Considering a refurb New iPad (WiFi only) for college texbooks?

MusicEnthusiast

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
432
45
Los Angeles
Hey guys.

I have a lot of books to buy for autumn quarter coming up next month (two history classes and two atmos science classes). The hardcover and paperback books are pretty expensive, and I checked Amazon to buy some of them. But for my history books, I'd rather get electronic versions if they are super cheap (or much cheaper than Amazon).

I hate reading ebooks on my 4 yr old HP laptop, so what are some good places to buy ebooks to view on the iPad's aspect ratio?

Lastly, do you think an iPad is a good investment for this, even though I'm in my 4th and final year here at school?
 

rfs2005

macrumors member
Jul 20, 2008
41
0
Should be a good investment. Some things to watch out for...some profs are old school, and will not allow iPads in class. Beware of that if you must use the textbook in class. Also, make sure you have or have access to a traditional laptop or desktop computer. I don't think the iPad is quite there yet to be a complete replacement for a computer. Lastly, when I was in school, some courses utilized flash-based websites for some of the curriculum. Be ready to find a workaround to use flash on the iPad, or use a computer, should you run into that problem.
 

yttrium89

macrumors newbie
May 8, 2011
6
0
Sophomore Engineering Student Experience

So last year as freshman, I decided to buy a used ipad 1 to use for textbooks. I have certain hatred for physical textbooks, weight, bulk, expensive.... So I first used an app called course smart for my books, they generally have 540 day rentals which was more then enough for my standard classes.

Pros of coursesmart- generally had my books most of the time for cheap ($100 savings)

cons- poor quality, buggy app, crappy DRM.

Now this actually worked really well for just reading on my own and doing problems (chem, calc, physics).
But I took a german class, and we frequently used the book in classes and it was awkward always being the last one to change pages (lots of turning back and forth).

So bottom line, I really using the ipad for the where I just read from the book and work problems but didn't have ti in class. I also like the price reductions and portability, (I had races to go to on the weekend and not lugging 20lbs of books has upsides)

Now as a sophomore, I was able to find all my books of the kindle store which is much more pleasant than coursesmart. I also upgraded to the new iPad, for several reasons, but two of the big ones were the better screen (saved zooming in) and it was just much snappier. (first gen iPad was given subpar RAM and CPU)


So to sum it up, I happy with what I did, if I could have changed anything I would have bought the physical german book (dropped it because I took Chinese in high school and wanted to return to that). Just beware, college is designed so that the campus book store is overpriced but idiot proof, if you try out electronic textbooks and your have trouble with it, your professor won't like (my textbook is taking a while to load) as an excuse. Also, fortunately I'm at a techie school, so everybody is pretty much glued to their electronics, every class I take has at least one 1 laptop open, but thats just me, I don't know your case.
 
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takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,972
68
Lastly, do you think an iPad is a good investment for this, even though I'm in my 4th and final year here at school?
It can be. Depends on you and your preferences. No solution is ever one-size-fits-all no matter how you define the group of people. In other words, for some college kids it's a good investment. For others it's a waste. The word "good" is always highly subjective.
 

Agent-P

macrumors 68030
Dec 5, 2009
2,502
21
The Tri-State Area
I use the Kno app to get my textbooks and it was rather nice. It really cut down on the number of stuff that I needed to carry. Not to mention the price was much cheaper. However one thing that annoyed me was quite a few of the books I needed were written by the professors themselves, and they were only available from the university store. But for the ones I could use on my iPad, I liked the experience.
 

SpectreOne3

macrumors member
Sep 2, 2012
77
0
I am working on a 2nd degree and since the program is online the vast majority of the materials are in pdf format. I have been using Notability to read and mark up the texts
 

MaxxTraxx

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2008
264
98
I would not recommend an iPad for school books at this time. For me, the price of the eBooks are crazy expensive, often times when you can find cheap used copies.
 

jumbopain

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2011
9
0
TX
last summer i got a used iPad for my senior year too. i also took history classes and for me, i found my books on kindle, google books, and ibooks (kindle version was cheaper than paperback). so i just bought them there and it worked out great.

at my undergrad, the bookstore allowed you to rent e-books, which were less expensive than the physical text book. buying the e-book could be a diff story...

if you can find a free PDF copy of the books, or old edition of the books floating around the internet, that would work too. I recommend using iAnnotate for PDF editing. they have gotten better and better.

is it worth it for senior year? For me, yes. i was tired of lugging around heavy books. i actually only used my iPad for school and reading my other books & magazines. if you use our iPad for more than just school, then its even a bigger plus.

furthermore, if you choose to continue to go to more schooling, it's definitely worth it. I chosen to go on to 4 more years of education, so my iPad was a sound investment. unfortunately, my iPad 1 is starting to show its age, so like you, i am looking to pick up the new iPad too!
 

jomirrivera

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2011
348
23
Hey guys.

I have a lot of books to buy for autumn quarter coming up next month (two history classes and two atmos science classes). The hardcover and paperback books are pretty expensive, and I checked Amazon to buy some of them. But for my history books, I'd rather get electronic versions if they are super cheap (or much cheaper than Amazon).

I hate reading ebooks on my 4 yr old HP laptop, so what are some good places to buy ebooks to view on the iPad's aspect ratio?

Lastly, do you think an iPad is a good investment for this, even though I'm in my 4th and final year here at school?

I had to buy three books, 140 dollars each!
So I decided to put a little extra money and buyed an iPad 3 and loaded it with the three books in pdf format!
So far, is working great!
 

ECETeacher

macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2012
10
0
I had to buy three books, 140 dollars each!
So I decided to put a little extra money and buyed an iPad 3 and loaded it with the three books in pdf format!
So far, is working great!
How did you get them on there as PDFs? Every eTextbook I've seen is a secure PDF

I have one textbook available trough the kindle store, easy.

One was for a course through Aplia which let me download a chapter at a time in regular PDF and I could put it to my iPhone and kindle.

All the rest through CourseSmart, CengageBrain, Chegg etc. = secure PDF- that bane of my existence. The apps for those are so crappy that reading on anything but my actual macbook is pretty impossible.

All I want is these on my iPhone and kindle! I'll pay I'm not trying to download free, I just want the option after I've paid to put on these devices directly (iBooks and/or kindle mobi) .... Ugh
 

BiteMyApple

macrumors member
Aug 20, 2010
96
0
Forest Hills, NY
Yes! Amazing investment, no matter what year you're in. I completed my Bachelor last May and the iPad made my life so much easier during the last 2 semesters. Go for it, even if that's your only reason to get one.

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How did you get them on there as PDFs? Every eTextbook I've seen is a secure PDF
With a little luck, a simple Google search will bring you marvels.