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Apple’s New iPad Pro vs. MacBook Air: The Best M1 Device For You

The gap between the Mac and the iPad is the tightest it has ever been. The iPad Pro is now powered by the same M1 chip as the MacBook Pro, while the latest MacBooks can run many iOS apps.

Wondering which you should get? For most people, it’s now a worthy question.

You’re not a creative professional and don’t necessarily need the iPad’s digital drawing capabilities. But you do like using a touch screen. You rely primarily on web apps, and daily tasks include managing email, composing documents, attending remote meetings—and occasionally bingeing a few episodes before bed. You’re not firmly in Camp iPad or Camp Mac—both are suitable for your computing needs.

Sound familiar? You’re in the right place. For this showdown, I’m comparing the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro ($1,099 and up), and the M1 MacBook Air ($999 and up).

It might seem odd, pitting the high end of one device against the entry level of the other. But they have similar screen sizes and prices, and with each year, they gain more of the other’s features: The M1 chip nixed the MacBook Air’s biggest pain points, the loud fan and lap-searing heat. Meanwhile, the new big iPad Pro has a screen that’s brighter than any Mac’s.

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