Ipad 2 for college?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by noatonement, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. noatonement macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    #1
    So lately i've been trying to consider whether or not i should invest in an ipad 2 for school. I would really like some genuine input. As of now i have a MBP 13" which is running just fine and is two years old. I wouldn't be looking as the ipad as a replacement for my mac but maybe more as an "add-on" to help with school.

    As a student, if i were to invest, i would just get the base model (16gb only wifi) as being on campus i would assume i would probably always have an internet connection.

    If it matters...as of now i am a chemistry major and hopefully making the switch to chemical engineering.

    So some input on whether i should make the investment or not?
     
  2. Jessay, Aug 1, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011

    Jessay macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #2

    I did the same thing. I just bought my iPad 2 for school. It's best to make sure your campus's wifi is compatible with the iPad, so then you will for sure know you can use it through out campus. I'm going to use my iPad for notes and other tools.

    I personally think it's a great investment, and it's also nice to not drag around a heavy laptop all the time.
     
  3. ougrad1764 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #3
    I'm in the same boat with considering an iPad purchase for school. I'll be starting a PhD program, so will likely use it both to teach and my own classes.

    Your thinking about just getting the base model with wifi only seems reasonable, especially if you keep a lot in the cloud via Dropbox, iCloud, Google Docs, etc. (as I plan to do), and you're main computer remains the MBP. I know a professor who actually uses her iPad to do most of her teaching and personal work; another teacher I know no longer owns a computer -- just uses his iPad to do everything.

    Depending on your selection of apps, I think you could do most of your work (e.g., reading eBooks, paper writing, taking notes, web) via the iPad, and thus limit your use of the MBP for heavy lifting (e.g., modeling and simulations). The professor and teacher I know both swear by the iWork iPad apps, although they've also used Google Docs to good success.

    You may want to invest in an Apple Wireless Keyboard to sync with the iPad, as well as the Twelve South Compass Mobile Stand.

    Have you looked into note taking apps and accessories? I've heard good things about iAnnotate for annotating PDFs, Penultimate and UPAD. If you're into the Getting Things Done mindset, definitely check out Things (which syncs with the OS X version).
     
  4. noatonement thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    #4
    I have not looked at specific apps for the ipad just yet.
    I would definitely use it for note-taking and such and if its possible, have a copy of my text book on the ipad. My whole reasoning with this, is that i could use the ipad in class with the textbook on it and then possibly have a copy of the book in the dorm room for highlighting in such. (i plan on using an alternative site for the hard copy of the texts so they shouldn't be a ridiculous price).

    Still looking for some more opinions though.
     
  5. sumone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    #5
    I am in the same situation as you. Currently a college student with a 13" MBP and looking forward to getting a base model iPad 2.

    I recently came across this article on yahoo and thought it would offer another side to consider http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/10-reasons-not-buy-ipad-students-174406688.html.

    However, personally I would really like an iPad 2 and I can see myself putting it to good use. I notice some people on this site have said they lost interest after some time in their iPad 2 as another poster has said I would look into apps and such and be sure you know how you plan to use it. Make sure its worth it so you're not one of those folks saying "you've lost the magic" in a few months.
     
  6. tjb1 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #6
    Digital books cost more than renting them, did you know that? I looked up one and a 180 day "rental" of an e-book was $105, from the same place to rent a physical copy for 130 days was $90 but I can rent from another place for $70... Also, e-books arent widely available so make sure you research first and find out if the teachers allow stuff like iPads to be used.

    If you are looking for a cheap, good place to rent books I recommend and use www.campusbookrentals.com Been using them for 3 semesters now with no problems at all.

    Im also looking at getting one for school but all these rumors of iPad3-HD have been putting me off of getting one now until at least the fall announcement to see whats going on.
     
  7. AppleTech22 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #7
    I'm no college student, but I also have the iPad 2 and a 2 year old MBP. Now I truly think that if you are on a budget, you should just get the iPad 2. If you have some money, I would get a MacBook Air. I hope to be replacing my MBP soon with the Air
     
  8. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #8
    the ipad alone won't be enough. but, i probably get 90 percent of my work done on it, and the ipad has revolutionized how i study. i have written several threads on getting stuff done withit. that should give you some ideas about its potential and limitations.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/search.php?searchid=24013127
     
  9. beamer8912 macrumors 65816

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    May 30, 2009
    #9
    I'm also thinking about getting an iPad 2. But I have concerns about any iPad 3/HD announcements coming up. I'd hate to buy an iPad 2 at the beginning of the semester only to hear 2 weeks later new one is out.

