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Old Dec 26, 2012, 06:33 PM   #1
MKS
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Taking the jump into the tablet world

As the title already says, I'm looking to take the leap into the tablet world. I'm a Macbook pro owner, and it's about three years old. I owned an Iphone 3gs back when it was actually current, so I have some experience with Apple products and the ecosystem.

In saying this,I'll get to the point. I'm looking at purchasing a mini, or the 4, and considering maybe the 3 as well. I'm looking for a little advice on what might be my best bet, as a college student. Use will probably range from note taking, to your usual play. Textbooks are also an important factor, but I'm really just trying to figure out which one suits my needs best.

I had the chance to handle the mini last night, and I like it, but I'd like to hear a little bit more about it. I've not had a chance to see the 4, but I'm sure it's a beauty. The three comes into play because, I'm a college student, and I'm reluctant to part with $500. I know there can be some issues with overheating (at least thats what I've heard) and it's a little suspicious that the 3's dropped from the face of apple with the exception of the refurbs, which is appealing in its own right. So, am I right in considering the 3 at all, or is it looking like it will become unsupported in the near future? Or theres the question of waiting till March, to see if these rumors hold any merit. It's these kinds of questions that have me doing circles, so any kind of help would be appreciated!

Last edited by MKS; Dec 26, 2012 at 06:43 PM.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 06:44 PM   #2
Batavian
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You will be sure to get lots of opinions here!

For your needs, your walking around from classroom to classroom, so lightweight, portability would be important. And money is a factor. As much I am not a fan of the non-retina, I would go for a Mini. For me, the Mini is my travel device. The iPad is my home device.

Whichever you choose, you will enjoy. Both the Mini and iPad are fantastic devices.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 06:46 PM   #3
kodeman53
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The iPad3, iPad4 and Mini will all meet your requirements. Pick the one that meets your budget.

The iPad3 and iPad4 do not overheat unless you want to play video games for 6 hours straight with the iPad resting on your naked genitals the entire time.

You will have graduated from college, with a Masters degree, maybe a doctorate, before the iPad3 is obsolete.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 06:47 PM   #4
WilliamLondon
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As someone also engaged in study, the issue of what a tablet might add to my studies I've also recently pondered and I settled on the mini. Previously, I owned a gen 1 iPad, and though I loved it I always felt it was just a bit too big, a bit too heavy for my needs and usage. With my current studies I've got loads of PDFs that I read, some journal articles, some books and some scans (by myself or professors who don't really care to optimise the scan they produce, so I end up with lots of double page scans from old, very old books). Viewing PDFs for me was the number one criteria I had with a new tablet device, and I'd considered all the best Android alternatives that all have a better display (in resolution terms) than the mini. The fallback for me would have been a full sized iPad if either the mini was never released, or the Android alternatives didn't suffice either. I bought the mini day one and I'll have to say that I'm still impressed with this device, not only with how it displays PDFs (I use GoodReader, a great PDF app - I also bought PDFpen for both Mac and iPad and don't use either) but also how it feels in your hands, how wonderful it is to operate, how lightweight it is, how thin it is, how portable it is. My desktop is an iMac, and I've got a 2012 11" MBA, which I throw in my backpack along with my mini (which together are a perfect combination).

I'm biased toward portability, but that portability must be usable, and I think the mini is the most usable iPad out there. I'll never knock the full sized iPad, I think it's a beautiful device, especially the retina, but for me the smaller form factor is the defining feature, and the mini doesn't compromise on functionality or utility at all.

The apps I use for studies are:

Evernote (indispensable, and free!) - I take handwritten notes and transcribe them into Evernote
Dropbox (same as above, and 6GB free!)
Sugar Sync (don't use as much, but 6GB free!)
GoodReader (excellent PDF app!)
I have Pages - a great word processor, but I write documents on my laptop or desktop

A tablet computer can be a great addition for any number of requirements, and school is one at the top, plus it's about the best gaming device out there (and I've got a PS3!).

Last edited by WilliamLondon; Dec 26, 2012 at 06:53 PM.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 07:09 PM   #5
MKS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batavian View Post
You will be sure to get lots of opinions here!

