iPad iPad 5 for university (Business)

Discussion in 'iPad' started by NickPhamUK, Sep 2, 2013.


The model of iPad 5 OP should purchase

  1. 64GB Wifi

    13 vote(s)
  2. 64GB 4G

    7 vote(s)
  3. 128GB Wifi

    4 vote(s)
  4. 128GB 4G

    1 vote(s)
  1. NickPhamUK macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2013
    Has anyone here been using iPad through out his or her undergrad course?

    I'm a soon-to-be business student, and I've got a budget of $2000. I initially thought about maxed-out rMBP 13" ($1699), but now I'm leaning towards the combo of MBA 13" base model ($1099) + iPad 5.

    MBA will be left at home to do assignments + store files, music and photos for iPad; I'll buy a decent 1TB ext HDD to store films. I'll purchase the Microsoft Office subscription on the MBA and thus the Office app on iPad is free. I'll bring the iPad to school and edit documents later when I reach home on MBA. Sounds sweet?

    Now, I'm pretty confused about which model of iPad 5 to select. Is 4G needed? Should I buy the 64GB or 128GB model? I have 10GB of music, 20GB of purchased apps and the rest should be devoted for films & school work.
  2. giraffeboy27 macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2013
    I'm in a vaguely similar situation.

    I'm at college, and am in the process of digitalizing all my textbooks, notes etc. A textbook works out at 1GB, and I have 5 textbooks, plus a load of art and graphic design resources which I use.

    I'm gonna get a 128GB iPad 5 wifi, and use my iPhone to tether to it.

    One thing I would say, is with whatever macbook you get, get the most storage you can afford. I have a MacBook Pro which is 500GB, and I only have 50 left :O It's easy to think you won't need much, but you'll regret it later, especially as you can't upgrade storage in the macbook air.

    Hope this maybe helps a bit :)
  3. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Will you have wifi where you want to use your iPad? Your school probably has wifi on campus, and I'm assuming you have wifi at home. So the question is, do you spend a considerable amount of time other that those two places? Do you go on vacations? Do you drive, and want to use iPad as your GPS unit? If yes to any of the above, then you will find that you need / want cellular connection, as the iPad is much more useful with an Internet connection than without.

    As for storage, only reason to get 128 GB is if you are the kind of person who want their entire film collection with you at all times, or you are a serious photographer who wants your entire photo portfolio on the iPad, or you are a gaming nut who wants to buy all the most graphic intensive games and keep 50 of them on your iPad at the same time. Otherwise, 64 GB is plenty.
  4. guyjol macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2012
    You say business but what's your major? I'm in Finance and I would recommend the macbook pro over the air because I run many heavy app at the same time ( some statistic app, excel with many spreadsheets, my stock trading platform). It really depends what are your needs. For me I could never replace a laptop in class with an Ipad.
  5. hayden1250 macrumors member


    Oct 3, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I am currently doing Accounting. I find my iPad useful for the occasional document and notes when at university but nothing too major. My iMac tackles the big stuff. I think the Mac + iPad is a good set up for university. I definitely wouldn't change it.

    Don't get 4G. I find I never use cellular on my iPad because whenever I use my iPad there is wifi. Spend the money on additional space.
  6. Gman021 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    I'm currently an undergrad at a big school (science major) and my advice is to think hard about what you like and don't like.

    Do you mind reading hundreds of pages of important information off of a screen, or would you much rather have a textbook in front of you?

    You can get by viewing slides and taking notes using an iPad, but 99% of the people in my 300+ person lectures used laptops because you can do more quicker.

    I want a textbook in front of me, not online somewhere.
  7. Mainsail macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    I am a huge fan of the iPad, but I am not a student. So, I can get by with a desktop and iPad. I just don't need a laptop. On the other hand, a student needs to be able to create content anywhere on campus, in the Library, with study groups, in class...you name it. So, a laptop will be your primary device. While I am biased toward the iPad, realistically it should be viewed as a secondary device.

