Can iPad Replace MacBook? – Let’s Find Out

Back in the day, iPads were mostly useful for everyday purposes such as checking emails, streaming media content, playing games, taking notes, etc. However, Apple’s mighty tablet has become extraordinarily reliable and powerful over the years, featuring top-line specs and impressive features.

Gradually, Apple has become a monarch in the tablet segment, and iPads have become the symbol for exclusive and premium tablets. As per the Statista study, Apple has been leading the tablet segment since the very first iPad release, with 23.4 percent of worldwide sales.

On the other hand, MacBooks are consistently being upgraded and developed with every release. The performance and features offered by MacBooks are incredible, and it has been using a go-to product for multiple purposes for a long time.

Considering everything, this has raised a question regarding the newer iPad Pro and if it could replace the newer MacBooks. I’m sure this has crossed your mind, too, so let us find an answer to this by making a comparison.

Need for comparison – iPad Vs MacBook

Today iPads are exceptionally capable where high-end tasks are carried out with ease. Some impressive tasks the newer generation iPads (Pro variants -2021 and above) can handle are lag-free heavy gaming, professional photo and video editing, and even the impossible coding (remotely possible).

The newer generation of iPad Pro (comparing the 2022 variant) costs significantly lesser than the MacBook Air (M1 variant -2022) and MacBook Pro (M2 variant – 2022). While considering the performance, it can perform on par with the 2022 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro while being available at almost half the price.

Considering iPads competing with MacBooks, it has turned into a matter of question whether it is worth purchasing the MacBooks at such an expensive price.

Today we compare iPad and MacBook and give you an idea of what they are capable of, where they are ideal to use, and their limitations. Ultimately, we provide you with a conclusion for you to decide.

However, it is your responsibility to make a choice by choosing iPad or a MacBook. So without any further ado, let’s get started.

Everything about iPad

1. Software and User Interface

Apple’s iPad runs on the unique and extremely reliable iPadOS with an intuitive user interface. The biggest advantage of the iPadOS is the support for Apple ecosystem integration, where you can pair other Apple devices seamlessly with the iPad.

The iPadOS focuses on providing the user with extraordinary multitasking support and is ready to handle any task. With the newer versions of iPadOS, Multitasking becomes more effective with the split view and slide-over features, as the user can utilize the home screen and resources to the full extent.

One of the biggest reasons people prefer the iPad is the Apple Pencil. The iPadOS is developed and customized very precisely to provide the best experience to the user while using the Apple Pencil.

With every newer iPadOS, the functionality and the support for Apple Pencil are being enhanced, resulting in improved usability. Alongside these, the support for exclusive apps also makes iPadOS a great choice for productivity and entertainment.

Speaking of the interface, it is very simple, and navigating around is extremely easy. The widgets on iPadOS are reliable and interactive by displaying real-time information associated with the selected app.

As a result, one doesn’t have to load and run the app. Instead, the widgets can be used to realize any updates associated with the app. For instance, the Gmail widget can be used to check for new mail without opening the app.

To use the iPadOS, one wouldn’t require any learning, and a user new to iPadOS can adapt quickly without any issues.

2. Hardware

Like every electronic gadget, the iPads released yearly come with significant improvements. With every newer version of the iPad, the display, processor, storage, camera, wireless connectivity, and battery are upgraded.

However, before Apple’s M1 chipset was released, the iPads used to feature Apple’s Bionic chipsets, and the relative MacBook Air and MacBook Pro featured the Intel SoC.

After the release of Apple’s M1 chipset, the iPads have started featuring M1 and M2 chipsets competing head-on-head with the MacBook Air and the base variants of the MacBook Pro.

Compared to tablets from other manufacturers, the Apple iPads are ahead in hardware with mind-blowing benchmarks and overall features.

3. Productivity and Exclusive Apps

With time Apple iPad has become a sign of reliability in the portable form factor. From checking emails and watching videos to high-level designing and editing, iPads have come a long way.

