your needs better than the other.
Form factor and configuration
If you want the iPad Pro to double as a laptop, you’ll need to buy a keyboard—ideally one you fold over your iPad to take it with you wherever you go. Companies like Logitech make a wide array of iPad keyboards, and of course, Apple has its own Magic Keyboard, but depending on the brand you could find yourself spending anywhere between $20 to upwards of $300 for an iPad keyboard.
The iPad Pro's base model with an 11-inch screen, 8GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and no cellular connectivity starts at $799. If you add Apple’s Magic Keyboard, tack on another $299 to the total price—which comes to about $100 less than a 13-inch MacBook Air. You could get the Smart Keyboard Folio for $179 and save a total of $221 by comparison.
The 12.9-inch version starts at $1,099. You’ll get a better display with this screen size, but you get nothing in the way of more storage. Doubling the SSD storage from 128GB to 256GB adds another $100 regardless of whether you opt for the 11-inch or 12.9-inch model—and the starting price compared to the MacBook Air ensures you will spend nearly as much on this iPad Pro if you add a keyboard or other accessories; $1,448 total with the Magic Keyboard and $1,298 with the folio keyboard.
The MacBook Air has two configurations: a $1,199 version with an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD storage; and a $1,499 version that adds two GPU cores and doubles the storage. Oh, and either version obviously gets you a keyboard (and it's Apple's Magic Keyboard, to boot).
If you opt for the more expensive MacBook Air, it’s $51 more than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard, but you get 512GB of storage instead of the 128GB in the iPad Pro. If you wanted to upgrade the storage in the iPad Pro from 128GB to 512GB to match what's in the MacBook Air, the Air ends up costing $249 less than the iPad Pro.
There are a lot of ways to configure both devices, but ultimately, the MacBook Air removes the headache of finding a reasonably-priced keyboard and you get more for your money when it comes to storage.
Our pick: MacBook Air
After the form factor, the major difference between the iPad Pro and MacBook Air is the operating systems. The iPad Pro runs on iPadOS and the MacBook Air runs on macOS. The latter is a full-fledged operating system, while the former has more in common with the iPhone.
But things get confusing from here. Macs can run iPadOS apps, but iPads can’t run some macOS apps.
Final Cut Pro isn’t available on iPadOS. Logic Pro? That doesn’t exist on the iPad, but a simpler version, Logic Remote, does. Garage Band is available on both platforms, but the iPadOS version is a pared-down version with less nuanced controls and capabilities—same with iMovie.
This sort of cross-platform availability largely depends on where developers decide to make their apps available, but for Apple-made programs like the ones mentioned above, it’s a mystery as to why the same version (or a version at all) doesn’t exist on iPadOS even though the iPad Pro has the same processing power as the MacBook Air (and the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2).This goes without saying if you need the full version of any of the above programs, the iPad Pro is not the best choice for that.
Our pick: MacBook Air
Both the iPad Pro and MacBook Air don’t have much in the way of physical ports, but the MacBook Air wins over the iPad Pro because it has more by comparison. While the iPad Pro only has one USB Thunderbolt 4 port, the MacBook Air has two USB Thunderbolt 4 ports, plus a 3.5mm audio jack.
This means you can charge your laptop and plug in another device, like a flash drive, at the same time. If you wanted to do the same with the iPad Pro you’d need to buy a separate Thunderbolt dock.
However, the MacBook Air does not have a Cellular connectivity option. Both devices have Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, but the iPad Pro is the only one you can take with you to the park and play Doom in the cloud over a 4G or 5G connection. Or maybe you take the train to work and you need reliable access to the internet—the iPad Pro has you covered there, too.
Our pick: Tie
This is the one category where the iPad Pro wins outright, but let’s start with the MacBook Air.
Compared to the iPad Pro, the MacBook Air’s display isn’t all that fancy. The Retina LED-backlit display supports up to a 2560 x 1664 resolution with a max 500 nits brightness. Like both iPad Pro models, its display has a wide color gamut (P3) and True Tone technology, but that’s where the similarities end.
