Going to College This Fall-iPad Possible Instead of MacBook?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by tangledweb16, May 17, 2010.

  1. tangledweb16 macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2007
    Now I realize there are limitations, but I was wondering if the iPad could possibly be used instead of a MacBook. I was forced to sell mine last October, and since the iPad is half the price of a new MacBook, I was wondering if it'd be possible to use it instead of a "real" computer. I would obviously hook it up to a Bluetooth keyboard, and I'll be using pen and paper for taking notes.

    Again, I realize there are going to be limitations, but I'm poor, and I figure with the Pages app I could get my paper writing done, and then either send it to my email or print it from the iPad, if that's available by then (Steve Jobs has said it's coming).

    So, opinions? Bashings? Anything would be appreciated.
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    I wouldnt

    Besids, you need a computer to use the ipad anyways
  3. harry20larry macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2008
    I currently use an ipad at college and its great, i use evernote to take notes and it works a treat since everything is backed up. The main limitation for me is printing out stuff, when my teacher asks for it
  4. Tulipone macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2009
    Huntingdon UK
    Whilst I love the iPad, I don't believe that it would permanently replace a computer. If you have access to a main pc then you have the best of both worlds.
  5. tangledweb16 thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2007
    Yes, I realize you need a computer to set it up. My family has a communal computer, and I have all my stuff backed up on it, so that wouldn't be a problem.
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    are you living at home during college?

    if not, i wouldnt count on that as a solution
  7. tangledweb16 thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2007
    I'm going to a community college for my first two years until I can save up the money for a university. So yeah, at the very least I will be able to drive over to my families house to sync it up, as the college is fifteen minutes from the house. So I think I can count on it.
  8. xraytech macrumors 68030

    Mar 24, 2010
    Not a good idea.

    If you're poor, you'd get more bang for the buck if you get a regular Macbook. If you're real poor, just get Windows Laptop.

    Also, you need a computer anyways if get an iPad.
  9. M87 macrumors 65816

    Jul 18, 2009
    Don't get me wrong, I like my iPad, but I'd probably go with a laptop running windows 7 for around the same price if I were in your situation.
  10. JonathanK81 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2006
    I agree with most people in this thread that say you need a regular computer. The iPad as most people will agree with, is a *COMPLIMENTARY* device, it's not a replacement for a computer. It's something you buy to compliment having a computer. I think you might survive for a bit, then eventually, you'll realize how tough it is not having one.
  11. Knot ewe macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2009
    If you are single get an iPad and deal with the limitations. If not get a PC. Girls like shiny things. :)

    If you really need to save money just get a PC it would be foolish to buy an iPad, although you could get by most of the time with an iPad.
  12. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    Really depends on your major and your school. If money is an issue, get a Mac Mini.

    Just off the top of my head, here are some issues you may run into.

    1. Many professors give you PowerPoints with notes in them, and as far as I know, the iPad cannot read the notes.
    2. The conversion of the iPad is poor from Word Documents; especially with Symbols, a commonly used font set in scientific papers
    3. Cannot upload document easily. Many professors will want will you to use Blackboard (or other content management package) to upload assignments; and the iPad cannot do this.
    4. Many test are done on Blackboard, and I'm not sure of the iPad can do this. Not tried it, since I'm not the one taking the test, so I could be wrong on this.
    5. Difficult to download from links; it can be done with apps but it entails copying the link.
    6. Study groups tend to live on thumb-drives; and it will go over like a fa*t in church when you explain to them you cannot read/write to them.
    7. Flash is still used in college.

    Trust me, you are setting yourself up for failure if you try this, because while its possible, the number of work arounds will be a time thief and make for a poor experience IMHO. As a person who has been on both sides of the classroom, and as an avid iPad user; I can tell you its a BAD IDEA to rely on it as your sole computer for starting college in 2010.
  13. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I'll be brief: NO! The iPad is not a laptop replacement. Trust me, you'll get to school and there will be something to do that requires Mac OS and you'll be screwed.
  14. Matthew9559 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    As much as I love the iPad, it cannot replace my workload as a student. There are many limitations, annoyances and other things that just aren't there yet to make it a possible replacement. I think after a few revisions, it is very possible. Just not yet.
  15. John Paul macrumors member

    May 10, 2010
    Washington DC
    Another No vote here. The iPad is great for what it is. But what it is, is NOT a computer. An iPad is a luxury item, and people on extremely tight budgets should be buying necessary items (and for a college student, a true computer fits in that category)...not luxury items.
  16. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Sep 3, 2009
    I would personally go for that new Macbook.

    It's $999 and with EDU discount probably $899. Almost same price as top model iPad.
  17. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    I've seen a few posts on here from iPad owners who claim to have written extensive papers using just Pages on their iPad. I've absolutely no idea how anyone could do more than basic unstructured note-taking on the device, Pages is just about one notch lower in functionality than TextEdit. I mean you COULD do it but as others have mentioned you'll hit the wall for limitations fairly fast unless you have a lot of time/patience which, as a college student, you won't.

    For $999 you can buy a Macbook. A 32gig iPad + case is more than half of that price. The versatility you'll gain with the Macbook for all your studies, and not just note-taking, makes this your only sensible choice.
  18. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
  19. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    My vote is also no, but the iPad does have some advantages.

    For example, you won't be distracted like you will be with a "real" computer, as the iPad can't multitask. :-\
  20. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I seriously doubt I would be able to get through college without a laptop or even a desktop. Perhaps a desktop with the iPad is a good solution.
  21. John Paul macrumors member

    May 10, 2010
    Washington DC
    Though still not cheaper than just getting the low end macbook. Cheapest desktop (well, at least if you stay in the world of mac) is the mini and that's $599 plus you'd need to buy a monitor, which will be at least another $100 or more. Then the price of the cheapest iPad is $499. So you're well over $1000 already. Whereas the cheapest macbook is $999 minus whatever the EDU discount would be.
  22. uglydimple12 macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2008
    just to add to everyone's input, the new macbook claims to last up to 9 hours which is awesome imo. It is definitely much better than my 1st gen MBP which got like 2 hours or less.

    It is kind of no-brainer to get macbook for 999, possibly 899 after discount. You will use Microsoft Office a lot and thats where iPad is lacking and my university uses Blackboard so like one of the guys above said, the iPad will not support all of the features.

    In my case, i usually leave my MBP at home, just upload everything into my content collection from home and then i can do everything at my school; vice versa. So if my MBP had 9 hours of battery life, I would be more than happy to bring it with me. Just something to think about.

    P.S. I do want an iPad though. Just to compliment my cyber-experience lol. But will never go with iPad over macbook when it comes to college
  23. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    The choice here isn't just between an iPad and a macbook. I disagree with those saying that if you don't get an iPad you should get a macbook.

    NO Apple product is advisable for someone on a budget. For $500 you can get yourself a decent, full powered PC laptop that will do everything you need for school and provide ample entertainment. I enjoy Apple products myself--but don't buy into the marketing that any PC will be non-functional compared to a mac. Yes, it will be plastic but a $500 PC laptop will probably have better components than a $1400 macbook pro. Windows 7 is a great improvement over XP or Vista.

    If you're on financial aid, don't waste your funds on stuff you don't absolutely need.

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