The pre-installed apps available on the iPad are ideal for basic productivity and utility. However, an entire suite of Apple and Microsoft apps are available to download from the App store to upscale usability.

These Apple and Microsoft suites are specially developed for iPad and focused on enhancing overall productivity. Hence, iPads can be used efficiently by all age groups for different productive cases.

As per Pew Research, it is revealed that Generation X and Millennials of the US use tablets the most. Relatively, it was found by Statista’s 2022 survey that 43% of these tablets are iPads in the US alone.

Speaking of exclusive apps, several apps from Adobe suite for photo and video editing serve a great purpose by being a medium for utility and productivity purposes on iPad.

Here is a detailed section of the best exclusive third-party apps for iPad that can enhance overall productivity and creativity;


  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Procreate
  • Affinity Designer
  • Canva

Generic Office purpose:

  • Google suite
  • Microsoft suite
  • Zoom
  • Dropbox
  • Grammarly


  • LumaFusion
  • Adobe Premier Rush
  • Pixelmator Photo
  • Ferrite Recording Studio


  • Coda
  • Pythonista
  • Working Copy
  • Textastic


  • Steam Link

While talking about inbuilt exclusive apps, some noteworthy ones are GarageBand, Keynote, and iMovie.

Everything about MacBook

1. Software and User Interface

Apple’s MacOS or OS X is the operating system designed and developed for the Macintosh line of computers. MacOS is known for its simplicity, stability, security, and user-friendly interface.

The main attraction of the MacOS GUI is the “Dock,” a row of icons at the bottom of the home screen where the recently used apps, folders, and files of your liking can be placed on.

With Dock’s customization and easy access support, the overall feel and usability increases. In addition to Dock, the menu bar on the top enhances usability further as several system-wide settings and options can be managed and accessed.

Regarding navigation between folders and applications on MacOS, gestures and shortcuts come in handy. Apart from these, the biggest reason people choose MacBook and MacOS is the seamless Apple ecosystem integration.

With this integration support, all devices of the Apple ecosystem can be connected to the MacBook and managed with ease. In addition, some of the most used features, such as iMessage, AirDrop, and iCloud, can be used on the MacBook without needing installation as they are built-in features.

As per Statcounter, the macOS have been consistently placed second in the Desktop Operating System Market Share over the past decade. In addition, it is getting better, and a significant growth of 8.31% in share has been observed.

Yet another interesting stat from Statista is that Apple’s revenue generated by selling MacBooks increased from $9.18 billion to $11.51 billion in the same year – 2022, which explains how prominent MacBooks are.

2. Hardware

Similar to iPads, MacBooks are upgraded yearly, where unique features are introduced. The hardware specifications of the newer MacBooks display a significant improvement over the older variants in terms of performance, durability, and design.

The existing features are also enhanced according to the new hardware and requirements. Before the release of Apple’s M1 SoC, the MacBooks featured Intel chipsets, but after its release, all versions of MacBooks started releasing with M1 or M2 SoC.

Apart from these, the memory and storage technology is the biggest upgrade as the new variants feature high-frequency DDR5 RAM and SSD storage. Coming to the display, the more recent versions feature a Liquid Retina XDR display along with enhanced graphics.

For reliability, the newer versions of the MacBook come with an upgraded battery, more ports, and an improved trackpad and keyboard.

3. Productivity and Exclusive Apps

The MacOS is loaded with several built-in tools ideal for productivity and creativity. These in-built tools are frequently used and come in handy while managing and executing generic tasks without any issues.

Some prominent productive tools of the MacOS are Spotlight, Siri, Notes, Remainders, Preview, Calendar, and Mail. Even though these apps are extremely reliable for generic tasks, they are unsuitable for high-end tasks such as designing, editing, coding, and gaming.

The best part of the MacOS is the support for App Store, where most prominent third-party apps can be installed easily without needing to visit the official website and download setup files.

