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Old Feb 15, 2013, 11:39 PM   #1
Cricketman
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iPad for College Student - Textbooks/PDFs

Hello everyone,

I'm currently an undergraduate student and I was thinking of purchasing a new iPad for mostly using for reading textbooks and other PDF documents. I am currently carrying a lot of big, bulky textbooks around and I think it would be much better if I have them all in one place. I currently have a macbook pro (13", 2011 model) with a few PDF copies of a few of my textbooks but I find it to be a little hard to read on the computer screen. It also feels a little clunky to have my textbook + other things open on my computer all at once.

My family owns an iPad 3 and an iPad 1. I love using these devices (but I find the 1 to be very clunky and slow these days, especially when opening big files). I like reading on the 3 and absolutely love the retina screen. I am currently considering an iPad 4 or an iPad mini. I really like the form factor of the Mini but I do not want to pay for the old technology of the non-retina screen. I also feel like the smaller screen may make it more difficult to read the textbooks. However, being just a student I find the cheaper price point of the Mini to be very enticing.

Any other college students here use their iPad for textbooks? Mini or 4? Any refurb models for either one that can lower cost? Thanks!
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 11:44 PM   #2
Jachrist
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Not undergrad, but as a law student, I have saved over 675 dollars this school year alone by buying books on my ipad.

Also, I definitely get what you are saying about reading on the MBP. It's just weird and makes my eyes sore.

Last edited by Jachrist; Feb 16, 2013 at 03:53 AM.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 12:27 AM   #3
Jachrist
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Also, my dad just picked up a perfect ipad 4 for $424 out the door at his local best buy. They also had the mini for 275.

Look for the "open box" iPads on the best buy website. The site will tell you which stores have what models as "open box" specials.

I personally bought an ipad 3 with LTE from apple for my gf for a steal. I think it was $509. It was in the refurbished part of the apple.com store, but I am 99% sure they sent me a new one. Sealed in package, etc.

Last edited by Jachrist; Feb 16, 2013 at 03:53 AM.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 01:49 AM   #4
M-5
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I originally used an iPad 2 when it was released for a few months and then sold it because I didn't use it much. But I purchased a mini about a month ago, and I've been using it extensively in most of my classes.

I much prefer the size over the original iPad, because it's the size of a small notebook while being thinner. It's also so much lighter than the full size iPad, which I think makes for a much better experience.

I think the lower price point also makes much more sense to me for the things I use the device for. I probably wouldn't be able to justify it if it were more expensive, and that's the reason I sold my iPad 2.

I mostly use the UPAD app to take hand-written notes (along with typing sections as well), marking up PDFs as well as powerpoint handouts in PDF format. To get the files on my iPad, I'll download the documents on my MacBook, and save them in PDF format in a Dropbox folder that I access on the mini. I used to be able to convert the documents to PDF format directly on the iPad using an app from Adobe, but they seem to have removed it from the App store.

I also use iBooks for my other textbooks, and I can easily open up documents which were emailed to me and read them in the mail app.

It's a great device for reading, and occasionally I like to use apps such as Paper by 53, or Inspire Pro to virtually paint a bit just for fun. I do wish i had more capacity on the base model mini though. But I do carry my 64GB iPhone with me everywhere, and that has virtually my entire library of media, so it's not really that big of a deal.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 07:29 AM   #5
palpatine
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iPad 3 / 4 (retina). I wouldn't recommend the Mini because of its small size and poor ppi, but other people swear by it, so give a try to some PDFs on it in the store and see what you think. Here are some links to threads I have started about paperless stuff / iPad / university.

1. Getting Things Done with the iPad

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...650&highlight=


2. Going from Paper to iPad

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...956&highlight=


3. Getting Things Done: iPad for Academics

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...442&highlight=

Last edited by palpatine; Feb 16, 2013 at 10:34 AM.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 08:13 AM   #6
kngelv
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I'm in Graduate School, and use an iPad 3. Get the full size iPad with a retina screen. The retina makes a huge difference with PDF's versus my iPad 1. A girl in my class uses the mini and the PDF"s pale in comparison. I have iAnnotate, which is a great app for writing, and highlighting directly on PDF files.

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Old Feb 16, 2013, 08:28 PM   #7
WilliamLondon
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I'm an undergrad (again) and I opted for the mini because I wanted ultimate portability and something close to my Kindle for reading experience. The screen isn't retina (quite obvious) but it doesn't matter to me. My programme of study is all about reading PDFs, journal articles (JSTOR is my best friend), book chapters and lots of old book scans (sometimes even double page scans). The mini works great for me, and that was surprising because I really thought a device this small would require the higher resolution, but it doesn't for my purposes.

