iPad Pro Vs MacBook Pro for College 2021

For college-going students and even their teachers, a portable computing device is very important. With the ever-changing technology scenario, there are more and more options available now. We get to new, powerful, and more portable devices with each passing year, which is great news for everyone, but especially for students.
In this article, are going to compare two such devices. We will compare Apple iPad Pro vs. MacBook Pro for college students to decide which one they should buy. You might think, how is a comparison between a tablet and a laptop fair? Well, all we can say is, it’s Apple’s tablet and laptop.

iPad Pro Vs MacBook Pro for College
Apple has been saying that its iPads are a great alternative to any laptop. However, the previous models just weren’t as powerful and well-equipped to match any laptop. They lacked the power and the features as well. But with the new iPad, we think Apple has finally achieved that goal.
We’ll start by comparing the hardware specs of the iPad Pro vs. MacBook Pro and then see complete reviews of both these devices. So, this comparison of iPad Pro Vs. MacBook Pro for college students will help you as a buying guide to decide which one is the right device for you.

iPad Pro Vs MacBook Pro For College Comparison and Buying Guide

Specification
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) - Space...
Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage)...
Image
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) - Space...
Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage)...
Model
2020
2019
CPU
Octa-Core A12Z Bionic 2.5 GHz
Octa-Core Intel i9 2.3 GHz (4.8 GHz with TurboBoost)
RAM
6GB
16GB DDR4
GPU
8-Core Apple Graphics
Intel UHD Graphics 630 (Integrated) AMD Radeon Pro 5500M (Dedicated)
Display Size
11 inches
16 inches
Display Resolution
1668 x 2388
3072 x 1920
Display Type
IPS LCD
IPS LED
Storage
128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
512GB/1TB SSD
Average Battery Life
Up to 10 hours
Up to 11 hours
Operating System
iPad OS 13.4 (Upgradeable to iPad OS 14.6)
macOS Big Sur
Dimensions
9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23 inches
9.68 x 14.09 x 0.64 inches
Weight
1.04 lb
4.3 lbs
Ports
• USB Type-C Port
• 4 USB Type-C Pots (Thunderbolt 3) Headphone Jack
Specification
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) - Space...
Image
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) - Space...
Model
2020
CPU
Octa-Core A12Z Bionic 2.5 GHz
RAM
6GB
GPU
8-Core Apple Graphics
Display Size
11 inches
Display Resolution
1668 x 2388
Display Type
IPS LCD
Storage
128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Average Battery Life
Up to 10 hours
Operating System
iPad OS 13.4 (Upgradeable to iPad OS 14.6)
Dimensions
9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23 inches
Weight
1.04 lb
Ports
• USB Type-C Port
Specification
Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage)...
Image
Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage)...
Model
2019
CPU
Octa-Core Intel i9 2.3 GHz (4.8 GHz with TurboBoost)
RAM
16GB DDR4
GPU
Intel UHD Graphics 630 (Integrated) AMD Radeon Pro 5500M (Dedicated)
Display Size
16 inches
Display Resolution
3072 x 1920
Display Type
IPS LED
Storage
512GB/1TB SSD
Average Battery Life
Up to 11 hours
Operating System
macOS Big Sur
Dimensions
9.68 x 14.09 x 0.64 inches
Weight
4.3 lbs
Ports
• 4 USB Type-C Pots (Thunderbolt 3) Headphone Jack

As you would expect, there are a lot of hardware differences between the two devices. From processor chip to graphics card and RAM, the MacBook Pro has the bigger options. The MacBook Pro even has a bigger screen size, a slightly better battery life, and better connectivity ports too.

However, these differences won’t matter for a college student. They don’t need a powerful processor as most of their work is routine.  Mostly, students use their computers for internet surfing, assignment preparation, and sometimes a bit of entertainment like movie watching and music.

However, we don’t know what kind of use you have, so we aren’t going to give our final verdict. Instead, we are going to review both these devices separately, so you know what each of these offers. So, let’s get into the reviews.

iPad Pro 11” 2020 Review

For years, Apple has been trying to make iPads into a laptop substitute. However, due to numerous reasons, people just aren’t willing to make that switch. Two of the most common reasons people give are the absence of a keyboard and trackpad and the high price. For the price of an iPad Pro, you can easily buy an entry-level MacBook Air, so naturally, people go for the MacBook Air.

When you consider everything, the only advantage that an iPad has over a MacBook is compactness and portability. People who are willing to pay the high price and prefer portability over performance go for the iPad. But people who can carry around their MacBook with ease won’t pay the high price of an iPad.

