Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The iPad vs the 13 inch MacBook Air as a travel companion

Author: Thuc Huynh, MD

I’m the kind of person that needs to be connected to the internet at all times, even on vacation. So it behooved me to buy the iPad as soon as it came out. It’s extremely light, looks beautiful, and has the same, if not, more apps than my iPhone. I was able to watch movies on airplanes with excellent battery life. But it felt a little lacking compared to my usual laptop, the 13 inch Macbook Pro.

I found myself still bringing my chunkier laptop on planes because the utilization of the keyboard and the ability to multi-task is vital to my internet addiction. Then, the 13 inch MacBook Air was released. I bought it right away. Here are my thoughts.

It is extremely light. It weighs only 2.9 pounds.
It’s extremely fast. It uses an all-flash storage. No hard drive, no disc drive.
And it really does startup faster than the MacBook Pros like promised.

However, the battery life is short. Apple states the MacBook Air lasts up to 7 hours surfing the web. I’ve gotten about 4-5 hours with productivity multitasking and only 2-3 hours if I watch a movie. This is okay if I want to work on a plane but not very good if I want to watch a movie on a plane too.

My iPad, on the other hand, has lasted up to 8 hours of surfing and 6 hours of movies. Pretty big difference. But it’s very difficult to chat online or work on documents using the virtual keyboard.

In the end, I carry my MacBook Air on trips now. If i know it’s a particularly long flight or multiple connections, I bring along my iPad to watch movies. The two combined is still lighter than my MacBook Pro.

This was written by Thuc Huynh, MD.

Dr. Thuc Huynh is CEO of ScrubdIN, a startup company that aims to help health professionals choose their next medical app. Her main interest lies around how medicine can play a role with web 2.0 and social media. Dr. Huynh is currently Chief Resident at her Family Medicine Residency in Rapid City, SD and received her B.S. and M.D. at theMedical University of the Americas.

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Huynh,
    I had a similar problem working on documents with my iPad and not wanting to lug my heavy laptop around. Then I bought this: http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/keyboards-mice/e65a/

    It's a Bluetooth keyboard case. It has nearly solved all of my problems. It's still lighter than the MacBook air, and you can take advantage of the iPad's amazing battery life and get your work done. The iPad is still lacking in some ways that make it a poor substitute for a laptop (apps crashing, multi-tasking still a little rough), but I highly recommend the keyboard case if you just want to do light document work, surf the net, and watch movies.