Poll- GMG Tech Talk: Ultrabook/Mac Air vs Android Tablet/ iPad

As a tech geek and content creator I feel there are limitations to how efficiently I can create when traveling solely with my iPad but I appreciate how light and easy it is to bring along on trips compared to the behemoth laptop our family currently uses- a 17 inch Toshiba Satellite.  The Toshiba Satellite has served us well as a living room couch internet device/editing tool but by todays lighter laptop standards it is like lugging around an elephant.

With a ridiculous number of tablets coming out and an equally ridiculous number of powerful lightweight laptops coming out on a weekly basis I question what the majority number of today’s users will buy.

My guess is that for 85% of computer users a lightweight tablet is adequate for 99% of their daily computing needs.   The vast majority of computer users simply consume content and bang around on their social media websites but only a small percentage of computer users need more than what they can get out of a lightweight tablet like the iPad.  Sure there are many computer geeks like me and content creators that are far better served by a laptop but it seems that those people are becoming the minority.

The iPad really really is a marvel for consuming content and taking along with you on a daily basis.  With the latest technology super lightweight ultrabooks and macbook airs are  just a tab bit heavier but they have FAR greater storage capacity and computing power. But because so few people need that power and storage capacity they’ll opt for the more convenient to carry and cheaper tablet (iPad, android tablet).

This rush by the majority of the population to purchase tablets instead of laptops or PC’s has made these fantastically powerful and lightweight laptops very affordable.

To me as a power user who pushes my computer daily with video editing, photo editing and blogging the ultrabook is a no-brainer.  For a couple hundred dollars more than a tablet I can create about 3-4 times more efficiently than I can on an iPad.  That’s not a knock on the iPad.  It’s super light and thin and portable and slick.  It just lacks a physical keyboard and mouse and the processing power to create content like you can on a machine with more RAM and processing power. Yes there are bluetooth keyboards and mice you can use with a tablet but at hat point you could have just bought yourself a macbook air or a windows based ultrabook and have a far more powerful machine.

As fantastic as these ultrabook and macbook airs are the number of tablets that are selling is blowing them out of the water.  The reason/s?  They are cheaper and most people just don’t demand that much from their computing devices.

Exciting times for laptop buyers, exciting times for tablet users.

The iPad mini is coming out which will be a smaller version of the iPad.  Some pundits have come out and said there won’t be much demand for it.  I wholeheartedly disagree.  This mini isn’t going to be aimed at adults who already own an iPad.  They are aiming straight for the people who bought much less expensive Kindles and Nooks.   Last year when I endorsed the Kindle Fire at $200 I believed it was a tremendous value, but if Apple comes out with a similar product but running the Apple ecosystem as opposed to Amazon’s android system it’s gonna be lights out Amazon.

If Apple prices their iPad mini at $250 or less they are going to absolutely own Christmas presents for young adults.  It will come at the expense of Kindle sales, Android tablets, Nook sales and their own iPod Touch.  It’s gonna be the Christmas present for young adults to receive and that is the price point that will make it happen.


  • I agree for the most part but just not in the degree that you think content creators need keyboards and mice. That comment might seem quaint very soon. I am just like you, I have to have a big screen and a mouse/ keyboard to write a paper, make content. Can’t comprehend how it could be done on an iPad or smaller. But that is because I am a dinosaur wedded to the technology I grew up on. You are also a dinosaur. Have you seen a kid use a tablet? A college student? They can create content on those with two fingers faster than I can with all 20 digits. They have been creating content on cell phones and blackberries for years. The Real Estate on an iPad, even an iPad mini, is vast in comparison.

    A friend just yesterday said, “Paper is not dead. I cannot do research and write a paper without spreading the journals and papers and yellow hilited notes all over a table”. I thought, “Dinosaur.” Paper is dead. Newseek magazine will be printed on paper for the last time at the end of the year. What took them so long to realize paper is dead?

