ipad 2/imac combo- Back to school

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dennisjorgensen, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. Dennisjorgensen macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2009
    Hi, I'm a 33 year old carpenter going back to school.
    The goal is a degree in engineering at the university (5+ year runtime), starting with 18 months of courses to get in to the university.
    (Math, Physics, chemistry and Danish + english) (I live in Denmark).

    Now I'm going to wait until I have started the courses, and talked with my teachers and fellow students, so I'm not getting something on a whim.

    But I "know" I will need a laptop at the very latest when I start at university, but until then, I am thinking about the POSSIBILITY, of using a ipad2 the first 18 months (or so), and getting the laptop later?

    My idea (maybe flawed):

    I own imac at home.
    Ipad, I could use as e-reader for pdf's and scans+books, possibly saving some money on actual books (may be kidding myself of the actual uses of this)
    Also the ipad is pretty light, and I'm already familliar with the os.
    I will be able to use it, when I get a better laptop later.
    Also I will sync my keyboard to the ipad, so that should help typing a bit.
    Lastly, the school might have laptops we can loan while at the school premises.

    Or I could get a Laptop in the same'ish pricerange now that might be so-so when I get to the university, leading me to need to buy a new one again.

    Lastly, I could wait until I can afford a more powerful laptop, but then again, I don't know if I would get a pc or mac. And then there is stil the thing about getting a computer that might not be what I need in one or two years.

    My idea is I can use the ipad for all the "cool", things later, even if I get a new laptop. Having a cheap laptop, and then get a better laptop seems more of a waste?

    Any input is greatly appriciated. Specially from people with experience. Also I am a bit of a mac guy, so it's better to hear from fellow user, than the usual "gamer", android, linux, pc guys.

    Thanks, and I hope the spelling and wall of text is passable ;)
  2. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Congrats on going back to school! What kind of engineering? I'm studying electrical myself.

    My experience in a nutshell: Bought iPad 2, sold Sony laptop to buy 27in iMac, after four months iPad 2 (in leather case) became a mousepad, sold it to buy an 11in Macbook Air, life has been great.

    I tried so hard to incorporate my iPad into my schooling - PowerPoints, pdfs, ebooks... even got a capacitive touch stylus and took notes on it exclusively. It was fun and cool for a while, but then it just became a hassle. I missed being able to type and multitask in a mobile setting like I would on a laptop, so I decided to take the plunge and go for an 11" MBA.

    It's obviously quite a different price range when comparing an iMac + iPad setup vs an iMac + MBA setup, but an 11" MBA is just about the same size as an iPad and blows it out of the water in terms of functionality. Battery life is about half, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives in my experience.

    There are a lot of people on these boards that would beg to differ though. Plenty have found success in using their iPad in their study flow... but I just couldn't do it after a multi-month test trial. I'm now back to binders, notebooks, paper, and pencil and wouldn't have it any other way. My school work can be done easily from either computer (made possible via Dropbox) and the MBA is so mobile I don't even notice it.

    Now if I was studying a different discipline, it could be a different story. People studying the arts or even medicine tend to read a lot more and write equations a lot less. But I need to be able to crank out calculations, run simulations, and access online conceptual examples (often in *flash*, btw)

    Now if you're secretly into touchscreen games, now that an MBA obviously can't do. But I have my iPhone for that =P ... Also worth noting, there will probably be a new iPad in the next few months (~March) which will be compellingly better than the iPad 2 in just enough of a way that you'd be disappointed if you bought now.

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