Disclaimer: This is my personal review. Also, I’m comparing the iPad to laptops in general but I say “Macbook” here because that’s what I have.
Laptop vs. iPad: The great debate! I’ll tell you all the honest truth; I was a HUGE skeptic of the iPad. Before its release, I read the pros & cons & decided to wait to see how it does in the market. I was appalled at some of the App prices too, but still I decided to give it a chance after a good friend of mine told me how much she loves hers. She’s a lawyer and she says she’s prepped for cases on it, uses it for reading and movies, and is impressed how light it is.
I remembered my dad had one, so I texted him and asked what he thought of it. He barely used his 16GB iPad, so he said I could have it. I took him up on his offer faster than a dog snatching meat off the grill at a barbeque!
After 4 months of use, I can give a good review from a college student’s point of view:
Pros to the iPad:
- It’s lighter than a computer. Granted, a 4.7 pound laptop isn’t a huge weight burden, but in your book bag, alongside books averaging 5-10 pounds, along with supplies, it’s a strain. The iPad is just under 2 pounds and about as thick as a pen, if that.
- It’s cheaper than a laptop. If you’re a Mac user, you know the laptops run at least $1200. The iPad ranges from $499-829 depending on the size and connections you get. (Note: Apple has an education store so if your school is listed, you get discounts for as long as you go to school. You need to have the school campus and your ID number to get the price cuts!)
- This will sound kind of vain, but it’s a good conversation starter. A lot of people want to get iPads but they want honest reviews & want to know how they work from an average Joe/Jane view. We all know critics get something on the side at times so I trust consumer reviews more than some paid one.
- Apple works with publishers to get school textbook apps and other education products, so if you’re looking for something to help with studying, this is a good work investment. Even if the apps are a bit pricey, you get what you pay for and they’re cheaper than the books. Some books now even give you free study apps to go with them! I don’t have to lug around my medical dictionary, regular dictionary, flashcards or cheat sheets. (I still make hard copies of those things and get the books because technology is unpredictable. Always have backup!)
- I think it’s a bit more secure than a laptop. If my iPad should get lost or stolen, I just change my Apple account info and the thief doesn’t make off with important personal details (just some good music! Haha). My laptop has sensitive information on it and I don’t take it out the house much. If I do, my bag never leaves my side.
- They have a free app for books. You have to buy books for the most part, but iBooks start you off with a free one. I got Winnie the Pooh! A lot of people want e-readers that have their own internet connections; I think the iPad is better because you can read your books, magazines, newspapers or whatever and you have the internet with all the extras. They all run in the same price bracket anyway, at least the ones I’ve seen. Unless you want an E-reader strictly for downloading books with NO internet connection, then those will be drastically cheaper.
- The iPad has epic battery life. 10 hours! I use my iPad every day and I charge it up about once every 2 weeks, if that much. There have been times I was rushing back to class and put it back in my bag while it was still on, and I came back the next day and realized I never turned it off. It goes to sleep on its own, and it has a one month standby if you don’t use it for a while. Even in sleep mode, a laptop’s battery will eventually go down to nothing after a few hours.
Cons of the iPad:
- Turnover rate. I admit I’m a bit mad that less than a year later, we have the iPad 2, but as consumers we really can’t complain. Apple is far from stupid. They make this stuff to last for YEARS; Apple products are immune to almost any computer virus, and even if you have to get repairs, they’re cheaper than replacing the whole unit. Their warranty & protection plans far outweigh this con for me, but I listed it because I know a lot of people are mad about that. How do I know how good a Mac is? We have a Mac computer from the 1980s that still turns on 25+ years later. I kid you not. That’s why Mac doesn’t always give replacements to some people. Every time something gets upgraded or a new generation comes out, people break their units on purpose to get the new stuff but the tech geniuses are like “yeah….no, we know you did this on purpose.” One of my best friends still has a laptop that was made over 5 years ago from Mac and it still works as if it were brand new. She only had to replace the battery once! I’ve dropped my Macbook more times than I can count, but it still works! It has a few scuff marks on it but as long as it turns on and performs its magic, I don’t care! Macs are expensive because they are investments. You get your money’s worth out of the products in a short amount of time.
- It doesn’t have all the use and space of a laptop or some of the same features, but this will probably improve with the coming generations.
- I wish iPads came in colors. My favorite color is purple! But you can accessorize it with skins & accessories.
Verdict: Don’t knock the iPad until you try it! You can even go into the Apple store and play with them to see if you like it. I still use my laptop faithfully for work, but it works well hand in hand with my iPad anyway, so there’s no either/or for me.
Do you have an iPad? What do you think of it? If you have a similar product, how does it work for you?