One of the reasons I’ve given up on trying to find the perfect Ultrabook-esque computer is because I own an iPad. It’s an incredibly portable device; light and thin, the iPad can go just about anywhere with me. Plus, there are no moving parts, so I can pick it up, carry it around, and take notes or do work wherever I have to go.
Apple offers another relatively thin, light, and portable machine: the MacBook Air. It’s a little bigger and heavier than the iPad, but it gets you a bigger screen, a full-sized keyboard, and a couple of USB ports with which to hook up peripherals.
I only own an iPad – not a MacBook Air. But my sister does own a MacBook Air, and I decided to use it for a little while this weekend. What I found was kind of shocking to me: they’re both incredible machines for just about everything you’d need to do on the go.
This ties into my article about giving up on an a perfect Ultrabook or a MacBook Air: my iPad is my MacBook Air. The MacBook Air and its Windows Ultrabook brethren are fantastic machines, to be sure, but I feel that since I already own an iPad, the MacBook Air wouldn’t fill all of my wants and desires for a laptop. They’re incredibly close in terms of experience and functionality for my mobile needs, so I just picked one of them and called it good. My next laptop will be a gaming laptop so I can have enough power for the more taxing tasks that I may need to complete.
In my opinion, that’s exactly why the MacBook Air and iPad may be bigger competitors than Apple had originally intended. Obviously, running a full desktop OS – OS X or Windows – is an advantage in some cases, but I’ve found that I can usually find an app to replicate or fully replace a desktop app fairly easily. At the same time, it would be nice to have an easier way to multitask on my iPad, and the exclusion of any kind of file system is a major drawback, too.
Still, the iPad is more portable and has a better battery. It’s a perfect mobile solution – but so is the MacBook Air or any other Ultrabook. It just comes down to what you own now: if you have a tablet, you’re probably not interested in a MacBook Air or Ultrabook. Likewise, if you own either one, a tablet probably isn’t something that you’ve considered picking up. And if you own a Microsoft Surface – well, laptops in general might seem kind of silly.
Of course, not everyone’s like me, and I could be completely wrong: maybe you do like using a tablet and an Ultrabook-like laptop at the same time. Let me know in the comments how you feel about tablets and Ultrabooks. I’ve already given my thoughts on the coexistence of the iPad and MacBook Air – now it’s your turn.