Division 4 has completed their consumer reviews of three computing options that Mr. Woelders was looking into to replace his aged laptop. After careful analysis of the criteria and researching the options, the students overwhelmingly recommend the MacBook Air 13″ as the best option for a teaching professional.
“MacBook Air is light so you can carry it around different places. All the apps that are useful for teaching are available. The battery life is very long – 12 hours – and the wifi connectivity is strong. Apps are faster to open.” (Thomas)
“If you already have the 9.7″ iPad Pro, you should get the MacBook Air. It has a good amount of memory for the price, is durable and portable. It is the best value of performance for price.” (Jacob)
“The MacBook works well with all apps, while the iPad Pro does not. Also, the MacBook Air allows you to have multiple documents open on the screen at once. It is also very durable.” (Ryan)
“The iPad Pro is a better choice because it is easier to use. You get the Apple Pencil and it can do all the basic things you need it to do. It’s screen is very bright and easier to see because it is much higher resolution.” (Ayden)
“The iPad Pro has the highest resolution of any of the choices. The MacBook Air is the poorest screen of any of the choices.” (Ryla)
“The MacBook Air is a better choice because you can open two of the same apps at once. You can’t do that on an iPad Pro. The charge on the MacBook Air is also very good at 12 hours per charge.” (Jalen)
“The MacBook Air is cheap because you don’t need a lot of memory. You can save most of your documents on the cloud online.” (Jaden)
“The Dell option isn’t a very good one. The reviews claim that it overheats and doesn’t have a good battery charge compared to the Apple options which last much longer.” (Daniel)
“There are some cons to the MacBook Air, like a crappy screen. But it’s just the better choice in general, especially because of its long battery charge.” (Lily)
“The iPad Pro screen can only tilt one way or lie flat. You don’t need the extra pixels for what you want to use it for. A MacBook Air can run just about any app.” (Matteo)
MY DECISION: Purchase a MacBook Air 13”
I have decided to follow the advice of my students. They developed good criteria, demonstrated expert knowledge after researching the options, and presented compelling arguments. Here’s a summary of their thinking:
- I already have a 9.7″ iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and keyboard, so a larger one is redundant – that said, an iPad Pro is an essential tool for any educator say my students!
- A lot of heavy lifting (PowerPoint presentations, film editing, editing and writing textbooks or lessons, using specialized marking/assessment and editing software) isn’t easily done on an iPad yet, or the apps don’t work
- I usually have multiple documents open in the same app (i.e. Dragging and dropping slides from an old presentation into a new one, or consolidating multiple presentations into one) and you can’t do this on an iPad Pro
- The screen resolution and size on a MacBook Air is “crappy” according to students. But, we are not doing a lot of gaming or HDMI viewing on this, and the screen isn’t much different in size compared to the other options. Also, a 15″ screen costs at least $1000 more and it isn’t much bigger. You can buy a small (22″-27″) HDMI tv for $150-$300 if you want to work with a bigger screen at home or in the office.
- The durability, portability, lightness and excellent battery charge life make the MacBook Air a good multipurpose machine for everything most people who aren’t photographers, engineers, architects, or graphic artists need it to do.