Both iPad Pro models have True Tone displays with a wide color gamut (P3) and 600 nits max brightness (non-HDR content), but the 12.9-inch model has a fancier display that supports up to 1000 nits max full-screen brightness and 1600 nits peak brightness for HDR content. The 11-inch model has a max resolution of 2388 x 1668, and the 12-inch model’s max resolution is 2732 x 2048.
Both models also have a mini-LED backlit display, which is about 40% smaller than regular LEDs and tends to be both brighter and more dimmable. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro also has a 2D backlighting system with 2596 full-array local dimming zones, so contrast and colors really pop on that display.
And, of course, the iPad Pro displays are touch displays, with support for Apple Pencil Hover, but the MacBook Air doesn’t have one. (I mean you can touch it, but nothing will happen.)
Our pick: iPad Pro
This one is cut and dry—the MacBook Air can get up to 15 hours of battery life, while the iPad Pro can only get up to ten hours. (The cellular models get up to nine hours.) If you were considering getting the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement but were concerned about the battery life, you get more for your money with the MacBook Air.
Our pick: MacBook Air
And the winner is…
When it comes to which device can be the best laptop, it’s no surprise that Apple’s MacBook Air is the best because it’s, well, a laptop. Along with better battery life, more physical ports, a fully-fledged operating system, and Apple’s Magic Keyboard, the MacBook Air boasts better value than the iPad Pro due to the simple fact that it already has everything you need, whether that’s sending a few work-related emails or editing videos in Final Cut Pro.
The iPad Pro serves a narrower demographic considering its form factor, but if you absolutely must have a touch-screen device from which you can attach and detach a keyboard, the iPad Pro is still a great, reliable machine—just keep in mind that you could end up paying more for it than a MacBook Pro.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Macs can run iPadOS apps, but iPads can't run some macOS apps. Final Cut Pro isn't available on iPadOS. Logic Pro? That doesn't exist on the iPad, but a simpler version, Logic Remote, does.What can a MacBook Air do that an iPad can t? ›
Macs can run iPadOS apps, but iPads can't run some macOS apps. Final Cut Pro isn't available on iPadOS. Logic Pro? That doesn't exist on the iPad, but a simpler version, Logic Remote, does.Is it better to buy a MacBook Air or Pro? ›
The MacBook Pro has a bigger, brighter and better display.
Another pretty significant difference between the newest MacBook Air and MacBook Pros is the display technology. The MacBook Air has a LCD Liquid Retina display, while the newest MacBook Pros have a mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display.
What is difference between iPad and MacBook? An iPad is a tablet computer designed and developed by Apple, while a MacBook is a line of laptops also designed and developed by Apple. iPads are generally more portable and have a touchscreen interface, while MacBooks have a traditional keyboard and trackpad.What's the difference between Apple Air and iPad Pro? ›
A key difference between the iPad Air and iPad Pro is authentication technology. The iPad Air features Touch ID, while the iPad Pro features Face ID. The iPad Air has a Touch ID fingerprint scanner embedded in the iPad's top button.What are the disadvantages of using MacBook Air? ›
- Software Support. ...
- Apple Silicon Macs Can't Run Windows. ...
- Limited Hardware Upgrades. ...
- Limited Storage Options. ...
- Webcam Quality. ...
- A Lack of Ports. ...
- Poor Gaming. ...
- Should You Still Buy a MacBook?
You can take photos or shoot video, then go straight to editing and publishing, all on the same device. One of the biggest advantages of an iPad over a MacBook is cellular connectivity. An iPad Pro on the 5G network allows you to take MacBook-level performance and ultra-high speed internet almost anywhere.What are the cons of buying a MacBook Pro? ›
- More limited software support. Compared to other operating systems, there are fewer software titles to choose from when using macOS. ...
- Restrictions in hardware upgrades. ...
- Expensive storage. ...
- Transition from Intel-based chips.
- Stunning, slim design.
- Larger, more vibrant 13.6-inch display.
- Multiple color options.
- M2 chip delivers excellent performance.
Thanks to an extensive redesign in 2022, the MacBook Air has many features that the 13-inch MacBook Pro lacks. Most significant is the fact that the 2022 MacBook Air has a larger 13.6-inch screen with slimmer bezels, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro has an older 13.3-inch display (the same as the M1 MacBook Air).