The PDF app I use is Good Reader, and it's got a great cropping feature where you set an area which automatically clips and maximises the area within the cropped area so you can essentially cut out all the white space from each page and you'll have maximum text displayed on the screen, which would be useful on even a retina screen.

I'm all about portability, my laptop is an 11" MacBook Air, and I think the mini is the most perfect complement to my wonderful little laptop.

If the mini gets retina in the next version I'll upgrade of course, if it doesn't and they upgrade other components, I'm not sure I'll upgrade - I love my mini, it's a great device. I used to have a full sized iPad and though I read on it somewhat, I really never felt it was very comfortable for reading - perhaps my Kindle ruined me in that regard, but I can't go back, for reading, small and lightweight is the only way to go, and it has to be said, the mini is a great gaming device!
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 11:02 PM   #8
Cricketman
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Hello all,

Thank you for all the posts. Really helpful. My local Meijer has an iPad 3 Retina Display, 32 GB Wifi Model for $449. I can get 10% off this price by opening a Meijer card. This price seems pretty reasonable.

What is the difference between the 3 and 4? I know it has a faster processor and what not - but would that be a noticeable speed difference? This is the exact iPad I currently have. The mini is also available for 329 (minus 10%).

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks again
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 01:02 AM   #9
TacticalDesire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricketman View Post
Hello all,

Thank you for all the posts. Really helpful. My local Meijer has an iPad 3 Retina Display, 32 GB Wifi Model for $449. I can get 10% off this price by opening a Meijer card. This price seems pretty reasonable.

What is the difference between the 3 and 4? I know it has a faster processor and what not - but would that be a noticeable speed difference? This is the exact iPad I currently have. The mini is also available for 329 (minus 10%).

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks again
I'd go for the 3rd gen. The difference isn't too noticeable and youre still getting the retina screen.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 04:33 AM   #10
jojoba
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I'd go for the 3rd gen. The difference isn't too noticeable and youre still getting the retina screen.
Agree with this. I use my 3gen extensively for my research and I'm very happy with it.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 11:43 AM   #11
charlituna
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Sometimes the only way to know is to try it. If the family will let you borrow the iPad 3 for a few days give it a whirl. Even better is if you have the cash to get he iPad mini and try them both sort of side by side, especially for reading and note taking. Start with notes while you read. Then perhaps try each one in a class. When I did this I used voice memo on my iPhone to audio record the lecture just in case I fouled up a chuck of notes.

See how many of your textbooks come ebook and the costs and if its a good number and good pricing. Spend some time researching the various note taking, PDF annotation etc apps as well. If it all looks good then go for it.

I didn't have to do this for class but for work. However we have a lot of paperwork, script pages, diagrams etc we work with. The iPad was great but I still tried the mini to see. I found I liked the bigger screen as do most of our crew heads. The assistants, who tend to be working with smaller data sets, were about half and half.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 04:53 PM   #12
Cricketman
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Just went ahead and bought an iPad 3 on Clearance at my local Meijer. 32GB, LTE Black for 458$ out the door. Pretty good deal!
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 05:15 PM   #13
TacticalDesire
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Awesome deal!
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 11:40 PM   #14
Suraj R.
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Originally Posted by TacticalDesire View Post
I'd go for the 3rd gen. The difference isn't too noticeable and youre still getting the retina screen.
There is barely a difference between the 3rd and 4th gen. There's a small processor boost, but the 3rd isn't slow at all. Both have retina displays, which is the main reason to use them for books (they will provide an image as close to the look of a book as possible). The processing boost won't help in reading at all.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 12:12 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Suraj R. View Post
There is barely a difference between the 3rd and 4th gen. There's a small processor boost, but the 3rd isn't slow at all. Both have retina displays, which is the main reason to use them for books (they will provide an image as close to the look of a book as possible). The processing boost won't help in reading at all.
That's why I said the difference isn't too noticeable
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 12:54 AM   #16
radiologyman
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Originally Posted by kngelv View Post
I'm in Graduate School, and use an iPad 3. Get the full size iPad with a retina screen. The retina makes a huge difference with PDF's versus my iPad 1. A girl in my class uses the mini and the PDF"s pale in comparison. I have iAnnotate, which is a great app for writing, and highlighting directly on PDF files.p

James
This. The inprovement from retina screen is huge especially when reading poor quality PDFs. I can read scanned books whole day long without eyes getting tired. Plus extra screen size does help
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 02:13 AM   #17
Suraj R.
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That's why I said the difference isn't too noticeable
Yeah aha!
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 05:19 AM   #18
palpatine
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Originally Posted by Cricketman View Post
Just went ahead and bought an iPad 3 on Clearance at my local Meijer. 32GB, LTE Black for 458$ out the door. Pretty good deal!
Good job! Let us know how it goes. I've got the 3 and I am quite pleased with it
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