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iPad Hardware and Accessories Discuss the iPad hardware and accessories

What Can't an iPad do for a College Student


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anifan

 
Member Since: Apr 04, 2011
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I'm going into college as a computer science student. I already own a 2011 iMac, and I'm wondering what the drawbacks would be in getting an iPad instead of a Macbook Air. As I've never been to college before, I don't really know to what extent laptops are used in classes. The iPad's battery life is a huge draw for me, but I don't know what functionality I'd lose.
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mcbrew

 
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The biggest issue I see is having a real keyboard. Maybe some people are better with the on-screen keyboard (I must admit that I am typing on my iPad screen right now), but I think most people could type better and faster with a real keyboard. There are, of course, many options for wireless or docked keyboards for the iPad. Other than that, it's just a matter of having the proper apps for your needs. I would think that a good mote access app might be nice, too.
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anifan

 
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Thanks for the advice. If I can manage I'll get a dm1z for when CS demands windows and an iPad for less technical classes.
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Jk12345

 
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As I can tell you still would need a laptop computer for programming outside of class, if your a computer science major, and a iPad or iPad 2 still is not a laptop replacement, however, an iPad is good enough for your general Ed classes, but you still can't do any coding on an iPad, and I do own an iPad 2.
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MinaMACMan

 
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Hello anifan.

I am currently going for my Master's in Electrical Engineering and I have both an iPad2 and a MBP. I love both of them and both shine in their specific uses.

The iPad is great for the Text Books (if the classes you're taking support eBooks). But, if you have an open book exam an iPad might not be allowed for obvious reasons. I also use my iPad 2 for taking notes with a stylus and it works great for that.

The MBP is my all around work horse. All my coding and papers would be done on it and I can lug it around wherever I need so that I wouldn't be restrained to my desk or my house.

The iPad2 is a very versatile device but it won't fullfil all your needs like a MBA.

It's worth noting that there are indeed a couple of apps for the iPad that would allow you to write Code, some would go as far as syntax highlighting and compiling options on remote servers. But all in all they are for very light coding and get somewhat clunky for more involved code.

Hope this helps.

Cheers.

MMM
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Sonicjet

 
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I completely agree with the people above, I had an iPad 2 and sold it for my Macbook Pro, best decision I ever made, Worth it.
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StMFA

 
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for the record the bluetooth keyboard that comes with the iMac can be used on an iPad. But I agree with most people here. If you're a CS major get something cheap and portable. That said I use an iPad for most of my classes for note taking and such and it works out pretty well. I'm taking a few CS courses next year so we'll see how well it will work for coding, somehow I think I'll have to bring a laptop.
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Wolvrin704

 
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I have an Apple bluetooth keyboard that I use with my iPad so that can solve that issue. That being said if I could only get one I would get the MBA as it has more versatility.
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StMFA

 
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seconded
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erawsd

 
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I was torn on this exact same issue, I ended up going with the iPad.

Coupled with a Bluetooth KB, I don't think there is much difference in using them to take notes. In fact, the iPad may have a slight advantage since you can easily draw graphs and diagrams, plus some of the note taking apps are really good. Also, because the KB is a modular component its still more compact than a MBA when you need it to be.

What really pushed me to get the iPad was the price. The iPad leaves me $500 richer, and there is a lot I could do with that money. Heck, if the iPad doesn't work well, I could keep it and still a buy a Win7 Laptop with the cash I saved (I actually like Win7).

The biggest potential downfall of the iPad is that some online course material is still tied to flash, so thats something you definitely want to look into.
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StMFA

 
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there is a free app called iswifter which provides rudimentary flash support for the iPad. It works ok, the UI is a little sluggish, but it gets the job done.
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