Grad School Purchase Mac Book Pro vs. iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Thajtodad, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Thajtodad macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2010
    Ok so I am anxiously awaiting my 3rd Gen iPad to be delivered on the 16th. Yesterday I got the email that I was accepted to Grad School (MBA). I currently dont own a Laptop and am curious If I would be better off returning my iPad :( and buying a Mac Book Pro when the 2012 comes out, or keeping my iPad and using the bluetooth keyboard which I bought for my since sold iPad 2. While I would love to own both I might just have to settle for one and I dont know if the iPad is really feasable for grad school. Anybody with experience in this area please give me your feelings.
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Hate to break it to you, but it's likely the laptop is a better tool for grad school.
  3. barkomatic macrumors 601

    Aug 8, 2008
    You may be able to get by with an iPad and a keyboard but it will be easier with a laptop. One could argue that the higher res screen on the iPad may actually be better on your eyes though.
  4. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B176 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Do they make SPSS for iPad? Does Pages have the full array of academic footnoting? At minimum I'd think you'd want an 11" Air + ext monitor.
  5. d0vr macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2011
    Depending on what you are study, both is actually handier than you would think. If you can afford it, go both, else you'll want the MBP. Also, unless a redesign is important to you, wait till the refresh and you might get a second hand 2011 model cheaper.
  6. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    You haven't said whether or not you have a desktop. If you do, then you may be able to get away with an iPad for your mobile uses. If not, then you definitely need a MacBook.
  7. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    Don't even think about it. Get the laptop now and maybe a iPad later.

    The laptop is way more versatile.
  8. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Grad school Mac Book Pro vs. iPad? Seriously?

    The answer is obvious and don't even know why you even need to ask it.

    Real computer trumps limited tablets at this point if you need it for school.

    The real question should be Windows or Mac for grad school because some applications require windows to run. And if you want Windows on Mac, it's going to be an added cost (depending on if the school give you a super cheap Windows License to install on your mac or run parallels/VM Ware Fusion)
  9. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    You need a real filesystem, keyboard, and PC for coursework. Whether that is a desktop, PC, or a Macbook. You need that first. Maybe you already have a desktop? There's no reason you need anything modern. A 6 year old Core2 runs word processors and browsers speedily and responsive.

    If so, an iPad could be a nice complimentary item.
  10. billnye97 macrumors regular

    May 26, 2011
    I am currently in Grad School (Physician Assistant Program) and I wouldn't even think of doing it iPad only. I have both. I use the iPad for most of my textbooks through Kno or Coursesmart Apps. With both of those options I also can view the textbooks on a web browser on my laptop. The laptop is way more versatile like others have said and I find it much easier to do research, write papers, etc. If you can afford both do it. I do use both but not one exclusively.

    For reference I have a Early 2011 13" MBP with 4 GB Ram and a 500GB hard drive. I upped it to the i7 processor too. I also run Windows 7 through Bootcamp for the couple programs that are Windows Only. I also have an iPad 1 but will be upgrading to the iPad 3 on Friday because the original is way to slow for using it with textbooks.
  11. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    I recently completed my MBA. So I'm speaking from direct experience. :)

    An ipad is a fantastic tool for reading/annotating/highlighting case study PDFs using something like PDF Expert.

    However, it is not a replacement for a laptop. If you're in a modern MBA program, you will need a laptop as there will be situations where you're doing things in class or while meeting with classmates on group projects that are simply not possible on an iPad. Stats packages, simulators, etc.

    If you can only have one, go with the laptop. No question at all.
  12. Thajtodad thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B179 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I do have a desktop at home and work (both PC) but I find that I rarely have time to use them with Work and school. This would be a Masters Buisness Admin program.
  13. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    The issue is some MBA programs require you to carry a laptop to offsite courses.

    I'm surprised your MBA program doesn't dictate that you must own a laptop. A lot do these days. Actually two executive MBA programs I looked at required MacBooks Pros PLUS Parallels with Windows 7 professionals preinstalled. That was the requirement.
  14. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    There is no way I would be able to do my work on an iPad in school. Not long term. In class, maybe, but I need more. I would get the laptop. I didn't have the option in grad school but I can say now that for heavier lifting I head to my office where there is a real computer.
  15. pdawg macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Also consider what your specific graduate school has most of (PC or Mac) b/c that really should be the main factor in deciding what you need short term. Purely for school you should be able to get away with a PC (and those can be very cheap now). I picked up an HP laptop for $320 a few months ago for the kids so they'd get off of my MBP. ;)

    Also as a student you will get a student discount at the Apple store if you chose the MBP. I would honestly consider the iPad more of a fun to have tool, although there is much there that will work for graduate school as well.
  16. LushMojo macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2008
    Camden, Maine
    I'm in medical school and use an iPad exclusively (sold the iPad 2 and taking delivery of new iPad on Friday). My wife and I have a 27" iMac and an 11" Air, but I use the iPad 99.9% of the time for study. My study boils down to downloading lecture slides in PDF format, annotating them with app and stylus and reading/highlighting selected texts and textbooks on the iPad. The iPad is obviously great at taking care of my email, calendar and browsing needs. I'd say over half our class is using an iPad.

    The only time I prefer the Air or the iMac is if I'm typing a lot.

    So, for pure study the iPad is great (med school is very visual - lots of text and LOTS of pics - anatomy, histo, path, etc). If you're going to be writing a lot, then perhaps an Air or MBP would be best (although the keyboard combo with an iPad might work as well).
  17. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
  18. ZhenyaF macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Another one for Macbook Pro, I use my iPad2 extensively - but mostly in the house.
  19. SgtBullmoose macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2012
    You need both. Do you have any dea how many pdfs you are going to read? I did grad school in the pre-ipad days and I wasted so much paper. The gf has a desktop and an opad to do her phd
  20. beret9987 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm also voting for both. The iPad makes a great e-reader and all around digital consumption devices, something thats really nice to have with case studies and the like. Couple it with a Jot Pro or another stylus, and you have a really nice digital note-taking platform. The laptop is vastly more versatile though, and it'll let you do things like upload documents on the go, run Windows if needed and etc. If you went for the Verizon 4G iPad, you also know have a hotspot! I think they really compliment each other actually, but if you had to choose just one too, I'd still go for the laptop.

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