Using iPad to replace books at college?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by MattZani, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    I'm considering getting an iPad 2, partly because I want one, but I've always toyed with the idea of replacing all my work books with an iPad. Obviously be lighter etc, and I hate writing but don't think I'd mind typing on the iPad.

    Just wondering if anyone had tried this before, I guess its more done at Uni than college, but I'm hoping to go in September, so....

    If anyone has done it, what apps did you use? Be brilliant if there was a workbook app, where you could have ones for each subject, flick through pages, pages be infinitely long, take photos, add links etc, but I don't think there is.
  2. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    I am older, so I might be a bit more conservative here, but I would say save your eyes and get proper books (you can sell them later). Moreover nothing beats dog ears, flipping through pages, and all sorts of usability features a book has. Ipad is great for journal articles, pdfs for your research, the occasional research book, or reference, and lots of things, but I can't see it as a textbook replacement in now way at the moment. So, my opinion would be use it, take notes, enjoy it, read a few books there, etc. but have paper books, also if you can afford it to save some of them, a good library always makes for very interesting people, or so they say.
  3. MattZani thread starter macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    When I say Books I mean like notebooks, for note taking etc, very very rarely actually work out of a book, and if we do they are supplied by the college.

    I'm just terrible with my notes, I've got so many pieces of A4 paper with a couple lines scrawled onto them, I just end up losing them and never using my notes.
  4. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    goodreader is nice for this, but a journal app such as papers (which I am quite sure have an ipad app) or sente (mac app, not yet on ipad) would do too. There are also lots of good apps, last time I looked, a few months ago, for note taking, sycning with voice recording at the same time, etc. etc. You should be able to replace lots of what you do, and do it on the ipad instead, but I wouldn't think a complete transition would be possible, or desirable for that matter. Issues such as touch screens and how they work with styluses (capacitative that is touch screens), text recognition,'s not just there yet the ipad imho.

    But like I said I am older, so you might start afresh with the ipad, and have it do everything you want for you. Have a look at college/uni apps, or some similar thread here, or in other forums/sites, I am sure you ll find tons of interesting things.
  5. Pballer110 macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2010
    It is much more difficult to take notes on the iPad. The stylus pens that are around are all very thick and cause the handwriting to be quite sloppy plus their was a speed issue for me as I have to jot down notes rather quickly and the old fashion pen and paper route was just way more efficient.
  6. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    The iPad isn't bad for note-taking but writing directly on it, as opposed to using an external keyboard or something is definitely not the most effective method. It can definitely be more organized than using physical notebooks but you lose something in not having a physical copy of your notes to highlight, etc. I use my iPad to take notes in class (with Pages and a BT keyboard), but when I want to study I print out a copy.
  7. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    For replacing books, I think it would be great. I could never own another printed book again and be happy to not deal with storage space and weight. Yes, it sucks to not be able to resell them or buy used, but I can't forget how big those things were.

    As far as notebooks, it depends. I can type way faster than I write, so I took notes on an HP notebook in my last classes almost a decade ago. Kindle allows you to highlight text in ebooks, so I'm assuming you could do the same in textbooks. I don't know whether you can make little notes at certain sections.

    You can basically dog-ear an ebook. The Kindle app allows you to tap the top-right corner and create a bookmark, which is the same thing. Tap it again to remove it if you need.
  8. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    That's probably the way to go, I know I can't read for extensive periods and as attentively as I d like on my ipad. I always use it to go over journal papers quickly (it's a god sent for this) but I always end up printing out what I am going to later use in my research.
  9. bender o macrumors 6502

    bender o

    Mar 14, 2009
    I've been using my mbp for 2 weeks now to take notes at my university. It is simply great, I can wri
    te everything the teacher says (of course my orthography trying to write the fastest I can isn't the best but I can still read it) but I do have my girlfriend by my side making drawings or formulas or whatever is not just voice or text on a regular paper so we have both the voice and the drawings :)

    I've been thinking to buy an iPad to take off some weight but it just doesn't seem to be worth it if I already have my mbp, besides the autosave feature can save me in case something goes wrong.

    But I am thinking of buying one later when I have to study for my grad exam so I can have all my notes and books with me after I graduate and go to work in case I need to check something :)

    Well that's just me I hope it helps you :D
  10. niteriderxp macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    I think getting an iPad for note taking is not the best choice, might be kind of limiting.
    There is no way you will be able to type fast enough on the iPad to keep up with a content heavy class e.g. History.
    It may be more reasonable with a bluetooth keyboard though.

    Back when I was at university I bought myself a cheap Windows 2kg laptop and used M$ OneNote.
    The thing kept me quite organized and my notes were actually readable.
    I will probably get flamed for this but have you considered a netbook?
    A Macbook Air would work great too if you have the money.

    Back in high school I would take notes with pen and paper, come home and spend hours trying to decode my own handwriting.
  11. michaelz macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2010
    You will end up losing your notes in iPad or computer too. iPad or computer will not make you become more organized. Plus, today's technology isn't ready to replace paper and pencil yet.
  12. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    It's not quite ready for that kind of functionality yet. I think a laptop with a keyboard and full OS would treat you better.
  13. thaialism macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2011
    san diego
    in lecture hall with 200-300 other students, the professor at my uni (ucsd) often rants and mumble....without feeling the keys, typing creates a lot of mistakes...imo...use the ipad to record the lecture would be a better idea =D i just my mba to take note + record the audio with Microsoft office.
  14. MattZani thread starter macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    Most people seem to be saying no.

    I don't do any content heavy classes, I take English Language, Media and Photography, and I'm taking Photography onto University.

    None of my classes is more than 10 people.

    I'm not saying anyone is wrong, just the situation is vastly different even if it sounds the same.

    Been helpful so far though
  15. mikethebigo, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011

    mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Even without content heavy classes, you must realize that for most purposes, the iPad is much more a content consuming "toy" (I don't like the word but it gets the point across) than a valuable productivity device. It's best at viewing web pages, playing games, and reading books. You will get frustrated with its limitations over time if you use it as a primary system.

    Also, here's some things to think about, college-specific. You can't have multiple windows open at once, so you can't have a document or PDF open beside your notes (or your chat client, haha). With a laptop, the teacher can't see what you're doing because the screen is facing you, while with the iPad with its great viewing angles is viewable by everyone in the room when it's flat on the desk. The software keyboard will make a lot of mistakes and auto correct words you often don't want, and it will be tough to keep up. Word processing is also quite limited so far on the iPad and you'll have lots of formatting issues when you upload the document to a computer with Word or other office programs.

    The problem is the iPad is really cool, everyone wants one, and it's a ton of fun to use. So you will try (as I have) to convince yourself it will be useful in your situation. The honest truth though is that you're probably better off with a Macbook.

    This is all IMO of course.

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