iPad Pro vs twelve-inch MacBook Air Martin Hajek render 003

If the rumors pan out, we could see both an iPad Pro and a Retina upgrade to the MacBook Air some time in the following months, possibly as soon as April.

Both are thought to include an ultra high-resolution screen measuring about twelve inches diagonally, run quietly thanks to fanless design and the latest power-savvy chips and redefine portability with an even lighter and thinner appearance. True, you’d be hard-pressed to call a twelve-inch tablet ultra portable.

But given Apple’s obsession with thinness and lightness, I suspect a larger iPad could be easier to carry around than you’d think. And assuming that rumored creative stylus accessory is indeed in the works, Apple would be wise to create a vastly improved iOS version with true multitasking, side-by-side apps and other productivity features.

With a proper OS, powerful chips, a screen to die for and an optional accessory, the iPad Pro could be the ultimate productivity tablet you’ve been waiting for.

On the other hand, the twelve-inch Air is said to be almost as light and thin as the iPad. It’s poised to blur the line between the notebook and the tablet even further. Therefore, why bother struggling with an oversized tablet if the new Air will be just as light and thin, while offering a built-in keyboard and OS X?

The answer to this question depends on your expected use cases.

Are you a mobile user who roams a lot? Then the iPad Pro is for you. Same if you’re in the market for a media consumption device, a gaming/app machine or simply are into styluses and tablet computing in general.

But if your daily computing depends on fully-featured apps like Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office, you type a lot and need apps unavailable on iOS, then it probably makes sense to add the Retina Air to your wish list.

So, pretending your next computer purchase is on the horizon, would you throw your money at the Retina Air or iPad Pro?

I must admit I’m still undecided.

As my colleague Oliver Haslam opined, it’s still unclear whether there’s a place in our lives for either a massive tablet or an ultra-portable notebook with a single USB port. I’ll be reaching my purchasing decision as soon as Apple formally releases both devices and I have a chance to spend some quality time with each.

iPad Pro vs twelve-inch MacBook Air Martin Hajek render 004

As a happy owner of a 2014 Air, I’m more inclined to take the Retina upgrade route.

That is, unless the iPad Pro blows me out of the with true multitasking, a 4K screen and a dedicated iOS version (a true iPad OS, if you will) focused on productivity.


By the way, if you still have doubts about calling an iPad Pro a computer, take time to read Federico Viticci’s review of the iPad Air 2, which is really a personal essay on why he’s made it his primary computing device.

iPad Pro vs 12-inch MacBook Air renderings by 3D artist Martin Hajek.

  • Andres

    2015 refreshed MacBook Pro 15 inch

    • Andrew


      • urrl

        ^This too. How long has it been?

      • Andres

        I think it’ll be a year in july

  • Manor

    In my opinion, it’s impossible to decide that now. It depends on the iPad Pro OS, if it’s going to be the same OS the iPad Air 2 has, then it’s basically a larger iPad. If the iPad pro is going to run a combination of iOS and OS X, I might get it to replace my iPad 2.

    • diggitydang

      Agree… OS X is totally different from iOS. But ultimately, I need a trackpad or a mouse to operate full software…

      • Manor

        That’s why I think they need to make a special touch-optimized version of OS X for the iPad Pro.

      • diggitydang

        That’d be cool… am I a dinosaur though – I can’t get rid of my magic mouse on my Macbook Pro! And I still two finger scroll the opposite way when I scroll on my Macbook Pro, even though I one finger swipe on my iPad/iPhone naturally…

      • Which is iOS

    • Bugs Bunnay

      solution: buy both.

      • solution: Win the lottery and buy every single Apple product and never have to worry about which computer to buy again 😛

      • Bugs Bunnay

        Also buy some nice houses and cars!

      • laDDah

        and also buy lottery again when broke all the money.

    • The question I’m wondering (that nobodies asking) is if it is an iOS / OS X hybrid how locked down will it be. Will it be locked down as tight as an iOS device or will it be more open in the sense that BootCamp could be used to dualboot the touch optimised Windows 8 alongside OS X / iOS hybrid OS.

