I have the M1 MacBook and M1 iPad: Which one is collecting dust?
There comes a time in the life of a tech enthusiast, when you come to the following realization – you’re buying way too many devices that you don’t actually need.
Case and point – I recently got an M1 iPad and a new M1 MacBook, just to see what Apple‘s hyped-up new processor has to offer on both devices.
And ultimately, on a MacBook – yes, M1 changes a lot. The battery life is better, the device is more energy-efficient, doesn’t even have a fan anymore, and it’s running a whole different architecture… But on the iPad, I hardly feel any difference from previous iPads that used iPhone chips.
In any case, as the title suggests, one of my two M1 devices – the iPad or the MacBook – is now collecting dust, because I hardly use it. But don’t be quick to draw conclusions which one it is!
Let me share with you what I use them for, what each one is capable of, and maybe even help you choose which one is right for you in the process.
Editing YouTube videos on M1 iPad vs M1 MacBook is… the same now
The LumaFusion video editing app for iPad now runs on M1 Macs too
One of my favorite things about iPads is their power, combined with the LumaFusion app that’s exclusive to them (and iPhones). Or, it was, until M1 MacBooks started supporting certain M1 iPad apps.
If you own an M1 MacBook, that LumaFusion app for iPad can now also run on your laptop, so… I’ve started using it on my laptop.
Despite it being an app developed for iPad, it’s actually running perfectly on M1 MacBooks, and editing videos, say, for a YouTube channel, is just as easy and fun.
Now I know what you might be thinking – there are “real” MacBook video editing apps like Final Cut Pro available, why would anyone use a simpler iPad app now, just because it’s available on M1 MacBooks?
Well, I ain’t a numbers expert, but Final Cut Pro costs $300, while LumaFusion costs $30. And you can use it on your MacBook, iPad and iPhone once you buy it. This seems like a way more reasonable deal to me, especially if you’re not a professional video editor and don’t need anything more complex than what LumaFusion offers.
So ultimately, my M1 MacBook has replaced my iPad when it comes to video editing for my YouTube channels. I have everything else on my MacBook, now this key iPad app too. Why not just edit and upload from the MacBook then, instead of edit on the iPad, transfer to the MacBook, and then upload to YouTube?
Gaming on M1 iPad vs M1 MacBook is… vastly different
I know what you’re thinking – gaming on a MacBook? Well, put your prejudice aside, as it’s a real thing. It’s not cutting-edge triple-A gaming for sure, but it’s a versatile and competent experience.
Let’s start with the iPad, though. Since at its core it’s just a large iPhone, running the same mobile apps, you also get access to the same huge library of mobile games. Some are quite impressive visually, and some are hugely popular.
You get things like Minecraft, Call of Duty, and even full-blown PlayStation 2 games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Max Payne. All that running flawlessly on a tablet – awesome, right?
Plus, we can’t possibly overlook Apple Arcade – a subscription service that grants you access to over 200 nice and polished games on your iPad. No ads, no microtransactions. Those might seem like mostly kiddie games at a glance, but you do also get games like NBA 2K22 Arcade Edition.
So overall, for a tablet, the iPad can offer a versatile mobile gaming experience. But I ain’t into mobile games… So what about the M1 MacBook? Well…
The M1 MacBook can run both MacOS games and Windows games
Playing my favorite Fallout game for PC… on a Mac
Sure, the M1 MacBook also has an App Store just like the iPad, where you’ll again find Apple Arcade, plus a great number of familiar mobile games like Asphalt 9. The MacBook also gets proper desktop games like Civilization V, The Sims 2, Tomb Raider and many more.But things get vastly more interesting when you decide to run Windows 11 on your M1 Mac, which is now not only possible, but it works great. No bugs or performance issues that I’ve noticed.
With the virtualization software going by the name Parallels, Windows 11 is one quick swipe away on your Mac. Really, switching between MacOS and Windows 11 is instant. It’s like having two vastly different computers in one!
