Why You Should Buy An iPad Instead Of A MacBook For College [Back To School]

Why You Should Buy An iPad Instead Of A MacBook For College [Back To School]

Which is better for college, An iPad or MacBook Air?

You’re going to college. That means huge lists of all the crap you need to start school of right. Not just books, furniture, clothing, mini-beer refrigerators, and all that junk, but also backpacks and probably some tech gear to get you through the semester.

For most people, the MacBook Air is the best laptop on the market. But if you’re going to college, you might not even need a laptop anymore. We think a lot of college students can get by and just buy an iPad instead of a MacBook Air. Here’s why.

There Are So Many Apps Now It’s Ridiculous

People think that the iPad is only fit for consuming media, but that’s not true at all. Most  college homework assignments can be done on an iPad.

Ok, so maybe you’re balking at the suggestion that you could get everything done on an iPad that you would need to do on a MacBook Air, but think about it. What do you really need to do on a MacBook that you can’t do on an iPad?

Make videos? There’s iMovie for iOS. Listen to copious amounts of music? Try Rdio or Spotify. Video games? There’s Infinity Blade, Fifa ’12, DeadSpace, Modern Combat 3, and 1000’s of other cheap titles on the App Store. Photography? Upload your pictures with the camera connection kit, edit them in Snapseed and upload them to Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, or wherever you want.

People think that the iPad is only fit for consuming media, but that’s not true at all. Most of your college homework assignments can be done on an iPad, and most of the time, it’s more fun to do them on an iPad. Unless you’re a Computer Science major who needs to program in C++, Visual Basic, XCode, and Java, then you can probably get all your homework done on an iPad.

You can check your email, write essays in Pages, create PowerPoints, record videos, print documents, make music, procrastinate by playing Kingdom Rush for hours, listen to new music, and watch movies, and Skype with your mommy all on your iPad. Just make sure to buy the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard to write your essays with, because no one wants to type a 2000 word essay on a virtual keyboard.

Textbooks Are Cheaper

One of the added benefits of buying an iPad instead of a MacBook Air is that if you buy or rent digital textbooks, your iPad will more than pay for itself. Seriously. eTextbooks are significantly cheaper than their regular dead paper brothern.

Even if only half of your textbooks available as eTextbooks there’s a good chance you’ll save more than $500 over your 4 year stay at college. An added bonus with buying an iPad and eTextbooks is you’ll have a lot less weight to carry around in your backpack.

Ultimate Portability

If you’re investing in the iPad you’ll be carrying less crap in your bag which means less weight, less stress and a happier you.

Speaking of carrying less weight, the iPad is nearly 1lbs lighter than the 11-inch MacBook Air and 1.5lbs lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air. Imagine waking up five minutes before class starts, rolling out of bed, and being able to just grab your iPad and bluetooth keyboard and running to class.

Anytime you need to go somewhere you can just grab your iPad and all of your homework, notes, and textbooks are right there with you so you can get a little bit of homework done while you’re waiting for your hamburger at Five Guys.

If you’re investing in the iPad you’ll be carrying less crap in your bag which means less weight, less stress and a happier you. You might not even need a backpack because your textbooks will be on your iPad, along with your notes and assignments.

Cost

When you think about everything an iPad can do compared to a MacBook Air, it hits you that $499 is crazy cheap.  It’s worth it. And as a college student who will probably need to save all the pennies you can to afford nicer things like food, or wild weekend trips to Mexico, you’ll need that extra cash.

The baseline MacBook Air model costs $999, and most computer owners upgrade their machine every two years. You’ll probably want to upgrade your iPad every two years too. That means you’ll only spend $1000 on iPads instead of $2000 on MacBooks while you’re at college.

Battery Life

I loved my MacBook Air. It was thin, and tiny, and always down for a good time. The biggest problem with it though, was its battery life kind of sucked. Apple claims the 11-inch MacBook Air has a 5 hour battery life, but my experience was that it’s closer to 2.5 hours when you’re surfing the internet, writing, and listening to music – you know, actually using your computer.

The iPad on the other hand has a freaking amazing battery. It’s ready to party all day long and you won’t have to carry around the charging cable. More often than not, I would sit through classes with my MacBook just praying that my battery would make it through the entire class.

With the iPad, a full charge will get you through all of your classes, allow you to play games during lunch, and still have a ton of juice left over at night. It takes longer to charge than a MacBook Air, but you can just plug it in when you go to bed and it will be full before you wake up in the morning.

Mobile Internet

Maybe colleges have improved since I was on campus, but free campus Wi-fi can be spotty at times, which is a big pain if you’re trying to get some homework done and upload it to Blackboard, or send a professor an email, or say hi to that hot girl from BIO 183 on Facebook.

