iPad vs. Macbook for school use

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by stormystuff, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. stormystuff macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2013
    I've had my macbook for about 5 years now and it's just about through. I have one more year in college and I'm debating between another laptop and an iPad.

    I've seen several students use iPads for note-taking in class and I love how easy it would be to carry everywhere (I currently take ALL of my notes on my laptop, so I have to lug it around everywhere I go), but I'm not sure how easy note-taking would be considering how small the iPad is.

    I see myself getting more use out of an iPad after graduation, but can't imagine using it to write 10 page papers for the next year.

    Any advice?
  2. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Get a laptop. A Macbook Air specifically would be my advice for a student.

    Regarding weight: Consider that an iPad4, bluetooth keyboard, and case can weigh as much as an air, give or take depending on types. However, I see some students with enormous lether carriers with metal hinges and big keyboards; I'm sure they're pushing 4lbs or more.

    Regarding typing: Nothing beats a nice full size keyboard.

    Studying / note-taking: Multitasking is key for these activities. The iPad is one-app-at-a-time on the screen. You can't have a Word doc, an Excel, and a webpage open at once to compare and cross-reference. Switching between apps is also smother on a real laptop.

    Post college value: It's difficult to predict what you will need after college, but I'd wager a proper laptop is a safer bet. If you end up working for a place that requires you to bring your own computer (those exist, and are becoming more popular), you'll be glad that you already own one. Most strong productivity apps simply don't have iPad counterparts that are equal in usefulness: Photoshop, Publisher, Solidworks, etc. Also, some common websites simply don't work on an iPad. Also consider that an iPad cannot print to a printer that isn't specifically AirPrint compatible; you might need to buy a new printer.

    The ipad is a sweet device, but I don't believe anyone who says it's trully a laptop/desktop replacement. They usually have a proper computer somewhere just in case (for example, at work).
  3. AppleDApp, Aug 27, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013

    AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    Get the new Macbook Air?

    The upgraded battery life and reasonable cost eliminate the need for an iPad and for not much more in price.
  4. FlatlinerG macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2011
    Ontario, Canada

    This sums up my thoughts perfectly. The iPad, while an excellent companion device, doesn't replace a desktop/laptop. It can make them better, but not replace.

    The MacBook Air really seems like the best choice to fill your needs as it is lightweight, fairly powerful, fantastic battery life, and has a full-size keyboard.
  5. stormystuff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2013
    Thanks everyone! I had not considered a macbook air, but will definitely look into that now.
  6. Aspasia macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2011
    Halfway between the Equator and North Pole
    Excellent advice given here.

    Thanks to a technology grant, our local school district is giving every student in grades 5-12 a MacBook Air. Grades K through 4 get an iPad.

    Everyone is happy.

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