MBA 11 owner : Thinking over a "medical" iPad

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by yly3, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. yly3 macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2011
    Hello !

    Firstly, I love my 11" MBA. It's just an amazing machine and I personally call it the iPad 1.5 :) I carry it literally everywhere and I have an internet USB stick to make the perfect portable team.

    I study medicine and personally while I prefer the "oldskool" method of studying and learning (with real books, eye hurts after too much LCD) sometimes I need to search things fast, or I am just away from my books, after all I can't carry 10-15 pounds of them everywhere ..
    For example I have downloaded Gray's Anatomy from App Store on my Air and it's just not efficient, I waste too much time actually finding something. The advantage of the iPad is the easyness and the efficiency+gestures of an well-optimized iPad app.

    The newest iPad 2 ad is essentially showing what I need in my field. I've googled a lot to see some proper footage of medical apps but I would like to see some opinions from people who have actually used them.
    Since I will be using it ONLY for studying (I have 160GB Classic and the Air for other multimedia) I think a 16GB WiFi will suffice, maybe 32GB to be sure. For this kind of stuff I don't think I need the iPad 2, besides if you ask me, the 1st one looks a lot cooler and pro than the 2nd. And it also seems that the 1st lasts a bit longer.
    I am not in a rush of buying it, October will be the earliest, do you think it will get even cheaper ? (let's say 50-100$)

    P.S. would there be a way to tether from my Air to the iPad ? I won't take the iPad everywhere because I prefer a full-on Mac to an iOS.
  2. jlblodgett macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    The only way the iPad 2 is going to get cheaper is when Apple starts offering up the refurbished models - which will start in a couple months, I think.

    As for changing one for the other -- I had the original iPad, and while it was a pretty cool little device, it was, for me at least - 100% a CONSUMPTION device. It is great for browsing the internet. It is great for reviewing emails and writing brief emails. It is great for light calendar work.

    Personally, I found the on screen keyboard on the iPad to be a significant burden. It is not at all like typing on a keyboard. It is not a "production" machine. i.e. you're not going to type out very many 1,000 word documents / emails on the iPad.

    As far as your medical applications, I'd encourage you to do some thorough research on them before you go paying the money for the iPad. Make sure the applications are exactly what you're looking for. Read reviews. I would even encourage you to go to the Apple Store and ask them to install that software onto one of the machines so you can see how it runs.
  3. yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2011
    About the reduced pricing I was asking on the original iPad. As I said, I am not interested in the 2nd.. I simply don't need that, unless some amazing medical 3D uber-apps would need that 9x graphic power, which I doubt it will be anytime soon.

    Your points about consumption machine are good. Those are the reasons of why I didn't get an iPad so far and why I will keep the Air as my main machine (in fact 80% of the time).
    The iPad will be my multimedia writing book, just a source of information.
    Regarding medical apps, there is a good site which seems to show what's hot.
    The basic iPad 1 can be found at around 450 in mint condition (Europe), I am curious if it may reach somewhere around 350 by October/November.
  4. jlblodgett macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I would check craigslist and Ebay. I anticipate that the iPad 1's will continue to drop in price over the next several months.
  5. yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2011
    Ok so I managed to play around 1 hour with a white iPad 2 and I wasn't that impressed. Unless you really need to Facetime or play the latest omg 9x video games there is no need to get the 2nd edition. I was lucky that it had pre-instaled an app called Molecules (?) which showed things I'm into. It's a great learning tool. I think that's mostly what I'll be keeping it for: school and photos.

    iPad 1 16GB it will be. I'm still deciding if it will be 3G or not. I'm paying some good cash for the MBA internet.. however I'm sure every now and then I will need 3G when I'm on to go on the iPad.
  6. DocGo macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2008
    I am a neurologist and find having an iPad useful in my practice. I can easily show pertinent images/pictures to family and patients when I am explaining a procedure or a disease to them. My MBA 11" is my main work laptop and stays in my work office but the iPad goes with me during clinics and ward rounds. I still have the "old" and "heavier" iPad 64GB Wifi version. Will probably wait for refurb iPad 2 to come out and get one.
  7. French macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2011
    If you have a cell phone that supports tethering you could just get the wifi version and use your cell phone to tether those times you aren't in near wifi and need internet access. In the US there is a monthly fee for the wifi tethering on a cell phone...not sure about you though. But even so, if it's a once in a while thing, here you can have them add it to your plan for a day, or 6 or however long you need it, and then have them remove it. It's a bit of a pain but if you would only need to use the functionality a few times a year might be better than buying a 3G model.
  8. Legion93 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Death Star, Rishi Maze
    An iPad without 3G is literally useless. I always use my iPad outside when travelling to do many important tasks, one of which will become very handy indeed is email and web surfing.

    Besides, you don't need to get a huge load of data allowance, many network providers sell 3G sim for as little as £7.50 month for 1GB data (at least, well in the UK).

    3G iPad is a must!
  9. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I second an iPad with 3G. Are you in medical school or undergraduate? If you are in med school, 3G is great while on rotations as a lot of them dont have wi fi or they will not allow you to use it.

    If you are in undergrad, I Would go with either the 3G or wifi only.

