Honest opinion about an iPad vs laptop for school?

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by erawsd, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. erawsd macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2011
    I'll be entering college for the first time this fall and I noticed that 2 of the 3 classes I'm taking have digital text books and online resources to supplement the lecture. Right now all I have is this desktop, so I'm really interested in picking up a ($500) laptop or an iPad for "on the go" study sessions.

    I'm definitely leaning toward the iPad -- the note taking apps look really good, the reading experience looks far superior, 3x the battery life, and its much more compact and mobile. Typing could be a pain, but there are some keyboard cases that could remedy that.

    However, I'm still not comfortable buying an iPad. I'm worried that none of this is actually true and using one isn't as amazing as it seems. Anyone care to offer an opinion?

  2. TorontoLRT macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2010
    Toronto, Duh!
    iPads are great for reading and LIGHT note taking, as well as organization. Any other school related thing is a bit too much for them to handle. I learned this the hard way trying to take complicated science notes (graphs to copy etc.) on an iPad. Don't get me wrong though, they're a great thing to have, and I love mine - just not for school.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    For me, I find that I can type a heck of a lot faster on a laptop then on an iPad. Additionally I type faster then I write.

    I've used most note taking apps on the iPad and most need a stylus and even then the quality of the notes is less then what I can do on a laptop. It has some advantages like drawing diagrams along with your notes but then you can do that with pen and paper ;)

    The iPad is really great at content consumption, not so much on content creation.
  4. MacBookPr0 macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    the first thing to ask is if the online textbooks use flash or something elese because I ran into that problem on my ipad in that one online textbook was flash only
  5. erawsd thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2011
    Thanks for the rapid responses!

    Deep down I knew all this was true of the iPad -- I just really wanted a reason to get one! :D That's a great point about flash too, I had not thought of that.

    Thanks again, time to research laptops.
  6. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2011
    If you mainly want it for reading and note-taking (especially if you'd rather note take with a stylus), it'd be perfect. If you want to write papers on it, go with the laptop or at least get a Bluetooth keyboard.
  7. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    If you can afford only one device, get the laptop. Honestly, with Lion and iCloud coming out, if you can swing it, get a MacBook or MacBook Air. It would be nice to be able to take notes using Pages on your MacBook and have the notes immediately available on your iPad in Pages. Or, you could save your notes in DropBox on your desktop/laptop and then view them on the iPad.

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