The rumour mill is grinding hard, with a new MacBook Pro expected in the next few weeks. I’m expecting the new model to include a Lightning port (so we can use one set of headphones as we switch our headphones from iPhone to MacBook Pro, at least one USB-C port, Touch ID and a touch-sensitive area across the top of the keyboard, that replaces the familiar F-keys that have been on keyboards since the dawn of computers.
All of this poses something of a conumdrum for me.
I’ve been using a 12.9in iPad Pro as my mobile computer for the last few weeks. You can read about my experiences in the next print issue of Macworld Australia. This is the first iPad that I can legimately consider a true laptop replacement.
I really like my MacBook Pro – I have a 13in model that has travelled the world and performed brilliantly. But, compared to the iPad Pro, it’s relatively heavy and the battery life doesn’t quite match. Also, the iPad Pro is easier to use when I travel.
Integrated cellular communications in the iPad Pro mean I can be connected all the time when I travel and not rely on finding open Wi-Fi hotspots or using Personal HotSpot on my iPhone – which can be a real drag on battery life.
As the iPad Pro is not a laptop, I don’t have to extract it from my hand luggage when going through airport security. And the Apple Keyboard, while not brilliant, fits better on cramped tray tables in economy class. Also, I find the video playback on the iPad Pro’s screen to be better than the MacBook Pro’s Retina display. That may not be a big deal for everyone, but as I spend about a third of my days travelling it’s significant to me.
But a shiny new MacBook Pro may overcome some of those issues.
An iPad Pro with 256GB of storage and cellular comms costs $1649. Then there’s another $245 for the Smart Keyboard bringing the total to $1894.
A MacBook Pro with 256GB costs $2299.