iPad 2 or 15inch MBP for university

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Chazn, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Chazn, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

    Chazn macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hey guys, been a long time lurker on the macbook pro forum since i joined.
    I have a 6 year old Toshiba laptop with me and still going quite well but i feel it's time to upgrade as it's getting quite slow in doing some heavy tasks such as watching movies or multi-tasking....

    I have been in the PC world all the time and i feel it's time for a change since i've seen how cool Apple products can be. So I want to put this question out to the Apple experts here, should i buy the iPad 2 or the Macbook pro? (high end 15inch model because of a decent graphic card). Price isn't an issue and i will be carrying them from home to Uni, i have an idea of how heavy the macbook pro is but i can live with it.

    I'm doing a business course in Uni so i would be using the device mainly for writing (~5000 word) and printing essays, downloading resource material in the form of PDFs, word documents and lectures recorded in the format of "flv" from my university website. Of course i also like to play GAMES when i have the time. I like playing FPShooters like Battlefield Bad Company 2 but i know the iPad 2 can't do such a thing, but i am willing to play some casual games such as Cut the Rope, Angry Birds etc if i had to choose the iPad over the Macbook Pro.

    Therefore is the iPad 2 sufficient to be able to do the things I've noted above or is the Macbook Pro a better alternative? (I've also heard people complaining that the iPad 2 should have got a Retina Display...is the standard display that bad???)

    Looking forward to your opinions! thanks!
    I knows it's a really long post sorry! :p
  2. XXFirefighter macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2011
    Your going to need laptop power too many times. And when you want to game too...

    I got a 2.8i7 17in. for sale if you want with 500GB 7200RPM HDD and 8 gig Ram if you wanna buy it.
  3. Smoothness macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2011
    get the macbook pro. Or get 16gig ipad 2 and base 13 inch macbookpro refurb if you really feel u need the ipad. together it will cost the same as a 15inch macbook pro.
  4. cwerdna macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2005
    SF Bay Area, California
    Concur w/the advice to get a laptop.

    iPads aren't full time substitutes for laptop or desktop computers. You're going to want to sync it w/a PC or Mac anyway and that's also the only supported means of updating iOS.

    If money is tight, then yes, get a lower end machine, a refurb or see if student discounts yield a good price. Refurbs for the US are at the lower left of http://store.apple.com/us, but from your writing, I doubt you're in the US.
  5. solowmodel macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2011
    MPB no question.

    Then, save £42 a month for a year and you'll have enough to buy an iPad3 :)
  6. Chazn thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2011
    I see...so what are iPads for? Simple tasks like checking emails and basic multimedia?

    How can you tell i'm from another country just by reading my bad english? I might be living in the US as well. haha
  7. iSamurai macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2007
    ɹǝpun uʍop 'ǝuɐqsı&#
    If you have the budget get both. Otherwise the MBP. I have an old white macbook and it's adequate for the occasional use at uni, as there are plenty of computers available on campus. The iPad is really handy for reading (texts and printouts) but not for taking notes. I've tried it and it's fiddly. I've loaded up a couple of electronic copies of texts and now I have access to them everywhere (of course you can view them on your laptop too but it's not as "handy"). If you want to type a lot of reports, it's better to do it on a bigger screen. IMO the 1st generation iPad could compliment a MBP for you.
  8. cwerdna macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2005
    SF Bay Area, California
    iPads aren't great content creation devices nor good for heavy editing, esp. if you don't get a Bluetooth keyboard. Even with it, you'll probably find the experience just doesn't quite cut it.

    The iPad is a just a different category of device and better suited for certain scenarios (such as content consumption, in certain postures) that are not so good on laptops or desktop and vice versa.

    I should've added that you should consider a iPad 2 + PC laptop as well, if money is tight, esp. since you have one now and should be reasonably familiar w/Windows after 6+ years. (I'm a PC guy and but did do Mac software QA for a living for 4 years.) My primary machine is a PC and my laptops are both PCs. Apple made nothing that met my needs and budget at the times I bought my laptops.

    As for not being in the US, we never call it uni. My Australian cousins refer to it as uni. In the US, we just refer to it as college. For us, the terms college and university are basically interchangeable.

    The display on the iPad 2 isn't terrible, but the resolution, or rather, dot pitch just plain sucks compared to the Retina Display of the iPhone 4. (I have no iPad or iPad 2 yet (is on order) but have an iPhone 4. Prior to that, I had an iPhone 3G.)
  9. belder macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2011
    In my opinion you will need a computer to do whatever your courses require. A MacBook Pro has ports like USB and allows Flash. The same with a MacBook, or MacBook Air or Mac Mini. A MaBook will allow you to take it to class, the library and have all the computing power as if you were in your dorm room.

    Where the iPad 2 is amazing is as a compliment to your main computer. I use it most all the time for convenience because I can use it anywhere The first thing you have to do when you buy an iPad is to sync it with your iTunes on your Mac. (I guess they could so this for you at the store if needed.) But this shows it's considered more in the iPod. Don't misunderstand, the iPad 2 is a powerful little computer. I'm replying to your message on my iPad 2 now. It's the first computer I start in the morning and the last I turn off at night.

    But I truly need my Mac Mini to do heavy lifting. I edit videos using Final Cut Express on my Mac Mini. I record and edit audio files with ease. If flawlessly does whatever I ask it to do. At some point you may want an iPad 2. I guarantee you'll love it. But for university you need something more traditional. Best of luck to you!
  10. j4mieuk macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2011
    Absolute no brainer, you need the MBP

    When you are uploading essays, coursework and assignments to the university dropbox or blackboard site you will need to easily locate and attach the files. The person making the files will expect them in microsoft word format and you will find this entire process a lot easier with the MBP.
  11. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    Grab the 13" MacBook Air for portability.

