Equipment for uni-bound student

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by unknownfashion, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. unknownfashion macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2012
    Hi! I'm going to begin university next month, and I'm considering my options in terms of computers and/or other supplies. I'm contemplating between getting a tablet PC (not iPad, but something like HP 2760p, etc.) and carrying that around for notetaking and typing, or a MacBook Air with a pack of notebooks for notetaking. The laptop would be for report work and holding PDFs and other documents professors might share. For other students or those who have graduated, what would you recommend?
  2. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    I would get a laptop just for the fact that you may need to purchase, install and use software that may not work on a tablet.
  3. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    I would suggest to start with a MacBook Air.

    If you feel a need for an iPad for note taking, you can then get one. Get an iPad, not any other tablet if you already have an Air so that you can make use of iCloud for the convenience of syncing.

    If you feel a need for more display real estate in the dorm and you can afford it, you can then get a thunderbolt display.

    You are then probably in the Apple ecosystem. You can get other Apple gadgets if you need.
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Depends on your field, but a laptop works just fine for most.
  5. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
  6. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    Depends on why you are studying.

    If it's anything maths or science related don't try and make notes on an iPad. Equations, graphs, diagrams etc are too slow.

    A MBA should be ok, but don't rule out the 13" MBP.
  7. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    If you must have a computer to take notes on, Get a Tablet PC (Not an iPad, but a Proper Tablet PC). I have had them since 2002 and they are brilliant for note taking (I study Computer Science and Mathematics - so I take lots of complicated notes - can't do it on an iPad, but I can easily do it with OneNote on my TabletPC as they come with a stylus and have a surface area similar to an actual pad). The only downside, software-wise, is that occasionally in my experience, OneNote will shift notes around so that they overlap and you have to go and restore the file to make the notes legible. But they run full Windows 7, so you should be fine for applications.

    The biggest downside to the hardware is that they can be rather heavy (In general you'll need 2 Batteries and their heavy) - This is why I have an 11" Air this year, coupled with pen and paper, which is as effective and a lot less weight on my back.
  8. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    I would get the 11" air also.
    the mid range model (i5, 128) is actually very powerful.
    It is very light and mobile and can be used like a tablet.
    And you can get a larger external display if you need the extra estate at your dorm.

    I would skip the tablet and get:
    -Mid 2011, 11" Macbook air (mid range)
    -external monitor (which ever side you need)
    -MDP> Whatever adapter you need for your monitor
    -external keyboard/mouse

    This is the best setup.
  9. unknownfashion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2012
    Thanks for all your advice. After some thought, I felt that it would be better for me to carry my notes in traditional paper and pen/pencil form and keep a laptop for typing my stuff. Also, the extra display sounds like a wonderful idea.
  10. Teclis macrumors member


    May 19, 2008
    Trondheim, Norway
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Personally I use an iPad with the Apple bluetooth keybord for taking notes. Its the same kind of keyboards you get on the laptop, except it is much, much lighter and therefore easy to carry around. Sorting and structuring the notes is also easier than it is with pen and paper. (not that there is anything wrong with using it)

    Of course, for writing papers you need a computer, but you know this;)
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    taking notes on an iPad is not an ideal situation. I'd recommend the MBA over the iPad.

    Some people have gotten quite fast entering text into the iPad but they seem to be the exception rather then the rule. The iPad excels at content consumption, where as the laptop is better at content creation
  12. Nlynn527 macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2012
    I have an 11" air that I use to carry back and forth to classes and it is great. I also have an iPad that I use more for watching movies and casual web browsing. If you can only pick one or the other I would definitely suggest a MBA over any tablet.
  13. jacob11 macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2012

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