Twist on MBP vs iPad

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by shyam09, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    So i know there are countless threads on the wonderful advice on iPad vs. MBP.
    My situation is similar, but sort of different.

    Some background things that might be important:
    • I'm a college student (Freshman)
    • Have a MBP 2010 Base 13"-- works beautifully with Lion

    So here is the thing:
    Ever since I heard the rumor of the 15" MBA, i have been dying to get that. I wanted a big screen but it was just too pricey back then. If that turns out to be too pricey, I was thinking about upgrading my current 2010 Base 13" MBP to the latest and greatest [whenever that comes out]

    Recently and quite randomly, I was thinking how nice it would be to get an iPad. I have always wanted one, but never had the "need" and thus I managed to get by without it [i forgot about the whole "wanting the iPad" thing for quite a while]
    Anyway, with the spotlight turning towards the iPad 3, I once again find myself wanting an iPad. My only excuse is textbooks [i know you can find some online for free, illegal yes, but free], and i have noticed a few of my textbooks currently used floating online. Of course it will be for games, apps, etc. but considering that I am determined on either one of these options, anyone have any advice?

    -- Sell current MBP, and buy a new 2012 / 15" MBA [whichever]
    --Buy an iPad 1, 2 , 3 [mostly leaning to 3, but i might go for the 2 b/c of the cheaper price.. still :confused:]

    Anyway, any tips, suggestions, or something?
  2. soulred12 macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2011
    The following is based on my experience.

    If you're going to get an iPad for school, you're going to have to also invest in:
    -A case, that protects the iPad in your backpack/bag and allows it to stand up on its own (i.e., not the smart cover; check amazon) - $30-60
    -Pages app (from iWork) - $10 (or comparable word processing app)
    -Bluetooth keyboard - $40-70

    Next, if you want the docs (e.g., class notes) to sync between your iPad and Mac, (assuming you are using Pages for the iPad) you're going to have to either buy Pages for the Mac ($20) and use iCloud to sync, or get a dropbox account and invest in a webDAV service. I use cloudDAV via the iSMEStorage app (both made by the same developer). It's a one-time cost of $5 and it gets you a lifetime webDAV account (though there is a monthly bandwidth limit; I very rarely run into it, and the app gives you a warning when you get close). If you add your dropbox account to the iSMEStorage app, you can upload your files directly to your dropbox account via the "Copy to webDAV" option in the Pages app.

    Other word-processing solutions for the iPad might be able to sync to dropbox natively. As a college student with more than one device, though, you probably ought to set up dropbox whatever you do (it's free for 2GB and you can get more e.g. by referring friends), because it's immensely helpful as your files are automatically synced across devices AND you can access any file through their web interface.

    Also, get a pdf annotation app. I like iAnnotate PDF ($10), which also syncs natively with dropbox. You will thank me when you realize the difference between opening all pdfs in safari or iBooks vs. opening them in iAnnotate or GoodReader ($5).

    Be careful with the MBA. It looks good, and it probably runs well, but it lacks a number of ports you might expect every computer to have. Be sure to head down to an Apple store and look carefully at what is or isn't included around the sides of the base. One prominent exclusion is a CD/DVD drive. I actually haven't heard of the 15" model, but if it does indeed exist it could have additional ports and such that I'm not aware of; but to be honest, if it runs just fine, I'd stick with that MBP. At the very least it would save you the time of transferring your files.

    As for iPad vs. depends on finances, I suppose. If you have disposable income, I'd say invest in an iPad and leave your MBP to work on at home. If you have the keyboard and appropriate syncing capacities, it works quite well and is much lighter than my MBP. Does wonders for my back since my backpack is much lighter, and it's easier to take out, move around, and put away because it's a lot smaller and less bulky. And of course, with a bluetooth keyboard, I get to move the keyboard wherever I want in relation to the screen.

    You might want to make sure that, if you are going to get your iPad to view textbooks, you will actually be able to find the textbooks for future semesters. I find that the "legit" e-textbook services are pretty limited in terms of textbook availability. Two semesters in a row, I couldn't find any of my textbooks on any service I checked. Admittedly I didn't just google for pdfs of the books but...I can't imagine too many pdfs of full sized textbooks are floating around either. You can always try, I guess.

    As for iPad 1/2/3...wait for them to announce the 3, and see whether it will have additions over the 2 that you will actually want/use.

    Hope this helped!
  3. shyam09 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    that was simply amazing! everything i asked for with more!!

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