iPad can an iPad air get me through normal college workloads?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by isephmusic, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. isephmusic macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2012
    studying international business mostly doing excel spread sheets and word processing as well as trying to research different topics at once. do you guys think with the iPad air having 64bit structure i can use it with a bluetooth keyboard to last me throughout college or will i need a laptop for sure

    note* i have a gaming desktop at home and access it daily
  2. herdnerfer macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2011
    Saint louis, MO
    Would be seriously weary about typing out a long research paper & the like on an iPad, even with a Bluetooth keyboard.
  3. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Bottom line is that ... it depends.

    The iPads are very capable devices. They are not, however, laptops or PCs.

    Keyboard comfort is one. If you feel comfortable with the bluetooth keyboard of your choice, then perhaps.

    If you don't have specific needs for a fully functional laptop or PC, like a need to run MS Office or other software that doesn't run on iOS, then perhaps.

    But my guess is that at some point you will need to do something that the iPad will just be unable to do. Whether it is open a file someone sends you, allow you to access a website with a particular technology Apple refuses to support, interface with another device, etc. Since you say you already have a PC, you could probably make it work.

    Me, I need a good keyboard and a trackpad (or mouse). I'm old school.
  4. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    You'd have to try it out to get a definitive answer for your case. You can't just assume that your specific usage is "normal". Everyone thinks that their own usage is normal without any idea of the actual range of usages.

    As with every other "Can the iPad replace a laptop?" thread, it all depends on the individual. Even for the same usage for some it does, for others it doesn't.
  5. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    I program for these devices and otherwise I simply use my mini iPad. It really is enough.
  6. jimbo1mcm macrumors 68000

    Mar 21, 2010
    I mainly played 3 on 3 basketball in college, so it would have worked for me back then.
  7. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    It's unlikely going to fully cut it. As others have pointed out there is going to be a time when you must do something that the iPad just can't do. This is where some file management tools would be great but they just don't do that and never will.

    Printing can also be iffy and more limited than a regular laptop or PC.

    So, I'd say no.
  8. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    No. It won't. Especially for heavy word processing and spreadsheets. Even a crappy $300 windows laptop would suit you better for what you're asking.
  9. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
  10. The.Dude macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2013
    Yes, since you have a desktop as well.


    Oh, no I did, but I spent most of my time occupying various administration buildings... smoking a lot of thai stick... breaking into the ROTC... and bowling. To tell you the truth Brandt, I don't remember most of it.
  11. tyche macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    I'd probably try one of those livescribe pens if I went to college now. Maybe combine that with an iPad on the go. Keep the desktop and books in the room. Generally, during lectures you're just jotting down supplemental notes and having the pen record the audio is super handy.
  12. hallidc macrumors 6502


    Sep 26, 2013
    Being a university student myself and used an iPad for a couple months, I would say you'd definitely need a laptop.

    I had a Bluetooth keyboard when typing notes etc, however I found it became to tittious while writing notes/ papers. The iPad was convinient at times however when trying to write a research paper and having to change apps, I found I couldn't.

    I still use my iPad throughout my studies however I use it to take quick notes and to review power points etc. I prefer my laptop to write notes or any document for that matter.
  13. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Dec 29, 2007
    Will the iPad get it done... yes..... eventually. Its a pain when it can easily be resolved by getting a laptop / desktop.

    I remember my uni days (2005-2009) - although the iPad would of assisted in lectures and note taking, it wouldn't have ever replaced the coursework part. Writing reports, had tons of PDF's opened at the same time, various word documents, browsing at the same time... all of this would be happening at the same time (multitasking). All this was for any given coursework - the iPad would of been good in a sense that I could of used the app AirDisplay to extend my Macs desktop to the iPad for more screen real estate.

    If I solely used an iPad to compile the coursework / report - there would be a lot of smashed iPads by me by now :D.

    Its a hassle, I wouldn't consider it. It would hinder your productivity, get it in addition to a proper laptop.
  14. nolem macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2004
    I'm studying business as well and could not put up with working on an iPad only, tried to do it this semester and eventually gave up and got a Macbook Air. You can do Word and Excel on the iPad but it is a very different experience and expect everything to take twice as long as with a laptop, which got old real quick. Researching is also a PIA switching apps constantly to take notes from a website or whatever.
    However with your desktop rig at home an ipad would compliment it very well, use the ipad on campus for note taking, reading and simple work, then do all the reports and spreadsheets at home.
  15. OneCharmingQuar macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2013
    I tried to replace my laptop with an iPad for personal use. Even then if wasn't up to it. I wouldn't consider it for anything as serious as your education. The only tablets that are capable of replacing laptops are Windows 8 tablets, and even then you should probably go with i5 over Bay Trail. If you have a desktop at home you might be able to get away with Atoms. Consider getting one with an active digitizer pen for handwritten notes. If you don't need handwritten notes you're probably better off with a laptop like a Macbook Air.

    Demonstration of handwritten notes in OneNote
  16. Fzang macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2013
    It's good for reading and marking in PDFs. For all other kinds of school work I need a laptop.
  17. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2008
    Bottom line: not well.

    I used my iPad for my first year of law school and it drove me nuts. If you actually had to do proper work like switching between windows when researching a paper, the iPad was just a pain to work with.

    I was only foolish enough to try and do a paper on it once, half way through I gave up and just went and found a computer to use.

    A Macbook Air was first on my shopping list for year 2 :p
  18. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
    iPad and excel worksheet and research papers don't mix

    Get a MacBook Air or keep using your old laptop
  19. mlovergaard macrumors 6502


    Jan 28, 2011
    New York City
    Having just finished Grad school my suggestion is don't even try, really you need a laptop or at least some sort of computer,I couldn't imagine writing huge essays on my iPad.
  20. kngelv macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2004
    This past April I wrote a twenty page term paper on an iPad 3. There were thirty-four citations/sources. It was doable but I had to do a final edit on my MacBook Pro. I can't imagine doing it on the iPad.

  21. Cyloncat macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2012
    NC, USA
    It's heresy in this forum, but you might also want to take a look at the Surface 2 with a Type Cover. Tablet, keyboard, MS Office, light weight. Because the keyboard attaches directly (not Bluetooth) and doubles as a cover, it fills a niche that the iPad doesn't.

    If you need other Windows desktop software, you'll need the Surface Pro, which is heavier but runs all Windows software and includes an excellent stylus. A Type Cover with additional battery will be available after the first of the year, and there's also a docking station. You'll have to buy Office separately, but the Office 365 subscription is cheap and supports 5 machines. This is a pricier solution, but at heart it's still a tablet, and a very good one.

    If these don't meet your needs, then you'll need to start looking at laptops.
  22. FoundAHalo macrumors member


    Jul 3, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    In a pinch, you can get by typing up short papers on an iPad (with an external keyboard), but you're likely to drive yourself nuts if you're trying to do any kind of research paper, since switching between windows will make you want to send the iPad out the window. If you are looking for something to carry with you and use in classrooms or around college, then the iPad's great. But for "desktop" work, it just won't cut it.
  23. biosci macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2010
    Chicagoland, IL
    I wouldn't do it. Get a mbp and use windows on it as an option or a MacBook Air. iPad is supplementary.
  24. silentbob007 macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2010
    Little Rock, AR
    Does your university use a learning management system such as Blackboard? I have found there is quite a bit you can't do with either the browser or the app at my university.

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