    It is first and foremost a tool to make it easier for you during your education, so the gaming part can definitely afford to take a backseat.
  12. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    OP, for what you want out of a device, and as a switcher, the MBP is the only choice for you. While an iPad can be a productivity tool, your stated requirements exceed it's current capabilities.

    If size matters think 13" MBP or Air.
  13. Chazn thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2011
    Wow, i didn't expect this many replies in an hour! Thanks guys!

    Ah thanks for pointing that out, that does seem to be a problem on the iPad 2 then.

    I have thought about a Macbook Air but i've heard that the Macbook Air is reaching the end of its life cycle until a refresh in...probably Q3...and secondly it doesn't have a CD Drive :( Thanks for pointing the MB Air out:)

    Thank you everyone for your kindness and expertise! According to everyone's advice i guess I'll be picking up a MBP. *gets off the fence*
  14. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2008
    Chazn without a doubt go for the Macbook Pro.

    I like my iPad, but I purely see it as a companion device. It's not nearly as flexible or as capable as my Macbook Pro and it would be difficult to say the least to have as your main computer. For around campus or lectures when you want to access online resources quickly it's fine, but for essays etc you will be regretting it.

    Speaking as a former University student who had both an iPad and Macbook Pro towards the end :p

    edit: See you have already made up your mind haha, should have read the whole thread first!
  15. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    Don't forget Apple usually runs the promotion of free iPod with Mac purchase in the summer, if it's available in your country.
  16. euphoria47 macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2006
    If price isn't an issue, get both. The computer you will actually need. Ipad can produce documents, but the interface is limiting and it will slow you down. For projects and things you will really want a machine that can be used as an efficient tool, not a gimmicky toy.

    That being said, – not that I have experience, as I have been out of school for a couple of years – I think an Ipad would be great to take to class, jot a few notes, keep up on emails and surf the web between classes. Just no good for term papers, with specific formatting requirements, etc.
  17. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I'm going to say neither. The iPad doesn't offer enough tools in the belt and the 15" MBP is too heavy to schlep around all day and takes up room on a crowded table -- unless you are majoring in video editing or photo journalism or something and need the power of a video card.

    My vote would be for an 13" MBP. Take the HD out and replace with SSD.
  18. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    I was thinking that, except that the OP mentioned games. The 13" isn't up to much, whereas the 15" is a lot better for that.

    No way would an iPad be enough. I'd write a letter on an iPad, but not an essay!

    OP- you haven't quite indicated where you are from. You talk about "uni" so I guess not US. If you are UK bear in mind you get ~15% off and a 3 year warranty for free as a uni student. That makes a huge difference to the price!
  19. master-ceo macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2007
    The SUN
    15" MBP with Matte screen all day! You will fling the iPad.
  20. LYFK macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2007
    Having owned all the products that are in question, I would personally go for a iMac/iPad combo.

    When you're doing heavy computing, you're paying a premium for performance in a portable device. The iMac is perfectly competent, and you can get one WITH an iPad for the same price as a MBP by itself!

    Think about it, the iMac has a nice large screen to compliment gaming, media, and document creation. But when it comes to mobility and conveniece, few things really measure up to the iPad. The iPad will also cover 80% of your daily needs. The last 20% should be in different product category altogether, not the next one over.

    I don't regret spending $3400 on my MBP, but I do mostly CAD work and rendering, and I'd gladly switch to an iMac/iPad if I could afford both. I'm tired of lugging 8lbs of laptop plus schoolbooks to every class. An iPad really proves it's worth in the classroom, and there are so many cheap apps available for note-taking, recording, and writing.

    2 cents.
  21. RKpro macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2008
    I've got both.

    I've tried to leave the mbp at home and replace it with an iPad on the go. But it just doesn't work as a laptop replacement for school.

    So I end up carrying both, or leaving the ipad for home use, or non school/work trips.

    I love the 15" form factor, but if I had to choose one device for every occasion, I'd go with 13" Air right now.
  22. dmaul1114 macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2011
    As others note, you need a laptop or desktop.

    iPad 2 is a nice supplement to a laptop or desktop--can probably get some text books on it etc. But you're going to want a full computer and full office software for writing long papers and depending on major you may need certain software for computer programming or statistical analysis or graphic design etc. down the road and so on.

    Tablets will really never replace a full on laptop/desktop for people who need them for more than internet, multimedia consumption and simple document creation. At least not any time soon. They just lack the power and storage space and full OS's needed for doing the things most of us do on our computers--at least those of us using the computers for work etc.
  23. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Ditto. Not sure why anyone would compare a 15" laptop to an iPad. Makes no sense. I'd even suggest an 11" MBA.
  24. thunderbunny macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2010
    Cheshire, UK
    MBP, not both. I'm sure there are better things for a university student to spend money on.
  25. dvin macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2009
    i have had my MBP for about 2.5 years and love it....i would recommend the MBP for your situation for numerous reasons that have all been mentioned.

    i just bought the ipad2 last weekend and it is equally valuable in use to me. however, i would not want to rely on it to do the everyday tasks that i use my MBP for. the ipad is an excellent tool for surfing the web, emailing, even as a presentation tool, but not for everyday use in my opinion.

    good luck!

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