In other news: iPad for college

Discussion in 'iPad' started by cshearer, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. cshearer macrumors regular

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    #1
    About own week and a half ago, I posted a thread with regards to the practicality of an iPad in an academic setting. Scene buying it, and exploring the apps on the store in this regard, I wish I had discovered this nifty device sooner.

    The most remarkable thing is how much I saved on textbooks. I decided to go all digital for my textbooks. I thought out the logistics, and realized that this would not be a hindrance. Classes begin tomorrow, and I feel as prepared if not more prepared as I've been in past semesters. The real kicker is how much I saved on textbooks: ~$500. Between Kno, Kindle, and iBooks I was able to find them all, and many of the classics for my philosophy course for free. I also bought a reasonably priced "stylus" made for capacitive touch devices, that even has a tip which emulates the feel of real paper. This will be invaluable for math notes.

    All in all, if you're a student who owns an iPad, I highly recommend at least looking into digital textbooks. You really can save money, and as an avid fan of good old fashioned paper books, not having a physical textbook just doesn't seems as big a loss as say, Slaughterhouse-Five.

    P.S., thanks to all who contributed to the thread mentioned above. Your opinions definitely helped me reach a decision.
     
  2. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    #2
    Save a lot more money by renting a physical copy...
     
  3. cshearer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Be able to buy a house later on in life by starting to build credit in my early twenties by purchasing an iPad...
     
  4. saberahul macrumors 68040

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    I agree with you. I have used my iPad for graduate school and have indeed saved a lot of dough. I think the biggest advantage is the reduction in weight.
     
  5. cshearer thread starter macrumors regular

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    I can only imagine what the textbooks situation must be for you grad students. Even in undergrad I've found the number of books to be ridiculous. Often I've found myself scurrying to my car to grab books for my next classes. This is especially annoying come the beginning of the spring semester.
     
  6. saberahul, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    saberahul macrumors 68040

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    Haha you're right. The average weight without the iPad would be around 10+ lbs + 5lb laptop + other accessories (about 2-3lbs). That's a 20lb backpack...

    With the iPad, its the iPad (no need for computer now as iPad does everything and if needed I use logmein to connect to computer at home) which is about 1.5lbs + accessories (2-3lbs) = about 5lbs total. That's a huge reduction in weight and size. Plus, with the 10hr battery life - who can complain. I use mine a lot and charge it every 2-3 days overnight.
     
  7. cshearer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Someone's an aspiring Wells Fargo executive, just look at them maths!

    But in all seriousness, my past semesters have been just as your first paragraph described. My 15" MacBook Pro isn't exactly the lightest laptop Apple has ever made, but I liked having it around because I've always been unlucky enough to have huge gaps between sets of classes. Plus, carrying around a laptop that even today is worth about $1100 refurbished just isn't settling for me.

    Relevant to this post is what one of the users in this thread mentioned. For many, yes, buying an iPad and all the textbooks may seem insane in the short term. However, over even an additional semester, this iPad pays itself off. Although renting physical books might be cheaper now (when taking into account the upfront cost of the iPad, of course), the digital books are scores cheaper than their physical counterparts, even for rentals.

    I also recently sealed in the lowest possible interest rate with my local credit union because of my very good credit score. However, we all know that a past history of loyal bill paying is a must for becoming a reasonable risk. This is what a lot of people, online or off, fail to realize. Of course, once the iPad is paid off, I'll then purchase whatever else I decide might be good to purchase under this scenario, and keep gaining ground financially.
     
  8. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    Yeah I am a college student and I paid cash for mine.
     
  9. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    The iPad can be truly revolutionary for academics as a content creation and consumption device. Your mileage will vary based on how you use it, but speaking for myself, it accomplishes about 90 percent of what I need and has pretty much replaced my laptop for campus. I went from a backpack literally packed full of books and equipment (computer, charger, etc.) to a small man purse with my iPad, a bluetooth keyboard, and a pen + notebook. Amazingly, because I have digitized everything, I am now more productive with less stuff. I sure wish I would have had this kind of device when I was an undergraduate!
     
  10. cshearer thread starter macrumors regular

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    freshmen...

    People use many different means to build a respectable credit reputation. I for one chose to use the purchase of the iPad. Make sense?
     
  11. SaMaster14 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Um... wouldn't the same happen if you used a credit card to rent books or really buy anything else with a credit card or checking account? And honestly, an iPad is a pretty small purchase in the grand scheme of things, not sure how it will really effect credit in the long run...
    Not even sure what that has to do with the topic, haha.

