I’d say it’s probably 70/30 on iDevices vs. MacBook. Most of the MacBook Air time is work-related. And that figure is so heavily tilted in the iDevices favor because I use the iPhone far more than any other device.
That said, when it comes to “general computing”, I much prefer to use the iPad Air (with the Logitech keyboard) for almost everything. But I suspect a rumored 12” Retina MacBook Air could tilt the numbers back in the MacBook favor, if only temporarily.
Well, first and foremost, for the regular consumer, the iPad+keyboard combo will be *much* cheaper than a MacBook Air.
But in terms of usage, I have an 11-inch Air and an iPad+keyboard, and I find the latter to much more enjoyable these days. The key for me: one app, one screen. Yes, there are notifications, but with iOS 6, you can easily silence them for a set period of time and just work, read, etc.
This combined with the touch element actually makes me feel more productive when I’m using the iPad. I definitely prefer doing email on it (again, with the keyboard). With several other apps, I’ve mastered the touch UI far better than I ever have a desktop experience. And several native apps just *feel* faster than their web-based versions.
As much as I like the 11-inch Air, I can’t get past the battery being significantly worse than the 13-inch Air. It’s basically two full hours worse. For that reason alone, I couldn’t recommend it over the 13-inch. And the iPad battery blows all MacBook batteries away. Another huge plus.
So while it’s a close call between the 13-inch Air and the iPad+keyboard, I have to give the edge to the iPad right now. I realize many people will disagree, but it’s working great for me.
There is a lot of talk out there right now about the supposed 15-inch MacBook Air. I haven’t heard anything specific besides the usual whispers of new product numbers floating around out there. It seems pretty likely that something is coming.
What’s a bit odd about this talk is Apple’s entire MacBook line. Namely, there is no actual MacBook anymore, just the Air and the Pro. If the Air gains a 15-inch model, the line between those two blurs even more.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of consolidation. Just pure speculation here, but maybe the Air becomes simply the “MacBook” and the focus is on the 11, 13, and new 15-inch models. Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro drops the 13-inch model and focuses on the 15, and 17-inch models.
The current Air models are more than fast enough for most consumers. And I’m not sure why anyone would buy a 13-inch Pro unless they really want that optical drive.
Maybe it’s time to separate the Pro line by doing something like a super high resolution screen and maybe insane battery life (10+ hours).
Or maybe the 15-inch thin MacBook is meant to be a hybrid of a Pro and an Air. Maybe it has more ports, better battery life, and a higher price — but loses the optical drive. It’s dead anyway.
I’ve talked to a lot of people who want a 15-inch screen on their Air. I’m sort of the opposite. At first I thought the 13-inch Air would be too small for everyday work (I was moving from a 15-inch Pro). Now it’s my main machine for everything. And I actually think I might prefer the 11-inch size if it didn’t mean taking a 2-hour hit on battery life dropping down from the 13.
Battery life matters more to me now than anything else. Each of the last two MacBook Air models has been more than fast enough for what I need from a computer. Give me one with a full 10 hour battery and I’d be tempted, no matter the screen size.