    I have a 2008 Macbook (the old white one) and desktop pc that a built a couple years ago (quad-core, tons of ram...still holds up well). So I think an iPad would do well to supplement my computing needs. I didn't use the laptop much last year since my desktop was just so much faster and nicer to use.

    I mainly used the laptop to work on P-sets and whenever I need a computer on the go. I think an iPad would do well to replace my laptop for my on the go needs while my desktop maintains my workhorse computing needs.
     
  10. saberahul macrumors 68040

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    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    I am doing my masters in engineering and bought the iPad as an addition to my PC (now it is a MBP) and I am happy I made the move. I mainly left my computer at home unless I had to make CAD models or such. When in need to access my computer, I fired up teamviewer and did all my work there (considering logmein purchase...).
    At school I basically took all my notes on my iPad. I have the 16GB wifi and my universities wifi is designed with iOS devices in mind (they auto connect as the university installs a certificate). Since I have the targus stylus, I use Wacom and Notes Plus to write all my notes which I then upload to Google Docs in PDF (waiting for iCloud so it auto does it for me).
    Since having purchased the iPad, all I carry is the iPad - with stylus, and maybe a notebook and a pen but mostly not. I have all my required texts on the iPad itself (everything is in GoodReader) so I do not need to carry heavy books either.
     
  11. noatonement thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    #11
    It seems as though an ipad would seem like a good investment...

    Are there any reasons why i should avoid the ipad for school?

    I saw in a few posts that they could possibly be coming out with another new ipad...would it be best to hold out the first semester and then possibly buy the newest one (or ipad 2 if no new one comes out) before the second semester?
     
  12. Epic Xbox Revie macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #12
    I'm one of those folks. And I had to sell my iPad because I didn't really use it all. If you're going to buy it use it. :D
     
  13. RossMc macrumors 65816

    RossMc

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #13
    I take mine to my University lectures and take notes, edit pdf's, research in lectures with it. I have all my University work backed up to Dropbox and then I sync it from Dropbox to GoodReader and then I can either open the documents I need to look at/edit in either GoodReader or in Pages/Keynote.

    I also have text books on there and read them using iBooks. I have just bought the Apple Wireless Keyboard as well so I can type faster in lectures with it. I probably could of got a Macbook Air but I already have a Macbook Pro and enjoy using the iPad more. I used to take the Macbook Pro into my lectures with me everyday but it is easier and lighter just taking the iPad 2 in with me.
     
  14. ratzzo macrumors 6502a

    ratzzo

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    Apr 20, 2011
    Location:
    Madrid
    #14
    In my opinion the best way to get through class is through use of pen and paper to fully get your ideas organized and "linked" (ie, circling, underlining, arrows, schemes... it's all easier to do written down).

    If you're in for typing it all (though I wouldn't recommend this as you end up paying more attention on what to type than what to listen to -- and class is mostly there to listen to the teacher's lesson) then you could just bring your laptop to class and type it all in there.

    I personally don't see where an iPad fits in a student's life, I definitely wouldn't have made much use out of it anyway -- I couldn't imagine myself fiddling around with the gadget in the middle of a lesson. The moment you start paying more attention to your 'devices' than to the actual class your grades will decline.

    All in all, pen and paper are the best ways to get the most out of a class, given the freedom it grants and seeing how it's nowhere near as distracting (it's just not distracting at all) as the iPad. I feel silly having to explain why pen and paper is the best method, or at least for me, mind you!

    If you want an iPad as a commodity for yourself go for it, try it in class and if it does help you after all, keep it .. else return with 14-day return period :)
     
  15. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #15
    I agree. Pen and paper all the way. But, it's after class that the iPad comes into play. If you digitize everything, you'll have all of your textbooks, notes, etc. on your iPad to review between classes. If you have something to write (emails, paper drafts, etc.) you can pull out the bluetooth keyboard and get stuff done. Instead of a backpack, you can get by with a man purse. It is quite liberating and a radical departure from the old days of hiking across campus with a backpack literally ripping apart at the seams because it is packed with a computer, books, etc.
     
  16. Darknezzx22 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #16
    I used my iPad all last semester as a replacement for my MBP. I don't like to take notes digitally (i feel like I remember them better writing rather than typing). I mostly use it for research during lectures, textbooks and PDFs, and in between classes for games x_x

    It's spool much better than lugging around my 13" MBP. Lighter and better battery life. And in class there's less temptation to zone out and play games because you can only really do one thing at a time.
     
