I am the happy user of a MacBook Air. It is an ultracompact that is the ultimate of portability. The only thing I have had to adjust to is living in less memory (4 GB), and less storage (250 GB) since the faster SSD (solid state drive) memory is more expensive than hard disk technology. The SSD is very worthwhile technology though. It is many times faster than a hard disk, and your data would survive if you dropped it.
I previously had a MacBook Pro with 8 GB of memory, and a 512 GB solid state hybrid hard disk. Now I manage to work on the MacBook Air in a 250 GB memory space (and still have 50 GB of space available to run Bootcamp or other productivity). I have been using multiple external Seagate 1 TB and 1.5 TB USB drives for projects. I have also been using up to 32 GB flash drives and 32 GB SD memory cards. These sizes are becoming available in even larger 64 GB and 128 GB capacities.
I also acquired the iPad when it came out. I enjoyed it as a tablet to watch movies, browse the internet and email. I found that writing with the touchscreen keypad was not as efficient as with a physical keyboard. I paried my Apple Bluetooth Keyboard with the iPad. This combination worked well, but wasn’t as portable, as you had to carry the two pieces. I notice the trend now with iPad cases is that they attach to the iPad with the keyboard, making it more like a laptop.
The fact fact that the iPad was almost an ultracompact computer, but not quite as good, led me to the MacBook Air as a more desirable, more powerful and speedy portable.