So, Apple decided to jack up the iPad’s performance, including a keyboard, and improve the battery life in another attempt to compete with laptops. What that did is it made the iPad Pro 11 2020 the best tablet. The performance is so improved than the rest of the tablets from other brands that it’s not even close. The performance is close to some laptops, but we still won’t say that the iPad Pro is better than a laptop.

Sale
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) - Space...
11,373 Reviews
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) - Space...
  • 12.9-inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color
  • A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine

Configurations & Price

The iPad Pro 11 2020 has two different variants. One is the Wi-Fi model, and the other is the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. The two models have the same hardware specs, though. The iPad Pro 11 2020 offers FOUR different storage configurations(128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB).

The base model with only Wi-Fi starts at $799. If you include accessories like Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, you will have to pay about $300 extra. With all the accessories, the price gets around about $1200, which will get you the base model of a MacBook Air.

Design

The iPad Pro looks beautiful and has a premium feel to it, which is what you would expect when you pay that much money for what essentially is a tablet. The aluminum frame looks great with both space grey and silver finish. A new color would have been nice, like the rose gold of the iPhone 8, but for now, we only get space grey and silver.

The iPad has an 11-inch screen with 0.3-inch thin bezels. With the thin bezels, the screen feels much bigger, and you get a better view of whatever you are doing. The bezels are thin enough and thick enough at the same time. They provide a better screen-to-body ratio and prevent accidental palm touches, so we think it’s a win-win. However, we won’t agree with Apple’s claims of the iPad Pro having an edgeless screen.

Aside from all this, the overall design of the iPad Pro 2020 is quite similar to the older models. The camera unit, the volume rockers, the speakers- all stay at the same positions. There is still no place for a headphone jack, so you have to stick with Type-C headphones or invest in Bluetooth headphones.

Performance

One of the most talked-about points of the iPad Pro 11 2020 is its performance. People were anxious to try out the A12X Bionic chip, and it didn’t disappoint at all. You can compare it to any of the competitor tablets, and there will always be one winner, the iPad Pro 11 2020. Supported by the M12 coprocessor, the iPad Pro is a fast and smooth performer even under an intense workload.

We ran multiple Safari Tabs running HD videos, reading articles on a split-screen, and some native iOS apps at the same time. We didn’t experience any lag, any distortion in the audio, or any trouble while switching through all the tasks. The iPad OS 13 kept everything running smoothly.

The iPad provides a decent gaming experience as well. We ran some of the most graphics-intense iOS games on the iPad Pro 11, and it was a snappy and fun experience. Apple’s 8-Core graphics maintain a good level of frame rate and holds the same performance running every game.

While doing all the multi-tasking and enjoying different games too- we were very happy with the iPad’s battery performance. It lasted an impressive 10 hours with a single full charge. For students who have to attend lectures all day long, long battery life is very important, and 10 hours is long enough.

Overall, the iPad Pro is a very solid tablet that offers great performance in each department. If you are willing the bucks and are more interested in a tablet than a laptop, you wouldn’t find a better option than the iPad Pro 11 2020.

Other Features

With the new and specifically designed for the iPads, the iPad OS 13, the functionalities and capabilities of the iPads are now better too. The new operating system brings more customizability of the home screen, new widgets, and new icons as well. It also brings improvements to Apple Pencil usage and mouse support.

Both the front and back cameras are pretty good as well. The back camera is 12 megapixels, and the front is 7 megapixels. The front camera also acts as the Face ID, which is quick and accurate.

In the comparison between the iPad Pro vs. MacBook Pro for college, the biggest advantage that the iPad has is the touch screen. Along with the Apple Pencil, things like notes taking in class or designing in the studio becomes a better and easier experience.

If you aren’t too keen on using the touch screen, you also have the option to buy the Smart Keyboard with a trackpad. In short, the iPad Pro covers every aspect very well, which is why we consider it the best tablet out there at the moment.

Pros
  • Superb display and sound.
  • Long battery life.
  • Performance is better than any tablet available.
  • Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.
  • Different storage options to fit your needs.
  • Compact and portable tablet with the power of a laptop.
Cons
  • No headphone jack.
  • No Touch ID

Buy on Amazon

MacBook Pro 16” 2019 Review

For power users, the MacBook Pro 16 2019 is the best option out there right now. With bigger RAM, a faster processor, a bigger screen size, and tonnes of other great features, Apple once again proves that their laptops are computing beasts. Of course, with all the jacked-up specs, you will have to pay more as well.

