iPad for College Qestions...

Discussion in 'iPad' started by tjusafa14, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. tjusafa14 macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2011
    Hello Everyone,

    I've browsed the forums here for a long time and finally decided I had a decent amount of questions and justification here to join. So I have quite a few issues to resolved here. I am going to buy an iPad here withing the next 2-3 weeks as soon as they start shipping with iOS5, but I have a few questions and some advice in picking the right iPad, apps, and stylus.

    So first question is, I am not sure whether to get the 32GB or the 64GB iPad, I am pretty sure I can justify the 64GB with movies, apps, music, and books, but I am not completely sure...Can anyone please give me advice if you think the 64GB is too much?

    Second question is I plan on using the iPad for college classes, as well as reading, movies, and games. I need to find an amazing note taking app for handwritten notes, I've seen a few that stard out (Noteshelf, Notes Plus, and UPad). Any other really good notes apps that would be useful in Physics, Calculus, and other classes?

    Third question is which stylus do you guys suggest? I've seen a few good ones around like the Adonit (I've heard of a few issues though), the Wacom Bamboo, and a few others but the reviews are not great and I can't see a clear victor...

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Aldaris macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2004
    Salt Lake
    I just bought the pro stylus but they are all similar. I really like them.

    If you have the funds, go 64, I've gotten the 32 each time and have no gripes with it in terms of storage. But to each his own.

    Penultimate is a great app, and you can choose different paper backgrounds, be it lined of graph, so it may help in some math courses, but again it's just notes, so to each his own. So far for myself I've been sticking with paper and a livescribe pulse pen, at the moment I think that's best and then iPad for books, but I know that not every book is available. Anyway hope this helps you more than confuses you to what options are out there.
  3. Rubo Draco macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2011
    - For typing notes I use InClass, it's totally free and very useful.
    - For handwriting I "use" Bamboo Paper, nice app but I prefer the typing kind.

    I bought the 64GB WiFi + 3G... I've never even open the 3G slot (so I don't use it) and it's been 2 months since I have my iPad 2 and I still have 45GB free. I thought I was going to buy a bunch of movies from iTunes but I never did it.
  4. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I would get the 32GB (I have that), because it is probably plenty of room, but if you have the money, it is only 100 dollars to double that. I would have no trouble filling up 64, or even 640! But, I am also fine using 32. It's your call.

    For handwriting, I use Notes Plus. I am very pleased with it. I have also heard good things about Note Taker HD. They both use a system that allows you to write very large in a designated box while simultaneously displaying the writing much smaller in the notes. This handily overcomes the inability of the stylus to write fine lines. There are lots of small things to love about the app, and the attention to detail pays off, because I enjoy taking notes on it.

    For a stylus, I am currently using the Wacom Bamboo. I like it well enough and recommend it, but will be trying some others this week to see how it compares.

    I strongly recommend you do NOT purchase Penultimate. My notes looked awful when I exported them as PDFs. It is a beautiful app, but the results were very disappointing.
  5. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    I originally ordered a 32 Gig version and before I received it changed the order to a 64Gig model since I wasn't sure how much it might be used and I wouldn't be able to upgrade the storage. I've found I could have gotten along with the 32Gig model but after five months I have about 34 Gigs filled.

    One point to keep in mind is that the data associated with apps accumulates over time. So even if you don't add apps, you may eventually run into storage limits. The coming improvements in iCloud may provide some relief but a careful reading of Apple's description suggests that only material (songs, books, etc) purchased via iTunes can be stored without impacting iCloud storage limits. And there is no word about storing and streaming video from iCloud.

    In short, if you can afford the additional $100 I'd recommend it. But it's not essential, especially if you don't mind dealing with space management via iTunes. (I hate iTunes.)

    I've tried a wide variety of handwriting apps. Notes Plus and Note Taker HD are the most comprehensive, by far. I prefer the UI of Note Taker HD; it's just more intuitive for me. On the other hand, if you want to integrate audio with your notes, Notes Plus is a better choice. Other apps, e.g. Upad, Noteshelf, etc. are quite adequate but not as comprehensive.

