I have the M1 MacBook and M1 iPad: which one is collecting dust?

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There comes a time in the life of a tech enthusiast when you come to this realization: you’re buying way too many devices that you don’t really need.

Case and point – I recently got a M1 iPad and a new M1 MacBook, just to see what Apple’s hyped new processor has to offer on both devices.

And finally, on a MacBook – yes, M1 changes a lot. The battery life is better, the device is more energy efficient, it doesn’t even have a fan, and it has a completely different architecture… But on the iPad, I hardly feel any difference with 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 gathering dust as I barely use it. But don’t jump to conclusions quickly which one it is!

Let me share with you what I use them for, what each is capable of, and maybe even help you choose which one is best for you in the process.

Editing YouTube videos on M1 iPad vs M1 MacBook is… now the same

One of my favorite things about iPads is their power, combined with the LumaFusion app exclusive to them (and iPhones). Or it was, until M1 MacBooks started supporting certain M1 iPad apps.

If you have an M1 MacBook, that LumaFusion app for iPad can now run on your laptop too, so… I started using it on my laptop.

Despite being an app developed for iPad, it actually works perfectly on M1 MacBooks, and editing videos, say for a YouTube channel, is just as easy and fun.

Now I know what you may be thinking – there are “real” MacBook video editing apps like Final Cut Pro out there, why would anyone use a simpler iPad app now just because it’s available on M1 MacBooks?

Well, I’m no 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 much more reasonable deal to me, especially if you’re not a professional video editor and don’t need anything more complicated than what LumaFusion offers.

So in the end 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 including this all-important iPad app. Why not just edit and upload from the MacBook, instead of editing on the iPad, transfer to the MacBook and then upload to YouTube?

Gaming on M1 iPad vs M1 MacBook is… very different

I know what you’re thinking: gaming on a MacBook? Well, put your preconceptions aside, because it’s real. It’s certainly not cutting edge triple-A gaming, but it’s a versatile and competent experience.

But let’s start with the iPad. Since it’s just a big iPhone at its core, running the same mobile apps, you also get access to the same huge library of mobile games. Some are visually quite impressive and some are hugely popular.

You get things like Minecraft, Call of Duty and even full PlayStation 2 games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Max Payne. All that running flawlessly on a tablet – great, isn’t it?

Plus, we can’t overlook Apple Arcade – a subscription service that gives you access to over 200 beautiful and polished games on your iPad. No ads, no microtransactions. At a glance, that may seem like mainly children’s games, but you also get games like NBA 2K22 Arcade Edition.

So overall, the iPad for a tablet can provide a versatile mobile gaming experience. But I don’t like mobile games… So what about the M1 MacBook? We will…

The M1 MacBook can run both MacOS games and Windows games

Of course, the M1 MacBook also has an App Store, just like the iPad, where you’ll again find Apple Arcade, plus a host of well-known mobile games like Asphalt 9. The MacBook also gets real desktop games like Civilization V, The Sims 2, Tomb Raider and much more. But it gets much more interesting if you decide to run Windows 11 on your M1 Mac, which is now not only possible, but it also works great. No bugs or performance issues that I noticed.

With the virtualization software called Parallels, Windows 11 is one quick swipe on your Mac. Really, switching between macOS and Windows 11 is instantaneous. It’s like having two completely different computers in one!

Now that you’re using Windows 11, you naturally get even more gaming options on your M1 MacBook. PC games I love, like Fallout: New Vegas, Skyrim, the original Hitman trilogy, and countless other PC titles from the 2010s (and earlier) run very well.

So there we have the iPad again, beating by far. As to be expected, right? Indeed, but I thought the game situation was still worth sharing.

Because I get the feeling that some people think MacBooks can’t play games at all, and iPads are the better slot machines. It’s not true, kids. At least not if you’re looking for more than casual mobile gaming. I even know some really big YouTubers running PC gaming channels, but completely on a MacBook.

Watching Netflix and YouTube on M1 iPad versus M1 MacBook…

iPads started out as web browsing and entertainment devices. They have always been great for watching movies, shows or YouTube on the go. An iPad’s portable nature and long battery life are largely what makes it so desirable as a content consumption device.

Because… Your average laptop would wind down before you could finish two 2.5-hour movies because battery life is often so weak. Not to mention the average laptop that is heavy and creaky and probably has a worse screen than even the cheaper ones iPad Air. Burn your cross too! So the iPad wins when it comes to watching movies and videos, right?

Well, the M1 MacBook is not your average laptop. Like the iPad, it’s also thin and light, highly portable, quiet, cold to the touch, and has super-long battery life.

Speaking of portability, let’s take a look at the raw numbers: The 13-inch M1 MacBook Air weighs 2.8 pounds (1.29 kg). The comparable 12.9-inch iPad Pro weighs 682 grams.

So the MacBook might weigh almost twice as much, but it’s comparable in thickness and actually a bit cheaper in price. So your tote might weigh a little more, but your wallet will hold an extra $100 as well. And to be fair, in the hand the two devices feel quite similar: premium, thin and light. Those are the words to best describe them.

So okay, the iPad is lighter, but I’d say the MacBook is more comfortable. When watching videos, you certainly don’t want to hold a tablet for hours on end, do you? Well, the MacBook is a laptop, with adjustable screen angles, so you don’t have to hold it at all.

And yes, the iPad Pro has a higher resolution screen, also mini-LED, so in terms of display quality, the iPad definitely wins. On the other hand, the iPad’s screen has a 2:3 aspect ratio, which isn’t as suitable for movies as the MacBook’s 16:10 aspect ratio. That basically means that whatever movie you watch won’t fill the screen as full. So you may end up with a smaller image 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 that essentially carries similar software from one to the other. Unsurprisingly, though, the MacBook is much more capable, and at a slightly lower price point of $999, I’d definitely recommend it over an iPad, if you and I share the same needs.

Because yes, it is my M1 iPad Pro that is collecting dust, because it has now been almost completely replaced by the M1 MacBook. The most important app that made the iPad especially for me is now also on the MacBook. That’s where both macOS and Windows 11 are, along with the countless other great apps they can run.

Meanwhile, the iPad will remain with only iPadOS (essentially a larger iOS) — without macOS apps, no desktop-level multitasking either.

A few final words about the iPad

This is the part where I have to say, just because the M1 MacBook now covers and even exceeds my needs of 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 extremely simple and user-friendly interface, which even a kid can understand quickly.

When it comes to covering the basics, for kids or the elderly, or anyone who just wants an entertainment and web browsing device, the iPad is still king. But for a power user like me, the iPad never managed to replace my laptop in the end. Ironically, the M1 MacBook even managed to replace my iPad. What a time to be alive!

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