The MacBook Air doesn’t have a 4G antenna built in, so you’re at the whims of your university’s  infrastructure. If you’re in class and the wi-fi is down, too bad. No grade for you! But if you have an iPad with 4G data, you’ll be able to connect to the internet whenever you need to (as long as someone keeps paying your bill).

Concentration

The multi-tasking limitations of the iPad might help you stay focused and keep your grades up.

Here’s one area where you might not have thought that the iPad will help you. iOS still isn’t great at multitasking. You can’t switch between apps quickly so it makes it really hard to do multiple things at once. That’s actually an asset when you’re in college where you’re supposed to be learning and actually paying attention to what professors say.

If you’re taking notes on your MacBook Air, you’re probably going to get bored and CMD+Tab over to Chrome and open up Facebook, or get lost on Buzzfeed for hours. But if you’re taking notes on an iPad + Apple Bluetooth Leyboard, there’s none of that. If you want to pay attention and get the notes you need, you better keep that notes app open or you’ll probably miss out.

A lot of people are going to slack off in class no matter what device they buy, but some students just need a little less temptation peeking through their computer screen to help them concentrate in class. If you think you’re one of them, then the multi-tasking limitations of the iPad might help you stay focused and keep your grades up.

Drawbacks

Replacing a laptop with a tablet isn’t a new or radical idea, but it still hasn’t really caught on yet in a major way because there are some drawbacks. You can finally print from an iPad, but only on certain printers. Your college probably doesn’t have them, so you’ll either have to upload assignments to Dropbox and print them out in the computer lab, or print them from your printer at home.

File transfers still aren’t great on iPad. iOS 6 will let you upload files from the Safari browser, which is a much needed feature, but you don’t have access to the file system of an iPad, and will have to jump through a few extra hoops of placing your files in Dropbox or iCloud and then moving them where they need to go.

Storage on the iPad is fairly limited, and buying the higher end models with more storage will make you spend almost as much as you would on a MacBook Air. If you want to buy an iPad instead of a MacBook Air you’ll need to learn all about cloud storage solutions like iCloud, DropBox and Google Drive, and figure out the best ways to implement them.

Conclusion

Let’s be honest, unless your major is Computer Science or Nanobot Engineering or something like that, the you’re really not going to be doing that many crazy things with your computer. The iPad isn’t the perfect machine for every student, but it can handle the course work for most college students, and in the rare case that it can’t, your school has a computer lab.

The iPad is strong enough for university tasks, it’s more portable, has a better, battery, and is always connected to the internet, which is everything you could ask for if you want to succeed in college.

  • MacHead84

    Unless of course you are a graphic design major….

  • wytchkraft_corp

    This is very true not only for students, but for teachers. Now that I am one, I’ve been considering it for long time. With an iPad I still have email access to stay in contact with students, where the push notifications come in handy. I could download pdf reports and homeworks and check them, even add notes and highlight to provide feedback all on the go.

  • AlexB_Photo

    But then I wont have Lightroom and CS6! I’m a CS major anyway but still…

  • technochick

    You forgot to mention that a constantly growing number of college classes are using iTunes U which one doesn’t work on a computer. That’s another point

    And about the charging cable. Yeah you need to bring it along. But that said, my brother is an all digital student and he’s got his iPad, ear buds, drawing stylus, charging cable, camera kit and bt keyboard plus iPhone, wallet, keys, bottle of water etc in a messenger bag that is smaller than many girls’ purses. He tried it for summer term and is hooked.

  • nrkmann

    Conclusion: “The iPad isn’t strong enough for university tasks,..”?

  • mr_bee

    ” … no one wants to type a 2000 word essay on a virtual keyboard … ”

    I’ve written over 200,000 words on my iPad at roughly 35wpm (virtual keyboard only), since 2010. That’s almost three full-length novels. Thumb-typing FTW!

    This will become even easier on the iPad mini no doubt.

  • Mike Xidis

    I’m in my final year of legal studies undergrad, and I’ve tried several different configurations of mac/ipad. The iPad only is difficult if you don’t have a mac at home. I tried the iPad only for a semester and found it very difficult to do online research and compile quotes from different web sources in one area. I often ended up using the University’s iMacs for the majority of my work because of the multi-tasking problem. The author is correct about the 11″ Macbook Air battery life. It is absolutely prohibitive as a truly mobile device. I couldn’t get through a 3hr. class period without the machine dying. I’ve recently purchased the 2012 13″ Macbook Air. It has the right mix of portability, power, multi-tasking/screen real estate. It’s not nearly as heavy as my 13″ pro was, but I can still use CS6 and such just as well as my pro did it.