    Not enough room and processing power on an iPad to edit photos, articles, create content? While I personally totally agree with you it is only because I know I am a fellow dinosaur.

    If you’re happy and you know it clap your … oh.


    • I understand it can be done on an iPad or tablet but give me a laptop or desktop pc and there isn’t a kid out there with an iPad that can get done what I can get done in the time I can get it done or nearly as efficiently. I’ll take on anyone. Any challenger at all. Arm me with a conventional PC or laptop with a keyboard and arm the kid that isn’t a dinosaur with any tablet. I’ll put as much dough as you want on the race to create the same set of tasks.
      It will be much more convenient to carry the iPad around fer shizzy though.


  • Mike and I were just talking about this last night. If the iPad mini is out for Christmas, that will probably end up under our tree. We don’t have a tablet at home and I’m usually use my laptop for big projects, but it would nice to have a smaller tablet to carry around or for Mike on the train.


    • ‘Lish, if you can spare a few extra sheckles I’d spring for the full sized iPad instead of the mini even if you get a refurb one of the one just before the latest one. It’s truly “magical” and that extra screen real estate is killer.


    • The iPad mini will be announced next Tuesday October 23rd. It would be awesome if it came with the unbelievable retina screen but rumors say otherwise (although Apple rumors are notoriously wrong.)

      The existing iPad will look like a whale once this is out.


  • I like my tracfone. but my wife as a nurse needs something better. not sure what to get an Iphone or an Android? help!


    • Does she like to download apps and hack around? I didn’t think so. Get an iPhone. The OS won’t go out of date ten minutes after you buy it. Solid, simple, easy to use. The 4S (not the most current model) is a great simple talk to Siri she will tell you what to do phone. The 4 which is either free or a dollar when you sign up is a great phone it just won’t talk to you. The 5 is the expensive phone that is the coolest thing out there because Siri tells you where the traffic accident is but the nice thing is that they are all three basically the same phone and that is a good thing.


      • +1 Get her an iPhone. Much easier to navigate and less quirky. Only quibble with Paul’s statement is about the OS. Android phones get regular OS updates.


        • Yes, they get “regular” updates but to which Android and which upgrade? Android phones get orphaned, unable to upgrade much sooner than iPhone. Ice Cream Sandwich rolled out in March and still only 24% of the androids that can upgrade have upgraded. iPhone 5 two weeks after roll out 30% had upgraded. Lots of Androids are orphaned running Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Gingerbread, Honeycomb because there are a multitude of different phones. Old and grey Gingerbread 2.3,or 2.32 or2.33 or 2.3.7 still running on a majority of Androids. ATT is just now rolling out Ice Cream Sandwich on their phones but only some of them. But another upgrade 4.1 Jelly Bean is already out there but can your Android use it? If you feel lucky. 1.8% of Android users have upgraded.
          iPhone simple, iOS6 loads on all of them, no worries. Android, a sugary mess.


        • Lets be honest any techie like you or me are upgrading every couple of years anyway.


  • That prices opens it up for kids too. We got our 3 yr old a leapster for like $60. They want $20-30 for a game. I’m thinking it makes sense to get her an iPad or Kindle (someday :- ) Way more stuff. Can download tons of cool kids games on there. Actually maybe I get an iPad, then she gets my old iTouch.. yup. :- )


  • People are totally spoiled these days. This was the first “portable” computer I got my hands on:
    No wi-fi but I did manage to get it on the internet. Archie and gopher anyone? 😉


  • Nook is now supported by Microsoft and is rolling out 7″ and 9″ HD tablets this month. I love Nook because even though B&N is a prior-iteration big-box store, it is *much* smaller than Amazon. Also, Asus makes an Android tablet that can be docked to a keyboard: instant laptop. Version 7 is out now. According to my Dad (dinosaur? well, me, too), the 7 corrects all the issues with the prior version, for the same price.


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