• Casey Roberts

MacBook vs iPad:  The Writer’s Dilemma

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Which is better for a writer? It somewhat depends on the writer, but I’m speaking generally here. The iPad has developed fairly nice keyboards, Pages has the MacOS templates, and it is more portable than the MacBook. MacBooks are extremely portable themselves, especially the Air model, but the iPad easily wins in the portability category.

If you want to feel as if you’re really snapping words onto your page, the standard keyboard on the MacBook is perfect for you. It’s smooth, quick to react, and ergonomically satisfying. The thin base keeps your hands closer to the table, saving you the wrist agony of feeling as if you’re constantly reaching up. At this point, there is no other keyboard that I feel more amalgamated with than the MacBook keyboard.

Downsides to the iPad keyboards are their lack of versatility. The keyboard is flimsy, it can't be used while resting in your lap, instead, it must be on a flat surface to be usable. Again, that type of keyboard allows for greater portability, but is that worth the sacrifice in quality?

The iPad, in keyboard mode, is limited in its display range-sometimes you want the screen titled further back or closer, depending on your angle, but the iPad is not accommodating to this. So, if you want to replace your MacBook with an iPad, you should expect to do a lot of leaning forward and back to find a comfortable angle.

MacBooks are extremely capable when it comes to angle adjustment. Their perfect balance and weight distribution allows the screen to lay all the way back without lifting the keyboard off the table, so no matter how you are sitting, the MacBook screen can be adjusted to give you the perfect view. Apple may design iPads in the future that offer more customizable angles when connected to the keyboard, but at the moment the MacBook is the best way to go.

An iPad is less expensive than a MacBook, sometimes, depending on the specifications. The iPad Pro, which is the model most comparable to a MacBook, can cost you around $800, not counting the keyboard accessory. The least expensive MacBook is the Air, costing $1099. So, if you can live with the iPad to do your writing, it will save you about $200. Once my MacBook Air is a few years old, and new model iPads are released, I might make the change myself, but until then the MacBook is best device for hardcore writers.