iPad good for college students?

California King

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
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What are your thoughts on the iPad for a college student? The biggest thing I'm worried about is the keyboard. I'm wondering how close I can eventually get to typing as fast as a laptop's keyboard. Anyone think that's a reachable goal? Also, the apps? As far as I know, I'll have to use iWork to type out lecture notes, but I'm not too familiar with iWork (specifically Pages)
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
26
Singapore
if you only want a basic note taking machine then it would be fine. im thinking of getting one for uni
 

Chaos123x

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2008
1,693
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I would wait and see.

If all your text books are downloadable, if there is a great note taking app, and if iwork works well. I would say go for it.

But at this second I would wait.
 

sumzero

macrumors member
Jan 30, 2010
70
0
Forest Lake, MN
college students usually have a tight'ish budget

imo, you would be better served getting a laptop than this , esp with the free ipod later this summer
I am a college student and I plan on getting one "eventually" because I plan on majoring in english so i will be taking a lot of lit classes and being able to have all my book stored on a device will be nice and there are textbook apps out already i guess.
 

California King

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
1,066
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college students usually have a tight'ish budget

imo, you would be better served getting a laptop than this , esp with the free ipod later this summer
Well, the iPad is cheaper than a laptop. Maybe a laptop is the best choice for a person who intends to use it as their main computer though..
 

al256

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2001
839
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I graduated last May and could not have made it through college without my PowerBook G4 and intel iMac though I did pick up a HP tablet laptop, Dell Mini 9 and Mac Mini along the way. If you get an iPad make sure its secondary to getting a desktop or laptop.
 

sumzero

macrumors member
Jan 30, 2010
70
0
Forest Lake, MN
Well, the iPad is cheaper than a laptop. Maybe a laptop is the best choice for a person who intends to use it as their main computer though..
what the above poster says is true, i already had an intel Imac before i came to school... but my university sent me several letters stating i NEEDED a laptop...this was ********, all my professors i have had have not had us use our laptops in anyway... nothing i haven't done on my desktop i mean.
 

California King

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
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I already have an iMac at home that I use as my primary computer. Just thinking about an iPad primary to be used at school to take notes and just download them to my iMac when I get home. I'm just a little worried about the restictiveness of the iPad itself...(i.e. no multi-tasking) also, I'm not even sure if Microsoft Word on my iMac will open files from Pages.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,049
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I already have an iMac at home that I use as my primary computer. Just thinking about an iPad primary to be used at school to take notes and just download them to my iMac when I get home. I'm just a little worried about the restictiveness of the iPad itself...(i.e. no multi-tasking) also, I'm not even sure if Microsoft Word on my iMac will open files from Pages.
oh yea, if you have a comp already go for it

from my experience, i never once brought my laptop to class, only to a library on a blue moon
 

bndoarn

macrumors 6502a
Mar 16, 2008
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I'm not even sure if Microsoft Word on my iMac will open files from Pages.
Within Pages you can save files as Word documents. I have Pages on my Macbook Pro and I took an online class where all of the work that was submitted had to be in either .rtf or .doc format. I always did my work in Pages and saved it as a .doc and I never had a problem with the teacher saying she couldn't use it. The only problem is that it will not always look the same. You'll be fine if it's all/mostly all text. Once you start putting in graphs or tables then they usually won't look right when saving them as Word documents.
 

California King

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
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One more thing, can the iPad even download documents from the web? I download a lot of stuff from BlackBoard and it would be a deal breaker if you can't download and open on iWork.
 

bndoarn

macrumors 6502a
Mar 16, 2008
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One more thing, can the iPad even download documents from the web? I download a lot of stuff from BlackBoard and it would be a deal breaker if you can't download and open on iWork.
No one really knows right now but this says yes.

We can also confirm that iPhone OS 3.2 supports file downloads and local storage in the browser, which means you'll be able to pull files off the web and use them in other apps
By the way the iPad is running iPhone OS 3.2.
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
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college students usually have a tight'ish budget

imo, you would be better served getting a laptop than this , esp with the free ipod later this summer
Exactly what I was thinking.

