iPad Air or Pro to replace laptop

So my laptop is on its way out and I was thinking of replacing it with an iPad. Any advice on whether I should get the Air 10.9” or the Pro 12.9” that’s coming out later this month? The main reason I was contemplating the pro was the M1 chip and the fact the sceen is larger and that might it easier to use a laptop replacement? Any advice is welcome!

Unless you have a job that dictates the need for a laptop, then I think iPad is a fantastic replacement for a laptop for most people. I think the Air will be sufficient for most of those people too.

If it’s just going to be a general device you’ll use leisurely for content consumption, then I see no need for the iPad Pro. But if you’re thinking of using this device to help with work tasks or to unleash some creativity then the Pro is absolutely worth considering. The hardware is more future proof and should last longer than an Air, and of course has a bigger screen too, though this all comes at a higher price and is worth bearing in mind, especially if you’d like accessories.

I’ve been using a 10.9” iPad as my sole computer since 2019. I had the original iPad Pro 10.9” and decided to go for the Air last year. I don’t use it for anything taxing so the more budget friendly option was best for me. The battery will be the first thing to go anyway, long before any other part becomes obsolete

It’s been mostly fine, apart from the occasional website that hasn’t been updated since 1994 that doesn’t want to play nice with Safari even in desktop mode.

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It depends on what you do with your laptop. Only you know this.

Just curious, why did you join this forum to ask this?

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A lot of our Apple discussions probably show up in Google searches!


I joined the community to ask about an account specific enquiry and noticed the tech and gaming section and since it’s been on my mind I just thought why not see if anyone had insight to it


I use my iPad for the vast majority of my browsing and consumptoin but when it comes to “real” work I prefer using a laptop. That’s not to say that other people don’t prefer doing everything on their iPads.

There’s a pretty massive price difference between the Air and the big Pro. It should be pretty obvious which one you’d prefer for your needs.

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I recently sold my air and am waiting for the new 12.9” iPad to arrive. I’ve got a Mac mini to use for more taxing stuff. Depends what you do I guess.

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Just bear in mind the pretty small price difference between the 256gb Air and the 128gb Pro. Considering the Air doesn’t come in 128, if you need more than 64gb but not as much as 256, then the 128gb 11 inch Pro is probably the best value option.


I thought hard about this last year. I tried out my iPad (not a Pro, admittedly) as a replacement for my aging 12 inch MacBook - but I ended up getting frustrated. I eventually went for the base level M1 MacBook Pro when it came out and I’ve never been happier.

If you can afford the extra couple of hundred quid for the MBP over the iPad Pro, do it.

To be honest for most people an M1 MacBook Air would be more than enough laptop-wise - it’s a very powerful machine and since Apple silicon, the performance gap between the Air and Pro lines has been shrunk dramatically. So if you think leaving behind a desktop operating system isn’t manageable, then I’d say go for the M1 Air instead of the M1 MBP, unless you’re a video editor or something similar (in which case you wouldn’t be looking at replacing your laptop with an iPad anyway).

An M1 Air may very well be cheaper than an iPad Pro, especially if you’re adding a Magic Keyboard.

I don’t think power has much to do with it. For me, the iPad has been super powerful for a long time but I don’t ever find myslef needing that power. The bonus for me is that it keeps it future proof.

I’ve been using an iPad Pro as my computer for nearly three years now and it’s been a great workhorse. I bought it when I started my degree for all my school work and it managed it all remarkably. I only had to use my work computer to finalise all the footnotes on my essays before submitting them (and that is thanks to how Microsoft designed the iOS version of Word).

Absolutely agreed on this point. I edit videos, and the MBP is out of this world (more powerful/as powerful as the iMac). But from YT videos I’ve seen, even an M1 MacBook Air would be fine for editing video.

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Out of interest what size screen are you using?

Would an average user notice the difference between the M1 chip and the A14 chip when doing common daily tasks?

Likely not. Not for quite some time anyway. Eventually down the line as the OS becomes more powerful it will start to demand more resources, and that’s the point where you’ll start to notice slow downs on the a14 whereas the M1 would still breeze through tasks.

Who knows what an average user is but personally if my iPad Pro had an A10 (instead on an A12X) I’m fairly sure it would perform nearly just as well for what I use it for.

I’m on my second iPad Pro and both have been the 11inch size (my first one was the older 10.5 size). For me portability was an important factor and I wanted it to fit in my regular bag and be easy to grab on the go. I don’t do any art/drawing so I didn’t need the extra screen space.