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Is iPad right for me?

This is a discussion on Is iPad right for me? within the iPad General Discussions forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; I am about to go back to college and I am trying to decide between the ipad and a laptop. So I had a couple ...

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  1. #1
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    Is iPad right for me?

    I am about to go back to college and I am trying to decide between the ipad and a laptop.

    So I had a couple of questions for anyone nice enough to answer.

    I have tried typing with the ipad and I love the keyboard, so between that for note taking and the battery life I am drawn to the ipad.

    I've heard that there is an app that you can download that allows you to download any number of college text books onto the ipad for much cheaper than purchasing the print versions.

    Is this true? If so what is the selection of books look like?

    Also any opinions on the ipad over a laptop or visa versa for school related purposes?

    Thanks

    B

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  3. #2
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    Other than any literary works assigned for class, the textbook selection in electronic publishing is lacking and certainly not much cheaper than print versions.

  4. #3
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    I'm amazed at what I am able to do on the iPad and in terms of note taking, battery life and portability, while in class the iPad would work great. In terms of text books the issue will be whether they are available in a format you can use on the iPad. I'd do a bit of research on that with the college you are planning to attend. Find out where they get their textbooks from and what format they are in.

    You don't say whether you would have access to a computer if you were to purchase the iPad. I think that is a big consideration. If you have a desktop or something to use back at home to write papers and things on, the iPad would be great for when you are mobile. If it was a choice of just an iPad with no access to a computer though, I would choose the laptop.

    The drawback without having access to a full computer that I can think of is writing papers or complex spreadsheets or some other function that you need a full computer to complete. Taking computer science for example without access to a full computer would not be practical. Although it may be possible, I don't think it would be ideal drafting long or complex documents on the iPad. If you have access to a computer lab with desktops for that sort of thing though or a computer back at home the iPad for in class would work well.

    You don't say what field you are going to be studying in and whether a notebook is a requirement or not. I would check with the college about this and see what they recommend. Is a power source for charging a laptop readily available in class is something else to find out.

    I'm using my iPad solely when I am working remotely. I still use a computer some of the time when at home base. If you have access to a computer when you need one the iPad would be ideal for taking to class or the library or for completing stuff on the way to and from college. If you won't have access to a computer if you choose the iPad though, I would get the laptop.

  5. #4
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    Just my opinion but if you are looking for a new computing device that you intend to use at college, I wuld strongly recommend a laptop (Wintel/MAC...it doesn't matter).

    Consider this...will you need to attach any devices to your device...a printer, scanner, thumb drive, security/application fob, something else entirely? If so, get a laptop.

    Will you need any spread sheet/word processing applications? How about a graphics program? Yep...you should consider a laptop.

    Also, remember that the storage capacity of the iPad max's out at 64GB...sounds like alot until you start having to store stuff on the unit. Much more storage available with a laptop.

    My recommendation...think of the iPad as a device that nicely fills the Web browsing and running some Apps from the App Store. It doesn't yet replace the laptop completely.

    If you go with the iPad, you might want to really consider purchasing one of the physical keyboards that are available for it. I know that I would not want to take notes on a virtual keyboard all the time.

    Good luck and let us know what your decision is once you make it!

  6. #5
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    I love the iPad.... but if I were back in college (thank God I'm not) I would like to have both, but if only one.... get a laptop.... Easy to print from, MS Office....etc...etc.....
    Bremen Cole
    iPad 1st Gen 16G

  7. #6
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    I'd say stick with a Macbook 13". The iPad is cool to have but it's limited resources will give you a hard time. You definitely need a scanner/printer. And you will definitely need a CD ROM.

  8. #7
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    Agreed.....a laptop will be a much better choice for college. Don't get me wrong....the iPad is awesome but for what you'll need in school the laptop is a much better option.

    Unless....you can get both!

  9. #8
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    The iPad is a consumption devices (viewing websites, reading news, movies, music..). While it does have some apps like Pages/Numbers for creating things it really doesnt function well for that.

    For college I would say you would be much better off with a MacBook.

  10. #9
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    The iPad is a fabulous addition to a base computer, either desktop or laptop. It is not a substitute for either.

  11. #10
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    I would have to agree that you would need another computer along with the iPad. That being said, I use my iPad daily taking notes in class, and i find it much easier to carry around campus than a laptop. If you have a desktop already, i would choose the iPad for your mobile usage.

    I actually haven't checked out the college textbooks you mentioned, but I believe the selection will definitely grow over time. As of now, Ive been taking the strenuous task of scanning my textbooks, converting it into PDFs, and using Good Reader app. It's a bit ghetto haha, but if it saves me a couple hundred dollars, why not! Also, don't need to lug Around textbooks

    If you do decide on the iPad, some really good note taking apps are Penultimate, and Paperdesk for Ipad.

    Good luck!


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