IPad college question

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Silverd729, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Silverd729 macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2010
    I bought the iPad because I thought it would be great to have around the house for web surfing, gaming, etc. But after some research with it, seeing the possible accessories, I pondered the idea of using it for college ( I am a high school senior). Before you flip out and tell me it cannot replace a laptop, I have read the many threads on this, listen to my situation. I will be a history major, so it would be used for writing papers and regular uses. I would get the blue tooth keyboard , and tarsus case that is also a stand. The new IOS 4.2 allows for important multitasking and printing. So, can the iPad suffice in MY situation? I understand computer science majors and things like that cannot , but will it get me by? If It will work for what I need, it would make me a happier person spending a hundred plus on accessories, rather then a thousand for a new laptop.

    All thoughts and opinions will be appreciated.
  2. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    Depends on if your papers need all the specialized formatting usually associated with the full featured versions of office applications.

  3. IcyStorm macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2010
    I'd say you're still going to want an actual computer and use your iPad as a complement. Let's say your iPad randomly messes up and you'll need to restore? You're going to need a computer for that. Do you have an AirPrint compatible printer? If you already have one, why not just use that?

    Laptops can be purchased for about $400-500, not a thousand.
  4. elmo151 Guest

    Jul 3, 2007
    find out what they recommend at your college! I suspect a laptop would be more useful.
  5. redwarrior macrumors 603


    Apr 7, 2008
    in the Dawg house
    Different colleges have different requirements. I recommend, as the others here have, that you find out what your college's requirements are. I very strongly believe that you will need to run Windows in some form along the way (probably almost immediately). You will have to turn in assignments in very specific formats. I prefer OS X for stability and run Windows XP in a VM using Parallels. However, now that I am using Office:Mac 2011, I have to boot into XP much less often. Summary: probably not the best idea to rely solely on an iPad.
  6. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    Speaking as a History major, you will need a full functioning computer. An iPad will not work in your case.

    When you get into the 300/400 level classes, you'll be writing a ton of papers that will require footnotes, endnotes and other endless specialized formatting and rule following that is simply not possible if using an iPad.

    Also, FWIW, I got my BA at GMU and OS choice really made no difference as long as your OS was able to run a relatively new version of Microsoft Office. I'd assume that your university will require Office 2011.
  7. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I think it is a great supplement for you, but not a complete replacement

    As redwarrior said, you will probably need Windows at some point
    You will also likely need Office, even if it is the Mac version
    There are just too many limitations

    I think you will be very frustrated if you try to make it be something it was never intended to be
  8. RichardMZhlubb Contributor


    Nov 26, 2010
    Washington, DC
    As others have pointed out, you can't create or effectively edit documents with footnotes. Nor can you read or use redlining. As such, the iPad would be useless as a college word processor. (It renders the iPad useless to me as a work word processor as well.)
  9. Jay42 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    Many classes also require you to download all sorts of different file types and even run certain software. Although having an iPad as your main computer seems to be a great idea in theory - it would prove frustrating in reality.
  10. Silverd729 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2010
  11. Silverd729 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2010
    So what should I get? I'm not going to get rid of the iPad because of the convenience and Etextbook feature (college books are 30-40$ on there and the Layout is awesome) So, a netbook with Microsoft office? Or a low end laptop? I don't think I'd like having the two different OS 's so possibly a Dell mini with OS x ? Any thoughts...
  12. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    IMO, getting anything netbook-esque would still be cutting yourself off at the knees. You are going to need a full blown laptop with at least a 13 inch screen. In the middle of sophomore year I actually had to invest in a second monitor so I could organize all my research on one screen and have my paper open on the other.

    The iPad, and netbooks in general, is a great device for consuming media but is not intended to create and edit serious research, like that of a historian.

    Posted from my iPhone.
  13. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Perhaps an Air or 13" MBP (maybe refurb) would be good.
  14. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    I think Apple would disagree :D


    But yes, I do agree that an actual laptop is still necessary as a primary computer at college. You never know what types of files you'll be asked to download or open for class. An ipad still can't handle everything. The basic day-to-day things, yes, but not everything else.
  15. mikelegacy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    As someone has said before, it depends on the level of formatting that you're papers need to have. The iPad is great for taking quit notes, but using it as a fully functional word processor is a little annoying. Simple tasks like creating tables and such become annoying because of the process that it incurs when all you have to do on a computer it click a drop down menu....
  16. mikelegacy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    You can't get anything but an apple computer with OSx. The MacBook line would be good for what you need, but really for like an extra $100 you can get the MacBook Pro. With the education discount, you can get the 13' for like $1099 I think. That's a great price.
  17. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    You'll need at least one good full computer for college, or any serious use. iPad is just an iPhone with a bigger screen, and lots of limitation comparing to a laptop. It can't even open mime-attachment in Mail, which is used by windows users half the time when forwarding emails.
  18. bursthead macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2010
    I'm currently using my iPad in addition to my desktop. I dont need my laptop anymore. For my mobile needs iPad works well in class, when I need to take notes. Make sure u get a keyboard. When ever I have any assigned reading that's in PDF format, it saves me tons of paper and time when I can read them off my iPad. I have truly came to depend on my iPad. I actually downloaded a textbook off the net, so this semester I actually cut down on the weight I lug around to class. It's the future!
  19. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Aug 11, 2010
    The level of detail and quantity of working you'll be doing seems to be above and beyond what the iPad was designed for.
  20. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008

    I use my iPad for long hand written notes; typed up text in Pages; viewing PDF's using GoodReader and pretty much doing every thing but:
    - AutoCad
    - MicroStation
    - Advanced word processing
    - Advanced financial analysis using robust softwares not supported by the iPad

    For a student doing no more than a few papers, reading textbooks (your best bet PDF's), taking notes, recording lectures --> iPad is good enough for 90% of all the work. I'm sure your school has some computers if you need to make some fine tune editing which the iPad cannot handle - I doubt you need to spend money buying a new computer.
    Try it out and see how it works for you.
    As this, in it's entirety, depends on personal use and comfort - your best bet is to apply it to your current school schedule to see how it fits your needs.
  21. enrvuk macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2010
    This is a good point and a good option. A desktop with a decent monitor and spec to do the job is likely to be much cheaper than a laptop.

    The iPad will probably suffice in terms of having a portable device.

    Guess it depends if you intend to do your writing in your room or elsewhere.

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