    But, back on track. I used an iPad for all of my notes my senior year in high school. I LOVED it, had a bluetooth keyboard, could type and draw and had everything on the small tablet. Printed out all the notes to study (I like hard copies) and at home I did all of my essay writing and real computer homework on my laptop. The iPad is nice, but being able to have Word, Email, and the browser with a couple of tabs open AND VISIBLE at the same time was needed.

    I'll be a freshman in college this year, and got myself a new MacBook Pro 15" with the SSD and all the good stuff, so it will hopefully last me my undergraduate years. I will use it for notes and work, but I'll probably have my iPad with me at all my classes as well. I'll use it for 'drawing' when necessary and probably use it as my daily planner as I did in high school. The iPad obviously has great integration with Mac, so it should be a flawless combination and the best of both worlds!
     
  12. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    Junior and I prefer not to go further into debt than my college tuition is putting me :)
     
  13. cshearer thread starter macrumors regular

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    I'm glad to hear your success with it. I obviously haven't taken it into the field, so to speak, but I did think about how nice it would be to have searchable notes. I know my psychology notebooks always get crazy, no pun intended. I am playing Russian roulette a bit, because after a lot of thinking, I decided to register my iPad on my developer account. I have to say however, I really think Reminders will be a great thing to have. It can't wait for everyone to have it, this is very exciting software. :)
     
  14. SaMaster14 macrumors 6502

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    Also, in addition to my prior post, I have to add that it really is preference. I would like being able to search for quotes and stuff online, but I'm old fashioned when it comes to reading textbooks and reading books for school. I like to write on the book itself, and that is something a digitized book won't be able to do for me. If I really need it, I'll just buy the digital copy of the book to use for searching, but read the physical copy so I can annotate...
     
  15. cshearer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Understandable, but I'm not telling you to do things my way. This plan is what is working with me to build credit. I could have easily paid out of pocket, but in this capitalist economy, as much as it pains me, having good credit is stupidly invaluable. I don't like credit cards, and that is why I set a limit on it just high enough to purchase the iPad.

    ----------

    Hah, why yes, there are a huge number of different options to build credit. Admittedly I have a bad spending problem, which most likely is a day to day manifestation of my bipolar type I disorder. Exactly as you said, this is a small purchase, which is what I wanted. It's complicated, and really isn't irrelevant, but I'm groggy and someone set me off :)

    But I agree, I don't think I'll ever not have a need for a MacBook. Especially when iCloud comes out (my account only allows for the features in iOS), I'm going to love working on a paper on my iPad, then opening my MacBook and having it instantly there. I think iOS has something to offer for anyone when it comes to productivity, which is probably why it fascinates me.
     
  16. SaMaster14 macrumors 6502

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    I like your idea. But to truly build credit, its actually smarter to make a bunch of small purchases every once in a while (groceries, a monthly subscription, etc) . Banks and CC companies like to see activity, not one small purchase (and yes, to them one iPad purchase is small change).

    Good luck with you iPad though. I think its definitely enough for a college work load, especially just for notes. I just personally like having my laptop and again, reading physical books! haha

    Agreed. I can't wait for iCloud. That will be awesome. And who knows, with iOS5 and whenever the next generation iPad comes out there may truly be no need for my MBP actually in class, especially with a bluetooth keyboard.
     
  17. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    I still have an iPad but you save a lot of money renting a physical copy.
     
  18. cshearer thread starter macrumors regular

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    I think we're looking at this differently. I don't plan to just buy the iPad and let the credit card collect dust. The financial advisor I spoke to at my credit union agreed with what I thought about this. We just have two different approaches to the same idea, apples and oranges. And my iPad isn't small change to me :(

    :)

    And I agree whole-heatedly with your last statement. I just can't get into a good novel on the iPad like I can with a nice paper book. Textbooks though, I don't mind abandoning for digital versions. It's hard to explain.

    ----------

    I agree with that, you do save a lot. However, in the long run, I will save more, and I won't have to lug around a bunch of huge books. Anything pertinent to the thread would be lovely.
     
  19. crazydawg807 macrumors newbie

    crazydawg807

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    I'm a college student as well, and I plan on using my iPad for schoolwork this year. Just wondering any suggestions for some quality apps for school. I already have evernote, pages, just wondering what apps you guys use to help with your schoolwork.
     
  20. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    there are a lot of threads about this. you might find useful information searching for the following apps: evernote, scrivener, tinderbox, devonthink, simplenote, plaintext, notesy, and goodreader. also, for information on how to be productive with the ipad, i've started a few threads. see my profile for those.

    In my opinion, you will likely save very little with rented textbooks. You only save money up front. Buy your books used (if possible) and sell back at the end of the term (if possible). I bet in most cases you will not find much difference. Abebooks is a great online site for used books (never use the school bookstore). I usually buy a cheap copy of whatever book I need from Abebooks (preferably a reading copy with loose pages and lots of wear, but NO underlining), tear off the spine, run it through the scanner, and keep it forever in my iPad.