Windows 11 running perfectly on an M1 Mac
Now that you’re running Windows 11, you naturally get even more gaming options on your M1 MacBook. PC games that I love, like Fallout: New Vegas, Skyrim, the original Hitman trilogy, and countless other 2010s (and earlier) PC titles run very well.
So there we have the iPad beat again, by far. As is to be expected, right? Indeed, but I figured the gaming situation was still well worth sharing.
Because I get the feeling some people think MacBooks can’t play games at all, and iPads are the better gaming machines. It ain’t true, kids. At least not if you’re looking for more than casual mobile gaming. In fact, I know proper big YouTubers who run PC gaming channels, yet entirely on a MacBook.
Watching Netflix and YouTube on M1 iPad vs M1 MacBook…
M1 MacBook Air and the 11-inch iPad Pro
iPads started as essentially web browsing and entertainment devices. They’ve always been great for watching movies, shows, or YouTube on the go. An iPad’s portable nature and long battery life is largely what makes it so desirable as a content consumption device.
Because… Your average laptop would peace out before you could finish two 2.5 hour movies, as battery life is often that weak. Not to mention the average laptop is heavy, creaky, and likely has a worse screen than even the cheaper iPad Air. Burns your crotch too! So the iPad wins when it comes to watching movies and vids, right?
Well, the M1 MacBook is not an average laptop. Like the iPad, it’s also thin and light, very portable, quiet, cold to the touch, and with super long battery life.
Since we’re on the subject of portability, let’s look at the raw numbers – the 13-inch M1 MacBook Air weighs 2.8 pounds (1.29 kg). The similarly-sized 12.9-inch iPad Pro is 1.5 pounds (682 grams).
So the MacBook might weigh nearly twice as much, but it’s similar in thickness, and actually a bit cheaper in price. So your carrying bag might weigh a slight bit more, but your wallet will also have $100 extra in it. And to be honest, in-hand, the two devices feel quite similar – premium, thin and light. Those are the words to best describe ’em.
So okay, the iPad is lighter, but I’d argue the MacBook is more comfortable. When watching videos, surely you don’t want to hold a tablet for hours on end, right? Well, the MacBook is a laptop, with adjustable screen angles, so there’s no need to hold it at all.
And yes, the iPad Pro has a higher-resolution display, mini-LED too, so in terms of display quality – the iPad wins for sure. Then again, the iPad’s display has a 2:3 aspect ratio, which isn’t as well-suited for movies as the MacBook’s 16:10 aspect ratio is. Basically that means whatever movie you’re watching won’t fill the screen as much. So you might find yourself getting a smaller picture on the iPad, with slightly larger black borders.
And there we have it. The iPad and MacBook are more similar than ever, thanks to the M1 chip essentially bringing similar software over from one to the other. But unsurprisingly the MacBook is vastly more capable, and with a slightly cheaper price of $999 I’d definitely recommend that one over an iPad, at least if you and I share the same needs.
Because yes, it’s my M1 iPad Pro that’s collecting dust, as it has now been almost entirely replaced by the M1 MacBook. The main app that made the iPad special for me is now also on the MacBook. That’s where both MacOS and Windows 11 are too, along with the countless other great apps they can run.
Meanwhile the iPad remains with just iPadOS (essentially a larger iOS) – with no MacOS apps yet, no desktop-grade multitasking either.
A few final words about the iPad
The iPad might still be a better choice for you, even if it isn’t for me
Here’s the part where I must say – just because the M1 MacBook now covers and even surpasses my needs from both a laptop and an iPad, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy an iPad if you want to.
The iPad still has a lot to offer, that an Apple laptop probably never will. Mainly Apple Pencil support, high portability, and an extremely simple and easy-to-use interface, that even a child can grasp quickly.
When it comes to covering the basics, for children or the elderly, or anyone who simply wants an entertainment and web browsing device – the iPad is still king. But for a power user like me, the iPad ultimately never managed to replace my laptop. Ironically, the M1 MacBook actually managed to replace my iPad instead. What a time to be alive!
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