    It is worth mentioning, as well, that many of the “creation” apps in iOS are still annoying to create with. Pages in iOS is just not as easy as pages on the mac or word on the mac when you’re writing that 2,000 word essay. It just makes content editing much easier when you can use a trackpad.

  • The_Truth_Hurts

    Windows 8 Intel powered Tablet, once they come out this fall. Get the best of both worlds.

    I have seen countless of people getting iPads, tablets to “replace” their laptop. They’ll go on about how they will “lighten” up their backpack, be more productive, etc.. Few weeks pass by, and guess what? They are back on their laptops, if not lugging both their laptop and tablet around. What happened? They have found how limited the tablet was. Or how it was far easier to do things on a laptop than a tablet.

    Why do I say Windows 8 Tablet (Intel powered)? You are not just getting a tablet, but a full functional laptop. Slap the laptop-like keyboard dock onto it? You (quite literally), have a full functional laptop. throw a stylus into the bag, and that’s the only device you will need.

    And the best thing? It can even replace your desktop at home. Just get an external monitor, keyboard, mouse….. BAM!!!! Full functional desktop as well!

    Yes, you can pick up an iPad and a MacBook Air, etc… But, you’ll have to carry more than one device, and you’ll have to keep stuff in sync, etc… (especially if you are going to heavily use both). Also, it can be far more expensive as well!

    For example, If I were to buy an iPad and MacBook Air, at what I’ll need, I’m looking at about $2500 before any warranties and such. While I could just go pick up a Samsung 7 series Intel slate for $1400. (That slate has not been updated and such, so this fall, it will be updated and such. And instead of looking at $1400, you’ll probably look at around $1200 or so.)

    Windows 8 Intel Slate?

    Need a tablet? You have it.
    Need a sketchbook/notepad? You have it. (I hear that Microsoft’s OneNote is especially great at taking handwritten notes and such and turning it into typed stuff, so that’s an added bonus)
    Need a laptop? Drop it into the dock.
    Need to print? Since windows, it can print to any printer, even via USB.
    Need to transfer that large file? Just plug that USB into the tablet, and you’re ready to go.
    Need a large display, keyboard and mouse in the dorm room to work on that paper? Just plug it in, once you are in your room.

    Yes, it’s no iPad. Yes, it’s no Apple product. But the ultimate portable device? heck ya!
    Yes, you won’t be able to impress your friends, co-workers, classmate with your shiny device. But, you’ll sure impress them when you are “transforming” it from taking “touch” to type to writing. And then finish your document in plug in your printer, without any issues.

    Downside…..?
    Cost. Yes, gonna be more expensive than your iPad or other tablet. But heck a lot cheaper than buying BOTH a tablet and laptop/ultrabook.
    Weight. Yes, gonna be heavier than your iPad/tablet. But, it will be lighter than an ultrabook. (add keyboard, and it’ll way as much as an ultrabook.)
    Battery life. Yes, won’t be as good as your iPad or tablet, but at the bare minimum on par with your laptop/ultrabook/MBA/MBP/etc… And that laptop dock? That can possibly add several more hours of battery life.

    Yes, a lot won’t like to hear that because it’s a windows device. IT’S WINDOZE!!!!! Well, I dare you to get your head out of your a$$, open your eyes and use one.

    I should mention that you can get a Modbook Pro. The only downside with a Modbook Pro is cost. Since they have to buy a MacBook Pro AND then add their stuff to that. So, you’re looking at $1200 at the bare minimum for the MacBook Pro and additional $900-$1000 (what the transformations usually cost). So, you’re looking at least $2000, if not more, and you’re right at the spot at spending the same amount for a MacBook Air/Pro + iPad. And running an OS that ISN’T optimized for touch.

    Until, Apple comes out with a Macbook/iPad hybrid, the best device for college students will be a Windows 8 (intel) slate. Not only can they do all their tablet stuff on one, they can do all of their “desktop” stuff on it.

    Tablets/iPads/Ultrabooks/MBAs….? Once windows 8 (intel) slates come out, expect those markets to be shook up. No, not a small shake up, but a massive shake up. And honest to god, apple will be hit hard.
    No doubt, the iPad and the MBA are great devices. The problem is, not everybody wants to or can afford to buy two devices. And when your “tablet” costs about the same amount as a MBA (if not slightly less), yet can run full desktop applications (like Office, for example) a lot of people will spring for that. Show what happens with a Stylus, keyboard attachment? It practically sells it self.

    Apple doesn’t want to sell a device like this, because, well, they can make more money selling you an iPad and a MBA. And they want you to go this route, because you’ll be lock down more. But again, People don’t want more devices or (simply) cannot afford to buy multiple devices. Yes, Apple will downplay and say that nobody wants a “hybrid” device.