An iPad with the latest operating system allows users to do almost everything they need to do on a computer, here are several reasons you might choose an iPad over a laptop. It's lighter, thinner, has a touch screen, and can use apps.What can a laptop do that an iPad Pro Cannot? ›
Run Proprietary or Desktop Software
The iPad can't run Windows or Mac software, which means no access to software that requires Windows or macOS, which includes many of the most popular games. Beyond gaming, many people bring their work home with them, and work often involves proprietary software.
General Use. Now, for general use such as just a home or work computer, more of a case can be made for buying an iPad rather than a MacBook. If you know that you will only use your computer to casually browse the internet, deal with emails and watch videos, then an iPad may indeed be fine for your use.Why get iPad Pro instead of Air? ›
Despite the iPad Pro's newer and more powerful processor, the iPad Air's performance isn't too far behind. Buying the iPad Pro makes sense if you need more storage or are a frequent second- generation Apple Pencil user, thanks to Apple's Hover feature.Is iPad better than air? ›
Learn more. Apple's standard 2022 iPad offers more value than the 2022 iPad Air for casual tablet users. But the 2022 iPad Air is a better option if you often edit photos or videos. If you want to add the Apple Pencil, opt for the 2021 iPad or 2022 iPad Air.What does an iPad Pro do that an iPad doesn t? ›
The 2022 iPad Pro is the best iPad Apple has ever made. It supports the Magic Keyboard and the 2nd generation Pencil, the stylus designed for drawing and annotating on the iPad screen. It's also received the M2 chip, which makes it decidedly more powerful than the M1, still found in the iPad Air and iPad Mini.Is MacBook Air outdated? ›
Now, the company is adding three MacBooks to the obsolete list - the 11-inch MacBook Air (launched early in 2014), the 13-inch MacBook Air (also launched early 2014), and the 13-inch MacBook Pro (launched mid-2014). All these devices will be declared obsolete on April 30.What are the major limitations of using a Mac? ›
- Pricey. Macbook have so many unique features, but the price is always an issue with all Apple products. ...
- Limited Software Support. ...
- Restricted Hardware Upgrades. ...
- Limited Storage. ...
- Inadequate Computing Proficiency. ...
- Outdated Screen Display. ...
- Outdated Webcam Resolution.
On average, your MacBook Pro is expected to last 7.2 years and a MacBook Air for 5-7 years. However, the lifespan of your MacBook depends on what tasks you use your MacBook for, how frequently it is used, and how well you care for your battery and its components.Can I use the iPad Pro as a laptop? ›
If an iPad is going to be used in place of a traditional laptop, it will need additional accessories to emulate that experience. Connect any mouse and keyboard via Bluetooth or USB to use them natively within iPadOS. The iPad even has a custom cursor that recreates the experience of using touch gestures via a mouse.
Should I get a Mac or an iPad? Both are perfect for university and will be a great choice. Consider the types of activities you'll be using it for and how you like to work. Mac is designed around a keyboard and trackpad and is built to run desktop applications.What is the difference between the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro? ›
There is no comparison!
An iPad Pro is not able to run Mac pro apps, despite "Pro" being in the name. The iPad Pro is more flexible with its detachable keyboard, Apple Pencil support, touchscreen and much better cameras built-in. Unlike a MacBook Pro, you won't get MagSafe charging.
Typically, you'll want to avoid Macbook Pros from 2016 to 2018 as these are notorious for keyboard problems. Price-wise, Macbook Pros from 2014 and 2015 will be cheaper than a used Pro from 2020 or 2021.What is the point of buying a MacBook Pro? ›
Many people enjoy buying MacBooks because they can handle heavy workloads, such as using video editing software. The fewer crashes you'll experience will enable you to get your work done quicker. Plus, you'll have more fun during the creative process.What not to do with MacBook Pro? ›
Do not place your MacBook on a pillow or other soft material when it's powered on, as the material can block the airflow vents (in particular, the rear vents) and cause the computer to overheat. Never place anything over your keyboard when operating in closed-lid (clamshell) mode.Which laptop is best for personal use? ›
- HP Pavilion Plus 14. Best Laptop for Most Buyers. ...
- Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2. Best Budget Laptop. ...
- Acer Chromebook Spin 714. Best Chromebook. ...
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 (2022) ...
- Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) ...
- Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7 (2022) ...
- Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (Intel) ...
- Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
- Set up your Apple ID. ...
- Back up early and often. ...
- Use the Help menu. ...
- Get familiar with the Menu. ...
- Visit the Mac App Store. ...
- Set up your email. ...
- Find your printer. ...
- Get to know Spotlight.
The new MacBook Air is a success on virtually every level. It's got a better screen, thinner and lighter design, better speakers, a much-improved webcam, an excellent keyboard and trackpad, more convenient charging, and excellent build quality.Is MacBook Air a good option? ›
The best Mac laptop for most people is the 13-inch MacBook Air with Apple's M1 processor. It's more than fast enough for browsing, working on documents, and making light photo and video edits, and it has an excellent high-resolution screen, a great trackpad, a totally silent fanless design, and a reasonable price.Does MacBook Air have touch screen? ›
Over the years, Apple has added touchscreens to almost every computing device imaginable, from phones and tablets to smartwatches, but it has refrained from bringing the feature to its Mac product line – even as a long list of rivals did so with their laptops and desktops.
MacBooks are superior when it comes to build quality and the UNIX-based MacOS operating system. Windows laptops take everything else, including the ecosystem. The only reason you should choose a MacBook over a Windows laptop is if you want to be comfortable inside that Apple garden.What is the downside of using iPad as laptop? ›
Con: Computing power
Intensive apps like Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Audacity, Python, and other specialized software are best fully utilized on a powerful machine like a laptop. The iPad also doesn't have fans like a laptop, so when you're multitasking, the device will heat up.
The iPad is as safe for banking as any other electronic device (safer than many, in fact). But use a little common sense about where you do this activity and protect your login information. Best bet would be if your financial institutions have apps rather than using a browser.Why do I need a laptop if I have a tablet? ›
Laptops are a better choice than tablets if you need to do work-related tasks, because they come with an integrated keyboard and trackpad. That makes them much more productive and comfortable to use for work and study.What is the iPad Pro good for? ›
Should you buy it? Pick the 2022 iPad Pro if you want the extra power and better screen over other iPads. It's very fast, the screen display and speakers are excellent for kicking back and watching movies, and it's a great tablet for creatives who need added power for video or photo editing.What is the purpose of having an iPad? ›
iPad is so versatile, it's more than up to any task. Whether you're working on a project, expressing your creativity, or playing an immersive game, iPad is a fun and powerful way to get it done. Here are just a few of the countless things you can do with iPad.Can you print from an iPad? ›
Use AirPrint to print wirelessly to an AirPrint-enabled printer from apps such as Mail, Photos, Safari, and Freeform. Many apps available on the App Store also support AirPrint. iPad and the printer must be on the same Wi-Fi network.What are the cons of buying an iPad? ›
The iPad doesn't support flash drives to expand storage, and external hard drives and/or cloud storage can't be used to store apps. While all tablets are inherently less expandable than laptops, which in turn are less expandable than desktop PCs, the iPad tends to be more limited than some Android tablets.What iPad works best as a laptop? ›
Apple iPad Pro (6th generation)
Apple's 2022 iPad Pro lineup is by far the most capable and impressive iPad lineup we've seen, making it our best overall pick as a laptop replacement. It's also the most expensive, by a long shot.
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On paper, the Air is the better device. It offers more impressive specifications, including a faster processor. On the other hand, the standard iPad is cheaper – by quite a margin – and still delivers an excellent experience.Is iPad Pro or Air better for school? ›
We highly recommend the iPad Air for students who need premium performance and best iPad you can buy without the Pro name. To find out more details, read our full iPad Air (2022) review. Get the best deal on a new iPad Air.Does iPad Air have better battery than iPad Pro? ›
The new Pro model builds a 28.65Wh battery into the 11-inch model, the same as in the iPad Air, and battery life is cited as the same as last year's models in both. Apple promises a solid 10 hours of use on the Wi-Fi models and nine hours on the cellular models.What is the difference between Apple Air and iPad? ›
5th-Generation iPad Air (2022)
The main difference between the devices is their chips and amount of memory, so if you plan on using your iPad for more demanding tasks like 3D graphic design, advanced photo editing, and gaming, the iPad Air will be the better choice by far.
