Air vs Air: Can the iPad Air be a Replacement for MacBook Air?

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By Vanessa Francisco | November 13, 2013 11:01 AM EST

Apple now has two Airs in the family: the 2013 MacBook Air that has a better battery life and is more affordable than the 2012 model, and the new iPad Air which is lighter, smaller and has a processor close to that of a laptop.

The iPad Air starts at $499 but if you load it with the highest configuration, it comes to $929. The 11-ince MacBook Air, on the other hand, remains the smallest Apple laptop at $999. The MacBook Air has a bigger 11.6-inch widescreen display but the iPad Air's 9.7-inch display has a higher resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 as opposed to the former's 1,336 x 768. The iPad Air offers crisper images but the level of brightness seems to be the same. Though iPad Air has higher resolution, web pages fit better across the MacBook Air's bigger screen. This also means movies can fill the bigger screen better than a smaller one. If you are to edit finer details, the MacBook Air has an edge but for other needs, the iPad Air still has the better display.

It's also a lifestyle decision: do you prefer a touch screen or a touch pad? The MacBook Air doesn't have a touch screen but it has an excellent clickable touch pad. The iPad Air's touch screen is fantastic for in-app use but if you use a keyboard and are doing serious work, you might miss the touch pad.

Both the iPad Air and the MacBook Air get over 10 hours of battery life without recharging. The MacBook Air still offers more connectivity options and flexibility, USB ports and 128 GB storage at the end of the spectrum but if you can live with less storage, the iPad Air can be of relative value.

Between Mavericks vs. iOS 7 to compare productivity however, MacBook Air wins without question. iOS7 is best for consumption, not ideal for multitasking or cloud storage and flexible file sharing. It can but Mac OS X just offers a lot more choices and fewer limitations. Microsoft Office is Mac-only now. It can run Java and Flash, boot Microsoft Windows applications. iWork is also cross-compatible. There is no MacBook Air with built-in LTE or mobile but the iPad Air can be fitted with LTE that can swap SIMs. The MacBook Air can use a USB plug-in stick for wireless broadband, though.

Currently, it seems that users still cannot replace a computer with a tablet and with different advantages, they can just choose which one they think they can use more efficiently.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions that may have been expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and not of IBT Media. 

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