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Air or iPad

November 6, 2012 - Dave Hecei
Everyone now says (credit Steve Jobs) ‘This is the beginning of the post-PC era’. What that really means is the PC is not the only way to compute. Tablet devices like the Apple iPad, Google Nexus, and now Microsoft’s Surface RT is the future for most users. But this doesn’t mean that the personal computer, either desktop or laptop, is dead. There is a place in the computer world for both.

This really got me thinking. Most of the people I know who have a personal computer use it for only a few things. Internet being the main reason (web surfing, email, social networking), watching videos or movies, and playing games. The fact is, all of this can be done on an iPad.

The fact is an iPad can do a whole lot more. The power in the iPad 3, and now 4, can handle video and photo editing, desktop publishing, and a whole lot more. If you add a physical keyboard to an iPad you not only get a better input device, you free up the screen space taken away by the virtual keyboard.

The quandary is this. If you get a high-end iPad and a good keyboard why not just go with a full laptop. The 64GB iPad is $700. Then you add in the Logitech thin keyboard case to bring it up to $800. On the Apple Store web site, they have a refurbished MacBook Air 11-inch for $830.

This is the problem. Yes the iPad is easy to use, and since you don’t always need the keyboard, is more portable. But for just a few dollars more you get a full functioning laptop running a full operating system. It has built-in ports, backlit keyboard, and multi-gesture trackpad. If you don't need the extra storage or keyboard, an iPad can be an inexpensive choice starting at $329.

Personally, at the high end, I would go with the Air. As good as the iPad is, in most situations the Air will do so much more for practically the same price. In a few more years, this line will blur to the point where this choice won’t be so easy. Until then, there is enough separation to keep the tablets in one camp and the PC in another.


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