How the 14.2-inch MacBook Pro won over a long-time iPad Pro user

Apple's shift towards customized Apple Silicon within its Mac line-up has brought about some exciting modifications.  Apps are now truly universal, using the same codes on the various Apple platforms. Add cross-platform capabilities such as iCloud Clipboard sharing as well as Shortcuts, and you'll see the lines blur between what's a Mac feature and what's an iPhone option.

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The 14-inch MacBook Pro versus the 12.9-inch iPad Pro

On paper on paper, iPad Pro and MacBook Pro do not have many noticeable distinctions in their hardware. But touchscreen display, the OS, and port connectivity are the most notable.

Instead of analyzing every specification, I will discuss how computers work when used in my everyday workflow.

Hardware design

I adhere to the hardware's "naked robotic fundamental" idea as an iPad lover. Bring your mouse, keyboard display, display, and many other peripherals and create the computer you like with an iPad Pro and M1 processor at its core. This iPad Pro can be used as a laptop, tablet, and desktop computer dependent on the device connected.

The MacBook isn't as solidly built. It features a display connected to a physical keyboard and a trackpad, which makes it ideal to use on the go. The port compatibility allows more combinations of accessories and devices to be accessible on the computer.

While it cannot be reduced to its display, the MacBook is a superior device, being more efficient right out of the box without buying additional appliances. I believe that the iPad is what's to come in the next generation of computers, where the device's core can change based on the environment it's in. At the same time, the MacBook is the traditional model of a machine designed specifically for its purpose.

Physical comparison of Macbook Pro 14, 15, 16 and iPad Pro 12.9, Soiurce: Youtube, Hsiehstyle

Sure, the 14" MacBook Pro is indeed an outstanding laptop, but I've found it more comfortable working at the desk while connected to the monitor. Thanks to its mini-LED backlight and 120Hz refresh rate, the display is stunning. However, it's not as clear, apps seem smaller, and the content appears more scattered over all macOS display systems.

An extensive external monitor can alleviate the problems when working at a desk. My eyesight isn't too bad, but there is something about how texts and apps are scaled at the standard resolution on MacBook Pro makes the MacBook Pro display smaller than an iPad Pro display.

For me, I've found that even having the 13-inch MacBook Pro available, I prefer to use the iPad Pro when I work at a distance from my desk using my MacBook as a stand-alone device. Naturally, it's ideal for use in the home or the office. However, longer trips might be a good reason to take this MacBook Pro if only for work-related tasks I do not have workflows designed for on the iPad Pro.


With the size of the screens on both of them, I'd say that iPadOS multitasking is more suited for laptop design. Contrary to that, the macOS multitasking and layered windows method are more suitable for the larger screen of a desktop.

For instance, when you use an application with a full-screen view on the Mac, there isn't an easy way to add another app in Split View (Yes, there is App Expose). The dock also does not display when it's full screen, and there's no way to create the media window to slide Over when the screen is full. Everything about macOS could take inspiration directly from the iPad.

iPad Pro: How To Do a Software Update (Update Software Version), Source: Youtube, WorldofTech

I'll also say that much of macOS appears old and dull compared to the almost whimsical characteristics of iPadOS. From Home Screen with widgets to the multitasking interface, every aspect feels fresh when compared to Mac's minimalist desktop and windowing model.

With the combination of Home Screen design with Focus Modes, My iPad Pro can show me the most relevant applications and data at any time of the day. There's no similar method to similar functionality on the Mac or PC, as well using the Today View with notifications mixed with notifications isn't an alternative.


The M1 Pro will outperform the M1 in every measure because it's the most sophisticated version of the standard processor. Even though it is true that the M1 has already been overpowered to run iPadOS, anything more than that is not currently used effectively. In terms of power, from a pure viewpoint, its MacBook Pro is the superior choice. MacBook Pro wins hands down.

