Do I need an iPad for education?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sahni130, Jan 22, 2013.


Buy iPad or not?

  1. iPad Mini

    1 vote(s)
  2. iPad 9.7 inch

    1 vote(s)
  3. Don't buy iPad of any kind.

    4 vote(s)
  1. sahni130, Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013

    sahni130 macrumors 6502


    Jun 25, 2008
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Hello, everyone!

    There are many threads similar to this one already that have helped me quite a bit but I am still confused. Also, forgive my grammatical and organizational errors as i'm writing this in a hurry as class is about to start.

    My predicament is this: I've wanted an iPad since the introduction of the first generation back in 2010. However, I never could find a good justification of spending upwards of $700-800 on one as I've always had an iPhone or an iPod touch to play around with apps and whatnot. However, this semester it turns out that all of the books I need are available electronically as PDFs or viewable view websites, etc.

    Due to my high grades, my college is paid for thanks to the HOPE scholarship and they'll even pitch in a couple hundred dollars for books. So basically I can use the book money and money that I have earned from my job to purchase an iPad and the electronic versions of the books. I would like to spend less than 500 and I don't mind buying refurbished.

    Ideally, I think the iPad mini might suit me better, but if I can find a 4th gen or 3rd gen 9.7 inch retina version in my price range, I'm willing to consider that as well. The pros of having an iPad would be that I can have access to all of my books in one light package verus having to carry all of my books with me. The downside would be that this choice would be more expensive than just buying the hard copies.

    I carry my Mbp 13 and my iPhone 5 to school with me everyday and I usually don't even fire up my mbp because I tend to "multitask"-- you know, facebook, youtube, etc.... and I would probably not accomplish much. I don't really use many apps besides the usual (fb, snapchat, twitter, youtube, google maps, instagram) but I figure that with the added screen real estate of the iPad I would probably find more uses for it. I would most likely get the 16GB version because I don't plan on storing my music or many photos on it. It'd predominantly be used for reading books, the aforementioned apps, and web-browsing. I don't play games or have any large apps at the moment either.

    I'm leaning more towards the mini because I like it's weight and footprint, though I like bigger screen better. Retina really isn't a deal-breaker but it sure is nice to have. So, what would you do?

  2. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Doesn't sound like you strictly need an iPad though you might rationalize it. If you had said your major involved mobile app design, maybe I could see it but based on your post, I say resist the urge to buy another toy.
  3. Baklava macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2010
    As a student I know exactly how you feel right now. :)

    I owned both, the regular iPad (3rd Gen.) and the iPad mini, mainly for education and note-taking together with a stylus (Adonit Jot Pro). Both with WI-FI only. For me, it was heaven! No heavy books or papers to carry around. I had just everything in it. BUT: It totally depends on you. Some people don't like to read or write on electronic devices and better go with books and paper. It is something you have to find out yourself.

    For reading: Retina display is (for me) a must have. That was the reason why I sold the mini and am currently waiting for an iPad mini with Retina display.

    Size: The regular iPad was too big for my needs because I am travelling a lot.

    So: your choice. :)
  4. sahni130 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 25, 2008
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    You both have great points. I'm just trying to justify this purchase any way I can. I could get by without an ipad but it'd be nice to play around with one!

    Any others want to chime in? Maybe knock some sense into me or convince to further to buy?

  5. kylera macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2010
    Here's my take on it, given my own circumstances.

    Since Christmas of 2011, I've been afflicted with a health disorder that prohibits me from carrying heavy loads, and it basically put a temporary halt in my education career for the better part of 2012 due to recovery. Prior to my health disorder, my iPad 2 was really more toy than work or study tool, but since that Christmas, my iPad has become a significantly more useful, and dare I say vital, piece of equipment.

    I am going to prioritize on looking for electronic versions of the books I will need this coming semester, and if some or all of the books don't exist, I am willing to spend the money to buy them and get them scanned, so I can carry them in my iPad 4. In fact, I picked up a 4 even though I liked my 2 and I deemed it to be enough because I know I'll be staring into the damn thing for hours on end because of my textbooks and other materials my professors may hand out, and I could use the better resolution. Moreover, as a side effect of my illness, my sight also took a bit of a hit, so the Retina is going to be a boon for me as well.

    As such, personally, spending some $900 (iPad 4 cellular 64GB, including tax here in Korea) is actually saving money for me in the long run, as it will play a role in keeping me out of the hospital. Also, it pays for my entertainment needs in the process, so overall, I consider my iPad a pretty good investment in all fields.

    I understand the feeling of having a new shiny toy to play around with - Hell, that's how I looked at my iPad. The way I see it is that if you are able to integrate it into your studies in such a manner that will make you more efficient and more productive than you are right now, then by all means, go right ahead. However, given your case as it's more of a want than a need, this is a bit of a gamble and could take a bit of experimentation.

    Hope this gives you some new insight :)
  6. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    iPad with ZAGG profolio case and you'll wonder how you made it in life without one. :)
  7. HighDesert50 macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2011
    There are many ways to look at your situation as to whether you need or simply want an iPad.
    1. The most immediate is what are the expectations of your instructors regarding the need of the resource in the classroom or lab setting. As you know your syllabi will typically list the required and optional media and tools for the class. Are your readings and resources provided in an electronic format?
    2. What is the expectation of the discipline you are studying. Does it stress the use of current technology in order to be competitive. If so, then this would be a good time to begin to incorporate the tools of the trade as you have immediate mentorship through your peers and instructional staff.
    3. Given you are a good student, you have already developed behaviors and skills that have made you successful. Consider how you might augment those skills and behaviors with such a tool. In particular, are you comfortable using an ereader and its attributes for annotation and search vs a traditional text. Does, for example, having immediate access to such tools as Google Scholar make a difference to you. Or, would carrying a tablet become a distraction e.g. facebook and valuable time eater. Know your winning and losing philosophies.
    4. Go to your bookstore and try the devices. And, ask your peers to demonstrate how they use the devices. Make sure that you are comfortable working within the IOS environment.
    5. Reflecting on the above, which tablet appears the most appropriate? Or, are you maybe best served with perhaps a bootcamped airbook?
  8. sahni130 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 25, 2008
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Hello everyone, yesterday I went to the Apple Store to play around with the iPads and ended up buying a 4th gen retina iPad. I like retina screen much better than the screen on the mini. However, as awesome as this gadget is, I just can't justify the $600 price for my needs, though I can understand why someone else may want one. It's cool to be able to read books on the retina screen and have them all in one sub-2lb package but I find that I'd rather read a physical book. So, I think I am going to return the iPad, keep the physical books, and put the money towards bills and alcohol. :D

    I definitely will purchase an iPad when I have some more disposable income. It's awesome to be able to watch Netflix in bed or surf the web in the bathroom, etc. like I said before, I can always find a way to use a new toy but the smart decision for me at this point is to save the money.


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