If you only consider hardware, the MacBook takes iPad Pro to the cleaners. CPU, GPU, RAM, and even storage are better on the MacBook. So, why should students consider the iPad Pro vs. MacBook Pro for college. Well, it’s mostly because of the price and the better portability. An iPad Pro costs less and is easier to carry around than the MacBook Pro.

But, we are going to give a detailed review of the MacBook Pro and discuss all its aspects. With this information, you will be able to decide whether you want an iPad Pro or a MacBook Pro.

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Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage)...
751 Reviews
Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage)...
  • Eighth-generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processor
  • Brilliant Retina display with True Tone technology

Configurations

The MacBook Pro 16 2019 is available in two different hardware configurations. You can either buy the Intel Core i7 model with 512GB storage or go for the upgraded Intel Core i9 model with 1TB storage. The RAM on both these models is 16GB, and the GPU is the same Intel UHD and AMD Radeon as well.

Design

The one aspect similar aspect of the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro is that they both maintain the same build design of their previous models. They both have an aluminum build, and they are both available in the same two colors; space grey and silver.

The MacBook Pro has a bigger 16-inch display screen. The screen looks beautiful, thanks to the resolutions and the nano-edge side bezels. We like the way they kept the bezels thin enough without relocating the webcam. Many competitors moved the webcam to weird positions, like on the bottom of the lid, to provide thin bezels.

The ultra-wide trackpad is unchanged. Although Apple needs to consider a better trackpad design. It is comically big and not very practical too.

At first glance, you can tell that the only real difference between the MacBook Pro 2019 is the hardware upgrade. The dimensions and the footprint are pretty much the same, but it is a bit heavier than its predecessors.

Performance

Comparing the iPad Pro Vs. MacBook Pro performance, there is only going to be one winner, and that is the MacBook Pro. The iPad Pro comes close to the i7 model, but the upgraded MacBook Pro version with the i9 processor is too much to handle for the iPad Pro. The 16-inch i9 MacBook Pro model with Octa-Core Intel i9 processor and 16GB RAM is one of the most powerful configurations on any notebook. No tablet would be able to match that power and performance; even Apple’s iPad Pro falls short in every department.

The GPU of the MacBook Pro is very powerful as well, meaning it fares very well for gaming too. With both integrated and dedicated graphics cards, you get to enjoy great graphics whether you are working or gaming. The Intel UHD graphics will handle your basic graphics, and the AMD Radeon handles the heavy graphics of some intense gaming sessions.

We won’t bore you with statistics and test scores; just know that the MacBook Pro gets a real boost to the hardware, which provides a bigger boost to the performance as well. For college-going students, we don’t think they need this much power, to be honest. It’s more the range for pros that need the ultimate powerhouse.

The battery life of the MacBook Pro is good enough. It lasts for almost 11 hours with continuous multi-tasking, multi-media usage, and internet surfing. It does go up to 13 hours with light usage. If you are a student who will be using it to make assignments, internet surfing, and occasional entertainment, you will get up to 13 hours of battery backup.

Considering the performance, the clear winner of the iPad Pro vs. MacBook Pro is the MacBook Pro.

Other Features

Apple finally ditches the butterfly keyboard in the MacBook Pro 16 2019. The new Magic Keyboard, the same that the iPad Pro 11 2020 uses, is much more comfortable to type on. The keycaps are bigger, have a concave shape, and just feel much better when using in comparison to the keyboards on the older MacBook models. The keyboard also gets a Touch ID button and a Touch Bar as well.

The MacBook Pro 16 2019 has the same Force Trackpad as its predecessors. It has been optimized for better performance and now also supports multi-touch gestures too.

The sound of the MacBook Pro is one of the best you will find on any notebook. The SIX speakers, three on either sound, provide loud and clean audio that easily fills an entire room. The mics and the webcam do get an upgrade which makes video calls on the MacBook better than the previous models.

Pros
  • Superb performance with powerful CPU, RAM, and GPU.
  • Superb picture quality with the Retina display.
  • HD sound with SIX stereo speakers.
  • Long battery life.
  • Massive storage space.
  • Much improved Magic Keyboard.
Cons
  • No touch screen.

Buy on Amazon

Conclusion

Now you know about what both these devices have to offer in terms of performance, battery, and user experience. For college students, we would say that the iPad Pro is the more economical and practical choice because they don’t need the extra power of the MacBook Pro.

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