Productivity of an iPad + home desktop? Need your opinions!

MusicEnthusiast

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
432
47
Los Angeles
So I'm finishing up my last year in my undergrad years, and my 3 year old HP notebook is still running fine. However, my mom is running an old machine at home (a 6+ year old pentium 4 computer running windows xp) and I was thinking of passing down my notebook to her. In the meantime, I would still have a computer here (a custom built core i7 desktop I built last summer). I'm thinking of a mobile alternative and the iPad 3 sounds pretty neat to have. For college students, how productive is it for you? How about for those with computers already, do you feel it is a nice extra asset to have? I don't think I could rely solely on an iPad for day-to-day use, but considering I could take it to the library, what do you think?
 

Sylon

macrumors 68020
Feb 26, 2012
2,032
80
Michigan/Ohio, USA
It is a great asset to home computers, especially with different things like Dropbox, Splashtop, and other various file sharing apps. I really like using my iPad when Im watching movies on my MBP. That way I can still email friends and surf the internet while watching something. An iPad is a great compliment to a computer, especially a desktop because your iPad is mobile and with a remote desktop app like Splashtop, I can access my desktop from anywhere. Need a file from your desktop while out-&-about? Access it remotely, upload the file via Dropbox, get it on your iPad. Easy.


There are other apps that do similar things, these are just the ones I use.
 

donnaw

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2011
1,134
6
Austin TX
I've found that adding an iPad to my computing population has been great. I use it for almost everything since its so easy to tote around. I travel a lot and even my 2.5 lb netbook feels heavy at the end of the day. Plus the battery life makes it much more usable.

Depending on you useage you may have to find some of the workarounds to make up for the lack of access to the file system but using one of the cloud systems out there can work.

I wouldn't want to depend on my iPad for a lot of document creation (at least the type of docs I need to create/edit) but some folks find it fits their needs quite well.
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,018
Sunny Florida
Adding an iPad to a "real" computer works out great. The only drawback is if you need PC functionality on the go, like burning CDs or updating the firmware on a gadget. I've found I can always do that on my desktop. I have a MBA, so I make use of its portability, but could do without if I had a desktop and an iPad.

As it stand now it's my desktop that lays unused. All I need I can do on my MBA or my iPad.
 

jojoba

macrumors 68000
Dec 9, 2011
1,582
21
I use my iPad extensively for academic work. I use iAnnotate to read and annotate research journals, DropBox to sync my research library with my iPad, Notability to take hand written notes in meetings/seminars/lectures, Circus Ponies Notebooks for most other notes, Notability and Voice Memos for recording lectures or meetings, Evernote and Small Task for to do lists/ taking notes to be followed up, iThoughtsHD for mind mapping when I work on developing papers, and various academic journal apps. That's in addition to the web surfing/ emailing etc. I have an external keyboard that I take with me when I think I'll need it.
 

arcite

macrumors 6502a
I love my iPad, but if I have a lot of writing to do or work to be done on my website, nothing beats my PowerBook. The iPad is great for reading and researching though. I use it together with my MacBook everyday. It's really handy having a touchscreen device paired with another computer. If you need to do a lot of writing, might want to consider a MacBook pro or air.
 

iEvolution

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,432
2
I think if you are going the ipad route for school that a keyboard is a must, otherwise you find the touch keyboard slower and more frustrating when taking notes.

I don't think it replaces a computer but it is a excellent companion to one. I find myself using the computer for file modifications and management while using a tablet to browse and play little games.
 

nickchallis92

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2012
904
468
London
get a transformer prime. It's literally the greatest student machine you can ask for. Great battery, great keyboard, doesn't weigh anything. brilliant
 

iEvolution

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,432
2
get a transformer prime. It's literally the greatest student machine you can ask for. Great battery, great keyboard, doesn't weigh anything. brilliant
There is a drawback to androids though, there isnt nearly as much apps optimized for tablets let alone the powerful tegra 3 processor.

Apps are the big reason to get a tablet and if one wants most apps available the ipad is the one to get.
 

MusicEnthusiast

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
432
47
Los Angeles
I might pick one up this summer depending on how much money I set aside for rent and food. The 6 yr old xp machine at home has so much dust even when I clean the system out with compressed air and optimize/defrag, it still is quite slow. I'm taking two courses in the fall that will be a lot of reading and writing (5 credits worth are specifically for writing credit to graduate), but my other classes mainly work with the computer lab (running weather model analysis). So I am somewhat unsure how I could use the iPad in atmospheric sciences...
 
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