PerformancePerformance, Source: Proreviewsapp

Because of the Media Engine found in the M1 Pro, exporting video content, particularly in ProRes format, is a quick and smooth process with MacBook Pro. Its iPad Pro can handle large 4K video files created in ProRes format, which is an excellent tool in times of need; however, for those who use video, it is MacBook Pro is the better choice. MacBook Pro is the clear option if both alternatives are available.

Other than development and video, available performance will be less of competition because photo workflows, the writing process, and other daily tasks won't bog down the processor or RAM available. This is where most of my jobs are, which gives me the freedom to pick which device to choose based on the metrics that aren't part of performance only.

The iPad Pro falls short

Theoretically, the iPad Pro equipped with M1 may run any software that a MacBook Air with M1 can be running, but Apple isn't looking to transform the iPad to a Mac or reverse the process. This means that its iPad application library is vast; however, it is still restricted to the apps available on the App Store and is only capable of running what Apple lets on the platform.

Apple's artificial limitations and oversights make it difficult for Apple's iPad Pro to excel as a stand-alone computer. 

Other limitations are what applications are permitted to access or control at the basis of a system level. There aren't any clipboard management tools or system-wide keyboard shortcuts, or the ability to control what's shown in the Status bar. This means that iPad Pro can't have popular devices such as Keyboard Maestro, Better Touch Tool, or Pastebot, regardless of what the developer comes up with.

The iPad Pro falls short

The iPad Pro falls short, Source: Proreviewsapp

Apple has been slowly eliminating software and hardware limitations every update, but. In the last few months, iPad users have benefited from a solid file system and mouse cursor and the ability to store external data, and multitasking capabilities. The support for external monitors will likely get an essential upgrade shortly.

The list of limitations to the user's workflows is shrinking. However, it's doubtful Apple will ever provide iPad users as much control over iPadOS like it does with macOS. The Mac began as an open system but closed down over time. However, there is always a way to circumvent Apple's limitations for that system.

Today, my decision to go with a 14-inch MacBook Pro has nothing attributed to these limitations.

The Mac excels in the area of performance

As we've mentioned before, previously mentioned, the Mac was designed to be an office machine and has full access for users to every tool and system that is available to this operating system. This control level gives users the capability to design intricate workflows tailored to their specific requirements.

This degree of complexity is precisely why so many believe in the old model that works. If you've achieved any level of experience with any computer in the last 30 years, you'll be able to settle on a Mac and complete your tasks.

How Well Does Microsoft Excel Work on M1 Mac? | One MAJOR Issue, Source: Youtube, Fernando Silva

The Mac users' software is almost unlimited, thanks to apps accessible directly via the internet. The App Store is available on Mac, but Apple's artificial limitations force users and developers to go to the internet.

Connect any peripheral to a Mac, and it will work with the software available that can make it work. Also, connecting the Mac directly to an external display or multiple monitors is a breeze and extremely useful in contrast to the single mirrored screen that comes with the iPad.

A hybrid approach

The iPad Pro and MacBook Pro have strengths and unique workflows. But, if you use both of them, you'll be able to enjoy the most efficient of both.

iPad Pro + MacBook Pro: How & Why I Use Both (Desk Setup), Source: Youtube, DailyTekk

This means that the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro will continue to develop as separate devices. Still, they can also gain interoperability which would otherwise be impossible if both were operating Intel. Also, Macs running iPad apps, Universal Control, and the slow integration in iOS concepts into macOS are all feasible because of Apple Silicon. Apple Silicon transition. 


The iPad Pro is still my preferred portable machine for work. It allows me to play with software that's not available for the iPad and transfer more demanding jobs to the M1 Pro as needed. Also, as it's still a lightweight and thin laptop, I can remove it from my desk for long trips I might require to work.

I'm aware that this type of setup isn't suitable for everyone; however, it's fascinating to see if I can apply what I've learned as an iPad person and transfer it onto the Mac. After years of adoring using the iPad, Apple did what I never thought was possible -get me to want to use the Mac once more.

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Hope this article is helpful to you, thanks for reading.