$599 iPad + $69 BT Keyboard = $668
$899 Macbook - ~$170 ebay'ed iPod touch = $729

Unless you can really get by with 16 GB of storage with the low-end model, the above is a much better bang for your buck.

I was all set to get an iPad the day of the announcement, (Reality distortion field + I was in shock with the price) but now I am not so sure. I would prefer an iPad over a MacBook in many ways (longer battery life, I read PDFs a LOT for class and the form factor is perfect, especially for reading in class, and I have an iMac as my main computer) but the lack of multitasking would make taking notes w/ PDFs open impossible. But perhaps Steve will blow everyone's minds and provide this with iPhone OS 4.
 

Etnies419

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2008
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I think I'll probably be getting one, as I'm graduating this year and starting college in the fall. I have a Penryn MacBook, which is still doing absolutely wonderfully for me. I want to get an iPad mainly because of the form factor and the promise of eBook textbooks. That way, I could bring that to class or wherever I need most of the time, and if I do need to use an actual computer, I can just bring my MacBook.
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,545
. I want to get an iPad mainly because of the form factor and the promise of eBook textbooks. That way, I could bring that to class or wherever I need most of the time, and if I do need to use an actual computer, I can just bring my MacBook.
Do we know if the eBooks will be viewable on the Mac? I assume they would be. If so, an iPad wouldn't be needed in your case. And I wouldn't count on the Textbook selection being significant, at least at first.
 

NeuralControl

macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2009
917
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Is the iPad good for college students? That all depends on what kind of student you are and what you plan to use the device for.
Are you in college now? If you are, think about how you use your computer and what tasks you need it to do.
I'm a university student and I have used my MBP for all my classes except for all my chemistry, calculus, and physics courses. Professors post PowerPoint presentations online and I have them open during the lecture. I have Pages open so I can type. Occasionally I have Safari open. If the iPad can not multi-task (at a bare minimum have the iWork suite open), then I would say it is NOT good for college students.
Another issue is multi-tasking with iBooks. If Apple and publishers want to push the iPad as an eBook and eTextbook reader, it is going to have to be able to run Pages alongside iBooks.
 

3N16MA

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2009
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It's great for college students, it will allow me to surf MacRumors on a larger screen during my statistics and finance courses.
 

milani

macrumors 68000
Aug 8, 2008
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It's great for college students, it will allow me to surf MacRumors on a larger screen during my statistics and finance courses.
^ Very funny!

As a history major I can see practical benefits to something like this - but maybe a few years down the road. It would certainly be nice to have something that could hold all of my textbooks (as opposed to lugging around 5 or 6 textbooks on any given day).

That fact aside, and the fact that I like to tab, highlight, and write all over my textbooks, I don't even use a laptop for note-taking because it would be too slow and ineffective - not to say I'm not extremely fast at typing, but simply because the way I organize my notes simply isn't conducive to the top down approach that a computer takes. I daresay I would spend more time formatting than I would just writing them out on the fly. And, without a physical keyboard on an iPad, I see the problem as being infinitely worse.

That being said, I can see in the long term that the iPad will support a stylus and then I would be able to take digital notes in my non-conventional way. If that actually happens, then the functionality of the device would drastically increase for someone like me. Likewise, I might be able to write over top of my e-textbooks, highlight things, and do a variety of other interactive and productive things with digital textbooks - like highlight and look up terms right from the book itself. I think the long term benefits of a device like this would be almost immeasurable - but that's all contingent on what developers bring to the table.

For the time being, however, I think I'll stick to my binder, textbooks, pens and paper.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
I think that most people that advocate using an iPad for day-to-day college use are more or less just convincing themselves that it's a great idea without devoting serious thought to the issue. For serious work you're better off with a real computer.
 

TheeBeardedOne

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2010
1
0
England
Well for me the iPad will be great, especially for taking notes in class, but with the dock + keyboard it would make it even better for heavy duty word processing.
The problem for me is, how would you transfer the data to lets say a printer or another mac/pc?
 

NeuralControl

macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2009
917
30
You would print using an application for wireless printing. There are some in the App Store already. I'm sure more will be developed shortly.
Syncing with another computer will be done through iTunes. Apple already said iWork for iPad will be compatible with iWork for Mac.