    My favorite reading medium is the Kindle DX. The iPad is a close second. Books are a distant third. I have learned to take notes separately instead of writing in the books. It turns out that I learn better this way and it was incredibly helpful as a graduate student preparing for comprehensive exams to have notes on every source related to my research fields on hand instead of hidden away in the margins of books. If you must annotate, the iPad does a splendid job with it. Check out goodreader.
     
  21. Trinatek macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Lmao, that's so precious. Do you honestly think anyone's going to want to lend you $90k+ for a mortgage just because you bought an iPad 2 once with a credit card, some years ago?

    Revolving credit != Installment/purpose finances


    Sure, it might boost your FICO up a bit, however even a high FICO will never trump a thin-file when it comes to mortgages (especially for first-time buyers)
     
  22. SaMaster14 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    That does make sense. I just don't learn that way. When it comes to textbooks and the like I do take separate notes, but when it comes to an English research paper or just any novel I just must have the notes written by the quotes in the book for context etc. And I don't like doing that electronically. Just the way my brain works when it comes to that kinda stuff I guess. And I've never had a problem finding anything like that.

    You don't have to jump on the OP, at least he is thinking about his future unlike quite a few kids who are starting/in college.
     
  23. cshearer, Aug 23, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011

    cshearer thread starter macrumors regular

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    I don't understand the need for your condescension. The key word there is start, and what's truly precious is your blatant lack of basic reading comprehension skills. I'm sure 2nd grade will let you back in if you ask nicely and smile. Being fiscally responsible is the goal here, and that statement wasn't even serious. Another area of concern for you is sarcasm. And I think I'm losing my breath saying this, but I did speak with a financial advisor about all this. I definitely believe their professional opinion over your "expertise".

    I also don't understand why some people on here think that once I pay off this iPad, I'll just stop using credit altogether. I think after all the foreclosures the banks started giving people rocks to live under.
     
  24. cshearer thread starter macrumors regular

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    I see where you're coming from, because buying used and selling back is how I've been doing it. Whether it's cheaper or not, easier or not, I think it's just about preference (my same thoughts on the Mac vs. PC debate). I just like not having physical textbooks, even though someone else might think doing it that way is annoying. However, force me in front of a Palahniuk ebook to read and I'll have ten fits.

    I do like your idea for digitizing the books. That sounds a great deal cheaper. Obviously I've never tried it, but would there be software that would allow me to format it in such a way that I can jump to chapters and pages like the Kno app can? I guess the question is which is best, because I'm sure it exists.
     
  25. mystik610 macrumors regular

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    #25
    Or save even more money by renting a digital copy.

    There are also *cheaper* methods of getting an e-book (if you catch my drift) if you're willing to look or go through the work.

    You really don't save much by renting physical books anyway. The rental price seems to contemplate the cost of the book new/used, and the amount you would receive when you sell it back to contemplate the rental rate. In the long run, you aren't saving much at all by renting books. It might be different for undergraduate books (this was not a common practice when I was in my undergrad), but graduation books are expensive, and the rental rates were not a whole lot better.

    This is precisely what I did during my undergrad, and I was able to buy a house a year after graduation...which was in 2008: the height of the housing market meltdown.

    I bought a laptop, TV, home theater system, and desktop throughout my college career using credit. I always utilized 0% offers (still do) and never paid a dime in interest. Did the same thing for my laptop for grad school and my iPad. I have the cash on hand to buy both items, but IMO its stupid to deplete cash that can be saved and/or invested, when there's free financing out there.

    I would not recommend a credit card for undergraduate kids beyond that. It's far too easy to get out of hand and the income of most college kids doesn't match the lifestyle! (i.e. social life). Not going to lie...I had some bar/club debt to pay off upon graduation lol. Nothing out of hand though. In hindsight, it was definitely worth it!

    I've digitize mostly everything too, but I still find myself going to my macbook pro for any heavy lifting (no pun intended). I also find myself in situations where I need a laptop and a textbook/ipad open concurrently quite often.

    A full-on laptop is required for my graduate program anyhow, so I couldn't get rid of it even if I wanted to. But carrying a laptop and an iPad is a lot easier than carrying a laptop and a set of books. I also work full-time and study during my lunch hour, and its easier to stuff an iPad in work bag bag than a text book.

    I have no issue working out of an ebook, and can highlight, bookmark and annotate pages, so it all works out. Once you overcome the mindset of "I can't study out of an e-book and need a physical copy", life gets a lot easier.
     

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