Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Can a MacBook Pro Replace Your iPad?

Thought-provoking (and hilarious) piece from Fraser Speirs:

Firstly, consider the hardware. The huge issue with the MacBook Pro is its form factor. The fact that the keyboard and screen are limited to being held in an L-shaped configuration seriously limits its flexibility. It is basically impossible to use a MacBook pro while standing up and downright dangerous to use when walking around. Your computing is limited to times when you are able to find somewhere to sit down.

Imagine a parallel universe where computers evolved the other way: from tablet to laptop, and then to desktop. Then imagine how the laptop and desktop would be seen. The tablet market is in an evolving stage. It’s not early any more, but nor is it a mature product category. As such, we’re still finding the best uses for tablets.

I, for example, find it more comfortable to read on my iPad than I do my Mac, but I don’t find it as comfortable to write many thousand words on it. Writing code is even more cumbersome, despite the excellence of Coda for iOS. My job and my hobbies tend to revolve around writing a lot, both prose and code; therefore, I find myself spending more time on my computer than my iPad.1

My parents, on the other hand, both use their iPads nearly full time, including for long emails, web browsing, reading books, and so on. They spend a lot less time with technology, so the iPad makes it way nicer to do most of the things they do every day.

We — the kinds of people who think about stuff like this and read websites like mine — have to remember that we see the world through a different lens. We care about esoteric things and prioritize accordingly, and that makes us a bit crappy at seeing how regular people use technology. Keep that in mind.


  1. Even though my computer is a laptop, I almost always leave it connected to my Thunderbolt Display. In that sense, my iPad is my most-used portable computer aside from my iPhone. ↩︎