    Let me tell you one thing. I have spoken to “average” joes and sues about these windows 8 slates. And I have seen tremendous excitement for these device. Especially, those who have laptops and tablets and not need both, but cannot get rid of one or the another because of factors, and this Windows 8 intel slate? It’s “god”. Literally. Now, they can replace their tablet (in a lot of cases iPads) and their laptops with one device. Countless of college age students I have talked to who have used tablets (good percentage iPads) in the college classroom? They are (simply) loving the idea, knowing that they will be able to pick up a device that not only is a full functional tablet, but a laptop as well.

    Apple? They should have made a hybrid device. But it was profits that they saw. They saw their profits going down the drain, if people bought a hybrid device because no longer would people buy 2 devices, but 1 device. Windows 8? Windows 8 will “reborn” the PC manufactures. It will give them a massive boost. All-new devices that have NEVER been seen before. Laptop/tablet hybrids. Desktops that can fold flat and be completely touch interactive. Completely new form factors.

    I looked strongly for a long time at getting an iPad/MBA, but I (simply) did not want to buy 2 devices and pay close to $2500 for it. And this October? I’ll be picking up a Windows 8 intel slate with a lot of my friends. Those who want, need 1 device, instead of multiple. We need something that is touch input, but at the same time, we still need to run those desktop applications. It is Apple’s loss. If apple doesn’t want to believe that this will take off? They can believe it. But, One less sell, and around me? That number is going up quickly.

  • Tpope108

    This is so stupid. The ipad can barely multi-task and you want a freshman in college to do all of his/her work only on a tablet?

  • BigLama

    the ipad is nice. its great for doing small english papers, ad such. but being an Arch major, the ipad cant do what i need it to do, and thats primarily use teh various architecture software, AutoCAD, Revit, and 3DS Max. Until the ipad can run all of these programs, i might,just might, give up my laptop completely for the ipad. But until then, ill be sticking to the laptop.
    I will say the ipad is great at what it does, but its limited to those that truly need the horsepower that their major requires.

  • John Howell

    The iPad Excells at being a portable computer, but it is NOT a workhorse. My advise, if you really want to get an iPad, get the 16GB iPad2 to make it the cheapest, then buy a secondhand mac mini and a 30″ LCD TV. Use the Mini and the TV in your dorm/bedroom, and the iPad when you are out and about.
    What the iPad Can’t do: RIP CDs DVDs for your media collection (after all, you dont want to cart boxloads of your DVDs from home halfway around the country?)
    The big screen +Mac makes it a fine bedrooom TV too, and a propper full no restriction browser and application environment.

    And dont forget a backup service. You Do not want to loose everything in a theft or accident!

  • technochick
    This is so stupid. The ipad can barely multi-task and you want a freshman in college to do all of his/her work only on a tablet?

    When I was a freshman I didnt need to do more than receive emails and type papers. And we are talking only 9 years ago. An iPad would have been great for me.

    My brother started with summer term as a fresh and he’s done just fine with an iPad. His courses all had ebooks, all papers were submitted by email to the professors. He was even able to take his notes on his iPad using an app that recorded the lectures and synced is typed notes with the recording.

    It might not work for all kids depending on majors but Cal did just fine.

  • technochick

    The iPad Excells at being a portable computer, but it is NOT a workhorse.

    Not everyone needs a workhorse. True outside of college as well

  • calebpase

    As much as I like the iPad I dont find it adequate at all to provide COLLEGE students the necessary needs. These include:

    1. A physical keyboard
    2. ACTUAL programs (like Adobe CS5), not little apps
    3. eBooks only go so far. scrolling through electronic pages gets VERY tiresome
    4. an iPad is just a glorified iPod. NOT a computer. its more so a gaming/leisure/entertainment device.

    I love my iPad but i would never replace my Mac with one.

  • AppleDApp

    Sure an iPad is 500$ but for the 16gb. I’ve downloaded some content from iTunes U for when I can’t get wifi and I’ve easily passed 20gb. I recommend the higher capacity models. When wifi is buggy at school and you need to get things done I recommend the LTE model or tether to an LTE phone.

    You mentioned that the iPad would pay for itself in four years. At the pace that technology advances, what are the odds of a student keeping a tablet for four years.

    Battery life is alot better on the ipad then it is on any apple laptop.

  • TheMacGuy

    Why do I say Windows 8 Tablet (Intel powered)? You are not just getting a tablet, but a full functional laptop. Slap the laptop-like keyboard dock onto it? You (quite literally), have a full functional laptop. throw a stylus into the bag, and that’s the only device you will need.