  17. RossMc macrumors 65816

    RossMc

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #17
    iOS 5 and iCloud coming will mostly reduce the need for GoodReader & Dropbox for me as well because all my Document/Presentation work which is done in Pages/Keynote will be sync'd automatically with iCloud then downloaded to my iPad so that will take away me having it sync'd with Dropbox and then having to open GoodReader or Dropbox app to then open each document I want in Pages. It will all be done automatically with iCloud I assume.
     
  18. beamer8912 macrumors 65816

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    May 30, 2009
    #18
    I agree. I'm not too confident about taking notes on an iPad.

    But I think it comes in handy outside of lectures. I used my laptop to look at P-sets, read PDFs from profs, wikipedia stuff while working out problems and pass the time in between classes/on the quad.

    Since I have a desktop to be the workhorse, I think an iPad works well for all the on the go type stuff.

    But I think notes will always be best with good old pen and paper.

    There have been some rumblings about a new iPad in the Sept/Oct timeframe. It may just be an iPad 2 with a Retina (High Quality) display, or it could be more. OR it might not happen at all.

    Best guess, if there isn't an iPad upgrade in the fall, most here will agree there will be an upgrade in March of 2012 (working off Apple's history).
     
  19. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #19
    i wouldn't get bent out of shape about an update. if it happens, it may not be what you want (expensive with features you don't need), and it probably won't come out for at least another couple of months (judging by rumors). whatever happens, there will be lines, supply problems, and you can always sell you ipad2 with little loss of money. i don't see the point in waiting, unless you like to wait :)
     
  20. noatonement thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    #20
    Everyone has been very helpful, although it still is a tough decision. At first i think the ipad would be a very helpful tool and a nice "add-on" to my MBP. But then again i have that little "scare" that i'll buy the ipad and find that really it was a waste of 500+ dollars for school, although it is a nice little toy. Still trying to decide! But thanks a lot for all those that posted!
     
  21. RossMc macrumors 65816

    RossMc

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #21
    Why don't you get an iPad and try it for the 30 days and if it doesn't fit in with your needs for college then return it and get a Macbook Air or whatever.
     
  22. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    boy-better-know

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    England
    #22
    I am a university student and have been using ipad for uni work. I use it to view slides, send emails, check work and occasionally make notes. Where the ipad comes into its own for me personally is ibooks. I love the highlight and note feature, it will come in use when writing essays. However, i do still use good old fashioned pen and paper in most lectures (and view slides on ipad) because nothing can beat it. For me anyway.
     
  23. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    boy-better-know

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    #23
    Oh, and seriously check what wifi is like on your campus because my campus is so spread out that i need to have a 3g model.
     
  24. asdfx3 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #24
    Based on my experience having had an iPad 1 for about a year and as a grad student: I wouldn't recommend it.

    For a lot of "productive" uses I found it awkward. Typing on the touch screen is painful and the size and weight (of the iPad 1) make it annoying to read notes and books. Not everyone has these complaints though, and it took me some time to realize that I would often force myself to use the iPad over my MBP when studying. If you plan to view powerpoint slides I recommend printing them to pdf and then viewing them, as the default viewer can mess with the formatting.

    Where the iPad really shined, for me, was lounging on the couch or in bed and mostly surfing the internet, watching videos/youtube, and a handful of apps. While this could justify a $500 purchase for some, I'm of the opinion that it's really think it's best to keep the number of things that will keep you indoors and secluded to a minimum in college. A huge TV, a powerful desktop to play games, an iPad, these are really things that can keep you from going out, exercising, and socializing. You can sit on the couch or in front of the computer at any time in your life, but being in college is a limited time deal. Even if end up getting the iPad keep that in mind, I had friends that wasted the entire experience playing WoW ...
     
  25. Chocolatemilty macrumors 6502a

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    May 17, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #25
    It seems thar everyone has provided wonderful insight to the OP, so I'll just add a little tidbit. I am an undergraduate student using my iPad for daily use for school. I use UPAD for notes, Coursemart and the Kindle store for e-books, iStudiez Pro for class schedules, grades, etc., and the usual apps like Mail, Safari, Calendar, etc. I should mention I have an iPad 1, but I'm sure you'll be buying an iPad 2 since it seems money isn't an option and you'll probably want the most current model anyway. just mentioning that all of this works great for school on a 1st gen, so it'll be great on the iPad 2 too.
     

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