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iPad Air vs Macbook Pro: Do you need a laptop for podcasting?

IPad Air vs MacBook Pro - Do you need a laptop for podcasting?

Do you really need a laptop for podcasting?

I stress tested an iPad Air with a magic keyboard to see if I could replace my 2016 MacBook Pro. The truth is if I wanted to make it work on my phone, I could with something like Anchor. But I want something that’s a bit higher production quality than recording into my voice memos app. Which means the only two ways around getting a laptop for podcasting are:

  1. Outsource what you can’t do on your phone or tablet to a freelancer on Fiverr.
  2. Accept workaround apps and limitations with advanced features.

Here’s what you can’t do on an iPad Air (yet)

 

Some of these are just a plain hassle. You could do it. But after coaching dozens of individuals on starting a podcast, you won’t want to. Which defeats the purpose.

1. Edit your VIDEO podcast episode

 

Yes, you can use iMovie or Adobe Premiere Rush. But I’ve found this to be so slow. Especially if you’re trying to download a large episode file (27gb for example). Whether that is directly to the iPad Air or transferring from your laptop.

Doable. But tagging it as a hassle.

2. Access your full payments dashboard from Stripe

 

This is a bummer because the desktop version is needed for accessing your full Stripe dashboard. Which is pretty important. And an example of other softwares and apps that operate similarly.

You will automatically be redirected from Safari or Chrome to the Stripe app on your iPad. Which is the exact same thing as the iPhone app. LOL. It’s wild they haven’t updated this in 2022.

3. Descript

 

This is by far the fastest podcast editing software in 2022. Especially for anyone leaning on the “non-technical” side. Super advanced stuff, but the podcast editing software is only available on a laptop. There’s no iPad version boxed into an app.

There are a ton of weird workflow issues you’ll run into like this if you’re trying to podcast without a laptop. Even if you don’t need the advanced capability at first, it’s nice to have room to grow into it. The iPad doesn’t cut it for this reason.

Here’s when podcasting on iPad Air makes sense

 

You’ll outsource the recordings

 

This is most ideal because all you have to do is learn how to record and handoff your files. Possibly to an editor on Fiverr.

You’re okay with just getting started and improving as you go

 

There are some levels of quality that you might miss out on without a laptop. But most of the time, it just takes finding an app or two on iPad to do something similar. So you might say, “I don’t need anything fancy! Just something simple to get started.”

Equipment is paralyzing you from starting a podcast

 

This is where I recommend sacrificing quality in the short term to build up your capacity for reps. I’ve seen peopel stuck for 2-3 years just waiting to pick out the “right equipment”. That’s enough time to build a top ranking podcast!

Here’s when podcasting on iPad Air makes sense


You’ll outsource the recordings


This is most ideal because all you have to do is learn how to record and handoff your files. Possibly to an editor on Fiverr.

You’re okay with just getting started and improving as you go


There are some levels of quality that you might miss out on without a laptop. But most of the time, it just takes finding an app or two on iPad to do something similar. So you might say, “I don’t need anything fancy! Just something simple to get started.”

Equipment is paralyzing you from starting a podcast


This is where I recommend sacrificing quality in the short term to build up your capacity for reps. I’ve seen peopel stuck for 2-3 years just waiting to pick out the “right equipment”. That’s enough time to build a top ranking podcast!

What’s the best laptop for podcasting?

 

If you’re like me, you value speed of implementation. The iPad is fast. But a lot of apps haven’t caught up with higher level editing. So it’s safe to have a laptop for your podcast to handle the bandwidth.

You’ll remove a ton of barriers to getting started on the highest impact action items.

I’ve had the pleasure of editing podcasts early on in my career on a 2010 MacBook Pro. Then the 2016 MacBook Pro (slightly customized for more memory so it runs faster). The newest ones (2022) are noticeably faster for MOST podcasting purposes even at the base model out of the box.

Could you do a windows laptop?

 

Sure. But in my biased opinion, I’d rather buy a used MacBook Air or Pro. The value drops pretty significantly 2-3 years out, which is good for buyers (not sellers.)

USED or REFURBISHED

 

You could get the following models under $500 in many cases. Even a slower laptop I’ve found is more useful than an iPAd tht just doesn’t have access. But has the fasted M5 chip sponsored by BMW!

2016, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022

NEW Out of the box MacBook Pro: $1,200

MacBook Air: $999

How old of a laptop is still ‘good’ for podcasting?

 

Once you’re beyond the 8 year mark, you may consider upgrading or choosing accessories to extend the life by another few years.

 

Just like an iphone, Apple makes it tough to survive without their newest software. But almost impossible to use on devices that are 4 or more generations older.

So depending on your budget, I’d look at the latest year you can afford.

Have any questions? Or do you want to start a project? Feel free to drop me a note here.