    Apple made a Keyboard Dock for the iPad. It has since been discontinued, but you can now take a Bluetooth keyboard and use it on the iPad. Works very well both ways on my iPad 2. I also have a stylus (which 3rd parties do make some for the iPad/iPhone) and most of the time, I use my iPad over my MacBook Pro.

    And the best thing? It can even replace your desktop at home. Just get an external monitor, keyboard, mouse….. BAM!!!! Full functional desktop as well

    I don’t believe Microsoft said anything about being able to use a mouse on the W8 Tablets. But with the iPad, you can use, as stated above, a bluetooth keyboard. You can even mirror your entire iPad’s display to a monitor using either a VGA or DVI to Dock Connector cable, or to a big TV with HDMI via the Digital AV Adapter.

    Yes, a lot won’t like to hear that because it’s a windows device. IT’S WINDOZE!!!!! Well, I dare you to get your head out of your a$$, open your eyes and use one.

    I have used Windows before. Actually, before I started using Macs, my whole family used Windows. Mom had a Dell tower with XP, Dad had a laptop with 2000, brother had a Sony Viao with XP, I had a Dell laptop with XP. My dad being the first to get a Mac in 2006, I to follow in 2009, brother in 2010, Mom in 2011. Dad, Mom and my brother all had Windows Phones running 6.0. Now they are using iPhones. I have used Windows. The only problems are the virus and the fact that it is not as user friendly as Mac. Windows caters more to the gamer/programer while the Mac caters to normal individuals and people who make videos.

    Tablets/iPads/Ultrabooks/MBAs….? Once windows 8 (intel) slates come out, expect those markets to be shook up. No, not a small shake up, but a massive shake up. And honest to god, apple will be hit hard.

    In case you haven’t look at the resent statistics, there is no “Tablet market” just an iPad market. iPads outsell Samsung tablet 12-1. Yes 12-1. For every 1 tablet Samsung sells, Apple sells about 12 iPads. This “massive shake up” is going to be nothing. It’s another tablet. For Apple, the Microsoft tablet is just going to be a nat splattered on their windshield.

    And when your “tablet” costs about the same amount as a MBA (if not slightly less), yet can run full desktop applications (like Office, for example) a lot of people will spring for that. Show what happens with a Stylus, keyboard attachment? It practically sells it self.

    The iPad is right now projected to be about $300 less then the Windows tablet, correct? Apple has their answer to MS Office on the iPad, running $10 an app ($30 for all 3) while Office is going to cost how much? $100, $200? There are 3rd party styluses that Apple sells about about $15 and it works great with the iPad. Grab the WIRELESS keyboard, you have the same functionality on the iPad.

    Let me tell you one thing. I have spoken to “average” joes and sues about these windows 8 slates. And I have seen tremendous excitement for these device. Especially, those who have laptops and tablets and not need both, but cannot get rid of one or the another because of factors, and this Windows 8 intel slate? It’s “god”. Literally. Now, they can replace their tablet (in a lot of cases iPads) and their laptops with one device. Countless of college age students I have talked to who have used tablets (good percentage iPads) in the college classroom? They are (simply) loving the idea, knowing that they will be able to pick up a device that not only is a full functional tablet, but a laptop as well.

    I doubt this. I have asked quite a few friends (most of them run Windows come to think of it) and they said they would rather have an iPad then a MS Surface. Not the price, not the style, but the functionality of the iPad and the better Customer Service you get from Apple.

  • Jonathan Ober

    Unless of course you are a graphic design major….

    I can’t GD with my iPad yet either, but I do web coding with it on Diet Coda … that one is a gem of a program. Getting edits for clients done while in meetings or while waiting for the train is a dream.

  • hanhothi

    I would not recommend trying to use an iPad as the computer for an undergraduate student. Get real, buy a PC notebook running Windows and save the money for things you really need. A PC will allow you to run a much greater range of software, and you will probably need to be able to do that. Any science based course will use Excel extensively for example. If you have lots of cash to waste, blow it on an expensive MacBook that will do less! But not a smart move.

  • The_Truth_Hurts

    @TheMacGuy

    “Apple made a Keyboard Dock for the iPad. It has since been discontinued, but you can now take a Bluetooth keyboard and use it on the iPad. Works very well both ways on my iPad 2. I also have a stylus (which 3rd parties do make some for the iPad/iPhone) and most of the time, I use my iPad over my MacBook Pro.”
    Yes, you can use the Bluetooth keyboard. But they won’t be as “good” as like an Asus Transformer Book that where they keyboard (literally) “transforms” the tablet from a tablet to a laptop. Yes, their are plenty of cases and things that can transform the iPad into a tablet, but honestly? There is nothing on par with what Asus makes. Plus Asus gives you MORE battery life (double the battery life) and a trackpad, and more.