How Many Years Should an iPad Last? Apple usually supports a new iPad with iPadOS updates for at least five years and often several years longer. Most iPad models hold up well in performance, features, and storage over this timeframe which means that five years is a standard lifespan for any iPad.Are iPad Pro's worth it? ›
It's still totally fine to buy the 2021 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but try not to spend more than $600 and $950, respectively. The same goes for the 2020 11-inch iPad Pro and the 2020 12.9 incher, but try not to spend more than $500 and $700. Anything more and you may as well buy the latest.Do I need to buy an iPad Pro? ›
You should buy the iPad Pro (2022) if...
Between its compatibility with Apple's Magic Keyboard, its inclusion of the same M2 chip running some of Apple's MacBook Pro laptops, and its ability to use the second-generation Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro can replace a laptop for a significant portion of the population.
iPads are generally more portable and have a touchscreen interface, while MacBooks have a traditional keyboard and trackpad. iPads are generally more limited in terms of their ability to run complex software and multitask, while MacBooks are more powerful and can run a wider range of software.What does the iPad Air do that the iPad doesn t? ›
The main difference between the devices is their chips and amount of memory, so if you plan on using your iPad for more demanding tasks like 3D graphic design, advanced photo editing, and gaming, the iPad Air will be the better choice by far.What does an iPad Air have that an iPad doesn t? ›
First, the obvious: The iPad Air has a vastly more powerful processor, Apple's M1. This is the same processor that powered the company's previous generation of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers — in fact, I'm writing this very text on an M1 MacBook Pro that I bought in 2020, and it still serves me perfectly.
We think MacBooks are worth it, especially considering their durability and performance. Still, you need to do your own research and think about what you will use it for: basic usage, programming, gaming, graphic design, communication, video editing, and so on.Is the iPad Pro or Air better for college? ›
You should choose the iPad Air for college if:
You're looking for an all-in-one iPad that's strong enough to replace your laptop as your primary device. You plan to take intensive notes and prefer the convenience of the Apple Pencil 2.
Apart from the storage capacity, which distinguishes the two, their other features are similar. However, the 64GB iPad 10th Generation only allows Wi-Fi connectivity, while the 256GB type accommodates Wi-Fi and cellular connections.How long does a MacBook Air last for? ›
On average, your MacBook Pro is expected to last 7.2 years and a MacBook Air for 5-7 years. However, the lifespan of your MacBook depends on what tasks you use your MacBook for, how frequently it is used, and how well you care for your battery and its components.Does MacBook Air have USB port? ›
These Mac models have Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports: MacBook Air (M2, 2022) MacBook Pro (13-inch, M2, 2022) iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021)Why are Mac so expensive? ›
Apple uses customized parts with specialized processes in most of their machines. This drives the price up, requiring someone to eat the additional cost so that Apple can retain its margins when selling. Demand for parts, and the cost of producing them, leads to a more expensive product.What is the point of buying a Mac? ›
Many people enjoy buying MacBooks because they can handle heavy workloads, such as using video editing software. The fewer crashes you'll experience will enable you to get your work done quicker. Plus, you'll have more fun during the creative process.What are the benefits of owning a MacBook? ›
- Seriously powerful M1 Pro CPU.
- HDMI output and SD card reader.
- Impressive audio performance.
- High-quality 1080p webcam.
- Eye-catching HDR display.
- Marathon battery life.
- Luxurious keyboard and touchpad.
The best Mac laptop for most people is the 13-inch MacBook Air with Apple's M1 processor. It's not the newest MacBook Air, but it's less expensive than the latest model and more than fast enough for the things most people use a computer for—web browsing, working on documents, coding, and light photo and video editing.