Why am I posting comparisons between the iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro? — my own decision tree

I’ve posted multiple articles about this question because I’m thinking personally about the choice between the iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and the MacBook Pro (without touch bar). All three can be configured in very similar ways with the same amount of RAM, same size of hard drive, and even similar screens — but they are not the same. The iPad Pro is one-third the weight of the others but its file management and storage capabilities are distinctly different (and I believe, limited) — great for those who draw.

Me? I manipulate data and files, write and work on spreadsheets, and spend time on the web == often all at the same time. I also prefer using Microsoft Office’s Word and Excel as pretty isn’t nearly as important to me as function. My current primary machine is an iMac that I’ve bought a year ago. I moved to it from a MacBook Pro as I thought I’d like its 21,5″ monitor. I need a computer that lives at home so that I can maintain a Parallels Desktop partition for my PC version of Quicken. I’ve had an iPad Mini 2 and iPhone since first available and find myself using the former practically not at all because of its limitations.

I do travel and don’t want to go back to carrying my financial data with me. I also find that my eyes are not happy with the size of my iPhone screen as my only travel device. That means a portable device to supplement my iMac at home . I need 16GB of RAM and 512GB storage space and a screen that’s kind to my eyes. (That I will test when all the devices are available soon.).  I can get roughly a 13″ diagonal screen with all three devices. With all of that said, I’ve reached several conclusions:

  • I want to continue using my plain vanilla approach to word processing and spreadsheets and my Microsoft Office software rather than Apple’s apps.
  • I am unwilling to rely totally on cloud storage. I want to be able to organize and backup my files to meet my personal tastes.
  • The lighter weight of the iPad, its pencil, and the ability to draw have no great value to me.
  • Since I still use an iPhone with Touch ID,, the iPad Pro’s inclusion of Face ID is not a selling point.
  • I’d rather have an integrated mouse and keyboard combination than an attached keyboard and an upright screen that I have to reach over the keyboard to manipulate. I use the mouse AND the keyboard, not just one.
  • USB-C is a given, but just one port is insufficient.

So that leaves me with the two laptops. The MacBook Pro has changed very little in years. The MacBook Air has been spiffed up but reflects no actually new technology. It’s thinner — who cares. There’s a four ounce difference between the two laptops. It looks to me, for now, like the primary differences are that the MacBook Air incorporates Touch ID (without a Touch Bar) and that the MacBook Pro has more powerful processors. Would be happy to hear from anyone who can further help me differentiate these two.

NOTE: Why am I avoiding Face ID?

  • It’s still not 100% reliable when viewing people who look similar.
  • It (last I looked) allowed only one person to be able to log in while Touch ID could conceivably allow a family of ten to access the data in an emergency.
  • I have no reason to be concerned about violating the law but law enforcement can open a device with Face ID by aiming it at your face.
  • From a privacy perspective (again), it’s quick and easy with Touch ID to either lock your device or even wipe it out if you’re challenged to hand over your device for a stranger to view your data.

Do let me know if I’m wrong with this list.

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