    One point to consider is whether an app is designed with handwriting as a default but enables keyboard entry or vice versa. If you're a fast typist but need to add occasional figures and handwritten annotation, you may find you have very different requirements from someone whose priorities are reversed.

    Can't comment on the export to PDF quality of Penultimate that Palpatine mentioned but it does have one tremendous advantage compared to other apps for those who are left handed. The wrist pad can be moved from the bottom of the screen to the left side or top. For southpaws like me that is a major plus.

    Whatever note taking app you choose, commit yourself to practice using it for an extended period. I haven't found any app that duplicates the experience of writing on paper and I don't think it's possible to provide one.

    I've also tried a variety of styluses. Though I think almost any stylus will suffice, I prefer the iFaraday models and the new Jot Pro from Adonit. The former uses a conductive fabric over a firm tip and glides very easily on the iPad's glass. The latter has a tiny metal tip and a transparent plastic "collar" that makes it work on the iPad. It's clever and the stylus itself has the "feel" of a pen. I have some doubts about its durability. Time will tell.

    As far as styluses are concerned, the same advice about practice applies. Don't expect an immediately comfortable experience. Commit yourself to an extended period of use in situations where efficiency isn't crucial. (Don't use it the first time in a critical note taking situation.)
  6. mortusnox macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2011
    I am at a college and a few people I know scan their books and make digital copies for themselves.

    Get the 64, you can never have too much space. If it is there you will use it.
    If you can afford the 3G, it almost may be worth having if you do not have a portable wifi hotspot of some type. I was lost, phone dead, and was saved by the ipad and maps. $25 was a small price to pay to get on route from a 2 hour wrong turn (we were talking when we should have been looking for signs). Also the wifi on some parts of my campus sucks so it is good to have your own.

    Depending on what type of person you are, it is possible to leave the laptop behind and carry just your ipad most of the time, but I think it varies from person to person, depending on how they are.

    The stylus I use is...


    It is a cap replacement for either... Bic, Pilot, or Sharpie pens. The cap end had the conductive stylus part and it is supposedly smallest reliable size that will work for the iPad.

    I used to use writepad (handwriting recognition system), but now I use soundnote to take notes. It records audio while you take notes and syncs the audio to your note taking. So when you playback the audio and click a note, the playback will jump to what was being recorded when you were writing that note. The files both written and audio can be exported for printing or use on a computer.
  7. cinca macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    I second the advice to get the 3G if you can afford it. In fact, I would recommend getting the 32G version instead of the 64 because you won't likely need all 64 (as others have mentioned) and the $100 you are saving is almost all you need to get the 3G option added. The iPad is MUCH more useful and helpful when its always able to connect to the internet.. Good luck!
  8. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    PaperDesk seems nice for mixing text and drawings. I have only used it slightly. The audio recording feature seems nice but somehow I'm having trouble finding out how to set the record level and playback volume.

    iDesk is good for sketching charts and equations if you write a little slowly. If you scribble too fast it might try to straighten out those curves.

    As was suggested above, practice before class starts. I'd hate to have you show up for school and find that the note taking system is too awkward for you to keep up with your work. You really have to have this down cold before class starts.

    I got the 32GB version a few months ago and I've got 16GB free. I transition lots of things on and off the iPad. Perhaps I'll use more in the future. The only thing that really chews up the memory space is video. Unless you need to keep a bunch of full length movies all the time the 32GB version should be OK.
  9. Super Jay macrumors newbie

    Super Jay

    Sep 12, 2011
    I recommend getting the 32 and saving some money. With the way iTunes you can sync your iPad so you only have movies/videos you haven't watched and/or other videos you want to keep on your iPad at all times which is really convenient.

    It's a shame all this cool stuff came out for iPad after I graduated since there are a lot of cool note taking apps. I still use Evernote to sync everything which is free, but will probably not be needed because of iCloud. I've also heard that Dragon Dictation was good for recording notes, but I've never used it myself.

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