    My main use is keeping books and lectures on it. Nice to be able to just take an iPad instead of a 5 pound text book on rotations. Plus it has epocrates and Medscape for reference which dont require Internet access.
  10. yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2011
    Student, 2nd year. Quite at beginning but, for example, already having to carry around Gray's Anatomy + Netter can be called "free" gym. I will keep doing research.
  11. CHSeifert macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark - Scandinavia
    Are all med books released in doc format, so you can use them on your iPad or have you scanned all the med books yourself :confused:
  12. omniatlas macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2004
    Resident over here practicing in Oz; don't have an ipad but the only real advantage it has over my iphone 4 is the screen real estate. The only med apps I'm using right now -- Therapeutic guidelines, and mimms;

    I don't need one right now, but that might change when I get to the wards where computers are pretty scarse...but then again, I already have a PC, MBA 11", and iPhone 4 :cool:

    I would just get the wifi version and save some money; you can jailbreak the ipad and tether it to your phone (although I heard that might not be possible in some countries?)
  13. selva macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2011
  14. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    Hello, I'm an intern this year and I was thinking of getting a tablet to show patients images and whatnot as well as having easy access while rounding (so I don't have to fight for an open computer in the hospital). Are there any advantages of an iPad vs other tablets (Android, PC)? I feel like a PC tablet (eg HP Slate 500) would be more useful as it runs a full OS and fits in a pocket.
  15. Yellow 13 macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2011
    get the MBA, more value.
  16. selva macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2011
    Personally, I can't see myself taking notes in lectures on a Pad device faster than I could on my MBA because of the keyboard entry.

    However, an app like Coursenotes might come in handy for students because of the ability to take notes on the MBA and then synch it to the iPad for studying later on - almost like reading a textbook on a table or on the sofa or even for some light reading in bed.
  17. MoodyMedStudent macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Med student here too. All I use my iPad for is reviewing notes which are all in PDFs, mostly when I'm lying in bed before I go to sleep. The rest of the time I use a 13" MBA.
  18. omniatlas macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2004
    anyone consider the nook color?

    It runs android, so when you root it you should be able to run all the apps in the world.

    The only reason I'll get a tablet is for reading, drug reference lookups, etc; and at half the price of the ipad2, the nook color is certainly appealing.

    It would probably be easier carrying around the wards as well.
  19. yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2011
    I'm personally not a fan of Android and like I said the 10-hour battery life of the iPad is one of the main reasons why I am choosing it. I honestly don't know how long other tablets last. I played around with a white iPad2 and I just love the colour. Obviously I will not pay double the price just for a color preference. Generally, I like all my Apple products in white.

    I need something quick and efficient. If I had to choose some full-OS tablet I'd just stick with my 11Air.
    Also I don't want to "waste time" with rooting/jailbreaking/tweeking, etc. I just want a product that works. Because of this I changed my phone with a K850i Sony Ericsson which doesn't even have WiFi, so no tethering.
  20. caonimadebi macrumors regular

    May 7, 2009
    Most medical textbooks through LWW or Elsevier are not easily accessible on the iPad. There are no ebook offerings (sure there are bootleg .chm and .pdf files, but not well integrated into the tablet interface)
    Online access such as StudentConsult, and thePoint are not easily utilized on the iPad either.
    Go with a real laptop if you're a medical student.
    This may not be true for the needs of a clinician.
  21. DocGo macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2008
    There are lots of medical textbooks for Kindle, and I have them in my iPad using the Kindle app. Several good neuroanatomy as well as neurology textbooks (including pediatric neuro textbook). I actually used my iPad as my main "book" to carry around when I was reviewing for my US neurology re-certification exam. The books are readable and I downloaded pdfs of Continuum (I have a subscription which allows me to have both print and pdfs) and again, it was great to be able to read/review on the go using the iPad. I guess my MBA could do exactly the same thing but for reading on the go, the iPad is a great tool.
  22. yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2011
    Yesterday I spent most of it researching this and it seems that while generally there might be several good apps it's still not worth it to buy an iPad just for this purpose.
    The day before I saw an interesting ad in Gatwick Airport with some "underground" yet professional (they say) tablet being used by the real doctors and such. I can't remember the name because I was in a rush but it was something like Junro can't remember ..
    Although by the look of it, it seemed heavier and bulkier even than my Air.
  23. MXSkier62 macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2006
    I'm a first year, and I had bought an iPad/iMac combo at the beginning of the year, thinking that system would work perfectly. But I quickly found that the iPad really couldn't handle everything I needed it to do. It is still the best for consumption by a mile, but trying to do anything more than read PDFs or webpages is just too much. So I sold it and used that money to help pay for an 11 in. MBA and I have been so happy since doing that.
  24. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    Not sure which provider you are with but if you go with a Mifi this takes care of your internet issues and lets you go with the wifi ipad. I use a verizon mifi and it works great, although I have seen mifi's for ATT out there as well. Verizon also just came out with 4G mifi's....getting a 16gb wifi ipad 1 puts you in the $300 range, which is an amazing deal.
  25. yly3, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

    yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2011
    I'm from Europe and everybody knows prices are waaay higher here for any Apple product than in US.

    @MXSkier62 : That was basically the point I wrote above. Will be used 80% for reading courses and medical apps. Maybe some mail checking and browsing if for any reason I don't have the Air near.

    EDIT: Oh boy.. Nokia just announced the E6. Now what do I do .. :D

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