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iPad Hardware and Accessories Discuss the iPad hardware and accessories

iPad as a computer for my daughter


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gregfielding

 
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I have a daughter who is in 3rd grade, just starting to benefit from using a computer for her schoolwork. Rather than a traditional computer, I'm wondering if an iPad2 is actually a much better option. (certainly she would love it)

All a kid would need is word-processing, internet access, and some basic computing tools photo editing perhaps. I could get a her a keyboard for serious typing.

Throw in, games, face-time, and iTunes and you've got all of the other, non-school-related things a kid would want as well. Especially if there was a SD slot for easy photo loading.

Can anyone think of any reason why a $499 iPad wouldn't work great for a kid's computer?

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I would say no, an iPad is not the right option.

If she needs it for school work, especially word processing, an iPad is not an ideal solution. Besides the fact it's not easy to put files on or get them off as seamlessly as it should be, the iPad's version of Pages is not at all full featured and I doubt it would be the best choice.

Also there are no photo editing apps really for the iPad.

The iPad is best thought of a a content consumption machine: reading, watching video, surfing the net, playing games. It's really not the right tool for content creation.

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Have to agree with the above.

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gregfielding

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schweb View Post
I would say no, an iPad is not the right option.

If she needs it for school work, especially word processing, an iPad is not an ideal solution. Besides the fact it's not easy to put files on or get them off as seamlessly as it should be, the iPad's version of Pages is not at all full featured and I doubt it would be the best choice.

Also there are no photo editing apps really for the iPad.

The iPad is best thought of a a content consumption machine: reading, watching video, surfing the net, playing games. It's really not the right tool for content creation.
Makes sense. I definitely need to play around with iPad's pages. It is certainly more intuitive and easier for a kid than Word. Is it really not powerful enough for 4th-6th grade book reports?

As far as files go, I was looking at a family MobileMe plan with iDisk storage as an option for files.

There's no question a $1,500 mac would be best, but I'm thinking of this as either an iPad or a $500 laptop.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregfielding View Post
Makes sense. I definitely need to play around with iPad's pages. It is certainly more intuitive and easier for a kid than Word. Is it really not powerful enough for 4th-6th grade book reports?
I'm going to say no, it's probably not. Especially if any of these reports would involve multi-tasking like researching stuff on the internet while writing the paper. It's just not convenient or powerful enough.

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As far as files go, I was looking at a family MobileMe plan with iDisk storage as an option for files.
That's not how files are stored or retrieved on the iPad. It all has to be managed through iTunes in a very clunky manner.

Quote:
There's no question a $1,500 mac would be best, but I'm thinking of this as either an iPad or a $500 laptop.
Why does she need her own machine? If she's that young, why not just give her an account on the family computer?

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gregfielding

 
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Quote:
why not just give her an account on the family computer?
That's part of my dilemma. The wife and I each have macbook pros. We don't really have a "family" computer per se.

These seem like pretty big hurdles here and that maybe the iPad really wouldn't work. Tis a shame.

Just a little more power behind Pages and a little better, non-itunes file-management and it could work.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregfielding View Post
That's part of my dilemma. The wife and I each have macbook pros. We don't really have a "family" computer per se.

These seem like pretty big hurdles here and that maybe the iPad really wouldn't work. Tis a shame.

Just a little more power behind Pages and a little better, non-itunes file-management and it could work.
I doubt the iPad would be able to be a full-time computer for at least a few more revisions at best. It's not really meant to be that at this point.

Why not look at a Mac mini maybe as an alternative?

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Quote:
Why not look at a Mac mini maybe as an alternative?
Sounds like that might be my best bet.

From apple's website:

Quote:
The three iWork productivity applications help students and teachers put together professional-looking documents, presentations, and spreadsheets no matter where they are. Pages is a powerful word processor with simple-to-use layout tools and a large onscreen keyboard. With Keynote, it’s easy to create presentations with stunning animations and effects. And Numbers lets students and teachers build compelling, attractive spreadsheets in minutes, including tables and charts. When you finish what you’ve been working on, just tap the AirPrint icon to print it out directly from your iPad.
This was the part that got me excited.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregfielding View Post
This was the part that got me excited.
Apple is really good at marketing speak.

Unfortunately, the effort to make these "professional quality" documents on the iPad is much greater and more frustrating that it really should be in reality.

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Now I'm wondering about getting a mac mini to serve as our family computer, largely as a place to store files, photos, etc.

Using an iPad, is it possible to store and access files and photos from a mac mini using wifi? (beyond mobile me)

Could a mac mini be the computing guts while a iPad is, effectively, the monitor?
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gregfielding

 
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That's not how files are stored or retrieved on the iPad. It all has to be managed through iTunes in a very clunky manner.
I wonder if this will be changing with the iPad2. It looks like both MobileMe and the iWork suite are getting an overhaul and dropbox functionality would be added.

MobileMe Cloud clues found? Dropbox-like functionality? | 9 to 5 Mac MobileMe Cloud clues found? Dropbox-like functionality? | Apple Intelligence

If there was a dropbox-like solution for files within a family MobileMe cloud, wouldn't that eliminate the mess of accessing files with iTunes?

Of course, if Pages still isn't good enough on the iPad then it wouldn't really work anyway.
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No one will know until Apple announces it. Right now the only way to manage files is through iTunes.

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I think that the main reason a "regular" computer like a laptop or a Mac-mini would be best for your daughter...is this type of hardware is what she will most likely be using when she's in school (at least initially). But who knows in a few years how the computing industry & technology will evolve.

On Mac-Forums we've had many discussions regarding "Can an iPad be a replacement for a laptop?"...and the consensus is no (especially for a student that may need a more "full-fledged" set of features that "regular" computers offer).

Plus you want this "computing device" to at least be "mostly compatible" with what the hardware & software the school your daughter will be attending has. If the school was using iPads...I'd say...get an iPad. But many schools are using laptops & desktops...so that's what is probably best for her.

So for now...a "regular" Mac laptop or Mac-mini is probably the best choice.

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"Can an iPad be a replacement for a laptop?"
It is for me. I sold my MacBook after I got the iPad and realized I hadn't turned on the laptop in two months.
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Originally Posted by calvarez View Post
It is for me. I sold my MacBook after I got the iPad and realized I hadn't turned on the laptop in two months.
So you don't have any other computers and you never connect your iPad to iTunes for updates?

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