Speaking of exclusive apps, each category features the best ones that enhance productivity and reliability. Here are some of the best third-party exclusive apps for MacBook according to category;


  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Figma
  • Procreate
  • Sketch

Generic Office purpose:

  • Google suite
  • Microsoft suite
  • Zoom
  • Dropbox
  • Grammarly


  • Final Cut Pro
  • Logic Pro
  • DaVinci Resolve
  • Adobe Premiere Pro


  • Xcode
  • Sublime Text
  • Atom
  • Visual Studio Code


  • Steam
  • GeForce NOW
  • OpenEmu

Limitation comparison – iPad Vs MacBook

We have discussed iPad and MacBook in detail but haven’t compared them. Lets us start our comparison by focusing on where iPad and MacBook are lacking. Finally, let’s conclude after considering all the main factors from the comparison.

Where does iPad lack?

Even though iPad is extremely reliable, it does come with limitations. Some might find these limitations a big issue, whereas the rest wouldn’t consider these as limitations.

Here are some of the limitations that are associated with all variants and versions of the iPad:

  1. The newer versions of the iPad are capable of Multitasking, but one cannot multitask to its full potential as only a few apps are compatible with Split View multitasking.
  2. The base model storage is insufficient, and the consumer is always forced to purchase the mid or higher variant.
  3. Even though iPad comes with Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft suites, all features and full versions are not provided.
  4. Using iPad to its full potential requires multiple extremely expensive accessories, and not everyone can afford all.
  5. The biggest limitation is the lack of customization to the home screen, where no icon pack or third-party launchers are compatible.
  6. While compared to Android, the iPad doesn’t provide users with the flexibility to manage system-wide and general files. As a result, there are a lot of restrictions while handling the files.
  7. The iPad might be close to MacBook, but most of the apps compatible with the MacBook are not yet available on iPad.

Where does Macbook lack?

No device is made perfect, and even the prominent MacBooks have their limitations. Few people are unhappy with these limitations, whereas others do not consider the below said as limitations.

Here are some of the limitations that are associated with all variants of MacBook;

  1. MacBooks are considered a sign of productivity and are never meant for gaming. Hence, MacBooks are unsuitable for gaming, and only a few game collections are compatible with MacOS.
  2. Considering MacBooks are extremely sleek, there is no room for hardware upgrades.
  3. Compared to its rival, the Windows notebooks are available at significantly lower cost while offering on-par performance.
  4. MacOS is known for its uniqueness and user-friendly interface. However, the support for customization is extremely minimum.
  5. The number of ports offered on MacBooks is very few, and to use the extremely reliable USB drive, one must purchase the Type-C hub.
  6. Unlike Windows, the MacOS comes with a specific selection of apps and software, resulting in software compatibility issues. For instance, a few Microsoft and Google software are incompatible with MacOS.

iPad or MacBook? It depends on you!

After considering every major factor associated with iPad and MacBook, multitasking is the biggest similarity found between both devices. It is evident that Apple aims to make its iPads as powerful and efficient as its Macbook by upgrading the hardware and enhancing the iPadOS.

In addition, Apple wants to rule the tablet segment and crush their manufacturers completely. The newer versions of iPadOS have successfully achieved the multitasking that iPad users have been waiting for and wanting. However, the iPad is nowhere near the Macbook, even though it is on par with performance.

We would suggest iPad for those looking for a great tablet that can handle some of the tasks a full-fledged PC would do. However, you must be ready to spend a few more bucks to unlock the iPad’s full potential by purchasing the Pencil and Magic Keyboard.

Considering the total price spent on the iPad, it would be better to save some money and go for the mid-variant of MacBook Air. But if you’re persistent and require a portable high-end flagship device, the iPads are the solution.

To conclude, iPad is the best choice if you’re a creative user looking for a device that can handle your unique requirements. However, the iPad isn’t the best choice if you’re someone working in a professional or technical field. Hence, know your requirement and choose the device that matches your profession and lifestyle.

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