Mac book vs iPad 12 pro


Expedition Leader
Trying to decide which is better for a beginner photographer. The iPad 12 pro is more portable then the Mac book. But the Mac book has more potential. Looking for something I can grow into as my skills improve.


Well-known member
I think it depends to some extent on what software you plan to use and how many photos you want to manage. We use a Macbook pro and lightroom for photos. We have an iPad with us when we travel, but the Macbook gives better file management, in my opinion.


Active member
I would suggest the Macbook. I have a 27" iMac here at home and an iPad for portable use. I think that once you decide on a good editing software program (I use DxO Photolab 3) then you would need the Macbook for its superior photo editing capabilities. In time, you'll want both, but for now I'd go with the Macbook.
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nomadic man
The Macbook is cheaper than the iPad, will have more storage for less money.
Fine for what you need to do.


Active member
How time changes things...
The M1 MBP and M1 iPad Pro’s are both out.
All major software companies are expected to support mobile computing and the M1 chip.

the iPad Pro’s have been power houses for mobile productivity, add in an M1 chip and up to 2TB ram... it’s really hard to say with absolution; MBP over iPad Pro.

Each has it place. Each has strengths and weaknesses. I don’t think you can really go wrong with either (or both).

note: I am not am not an Apple fanboi, I do however recognize the iPad as a very useful tool. MBP’s ... have cool features. But I am still very much a PC user. Those few cool features and the insane price will keep me in the PC realm for a very very long time.
I recently bought an M1 chipped MacBook Air and traded in my MacBook Pro 2015 edition. Cost was $739 w/trade in. It would do what you want for long enough to know where to go next and is much less than that iPad. I do basic editing so I can’t comment on Lightroom or Photoshop etc.


Well-known member
If I may offer a dissenting opinion - I have an iPad Pro, and for me, that's the only device I need; I got mine at Christmas of 2018 and have used it daily since. For context, I use it in my career as a work device (notes, e-mail, meetings, reading, signatures, etc. -- 8 hours a day in an office environment). I use it to run my own business (invoicing, finance management, marketing initiatives, web design, etc.) and I use it in my hobbies (video and photo editing). When travelling, it's also our maps, our entertainment, and communications. There's nothing I've needed to do that my iPad cannot do for me super well, and the form factor is much more portable than typical laptops, which means it does some things (writing, drawing, or taking in the content of others) much better than a clamshell-style laptop.

Prior to my iPad Pro, I was a MacBook user for years (since about 2010). PCs before that, and very much live a "digital life" with all my devices. Saying that, I would don't see myself ever going back to a MacBook.

I will say that the iPad requires you to do things differently -- workflow and file management requires a different set of steps. But, the difference is a bit like Mac vs PC -- they conceptually do kinda the same thing but there are differences in how they execute it. Once you get used to doing it the iPad way, it becomes very easy and in almost every case, I actually find I prefer my iPad workflows to my laptop workflows.


New member
MacBook definitely, there are a few things iPads cannot do.
Yes, this one is. In this case, it is worth buying a MacBook if you cannot perform such tasks on an iPad. But if your tasks can be completed on a MacBook and an iPad, then it is better to choose an iPad.
The Air I bought is hardly thicker, larger, or heaver than the iPad Pro but has a real keyboard, access to more professional editing software, real multitasking and real multiple software running simultaneously. I have a Gen 7 iPad and write enough to really like a keyboard. The keyboard with the iPad pro makes it heaver, thicker, and larger than the Air and it then becomes $600 more to buy. My Air is good for 10+ hours on battery too. A lot of this is preference as many have pointed out. Since using the MB Air for two months I’d pass on the MB Pro.


I'd also pass on the 8Gb version of the new M1 Macs - I'm running one now and will have to upgrade to the 16Gb, which means a whole new computer since you can't add RAM to these 🤦‍♂️


Active member
In a sense, if you’re are used to doing everything on a laptop and don’t want to do any workarounds for an iPad, by all means go MacBook.
If you’re willing to try something new/different (workflow, file management, storage) go with an iPad.

Some go all iPad.
Most go all MacBook/laptop.
A few still need both.

Pick a lane.