    “I don’t believe Microsoft said anything about being able to use a mouse on the W8 Tablets. But with the iPad, you can use, as stated above, a bluetooth keyboard. You can even mirror your entire iPad’s display to a monitor using either a VGA or DVI to Dock Connector cable, or to a big TV with HDMI via the Digital AV Adapter.”
    You can plug any external USB mouse and keyboard into a Windows keyboard. Also all of those surface covers have trackpads. Yes, I give you that you can mirror stuff on a larger display with the iPad.

    “I have used Windows before. Actually, before I started using Macs, my whole family used Windows. Mom had a Dell tower with XP, Dad had a laptop with 2000, brother had a Sony Viao with XP, I had a Dell laptop with XP. My dad being the first to get a Mac in 2006, I to follow in 2009, brother in 2010, Mom in 2011. Dad, Mom and my brother all had Windows Phones running 6.0. Now they are using iPhones. I have used Windows. The only problems are the virus and the fact that it is not as user friendly as Mac. Windows caters more to the gamer/programer while the Mac caters to normal individuals and people who make videos.”
    Virus? Majority of people I know who have windows, never get viruses, malware. Those who do? They tend to be on XP, don’t update anything, don’t run any programs, etc.. Be smart, stay up to date, download Microsoft security essintals? Good to go and don’t need to worry about anything. Not as user friendly? I’ll put that in as OS X is “easier”? I know people who pick up windows and can’t navigate it. I know people who don’t even know how to turn on a Mac. They are completely lost in OS X and “who was the idiot who designed this?” Probably comes down to what you are used to. They are pretty much the same from my experience, but Windows 8 has (massively) improved on the user experience on the windows side. (That is after the learning curve)

    “In case you haven’t look at the resent statistics, there is no “Tablet market” just an iPad market. iPads outsell Samsung tablet 12-1. Yes 12-1. For every 1 tablet Samsung sells, Apple sells about 12 iPads. This “massive shake up” is going to be nothing. It’s another tablet. For Apple, the Microsoft tablet is just going to be a nat splattered on their windshield.”
    That is exactly the problem. I point this out with people who say that Windows 8 will fail. What they fail to mention is that for the first time, you (basically) have a tablet, tablet-like device that can (actually) REPLACE your PC. REPLACE your laptop, desktop at home. Yes, Windows RT tablets may struggle against the iPad, but the Intel powered ones? Those are what will take off like wildfire. Why? key word. Intel. It can basically run all the software and programs you need and want. It is far more than an entertainment device.

    “The iPad is right now projected to be about $300 less then the Windows tablet, correct? Apple has their answer to MS Office on the iPad, running $10 an app ($30 for all 3) while Office is going to cost how much? $100, $200? There are 3rd party styluses that Apple sells about about $15 and it works great with the iPad. Grab the WIRELESS keyboard, you have the same functionality on the iPad.”
    What you fail to realize is: Full Office? iWork on the iPad can’t even match. Adobe software? If you want to, you can. Full “integration” into your network? Just like any other Windows computer. Need to run multiple accounts? Can do it. A Intel powered slate will work like any other computer. A Windows 8 Intel slate is more competing against a MBA. thus, it will cost around the price of a MBA, if not cheaper. The ability to run office will sell it to countless of people. I know a lot of people who “wished” they could get office on their iPads. I’ve talked to several of them and said that Intel Windows slate, office support. They are completely sold on a Windows slate for that and will pick one up for (literally) that reason alone.

    “I doubt this. I have asked quite a few friends (most of them run Windows come to think of it) and they said they would rather have an iPad then a MS Surface. Not the price, not the style, but the functionality of the iPad and the better Customer Service you get from Apple.”
    They would rather have an iPad vs a MS surface. The key there is, they don’t have an iPad. Yes, I know a lot of iPad users that are happy, but I know a lot who are “meh”. I should expand that to any tablet. I have talked to a lot of them and most have said they are (literally) sold on a windows 8 tablet. Why? Ability to run Office and the ability to run any programs. A lot like their iPads, but they’ve just found them “too limiting”. Nice devices, no doubt, but a Windows slate will allow them to do stuff that they cannot do on an iPad. The only people I have found not to (really) be interested where the “die-hard” Apple users who (simply) won’t even touch or even look at a windows device.

    The thing I have noticed over and over, were those who had Both a laptop AND a tablet (iPad)? They still use both and in many cases went back to using their laptop. Why? How “limiting” the iPad was. When you see “big time” apple users who use everything apple, and you start to see them with cheap, windows laptops because of how “limiting” the iPad is, and how it is far easier to do stuff on a laptop than a tablet (iPad)? There is something to be said. I was (simply) shocked seeing several people I knew who had iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, suddenly with a $300 Windows laptop because they found out that it was “terrible” to use the iPad.