    In fact, as a student on a limited budget, you might consider buying the Air first and try just using that for a while. Then, if a significant need arises for an iPad, you can buy it later. My daughter just left for college, and we got her an Air, but no iPad. Time will tell.
  8. Mainsail macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    I would like to hear more about how you have been able to use the desktop + ipad combo as a student. I have assumed that a laptop is essential for a student, so it would be interesting to know how you have made it work.

    I have one child in college and two more coming along, so it will be helpful to get your perspective.
  9. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I am not the poster you asked this question to, but I notice he said that he has an iMac. So I assume he does his heavy duty work on his iMac, and uses his iPad while on the go. I think whether or not a student can get by with a desktop + tablet or needs a laptop depends very much on the individual, and the type of courses they are taking. I went to college when laptops were just becoming portable enough to take to class, and I tried taking one with me to lectures a few times, but I found that typing on a laptop didn't really work for me in terms of taking notes, and I ended up sticking to pen and paper. Yet today, many students apparently do fine with taking notes on a laptop. Times have changed, habits have changed.

    Likewise, while people who are used to taking laptops to class might find it hard to believe that one might be able to get by with just a tablet, perhaps future users who grow up using tablets for school work might find they get by just fine with a tablet. Or two of your kids, going to school at the same time but taking different coursework, might find that one prefers a laptop and the other prefers a tablet. I've seen some people type as fast on a tablet as on a physical keyboard. Others just never get the hang of touch-screen typing.

    I so think that for the foreseeable future, at least one computer will be necessary for school. Whether that computer is a laptop or a desktop (plus tablet) is up to the individual. Also, even with a laptop, a tablet could be a very useful supplementary device, especially if your coursework requires heavy reading. If I had a child going to school today, I'd get him a MBA plus an iPad. If I could afford only one, I'd get th MBA or course -- but I'd try my best to add an iPad. I think it would make school so much easier to have an iPad -- oh the things I could have done if I had an iPad while in school! Reading books, library research, having all your reference material right there in a package lighter than most hardback books --there is so many things I used to do as a student that would have gone so much easier with an iPad.

    I suppose all these things could be done on an MBA as well, but there is something about not having a keyboard that makes things so much easier. Perhaps because I've never managed to feel comfortable with a laptop actually in my lap. In order to get the optimal angle to actually type on a laptop, I need it on a desk. With the iPad, I don't type as fast, but I feel very comfortable typing on the sofa or the bed -- I'm typing this post now on my living room sofa. So again, it's an individual thing -- if someone feels comfortable typing or reading on an MBA on their sofa, maybe they would feel that an iPad is redundant.

    So to sum up a long post, don't assume all of your kids will want / need the same setup. Figure out what us right for each one.
  10. guyjol macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2012
    Exactly. We all have different needs. I have seen many people in programs like international business or management doing just fine with an ipad. However in my program (finance) a laptop is mandatory since we need to do heavy excel computing in class.
  11. Mainsail macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    Thanks to both of you for your reply to my inquiry...didn't mean to hijack the thread. I was just curious how students today incorporate tech into their work flow.

    The truth is there are pros and cons to every set up, but if your professor expects you to build spreadsheets in class, you probably need to have a laptop.
  12. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    You could remote desktop to a desktop/iMac at home from a tablet. If you really are doing heavy excel computing (which I doubt you are) you would want more power than the average laptop provides anyhow. When the run time approaches/exceeds 1 hour on a high end quad desktop you don't want to do those computations on a laptop to begin with and would have to remote desktop either way.
  13. guyjol macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2012
    I really doubt that it's as easy and as fast to create graphs, dealing with 200x200 matrices and doing portfolio management on an ipad with remote desktop.
    I know an Ipad is not for me because I tried it and it didn't suit my needs, no need to be rude about it.
  14. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    It was just a suggestion, not sure why you felt it was rude. :confused:

    I totally agree with you though, that an iPad doesn't suit every need. I love my iPad, but I still need my iMac/MBA for some tasks. However, I'm sure glad I'm not dealing with spreadsheets that are too complex to run on a laptop! :D
  15. guyjol macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2012
    I must have interpret it wrong then. I apologize.
  16. rcp27 macrumors regular

