another ipad vs macbook air thread

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mentaluproar, Nov 7, 2012.


Which set up would you want for going back to college?

  1. macbook air (sell the ipad 2 and mac mini)

    0 vote(s)
  2. macbook air and ipad mini (sell the ipad 2 and mac mini)

    2 vote(s)
  3. get the new ipad and a monitor for the mac mini (sell the iPad 2)

    1 vote(s)
  1. mentaluproar, Nov 7, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012

    mentaluproar macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    I'll be heading back to college in the spring and am contemplating what to do about equipment. I have an iPad 2 I'm considering selling off and replacing with the current 4, and just getting a monitor for my mac mini at home, which is being used as an HTPC.

    My other option is selling off both and just getting a macbook air. Either way, I want to use e-books, so if I get the air, I'll probably need the ipad 2 or get the mini.

    The other way I see it is I have a perfectly good mini sitting right in front of me. All I need is a monitor and tada, I'll have a real desktop (albeit with a painfully slow HDD.) If I really need the desktop for anything, I can already access it away from home with splashtop (which decided to finally work properly last month, so hurray!)

    I do know the air is faster and can do more than the iPad by itself, but I already love iOS iWork. The HTPC thing isn't really too important except for light gaming every now and then, as I have an appleTV for everything else now.

    What would you suggest? I'm leaning toward repurposing my existing mini and upgrading the iPad. It seems the most economical because the mini still has applecare on it.
  2. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    What's your budget? What will you be studying? Do you plan on studying at libraries? At friends' or classmates' places?

    IMO, a laptop is a necessity in college and an iPad cannot replace that. I know because I've tried. Now I use my iPad strictly for note-taking (with a stylus) - everything else I do on my MBA (or iMac)

    I'd say go for a 13in MBA and an iPad Mini (assuming you even need an iPad).
  3. mentaluproar thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    The budget remains to be seen, student loans etc. I'm looking into taking generic classes to get out of the way, hoping to find something to lock into. Last time I was in college, I was lugging around a heavy "desktop replacement" laptop (I hated that damn thing) and only ever needed it a handful of times on campus. All the real work I did at home. It was WAY to difficult to focus on campus.

    My biggest worry with a laptop is every time I use a one, I despised the damn thing. Full screen mode in mountain lion should make even the tiny 11" model useable, but at the same time, I really like typing out things on my iPad. Now that I am used to it, the touchscreen is very easy to type on.

    I guess I'm having trouble seeing what the biggest con to using an ipad on campus with a full desktop at home would be.
  4. nho11 macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2012
    Having gone back to school last year, I understand your situation. I am on a Ipad 1, Air 2011, and a OLD mini. I am sure that every school is different, but I have found that at least half of my teacher do not allow laptops, Ipads, or other tech during class. The teachers say most people will eventually look at Facebook or something else that could distract others. Which I understand completely and it really depend on the classes you are taking.

    Back to your situation, I find that ipad is great for ebooks and reading power points (printed to pdf). It really cuts down on the weight of the back pack. I bring mine everyday and is nice to have as a reference instead of 20-40 pounds of books. Here I would go for a full size Ipad, just for the convenience of more surface area to read and look at graphs or figures in books and notes.

    I would get a laptop over the mini based on portability. If you every need to work on something away from home you are good to go. At home I use the Henge Dock, it easy to use, allows quick access, takes up only a little more desk space than the mini , and it looks pretty! It is easy to couple with a monitor & wireless keyboard and mouse.

    I have only taken my laptop maybe a dozen times in the last year and a half, but the option is nice to have. I do most of my studying and paper writing at home. I see kids lugging around macbooks and pros, the Air is more than enough power for the average student.

    I think that full-size Ipad and an Air wins my vote. So, drop the mini get an Air (an older one will be fine) and just keep the Ipad 2.

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