      • I was wondering the same, I just didn’t feel like typing it ha.

    • BoardDWorld

      That’s true in regards to the iOS functionality but the only use case I can see for the iPad’s are for people who need to stand and use the device. For example teachers, or on site engineers etc. Otherwise it’s so much more comfortable to sit down at proper keyboard with a screen that tilts at your desired angle.

      I actually think Microsoft’s surface is the best solution but with 10 years wasted on Windows I wont ever touch it again. I would love it if Apple made something similar, even with an ASUS PadFone/Surface Style Hybrid dock that you could plug your iPhone into.

  • Guest

    How is an iPad Pro a computer

    • It has a CPU, GPU, RAM and Storage, and it fits the conventional definition of a computer (bit. ly/1I4AcLz). Just ’cause it’s running a bastardized OS (operating system) doesn’t mean it’s no longer a computer.

  • Neko Code

    Like I said in previous posts, this MacBook Air Retina design concept is SO ugly! Where are Thunderbolt, usbs? Just one charging port? what the hell, the stupidest concept I have ever seen.

  • Sorry but in order to buy a Mac I need to sell my golden Ferrari

  • Redha Hassan

    Macbook pro 15 inch … Without thinking

  • Bugs Bunnay

    how about this poll: dual boot feature. load any OS of your liking… even windows OS to play dem games that other OS can’t. yay or nay?

    • Dan

      That would be awesome, but is it even possible to boot windows on a Mac to play games (real AAA ultra settings games)? I’ve heard about wine but I’ve been told it’s buggy.

      I always wanted to try a hackintosh, I can build PC’s but I lack the know how to make it work.

      • That would be awesome, but is it even possible to boot windows on a Mac to play games (real AAA ultra settings games)?

        Yes it is. I am posting this comment from Google Chrome on Windows 8.1 running on my Retina MacBook Pro 15″ Late 2013 model (man that’s a mouthful). I also have Ubuntu installed on my MacBook as well as OS X Yosemite of course!

        As for game performance, games play pretty well but the fan does come on as you’d expect. I can run Skyrim no problem at all to name one game I’m completely addicted to.

  • Platy

    I have a MacBook pro so need for another laptop. But I want a bigger screen portable system – which a laptop no matter how light or thin will never be if it has a built in keyboard. I’d much prefer a tablet with optional keyboard if necessary. I’d also like a slightly larger screen for media watching / split screen so I’m definetely looking forward to see what the iPad pro has to offer. But I’m going to be seriously disappointed if it’s literally a bigger iPad running the same old blown up iPhone OS.

  • Daniel Lopez

    What if the are actually making one just imagine it a tablet a laptop…. a tablet a laptop…. a tablet a laptop ….. I know this would be anything we haven’t see but just imagine the possibility of a machine running OS X and iOS or something in between

  • Anonomous.TECH.man

    I miss Vaios.

  • Neither for me. I’m happy with my Retina MacBook Pro 15″ Late 2013 model and iPad Air 2. If I need to do anything “powerful” while out and about VNC / Remote Desktop works well for me (this is assuming I can’t / won’t take out my MacBook of course :P). However if the iPad Pro is done right and has ports galore and is powerful (in the sense I can program, do photo editing, video editing etc) then I might just consider getting one!

    • Platy

      Same for me. I’d love an iPad with actual ports and even useful operating system…but I know it won’t happen.

      Apple will just make it as thin as possible, give it a retina HD screen with blown up iPhone OS/icons…heck maybe even another upgrade to the camera because what else do you want to do with 12 inch tablet other than hold it up in someones face to take a picture.

  • Sohail Wahab

    both of them are gorgeous! Even their prototypes

  • I would buy iPad pro if it comes with OS X.

  • iPhoneWINS

    Mac book pro cause i need the extra power for image editing work

  • iPhoneWINS

    ipad is no longer needed since the proper sized iPhone 6+ came out