    May 12, 2010
    Is there a reason you have ruled out the iPad + iMac option? If your MBA (in the iPad + MBA concept) is never expected to leave the house, then the portability is not particularly beneficial, after all that's the point of the iPad. The base model 21.5" iMac gets you double the HD, double the memory and a quad core rather than dual core CPU at a higher clock speed. Most significantly for working on large spreadsheets, though, you have a 21.5" screen to work with against a 13" screen. The base model 21.5" iMac is only $100 more than the base 13" MBA.
  17. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    I was not being rude, I just stated that for heavy computing a laptop doesn't cut it so it seems weird to dismiss the iPad with the heavy computation argument. Of course doing work that requires more real estate is easier on a laptop, but that was not what you argued.
  18. NickPhamUK thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2013
    iMac is not an option for me because:
    1. I'm studying overseas, so if I return home on holidays, I can't bring (or there's too much hassle) to bring it back.
    2. I might sound paranoid but I can't just leave my iMac on the table because I live in dorm. With a laptop, I can put it in a drawer and lock it.
  19. teknikal90, Sep 6, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

    teknikal90 macrumors 68030


    Jan 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC

    im a commerce graduate and now doing my post graduate while working.
    people tend to get good at uni, when theyre about to graduate lol so let me spiel my 2 cents...
    dont get an ipad. it's largely useless.

    nothing beats printing the lecture notes/powerpoint and jotting down notes, drawing diagrams, writing down formulas on them using a physical pen. it's quicker and more efficient and not as 'fiddly'.
    and iPad is slower, smaller and less tactile than a real piece of paper.

    in reality, your idea of having a 'lite' office on the ipad and then editing them at home is good in thought but not practical. when youre at your lectures, you wont have time to do your assignments...they'll be rapid firing information at you and your job is to take as much of it down quickly using abbreviations, arrows, diagrams, scribbles of formulas...for you to decipher on your own time. Microsoft word is largely useless during your lectures.

    in your free time between classes you may want to do your assignment. guess what, the laptop is a million times better than the ipad for that. for one, multitasking. you will for sure need to work with a pdf and an excel file side by side...or a word document and an excel file side by side...or even a video and an excel file side by side...the iPad cant do that!

    the ipad has its uses - ie. i suppose when youre doing your finance courses and you have to read 50+ pages of journal articles every week it can get tiresome printing those PDFs out. but i imagine that's the extent of your usage.

    My advice:

    get the retina macbook, and get bootcamp and parallels 9.
    install windows version of office on there. reason being is that the Windows version of Excel has VBA support that you will need to use the plug ins for your microeconomics/finance course.

    Mac is better than windows, but unfortunately in the business world, windows is still king.
  20. kristalsoldier, Sep 6, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

    kristalsoldier macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    Well, I work in the academic space. Therein I find myself using my iPad for doing my reading and my office computer (which is a Windows machine) for my writing projects.

    This leads me to suggest that the iPad is an excellent complementary machine, but not a viable primary machine (which could be either a Mac or a Windows machine as per your preference/ circumstance).

    In my case, my mobile set-up involves the iPad and the Surface RT (which I use only for the Office suite). At home, I have a multi-monitor desktop set up.

    In my experience, I have yet to find a tablet better than the iPad for heavy duty reading and light web-browsing/ email work. I say this even though I own the aforementioned Surface (which, in my opinion, is an excellent replacement for a laptop) and the Nexus 10 (which serves as an excellent platform for media and web consumption).

    Edit: I would recommend an iPad WIFI only model - 64GB. Use Dropbox or Box to supplement the storage space. If necessary buy one of those wifi-enabled HDDs for additional space if you wish. Invest in a good backcover (I bought the Speck backcover and the Grey magnetic cover from the Apple Store). I recommend the Wifi only model because in most Univ. settings, this is free. Also, it is ubiquitous enough nowadays elsewhere. In my case, where I absolutely need to get online with my iPad outside the campus, coffeeshops, train-stations, airports, large department stores and from home etc., I tether it to my phone. I can't really see the benefits of having an additional data connection only for the iPad - of course, in this YMMV.

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