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Old 12-02-2010, 06:40 AM   #1  
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Default FDX: iPad vs Laptop

I'm currently an iPhone user with no laptop. Looking at getting an iPad or MacBook (air/pro/etc.) to simply life on the road: Bidding, LIDO flight planning, web surfing, email, CFM study etc.... I do not use Bid X because of my juniority. I also would like to get an iMac at some point and dump my PC desktop.

I love the portability of the iPad, but am wondering what most folks' experiences are with it. Please chime in!!
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:48 AM   #2  
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I faced a similar choice, decided to go with a used macbook pro. It's worked great, except it took a nasty spill from a hotel desk and bent the disk drive slot (no longer usable).

I chose the macbook because the ipad lacks a forward facing camera for skyping with the GF, a disk drive for watchin dvd's or installing programs, and it requires you to use a computer to manage it (my desktop is disassembled and in storage).
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:54 AM   #3  
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The iPad lacks a camera, which I wanted for skype. It also lacks flash. That is less important with HTML 5, but it can be needed. For those reasons, I gave my with my MacBook pro ( tired of carrying the weight) and I got the MacBook air. If watching a video using flash the bat life is much less than advertised. It is very CPU intensive.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:36 AM   #4  
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I personally love the iPad, and how it travels. For portability, and ease of use it is great. I read newspapers, books (iBooks, Amazon/Kindle, BN/Nook, and Borders all have IPad Apps), and movies. It's great for surfing, email. Everything the other posters say is true, but I find them to be a minor inconvenience, when weighed against the portability and functionality of the Ipad. I do have a Dell mini 9 netbook, and Targus CD/DVD drive that I also take with me, but I find myself doing it less and less.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:40 AM   #5  
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I've owned several Mac laptops over the years. Most recently I purchased the (first generation) MacBook Air. When I bought it, Apple had not yet introduced their 13" MacBook Pro. I wish I owned a 13" MacBook Pro instead...

MacBook Air pro's:

- VERY lightweight
- reasonably durable (has been beat up in my backpack, still looks/operates like new)
- enough processing power (1.86Ghz I think?)

MacBook Air cons:

- No DVD drive (that's partly how they make it so thin and lightweight, an external matching Apple DVD drive costs $79)

- NO Ethernet port (so you can't plug in your hotel room Internet cable). It does have an easy to connect wireless card and Apple sells a USB/Ethernet converter ($25?)

That said, the NEW MacBook Air is a lot of computer for $1000. I like the new 11" size. It makes me wonder why anyone would buy a new MacBook?

iPad thoughts ... I've thought for some time that the current version iPad was a beta version they rushed out in time for last Xmas. I suspect the next version might have a camera/phone/print app. It might be worth the waiting to see what improvements Apple offers in a newer version.

Last edited by MaydayMark; 12-02-2010 at 10:02 AM. Reason: spelling police
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:38 AM   #6  
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I currently have a 13" MacBook Pro, which I love. I had the same debate when I bought the MacBook this summer. I had the same issues as the above: no camera, no USB port were the biggies for me.

Rumors about the iPad 2.0 coming out after the first of the year (April?). It will have two cameras (forward and rear), Facetime, and a USB port. If that is the case, I will certainly buy one of these as it will accomplish 99% of what I need to do on the road. If I have to use BidX or do any other computing, then I will take the MacBook.

Just my $.02

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Old 12-02-2010, 09:48 AM   #7  
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Chiming in with Mayday and Haz. I have the MacBook Pro 15 for travel and iMac for home. Great combination.

I think with the iPad you'll miss not having the physical keyboard (although you can add one) and a camera. Great portability but lacking as a "full-time" laptop. If you are dead set on going the ipad route, I'd wait for the the 2nd Gen one coming out Mar/Apr; it'll have a camera(s) plus other performance improvements. I'd recommend the 3G+wireless version.

The new MacBook Airs are very popular and give you the best of both worlds if you are worried about weight. Get an Airport Express and the lack of ethernet port won't matter; you can turn any ethernet cable (hotel w/o wireless) into a wireless network in your room. You won't need a superdrive (you can get an external one); you can move files and music thru file sharing on the network. You'll pay a premium for the solid state HD. Personally, I like more display real estate for things like BidX (my eyes aren't as good anymore) so 13 would be my min size. Airs have no illuminated keyboard; a must for me.

For me the 15 Pro is the best of all worlds for my needs. The new Airs are pretty awesome but it came down to screen and keyboard for me. Take a look here at some comparisons and points to ponder:

New MacBook Airs

Last edited by KnightFlyer; 12-02-2010 at 09:49 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:21 AM   #8  
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Whatever you decide, don't forget to check the apple store for refurbished items. It is a good option without any loss of warranty...just like new, but cheaper.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:36 AM   #9  
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Originally Posted by MaydayMark View Post
That said, the NEW MacBook Air is a lot of computer for $1000. I like the new11" size. It makes me wonder why anyone would buy a new MacBook?
I just picked up an 11", but went for the bigger drive. Dimension wise, it's only slightly bigger than an ipad, and weighs just over 2 lbs. The thing is, it's over 100 times more functional than an ipad. Can run flash, forward camera, full size keyboard, everything that's been mentioned that the ipad lacks. With the exception of the optical drive, of course. Also, the 11" lacks the card reader that the 13" has.

According to the TSA, it doesn't have to come out of the bag at security also, which is nice. Of course, that doesn't preclude the local TSA idiot from deviating from they're own policies and making people take EVERYTHING out of their bags. But so far, in a month, I have yet to take it out.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:51 AM   #10  
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In its current form, the ipad is not a stand alone device. It is too restrictive for most uses...I'll definitely get one if/when it becomes a laptop/netbook replacement.

Disclaimer...I am a current 10.1" Asus Netbook owner, and love it. Don't miss the disk drive because of the 160gb solid state hard drive.

Above not withstanding, however, I will consider an ipad when I can travel with only one device. The ipad has quite a way to go before it can do that.
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