Best device for college student

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by 76ShovelHead, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. 76ShovelHead macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2010
    The features of my samsung note 10.1 2014 edition are perfect (multi window, screen size, pen, and android app ecosystem). The battery life is terrible. And with pretty much every math class, access to Pearson "mylab" is nonnegotiable. Short of forking over another $100 on top of the cost of an access code, I'm stuck loading up Pearson's 'etext' app for use in class. My tablet seems to die halfway through lecture, so I'm looking for an alternative option.

    Can anybody recommend a chromebook, or another full featured tablet that isn't on most of the 2016 "best android tabs" lists? Too many include nVidia's tegra (which my brother bought in 2014, an absolute lag-fest, or those Dell venues such as the one my Uncle bought which he too complained was really slow).
  2. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    What's your budget? That's the most important thing. While I'm sure you're looking to get the best bang for the buck (I've been there), a price range would help narrow things down all the better.

    Also, do you prefer having an Android tablet or would you consider iOS (assuming Pearson's 'etext' app is available on iOS).
  3. macrumors 68000

    Jun 17, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    I'd recommend a chromebook for class, but mainly because I still prefer a physical keyboard if I'm going to do a lot of typing. Plus, they'll be able to run Android apps as well this fall (but limited to certain models?). You can get them pretty cheap as well as good deals on used ones on eBay, etc.

    Chromebooks run a full Chrome browser, so if your "mylab' works in a browser then that would help. But if your issue with "mylab" is an Android problem, then you may want to look into the iOS variant and pick up a gently used iPad 2 (or iPad Mini 2) or something similar on Swappa:;;
  4. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    Personally I love my MacBook Air for classes , but that was used more for coding classes and such that needed a desktop OS. For taking notes all day I went with an iPad Air 2 64GB that I bought used in January off Swappa for $400 mint with all accessories and a smart cover. The iPad Pro 9.7" is out now and I might have gone with that if it was around, but I got a good deal on the Air 2 and it's plenty fast and supports the split window feature on iOS 9.

    I typically use Notability for my notes app and split it with Safari or the Kindle app for eBooks when I used them. Worked great and lasted all day no problem. Last semester I only had a few classes and could go almost the whole week on a single charge keeping the brightness low.

    I love Android phones (currently HTC 10) but for tablets I much prefer iOS simply because they tend to have much better app support for education apps and tablet specific apps vs Android from what I've noticed. But if you need a real browser with Flash and Java you're stuck in Windows/OS X world or a Chromebook if you don't need anything special like Java or Silverlight.

    As far as Chromebooks go, the Dell Chromebook 13 looks nice, has a FHD display and can be ordered with an i3 instead of the Celeron. Or the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is a top ranker. But I've never owned one thus far, since I've just gone with MacBooks as my main and only computer/laptop.
  5. mi7chy macrumors 601


    Oct 24, 2014
    If you use a lot of browser based apps the best is Chrome for desktop and Chromebook. Second best is mobile Chrome and worst is mobile Safari.

    From there you can narrow down the devices based on budget and if you need to run software.

    If on a budget look at a Chromebook.

    If you want tablet form factor and ability to run software look at a Surface Pro 3 or 4.
  6. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    You might be the ideal candidate for the convertible type of laptop that can be used as a tablet or in tent-mode. If you're like me, space can be limited when using a laptop as an e-textbook for doing math. Being able to tuck the keyboard away or use it as a stand so it doesn't take up space might be helpful.
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed, this seems like the best solution for the OP.
  8. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Get a Dell Inspiron with Windows 10.

    It's the most sensible purchase when on a budget and a student. Price for entry models is under $500 and will easily last you 4-5 years of schooling on that one investment, and be 100% compatible with just about anything you'll encounter on campus.

    If you have some financial breathing room get a MacBook Air.
  9. 76ShovelHead, Jul 21, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016

    76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2010
    I decided to go with the Asus Chromebook Flip for those exact reasons. The ability to run a desktop web browser is a must, and the tablet mode made even better being that it is one of the first devices compatible with Android apps.

    Thanks guys.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 21, 2016 ---
    I bought a used macbook pro 15 last semester off eBay real cheap (under $200). That thing was a beast to carry! Plenty powerful though even before I upgraded to an SSD, still surprised how well it gets along with just an old 2.4ghz C2D. Unfortunately mom's computer bit the dust so I had to give it to her, and now I'm carrying my android tabby to school. Ideally I would like a Macbook/air but I cant justify the price : performance esp. of a used one. Broke college kid woes I'm telling ya.
  10. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
  11. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    Am curious to know how you get on with it. Please post back in a couple of months once you have some experience using it in school.

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