eTextbook solution

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by roland.g, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #1
    I am going back to school for a Master's degree. And am trying to figure out the best eTextbook solution. I have a 27" iMac and 13" MacBook (which I intend to replace soon with an Air). I also have a WiFi only iPad 2.

    I looked at Kindle textbooks, Coursesmart, NookStudy, and Kno.

    1. Kindle doesn't seem all that great. Their desktop app is clunky and their iPad app is really a book reader and not designed for real note taking and studying.

    2. Coursesmart kind of blows because they only offer rentals, otherwise it would be a great option, but sorry I want to own my books.

    3. NookStudy seems to be the best, and I can sync between my iMac and laptop, highlight, take notes, and bring it all together easily for review. The only thing that is missing is an iPad app, but that isn't really that bad.

    4. Kno seems kind of cool, but their desktop version is web based and even if you buy vs. rent, it doesn't download, requiring access to the web to read. Also not all content syncs between the iPad and desktop versions. Not to mention you can't really get a sense of the desktop version with the trial samples.

    I am most likely going to sell my 2008 MB and get a new 13" MBA in the coming weeks and go with Nook Study. But I thought an iPad with a dedicated BT keyboard case isn't a bad solution either. That limits me to the Kno/Coursesmart route, but would allow me to take notes, follow along in the book, and bring up powerpoint presentations in Keynote for iPad. I wouldn't do it without the keyboard case because touchscreen typing isn't fast enough. But at that point I feel like I am coming in at the same weight of the MBA without the screen real estate or versatility.

    Anyone with eTextbook familiarity and thoughts on MBA v iPad, please chime in, thanks.
     
  2. wsmith722 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    #2
    I Use CourseSmart

    CourseSmart's reader is pretty good because you can highlight and annotate. I usually sell my books back because I learned the hard way that moving with a bunch of physical textbooks is a nightmare. It's nice to have everything on my iPad now, though. The upfront savings with CourseSmart are better than the $10-$15 bucks I get for selling back print books. It's the best interface I've used for eTexts.
     
  3. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #3
    Have you tried Nook Study. Some of the features on that looked better. What I liked best about it was the buy or rent aspect whereas CourseSmart is rent only. The only bummer is Nook Study is not iPad yet, but I'm not sure I would even need that, especially once I get my MacBook Air.
     
  4. wsmith722 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    #4
    I'll check that out. I usually don't want to keep my books, though, as I go to Liberal Arts school and don't have need for a lot of them. So rental is fine by me! I have a MacBook air too and I think the cool part about CourseSmart is that you can access your textbook even without a wifi connection. I saw a YouTube video on how to do it and my life has been better ever since! :p
     
  5. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #5
    ^^ I hadn't seen your post when I decided to buy the Nook Study version. While I like the idea of the CourseSmart offline feature and the iPad version, I was a bit turned off by their no purchase policy. For my accounting texts, there are things I would like to be able to reference later, though who knows if I ever will. Maybe my desire to own comes from my same desire to own music and movies vs. renting. Probably a personality fault. Maybe I'll go with CourseSmart down the road, but for now, the Nook Study is going to be my eTextbook solution.
     

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