    I have used (not owned) iPads since they came out. They are nice tablets, no doubt, but every time I have the ability to use a laptop-esk device, I do. Far easier to do a lot of stuff on a tablet-like device. And that is exactly where Intel Windows 8 slates will excel. In those tasks.

  • Manuelodi1

    what Stephen responded I’m taken by surprise that any body able to profit $5430 in four weeks on the computer. did you look at this web page (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/LTF28

  • wompwomp

    How much did Apple pay Buster to write this endless article that goes nowhere?

  • TheMacGuy

    @The_Truth_Hurts

    “Yes, you can use the Bluetooth keyboard. But they won’t be as “good” as like an Asus Transformer Book that where they keyboard (literally) “transforms” the tablet from a tablet to a laptop. Yes, their are plenty of cases and things that can transform the iPad into a tablet, but honestly? There is nothing on par with what Asus makes. Plus Asus gives you MORE battery life (double the battery life) and a trackpad, and more.”

    Very true. The Transformer does have more battery built in to the keyboard dock and has a trackpad.

    “You can plug any external USB mouse and keyboard into a Windows keyboard. Also all of those surface covers have trackpads. Yes, I give you that you can mirror stuff on a larger display with the iPad.”

    After looking at pictures of the surface, it does have a trackpad built in to the case. The problem though is that it is not a physical keyboard. I looks like a rubberized flat keyboard, while the iPad can use the Keyboard Dock or the Bluetooth keyboard both full sized, physical keyboards.

    “Virus? Majority of people I know who have windows, never get viruses, malware. Those who do? They tend to be on XP, don’t update anything, don’t run any programs, etc.. Be smart, stay up to date, download Microsoft security essintals? Good to go and don’t need to worry about anything. Not as user friendly? I’ll put that in as OS X is “easier”? I know people who pick up windows and can’t navigate it. I know people who don’t even know how to turn on a Mac. They are completely lost in OS X and “who was the idiot who designed this?” Probably comes down to what you are used to. They are pretty much the same from my experience, but Windows 8 has (massively) improved on the user experience on the windows side. (That is after the learning curve)”

    Most of my friends have asked me to come and reinstall Windows for them because a virus infected their System32/WIN32 file the computer won’t boot into Windows it “stay in DOS” as the tell me, although it is the BIOS. When Dell had to replace my computer for motherboard issues (not blaming Windows for that part), it left me with the current updates. XP Service Pack 3, CA Anti-Virus (before MS Security Essentials). The only updates I never did where updating the OS because of the fact MS wanted $200 to upgrade from XP to Vista (which, I think we can all agree, Vista was a huge flop), then when 7 came out, they still wanted $200 to upgrade to W7 Home Premium because, with XP, I would need to but the full version.

    “That is exactly the problem. I point this out with people who say that Windows 8 will fail. What they fail to mention is that for the first time, you (basically) have a tablet, tablet-like device that can (actually) REPLACE your PC. REPLACE your laptop, desktop at home. Yes, Windows RT tablets may struggle against the iPad, but the Intel powered ones? Those are what will take off like wildfire. Why? key word. Intel. It can basically run all the software and programs you need and want. It is far more than an entertainment device.”

    The iPad is now more then just an entertainment device. I can start a document on my MacBook Pro, and then finish typing it on my iPad via Pages. I can take videos I made from my camera, put them on the iPad either via my computer or the Camera Connection Kit and then edit them in either iMovie or Avid Studio. I can take my photos, and in iPhoto adjust the color and contrast then share them with my friends. Runs beautifully on the iPad. I still believe that the tablet won’t be able to catch up to the laptop as quickly as people are saying. Its going to take at least 20 years before tablet makers even THINK about canceling laptop computers. And that goes for all makers, ASUS, Google, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, ect.

    “What you fail to realize is: Full Office? iWork on the iPad can’t even match. Adobe software? If you want to, you can. Full “integration” into your network? Just like any other Windows computer. Need to run multiple accounts? Can do it. A Intel powered slate will work like any other computer. A Windows 8 Intel slate is more competing against a MBA. thus, it will cost around the price of a MBA, if not cheaper. The ability to run office will sell it to countless of people. I know a lot of people who “wished” they could get office on their iPads. I’ve talked to several of them and said that Intel Windows slate, office support. They are completely sold on a Windows slate for that and will pick one up for (literally) that reason alone. ”

    With iWork, its like getting the Apple and Windows world, on your iPad. You can take a Pages document and turn it into a Office document on the iPad. Adobe doesn’t have its full suite on iPad, but has Photoshop Touch, which by no means, replaces Adobe CS.

