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iPad as a SOLE device for students?

This is a discussion on iPad as a SOLE device for students? within the iPad General Discussions forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; Before you respond with "OMG! FAIL! I NEED MORE!" hear me out. This obviously isn't a thread geared towards students who are IT majors or ...

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  1. #1
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    iPad as a SOLE device for students?

    Before you respond with "OMG! FAIL! I NEED MORE!" hear me out.
    This obviously isn't a thread geared towards students who are IT majors or engineers who use CAD or anything like that. This is more towards your non-tech majors like myself (Psychology/Pre-Med) or social science, English, History, etc, etc, majors. So let's hear a little story:

    There's a student, let's call him Billy. Billy doesn't have a computer at all, his family couldn't afford to buy him one, but he's a good student and got a scholarship to cover his tuition and housing. Good job Billy!

    Billy got some money for graduation gifts from his family and friends, he's got a little bit of money to spend, so he buys a bicycle, and needs a computer, but on impulse decides to buy an iPad. "UH OH!" you say, "Billy can't only have an iPad! He needs more functionality for school!" Billy also buys a network capable printer, an iPad dock, and a bluetooth keyboard and headset. Now billy can print what he needs for his research, buy e-books for school, type his term papers, and listen to music, movies, and games all without disturbing his roommate.

    Billy starts school and is doing very well, he's a Biology major with hopes of going to Dental School.......



    Ok, so you take the story from here, what problems is Billy going to run into? Multi-tasking? Maybe he'll need to print out his references and type them, or copy/paste (which supposedly the updated OS will support) from Safari to the word processor.

    That's really the only problem I'm seeing, but maybe I'm not seeing everything, so how about some input please? I'm not asking if a laptop or netbook would be better or cheaper, I'm asking what problems you think Billy would run into in this hypothetical situation.

    Again Billy is NOT an IT major, he barely knows how to use a computer, he won't be networking, programming, or doing any of that stuff, he can take basic computer lit courses like every other non-IT major.

    Please discuss, show me what I'm missing, show me why Billy made a bad decision.
    Last edited by Superbike81; 02-02-2010 at 09:16 PM.

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  3. #2
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    The only issue I see first is that the ipad might need to sync with a computer at some time. How are you going to back up the ipad. Like the iphone he needs to sync to get updates and such. Maybe the computer lab at school will have a way to do that and than back it up on an external hard drive. My daughter is at college now and will use it to take notes in class and as a ereader. She also has a mac book though.
    Don
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    Quote Originally Posted by iVegas702 View Post
    The only issue I see first is that the ipad might need to sync with a computer at some time. How are you going to back up the ipad. Like the iphone he needs to sync to get updates and such. Maybe the computer lab at school will have a way to do that and than back it up on an external hard drive. My daughter is at college now and will use it to take notes in class and as a ereader. She also has a mac book though.
    Ok, valid point. I would hope they come up with a way to back it up and upgrade it without having to sync it to another computer. If they did, I think they would be able to market it as a device that's not quite a full computer, but still doesn't need a computer to operate.

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    I've seen this combination bounced around as a cheap Mac setup for college students.

    MacMini + iPad (as main working device and screen). On of the bigger costs of the tiny little computers, even PCs, can be the monitor you get to go with it. Unless you can dig into surplus or sales and get them used, that's often an extra 100 dollars.

    Depending on how well the iPad can handle VNC type programs it could function as both a mobile screen and your laptop replacement for general use. I've been using my iPod basically daily with JaaduVNC to connect to both work and home computers for various tasks. I can *almost* watch flash sites like Hulu this way as well.

    A basic iPad at 500 + MacMini at 600, is 1100. This is getting into reliable low end laptop territory. However the upside is that if either one of the devices fails for some reason you're not necessarily screwed in the short term. You can also likely do this with an even cheaper generic PC.

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    I don't think this will be a good sole piece of hardware at all for students. When I type, I don't have to look at the keyboard and I can look up at my screen on my laptop. With the iPad, I'd have to be looking down the whole time which puts a strain on my neck. Love the product, just not about to use it as a sole substitute for my classes. Maybe an add on so I wouldn't have to bring books. Just bring a laptop and ipad to class (and having an MBA, I could carry both with no problem).

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    I couldn't use it as a sole device. Doing extended periods of typing on it would become tedious, IMHO.

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    Well what if you had the keyboard and stand accessory for the iPad? That way you can look at the pad standing up and type on a real keyboard. I agree though, with apple's student discount program a lab top would be best. I wonder if they will allow a student discount on the iPad?
    Don
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    lol first off, what the * is Lab top, they are LaP tops always has been and what they were portably marketed for.
    I would think a LaB top would be anything that is more cumbersome to carry about and thusly would sit always on a students Lab top/desktop. Most Lap tops Iv'e seen, serviced or worked on are just that, comfortable and compact enough for most laps while outside the office setting. Yes some do engorge on the Desktop mentality as far as size and features. Then you also have Netbooks, which is a name I can't argue with.

    Also, your story about Billy assumed that copy/paste was not a current available function without an update to the iPhone or iPad OS ?? Currently copy/paste on the iPhone "is" able to function between apps. Apple just doesn't support true multitasking by allowing two programs/apps to interact with one another, besides this CP feature.
    I copy/paste between apps all day long, I print work orders from my iPhone as well as scan them back to the iPhone once signed and completed and also paste photos and other items to create PDF's to mail to clients or vendors, all on the iPhone without any help from a PC, besides the initial printer share that I printed to. (that will be remedied soon with the iPad with use of a bluetooth printer in my mobile office as well).

    As far as "Billy" using the Mac Mini to dock his iPAd with, that is feasible, however what about interfacing with iTunes for syncing, unless he sets prior using a borrowed desktop/laptop to join some "cloud computing" backup or make use of the iDisk app (another $100) annually.

    I think using an iPad as a "thin client" is very do-able and is something you will see very soon become a normal atmosphere when visiting your next office or business situation. Especially the way I have been seeing Hospitals and medical staff recently submitting surveys when it comes to the implementation of iPads into their current working conditions.

    With all the e-book support and iBookstore that Steve Jobs is currently and heavily touting to publishers, the whole class and study on the iPad platform becomes more real than ever before.

    Edited on my iBhone; http://www.urbandictionary.com/iphon...ch?term=labtop
    Last edited by AbblePC; 02-07-2010 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Adding URL

  10. #9
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    Printing

    Printing. Other than this, I will attempt to make it my sole computing device the Fall of 2010. (I know I can email to select printers on campus and the device will print when I arrive and start it)

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by system View Post
    Printing. Other than this, I will attempt to make it my sole computing device the Fall of 2010. (I know I can email to select printers on campus and the device will print when I arrive and start it)
    I'll give this a try as well.

    One concern would be "updating"... however I can't for the life of me understand why Apple didn't (or hasn't yet) released a way to do updates directly on the phone or pad itself without requiring a computer.


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