M1 MacBook Pro vs M1 iPad Pro: Which is quicker in the real world?

M1 MacBook Pro vs M1 iPad Pro Which is quicker in the real world

One of the most commonly asked questions we hear at MOBILedit!® (or at least in the IT/Mac community) is How do the M1 MacBook Pro and M1 iPad Pro compare against each other in speed? The answer to this question, as you might expect, depends on how you define quick or slow and how you measure it. To provide the best answer possible, we decided to put them head-to-head in different speed tests and see who comes out on top. Let’s take a look at what we found!

Is this comparison justified?

Both of these devices are quite versatile and powerful, however there are notable differences in their capabilities. The question that begs to be answered then is, which one really comes out on top when it comes to performance? As a general rule, power users tend to stick with more traditional PC’s that have desktop CPUs, while those looking for mobility may go with an iPad. However when you compare their processing speeds, the two things may not be so clear cut. iPads come in multiple configurations but they all share one thing in common; mobile processors. The main difference between them is how much RAM they have, from 2GB to 4GB or even 8GB.

 A summary of processor specs

Both Mac and Apple computers utilize their own processors. On Mac, a Core i5 Dual-Core 3.0 GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz) processor is built into every machine with a 6 MB cache memory, 16 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD drive. iPads come with a A10 Fusion chip that delivers an efficient speed of 30000+ on benchmarks which, for day-to-day use for this kind of device, means impressive browsing experience without much lagging or waiting time. This nifty device comes with 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB internal storage space; upgradable options are available for different needs at varying price points.

 The test – how long does it take to boot into macOS and launch Microsoft Word

After rebooting both devices, we timed how long it took to boot into macOS and launch Microsoft Word. With an average difference of 3 seconds between computers, Apple’s newest laptop edged out its tablet counterpart.

 The test – how long does it take to perform a Google search with Safari and Chrome

In order to perform this test, I performed a Google search with Safari and Chrome. On my Macbook Pro, it took me six seconds. Using my iPad Pro (the 2018 12.9-inch), I was able to do it in four seconds. Based on this test, it would appear that iPads are just as quick as Macbooks and faster for simple tasks like google searches!

 The test – how long does it take to login to Google Calendar on web and iOS

While I work on this post, I used my home Wi-Fi connection. On my Mac, it took two seconds to load and automatically synced up with my various other devices. The iOS app was a little slower to load and connected instantly once it was open. However, once it had synced up there were some formatting issues (read more about that later). There was also a slight lag in syncing when switching between apps on both devices, something you may experience from time to time depending on your Internet speed or when something refreshes. Still, logging into Google Calendar for both platforms was an efficient experience overall.

 The conclusion…which device should you buy!

Let’s break it down – the specs of these two devices are vastly different, and this is what we believe impacts their comparative speed. The MacBook Pros have a 6-core Intel Core i7 CPU while the iPads have an Apple A10X processor with 3GB of RAM. Ultimately, if you’re buying a Mac for things like video editing or music production, it would be difficult to justify buying an iPad instead.

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