    “They would rather have an iPad vs a MS surface. The key there is, they don’t have an iPad. Yes, I know a lot of iPad users that are happy, but I know a lot who are “meh”. I should expand that to any tablet. I have talked to a lot of them and most have said they are (literally) sold on a windows 8 tablet. Why? Ability to run Office and the ability to run any programs. A lot like their iPads, but they’ve just found them “too limiting”. Nice devices, no doubt, but a Windows slate will allow them to do stuff that they cannot do on an iPad. The only people I have found not to (really) be interested where the “die-hard” Apple users who (simply) won’t even touch or even look at a windows device.”

    I don’t consider my self a “die-hard” Apple user, just a fan of their products. The reason I left Windows were the viruses. To many viruses. No matter how much I updated, I got viruses. As stated above, the iWork Suite for iPad can export documents in the Office format. You can work on a document and when you are sending to your boss with either a Windows PC or a Mac running Office, you can convert the document, quick and simple. But with MS Office, you can’t take a document to the Pages format.

    “The thing I have noticed over and over, were those who had Both a laptop AND a tablet (iPad)? They still use both and in many cases went back to using their laptop. Why? How “limiting” the iPad was. When you see “big time” apple users who use everything apple, and you start to see them with cheap, windows laptops because of how “limiting” the iPad is, and how it is far easier to do stuff on a laptop than a tablet (iPad)? There is something to be said. I was (simply) shocked seeing several people I knew who had iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, suddenly with a $300 Windows laptop because they found out that it was “terrible” to use the iPad.

    I have used (not owned) iPads since they came out. They are nice tablets, no doubt, but every time I have the ability to use a laptop-esk device, I do. Far easier to do a lot of stuff on a tablet-like device. And that is exactly where Intel Windows 8 slates will excel. In those tasks.”

    I have never seen anyone with a Mac go out and buy a Windows machine. Why? They can dual boot the Mac for $100-$200 while a “cheap” laptop costs $300-$500. And they completely left Apple products because the found the iPad too limiting, so they got rid of their Apple stuff (MacBook, iPad, iPhone) and got a Windows laptop? Left a brand because one of their products was “too limiting”? That seems a bit far fetched. It also seems these people aren’t “die hard” or “big time” Apple fans if one little issue like this “iPad Limiting” causes them to leave a brand where they have bought all their different products lines. I have also never heard anyone say the iPad was just OK, fine, hard or “terrible” to use. I have also used iPads since they came out.

    There are going to be things the iPad has in its favor, and there are going to be things Windows RT and “Slate” tablets are going to have in their favor. But I still believe this “shake up” your talking about, is going to be nothing.

  • Garnetstar

    There are several apps that allow printing from the iPad to any network printer.

    There are many Office clones and several apps that allow you to work in Windows Office itself, on a remote server, then download your files.

    If you jailbreak, you can connect USB drives via the camera connection kit and thus get any amount of storage.

    I’m a chemistry profressor, and there’s nothing I can’t do on the iPad. Classes, grant proposals, research reports, scanning, I can do it all. Actually, I don’t use it for any entertainment purpose at all. Just work.

    I’d advise any student to spring for an iPad over a laptop, especially for their first semester.

  • christopher rizzo

    Funny how people comment on here saying to buy a PC and run real software, my iPad has replaced my laptop easily. I think most people commenting probably don’t have an iPad and don’t realize you can accomplish the same things but you must do them in a different way.

  • dream_on7

    This article is laughable at best….DO NOT TAKE THIS ADVICE. I’m a college student writing a report right now, and in order to do so I have about 15 internet tabs open (for article researching), 7 pdf documents open, 2 excel docs, 2 word docs all on my windows pc. If you’ll ever need to write a lab report in college, get real and get a PC…you just can’t survive on an ipad (especially if you’re a science major)

  • oodle22

    This is such a stupid article. When I’m writing papers, I usually have multiple tabs and applications open at once to flip back and forth between. Electronic textbooks are so useless – I hate not being able to easily note-take and flip back and forth. DO NOT take this advice.

  • calden

    Great response I fully agree, I to noticed a lot of students with cheap Windows laptops, that’s so funny. A big factor in this phenomenon is media file sharing, the amount of piracy on a college campus is epic. The iPad just can’t deal with all of the codecs available, MP4, MP3, that’s it. Not saying it’s right, it’s just what is happening. My niece went to college with just an iPad, she later bought a keyboard, then a printer, then said screw this and bought a Lenovo Thinkpad X201 off of eBay. She of course still uses the iPad everyday but when it comes time to writing papers out comes the Thinkpad.

  • Pablo Carrillo

    Or you can always buy both

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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