Which choice is best for a high school student: the Macbook Air and iPad 4th generation or the Macbook Pro and iPad Mini?

I have just started high school this year and have been doing so well that my parents had decided to get me better electronics for my school needs. I have a budget and so I had to choose between the two above choices. I've been having such a hard time choosing because there are just too many factors too consider; I want a great Mac that can last me 'till the end of high school and an iPad I can use everyday for things like games, music, emailing, facebook and movies but mostly for reading and school (textbooks, etc...) Please help me choose!!!

7 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    Hi! From your question, you mentioned that you are just starting high school and that you need the computer to last all four years. You mentioned your uses for the ipad. First, kudos to you for doing so well and making your parents proud. I think as a high school student, the mac book pro would best serve your needs. I would probably go with the 13' or the 15' for you. This computer will last you through high school and will give you the extra hard drive space you will need for school in terms of any software you may need or want to install. You will have plenty of room for all your entertainment as well. It also has the drive for dvd's and CD's, as you may need this option for class information and resources. While the mac book air is smaller and more convenient, it doesn't have as much hard drive space as the pro, and doesn't have the CD drive. I have the air, and love it, but I bought my son the pro for this same reason. Get a smaller one, as I suggested, so you can have the ease of carrying it with you. As for the ipad, I would get the min, since you said you just wanted it for everyday things like your games and music. The mini is all you need for that. It's smaller and more compact, so you can throw it in the bag with your pro. It's big enough to enjoy your games facebook,, and reading, and small enough to carry around for music on the fly. You won't go wrong with these choices. I hope this helps. Good luck to you!

    • Answered by Marcea O from Stone Mountain
    • 22 Dec, 2012
  • Ok,

    I would DEFINITLY go with the macbook pro and iPad mini since one is kinda big and one is kinda small. Also, remember that the macbook air is REALLY light and it doesn't take discs. Also, there was this story of a stupid guy who threw his macbook air out because it was so light. NEVER do that. That would be terrible.

    So ipad mini:
    easier to carry

    iPad with Retina display
    retina display
    bigger screen

    Mac Air:
    can go REALLY small

    Mac pro: (I would suggest the one with retina display
    retina display (if wanted)
    takes discs
    not as light and easy to break
    if heavier not as easy to break

    • Answered by Mariah L
    • 18 Dec, 2012
  • If you are getting two devices between those four options here's why I would go with Macbook Air and iPad mini:

    I own a Macbook Air, iPad2, iPad with Retina Display, and iPad mini. Obviously the full size iPads are awesome for lots of reasons, but they are noticeably heavier then the mini. The mini is lighter due to many reasons but I find that the mini is more than enough for someone who's gotta sling a device around all day long for textbook usage, etc. I've used it several times on trips, etc and it doesn't make my arm hurt after carrying it around all day. My best advice for the mini, is buy a great case for it!

    The Macbook debate, in my opinion should be for the MacBook Air. I wasn't so sure of a Macbook Air myself. I thought they were too easy to drop and break, etc. But I bought one for an internship that I am doing right now, and I have to say this MacBook air makes my iMac look crazy. My sister has an older MacBook and it's a very heavy beast (besides it's from 2008). The air is very portable and I bet you'll get more than just four years out of it. You might even get some college life out of it. My iMac is still kicking and while it's a normal computer, there's no reason why the laptops can't last nearly as long. My sisters macbook is over 5 years old and still works well and holds a good charge. In my opinion you can't go wrong with the iPad mini combo and the MacBook Air. It's probably the lightest option out there!

    • Answered by Robert B from Livingston
    • 29 Mar, 2013
  • Choosing a MacBook Air is a better choice. It is lighter, and has more functions.

    iPads (both iPad mini and iPad with Retina Display (4th generation)) may be fun, but it does not support adobe flash player, MacBooks do.

    Also, iPads cannot multitask, which means cannot open two apps at once. MacBooks has a function to open two apps at once.

    Other stuffs that you mentioned in the question works perfectly in any device. Hope it helped.

    • Answered by Yap B
    • 4 Mar, 2013
  • IPad mini because it is lighter and easy to carry around

    • Answered by Clare V from Briarcliff Manor
    • 13 Dec, 2012
  • I have read all the stuff already written and I have to say that you should go the MacBook Pro option.

    There's nothing wrong with the MacBook Air except that it will have processor speed limitations as time goes on. Sure the MacBook Air is ultra light but the MacBook Pro will not weigh you down by much more. They both have excellent WiFi connection capabilities.

    Is there a factor I missed? I'm thinking that your parents are limiting you to a budget for the total purchase.

    My MacBook 13" is five years old and is being replaced today (just waiting on the postman/courier) with a MacBook Pro 15". I was thinking of an Air a week ago but thought of all the times I could just achieve so much with bigger expandable memory, etc.

    If your parents have a budget maximum of a certain number of dollars (which I think is implied by your question), go for the most well-equipped MacBook Pro your parents are prepared to afford. Get the most RAM and storage you can.

    If your school and environment have a lot of good to excellent WiFi access, you'll get more out of the MBP and you'll have a full size comfortable keyboard and a gestures-capable trackpad at all times. (You WON'T really need the iPad).

    Unless you think you can't carry a device of 3.5 to 4 pounds (up to 2kg), you should go with the power and longevity of the Pro. Get as much as you can for your budget in one excellent machine. No need to have eggs in two proverbial baskets.

    • Answered by Iain M from Blackalls Park
    • 8 Jan, 2014
  • ipad is the best just for the factors you have mentioned

    • Answered by Sisay D
    • 24 Jan, 2013