iMac + iPad 2 (College) - Good idea?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Help Please, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Help Please macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    I currently have a base model 13" MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM, but have recently been wanting more graphics power and screen size for playing games. I will be attending college to study Management of Information Systems (MIS), so most of my work on my portable device will be note taking and web browsing, all of which a iPad 2 could easily handle.

    I know a lot of people use DropBox to sync files between two devices, so I'm not worried about that, I just feel like not having a physical laptop will feel weird. I plan on getting this, which will add a lot of functionality to the iPad, making it feel a lot more like a laptop.

    My only question is, is this smart or should I just stick with my Air? Also, any advice from others using this style of setup is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!
  2. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    IMO, if you're going to use it with that ginormous keyboard then you'd be better off with the Air.

    IMO, the Air would also be better note taking and other basic classroom activities.
  3. sazza85 macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2009
    I'm going to be doing the iPad 2 + iMac combo once I get back to the UK currently in the US and purchased my iPad here will be getting my iMac the day I leave or the day after. I did have a MBP but had countless issues with the 2011 model which ended up bring returned.

    I've been after a case along those lines for the iPad for uni so thanks for pointing that out. Will be better for taking notes rather than trying to type on the screen (which I have no immediate issues with but do type better on a physical keyboard)

    IMO its a good combination and I would go with it.
  4. Help Please thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    Thank you both for you inputs. TBH, it's not a ginormous keyboard and since it is easier to type on and functions as a case too, it's a win-win for me.

    Sazza, I'm still undecided but I'm glad others see this great combination. I would like to hear from some people that have done this / are currently doing this.
  5. wangkom macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2007
    I don't see the point of the iPad2 if you have a macbook air...
  6. Blazer5913 macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2004
    As for college, I would have killed for the MacBook Air. I went through four years with an older MacBook Pro, from 2007. It was large, always needed power supply, and just not the best "portable" device. But I recently got an iMac and iPad combo (sold that macbook pro as well as the same 13" macbook air w/ 4gb ram to compensate my losses) and aboslutely love it. only problem is that it's a "post college" setup for sure. For school. you WILL need portability, battery power, and most of all, FUNCTIONALITY. the ipad is consumption, don't think of it as notetaking. you won't be able to keep up with the lecture, I guarantee it. Trust me, go with the Air, not the iPad, for in class notes.
  7. iDabble macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    I agree. I used a MacBook for college and now that I graduated I'm on to the iMac/iPad combo and it's perfect
  8. TheUndertow macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2011
    I was going to say that it's a nice combo....I've been using my iPad for note taking during business meetings and does well enough.

    Where you have an Air already though, maybe start with the iMac and see if you need something other than the Air for class? Seems like you're pretty close to "being where you need to" with the in class stuff.
  9. Help Please thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    I'm sorry for not being more clear in my first post, if I got the iMac, I would sell my MBA, not because I don't like it, I love it, but I just don't have the money right now to do that.

    I've considered getting the HP DM1z as well, because I'd like to get my price under $1,700.

    If not the DM1z, anyone have any other suggestions of a second device, around $400-600 price range.
  10. HilbertSpace macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2011
    I've moved in a similar direction for work. For some time, I was using a Lenovo tablet for note-taking during meetings (I prefer handwritten notes - it's faster, for me, and makes it easier to enter sketches and equations). When they started an iPad pilot program, I got in on it (having had a personal iPad since release), and eventually transitioned from OneNote to simply using the iPad + stylus using Penultimate (I've tried virtually all of the stylus/writing apps, this was the best for me).

    I will also be getting a high end MacBook Pro for work (I have a personal iMac + SSD that I am still waiting on), but, for my purposes, the stylus, plus a good app, does what I need it to do in terms of meetings. I'd like to see a better notebook style app (it seems like each one does some things well, but completely misses in other areas), but I am pleased with this setup for now.
  11. jrasero23 macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2011
    Very Cool

    Very cool idea, but I would say drop the iPad2 and just get the iMac 27"

    I graduated from college in 2009 and I would have killed to have a computer as thin and light as the MBA. The iPad is a cool device but would be terrible for taking notes in class since iWorks will never match Windows Office.

    You could go with the iMac 21.5" which I have and recommend but I would go with the the high end 21.5" model if you will be storing a lot of your content on it. The 27" would be awesome but as I remember college dorms are pretty small and beer splashing from the beer pong on the huge 27" would be a hazard. Either way a great way to get educated for 4 years
  12. seand macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    Just stick with the Air. It will be more useful to have a full featured laptop that you can move around to work at the library/in between classes/for any groupwork than to have a more powerful machine at home. If you think you need it, get an external display. The Air will also be a better note taking machine, though in my experience laptops in class are use for distractions more often than taking notes, even for those students with good intentions.

    Given that you already have the Air, at least use it for the first term at school so you'll have a bit better idea of your actual needs.
  13. applewins macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2011
    indeed :)

    the iMac+MBA combo will be just perfect for you.

    with the MBA you get a complete operating system, you can do everything on it, except heavy photo/video editing (but even small movies etc. will be possible). for note-taking, webbrowsing etc. it will be just fine. all the "heavy work" can be done on your iMac.

    don't forget, that iwork and other applications are light-versions on an iPad, you'll probably get very fast stuck/annoyed with it. in addition, you never know if you want to install any software on it later on -> with an MBA you can.

    at least, a MBA does have 2x USB ports, you can share your content with USB, no chance on an iPad. you won't have any problems with the battery (5 hours on 11' / 7 hours on 13'', even more with low-processing-applications).

    bottom line, you allready own a MBA, so you know it's benefits. just think about the iPad and what you get (and don't get) with it. I would say, that the iPad is a nice device for webbrowsing, photos, videos and gaming, but not for note-taking or any serious business (except email maybe). plus, the very intuitive touch-screen makes handling some applications easier. but is an iPad the device you need?

    I would keep your MBA and buy an iMac, that's what I'm going to do for my studies. I hope this was helpful ;)

  14. brucku macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2003
    I have an Air and an iPad 2. I carry both with me each day (I run my own IT consulting firm) and they each serve very different purposes.

    When I want to check in on twitter, facebook, flipboard, use a calculator, listen to music, watch a streaming video from my server, lookup a product when the client's internet is down - I go to the iPad2 3g...

    But when I need to write even a 2 paragraph email, or go online, import photos, backup data, write a word doc, etc - I go Macbook Air no question.

    I also have a few desk machines, so this is a true comparison of both in "my portable" lifestyle.

    I think you could live with an iPad 2 as your only portable in college, but as an MIS student and as a student who will be writing a lot of **** down, if you had to choose 1, i'd recommend just the Air.

    But I think you'll love having both ;-)

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