News Analysis: Apple's MacBook Air might not deliver tablet functionality. But it's a better overall choice than the iPad for business road warriors as well as consumers, especially with Mac OS X "Lion" looming.
rages on over the possibility of consumers opting for tablets over lightweight
computers. Some say that the mobility of tablets, along with their unique
functionality, is making them ideal choices for people around the globe. Those
on the other side of the debate say that lightweight notebooks, while
admittedly "old school" compared with the newer offerings, are still better
purchases for consumers and enterprise customers who want to get work done.
several companies compete in both markets, Apple arguably has the most to win
or lose in that debate. Not only does it have an iPad that has proven extremely
popular around the world, but the company's
MacBook Air is one of the most compelling lightweight notebooks on the market
There are many customers-consumers and enterprise users alike-who go to the
Apple Store looking for a mobile computer who must decide between the iPad and
the MacBook Air.
that decision isn't an easy one to make. But a solid argument can be made for
choosing Apple's MacBook Air over the iPad 2.
1. Bigger displays
iPad 2 comes with a 9.7-inch screen, which by tablet measures, is a large
display. However, Apple's MacBook Air comes with the customer's choice of 11-
and 13-inch options. Larger displays have long been important to consumers and
enterprise users alike.
Considering the MacBook Air wins out on display size
, it might just be a
better option for users.
2. A full physical keyboard
to type out long documents on the iPad 2 without the additional physical
keyboard accessory can be a pain. The MacBook Air, however, comes with a full
physical keyboard, making it easy for users to type out long documents or emails.
Consumers might not mind the iPad 2's touch screen and virtual keyboard, but
for enterprise users, the MacBook Air's keyboard is a must-have.
3. Mac OS X provides more usability
Apple has come a long way with iOS and the upcoming installment in the
software, iOS 5, looks to be a winner, it's still not as useful as Mac OS X.
That operating system, which is running on the MacBook Air, is a full Windows
competitor. Not only does it offer file system management-a major omission from
iOS-but it also allows for compatibility with key software platforms, including
Office and Photoshop. Mac OS X is simply a more advanced, user-friendly OS. And
the MacBook Air, not the iPad 2, is running it.
4. It has the apps
to the launch of the Mac App Store in January, Apple's iPad 2 would have taken
the crown when it comes to apps. But with the availability of the marketplace
on Mac OS X-based devices, it's hard to choose the tablet over the MacBook Air.
After all, users can run more advanced software as well as lightweight apps and
download them all from the Mac App Store. When it comes to third-party
software, the better options are available to the MacBook Air.