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world travel: MacBook Pro or iPad?

213 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 26, 2013 5:37 PM by Boney Franklin RSS
cmsandquist Calculating status...
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Jan 26, 2013 2:24 PM

I will be leaving for Peace Corps service in a few months, and I'm debating: MacBook Pro or iPad?


It is unknown if I will have access to electricity very often.  Even less likely will I have internet available very often.  Battery life is something to consider.  Cruising the web probably won't be an option, regardless of device.


My main use of either device will be photo and video storing/sharing/editing.  This is very important to me.  Word processing is less important, but still a factor (blogging, e-mailing, etc. and preparing them ahead of time to be uploaded quickly at an internet cafe).  Obviously a MacBook pro will have more hard drive space and more capabilities.  But is the iPad a decent replacement?  I have to think about ease of transport as well as security (an iPad would be much easier to hide and keep secret).


Things not important to me: iBooks, games, taking pictures and video (I already have good cameras for those)


Can you back up iPads with an external hard drive?  Does it take a USB flash drive?  Do you have experience with traveling with either?

  • Skydiver119 Level 7 Level 7 (20,315 points)
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    Jan 26, 2013 2:37 PM (in response to cmsandquist)

    Take the m acbook. You can't backup the iPad to a harddrive or flash drive.

    The iPad may be a bit more portable but the macbook will be more functional.

  • ejpre Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)
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    Jan 26, 2013 3:33 PM (in response to cmsandquist)

    The iPad is great, but I would never have it as my *only* computer. Definitely go with a MacBook (Pro or Air).


    Video editing and word processing will be very limited on the iPad, and it sounds like you'll want to upload stuff from a separate camera, which could be problematic as well. The other things you want to do will also be a pain without a reliable network.


    If size and weight are an issue, you might consider a MacBook Air as a compromise. Except for the optical drive, it has all the functionality of the Pro, but the 11" is only slightly larger than an iPad.

  • ejpre Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)
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    Jan 26, 2013 4:27 PM (in response to cmsandquist)

    A couple of other things:

    - Internet cafes in other parts of the world can have some pretty wonky authentication systems, that might not always play well with iOS. I've definitely been in places where my laptop would connect, but my iPhone wouldn't. This has probably improved. 

    - You may be in places where the only option is wired ethernet. This is built into Pro; if you get an Air, be sure to get a USB/ethernet adapter (cheap on eBay). I don't think there's a solution for this on iPad.

  • Boney Franklin Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
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    Jan 26, 2013 5:37 PM (in response to cmsandquist)

    Go for MacBook Pro.


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