iPad for a Medical Student

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i have been anticipating the release of the iPad for quite some time. i am currently a medical student and i have been trying to contemplate if getting an iPad would be the most ideal piece of technology for me and my academic usage. i currently have a 17" MBP, NON-unibody, 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 128GB SSD, 6GB RAM. recently i have been having many problems with my MBP, ie, running really slow, random kernil panics, programs quitting on me, etc. ive had my computer for about four years or so and i think it's about time for a replacement. so maybe you guys can share your experiences and opinions to help me decide if getting an iPad would be a good alternative in class. heres more specifically how i use my MBP during lecture:

- My professors provide PPT lectures for the students that we download from our school server.
- Would I be able to connect to an external server and DL files off of it with the ipad?

- I predominantly use Keynote. Within Keynote, I write my notes in the slides throughout lecture (adding arrows, text boxes further describing the material) I know Keynote for iPad doesn't have Presenter Notes which is kind of a downside for me. I use the Presenter Notes section quite often, but I think I can survive without it until Apple releases such feature (hopefully).

- When I get home, I study off of the PPT/Keynote slides and take notes separately.

- I often have to refer to my textbooks and the web as supplemental material. Would it be difficult to switch between Keynote and Safari on the iPad? Any news about Apple/iBookstore offering specific textbook publishers?

- i HATE lugging around my big 17" MBP. it takes up so much space on my classroom desk. i usually can't even put an additional notebook/pad on the desk, nor feel comfortable.

- Photography is also my big hobby. I used to shoot professionally prior to attending school. I know the iPad can't really edit and process photos the way most people do. I was thinking that the iPad would be a great supplement to my current MBP.

- OR...should i just try and wait for Apple to release their new line of MBPs and use that instead. I'd probably drop down to the 15" size.

let me know what you all think. sorry for the long post, but im just looking for a machine that is more convenient to carry around and more EFFICIENT to work on in class.

if there are any students out there using the iPad in class or WILL BE using the iPad in class, id appreciate you sharing your experiences. thanks!
 
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- My professors provide PPT lectures for the students that we download from our school server.
- Would I be able to connect to an external server and DL files off of it with the ipad?

That is a tricky one, and I am not sure if this will work. There is a great App called GoodReader and it works flawlessly to open a lot of different types of documents. It also connects to Dropbox. I was pleasantly surprised to see that when I booted it up that it detected a couple of different local servers on my school's WiFi network. So that might work for you. Worst case scenario you can always download the presentations to you MBP and then put them on your iPad through iTunes.

- I predominantly use Keynote. Within Keynote, I write my notes in the slides throughout lecture (adding arrows, text boxes further describing the material) I know Keynote for iPad doesn't have Presenter Notes which is kind of a downside for me. I use the Presenter Notes section quite often, but I think I can survive without it until Apple releases such feature (hopefully).

- When I get home, I study off of the PPT/Keynote slides and take notes separately.

I can't really help with keynote, but what I can tell you is that typing on the iPad, while not bad and you will get used to it after a day of use, might not be ideal for taking notes on the fly. But that could just be me :p

- I often have to refer to my textbooks and the web as supplemental material. Would it be difficult to switch between Keynote and Safari on the iPad? Any news about Apple/iBookstore offering specific textbook publishers?

Apple released a whole list of partnerships with different publishers for text books. But I haven't seen much yet. You can always check out amazon and use their kindle app for the iPad which works great and they have a ton of content.

- i HATE lugging around my big 17" MBP. it takes up so much space on my classroom desk. i usually can't even put an additional notebook/pad on the desk, nor feel comfortable.

For the particular purpose the iPad would take the cake. It's small enough, yet has enough juice to do all the things you mentioned without a hitch.

- Photography is also my big hobby. I used to shoot professionally prior to attending school I know the iPad can't really edit and process photos the way most people do. I was thinking that the iPad would be a great supplement to my current MBP.

"Supplement to my current MBP"... You nailed it. That is exactly how I look at my iPad. It is this awesome sidekick to both my laptops that they could never do without. The camera connection kit will be great for back backing up your pictured to the iPad, you can then take the, to the MBP for your editing needs.

- OR...should i just try and wait for Apple to release their new line of MBPs and use that instead. I'd probably drop down to the 15" size.

Honestly... Since you mentioned that your current MBP is starting to fail, it might be worth it to hold off on the iPad and upgrade it first. Unless of course you can get it fixed a working good again.

let me know what you all think. sorry for the long post, but im just looking for a machine that is more convenient to carry around and more EFFICIENT to work on in class.

if there are any students out there using the iPad in class or WILL BE using the iPad in class, id appreciate you sharing your experiences. thanks!

I personally bought the iPad to use while I am going back to school for my Master's degree this fall. I will be downloading all the PPT presentations to it to take to class, as well as some of the books. It will save me from lugging my laptop across campus all the time just to look at power points. For me personally pen and paper are the ultimate way to take notes, but that is also because I have to draw a lot of diagrams and so on.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

MMM
 

RavingMac

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I have a 15" MBP same vintage as yours and a 64gb iPad 3G. My advice would be to go with a 13" MBP and 16 or 32 gb iPad (wifi) version.

The total investment would be about the same as for the 15" MBP but with a lot more flexibility and ease of carry. :)
 
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iPad doesn't handler PowerPoint files very well. If it was me, I'd probably wait for a windows-based tablet. I love my iPad but this sounds like a situation where you'll need a conventional file system, good PowerPoint support, and the ability to install a lot of special apps that aren't likely to be available for the iPad.
 

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