For your needs, your walking around from classroom to classroom, so lightweight, portability would be important. And money is a factor. As much I am not a fan of the non-retina, I would go for a Mini. For me, the Mini is my travel device. The iPad is my home device.

Whichever you choose, you will enjoy. Both the Mini and iPad are fantastic devices.
Opinions are good! Haha.

I was, admittedly, not excited to see that the mini didn't have retina, but I was pretty surprised to see that for what it's got, it makes it very presentable. This is also coming from someone who has had very limited access to other retina devices, so I'm also virtually unaware of what I'm missing.

I'm really excited, but I can't think of anyone who wouldn't be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kodeman53 View Post
The iPad3, iPad4 and Mini will all meet your requirements. Pick the one that meets your budget.

The iPad3 and iPad4 do not overheat unless you want to play video games for 6 hours straight with the iPad resting on your naked genitals the entire time.

You will have graduated from college, with a Masters degree, maybe a doctorate, before the iPad3 is obsolete.
I'm glad to see a few good words for the bigger brothers, and it's reassuring to know that I'm not getting something I'll regret later, even if it is a few gens old.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamLondon View Post

I'm biased toward portability, but that portability must be usable, and I think the mini is the most usable iPad out there. I'll never knock the full sized iPad, I think it's a beautiful device, especially the retina, but for me the smaller form factor is the defining feature, and the mini doesn't compromise on functionality or utility at all.

The apps I use for studies are:

Evernote (indispensable, and free!) - I take handwritten notes and transcribe them into Evernote
Dropbox (same as above, and 6GB free!)
Sugar Sync (don't use as much, but 6GB free!)
GoodReader (excellent PDF app!)
I have Pages - a great word processor, but I write documents on my laptop or desktop

A tablet computer can be a great addition for any number of requirements, and school is one at the top, plus it's about the best gaming device out there (and I've got a PS3!).
I like you put lots of value on portability, but what had been stopping me was the uncertainty behind the mini's clarity with PFD's and all other college related reading material. But to hear from at least one other student that it's an enjoyable experience, is pretty helpful. I did get to play around with looking at text last night for a few minuets and I was pretty impressed myself, retina or not. Thanks for the App recs too, I've been scouting those in advance as well, and it's great to see that theres some really solid ones out there. I think I'll probably do the majority of heavy duty writing on my laptop as well, for the time being.

Thats one thing I've almost never explored, is the gaming aspect of the tablets, and being a PS3 owner myself, if you recommend it, it may be worth looking into.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 07:10 PM   #6
kylera
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I am getting ready to jump back into college next spring, and I got the 4 instead of the Mini. I have a health issue that prevents me from carrying heavy loads, so my iPad will become my textbook repository.

As such, as much as the Mini's form factor is attractive, I couldn't bear the thought of looking at a screen like that for long periods of time. It isn't an issue of Retina or not, but simply because everything is that much smaller. I also had an original 7-inch Galaxy Tab which I found easier to carry but harder on the eyes when it came to textbooks.

Of course, no two pairs of eyes are the same.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 07:23 PM   #7
isephmusic
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im in the same problem.

even when the ipad 5 comes out vs a retina mini its the hardest choice in tech ill ever have to make.

portable retina display mini or a powerful big screen ipad 5 thats just as light as the original.

hm....
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 08:04 PM   #8
MKS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylera View Post
I am getting ready to jump back into college next spring, and I got the 4 instead of the Mini. I have a health issue that prevents me from carrying heavy loads, so my iPad will become my textbook repository.

As such, as much as the Mini's form factor is attractive, I couldn't bear the thought of looking at a screen like that for long periods of time. It isn't an issue of Retina or not, but simply because everything is that much smaller. I also had an original 7-inch Galaxy Tab which I found easier to carry but harder on the eyes when it came to textbooks.

Of course, no two pairs of eyes are the same.
Thats a good point, too. I think it's going to come down to looking at the mini v. the 3/4 and seeing which I like better, in terms of readability and the like.
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