2018 Back to School Buyers Guide: Should you pick Apple's iPad or Mac for college?

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  • Reply 21 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,604administrator
    auxio said:
    entropys said:

    Seriously, anyone buying a Mac for school will be buying a machine for at least three years. How could anyone recommend any current Mac, out of date as they are, to anyone right now? Out of date hardware will be  effectively four years old (at a minimum) in three years’ time. Think of your children!

    At the the very least hold off as long as possible. Apple might release new models before school starts. And if it doesn’t, get a HP x360 pro or that Huawei knock off.

    Don’t buy out of date hardware. 
    Buy the computer which will enable them to do what they need to do easiest.  Outside of specialized engineering courses which require high-end hardware (CAD) or software which only runs on PCs, the needs of most students are simply taking notes, looking up information, writing/publishing reports, and communication with peers/teachers.  Any computer you buy nowadays (including Macs) will certainly be able to do that for the next 5 years at the very least.  See the forest from the specs.
    ^^^^^^^^   T H I S !  ^^^^^^^^

    Always, Always, Always start with the problem or the need and decide which hardware/software combination will be meet that need.

    While I applaud AI for having this discussion, deciding "Which is best for A STUDENT"  is almost meaningless because partly because you haven't defined what a student is (grade school?  college? graduate level?, etc..) and partly you haven't defined what that particular student's needs are:
    -- For some it's playing Fortnite during boring lectures.
    -- For some it's taking notes or marking up a Power Point/Keynote presentation during lecture
    -- For some it's studying and/or reading e-books
    -- For some it's typing a term paper
    -- For some it's accessing social media

    And for most or all, it's some combination of each of those. 
    Steve Jobs knew:   You don't start with the tech, you start with the need and back into the tech.

    Good news. The iPad can do all of this, and the Mac can do all of this minus playing Fortnite.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 27
    nhtnht Posts: 4,460member
    Actually, for this discussion, I would love to hear from actual students rather than techies and FanBoys...
    As a parent footing the bill they get whatever I think is best.  If they want to buy something else they can with their own money.

    Most likely, they’d rather spend their money on a car + insurance.

    Yes for $1,700 I can make a killer gaming rig but you won’t be able to run FCPX or Xcode on it.  They can buy a switch or Xbox with their own money for gaming.
    watto_cobraentropys
  • Reply 23 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,506member
    auxio said:
    entropys said:

    Seriously, anyone buying a Mac for school will be buying a machine for at least three years. How could anyone recommend any current Mac, out of date as they are, to anyone right now? Out of date hardware will be  effectively four years old (at a minimum) in three years’ time. Think of your children!

    At the the very least hold off as long as possible. Apple might release new models before school starts. And if it doesn’t, get a HP x360 pro or that Huawei knock off.

    Don’t buy out of date hardware. 
    Buy the computer which will enable them to do what they need to do easiest.  Outside of specialized engineering courses which require high-end hardware (CAD) or software which only runs on PCs, the needs of most students are simply taking notes, looking up information, writing/publishing reports, and communication with peers/teachers.  Any computer you buy nowadays (including Macs) will certainly be able to do that for the next 5 years at the very least.  See the forest from the specs.
    ^^^^^^^^   T H I S !  ^^^^^^^^

    Always, Always, Always start with the problem or the need and decide which hardware/software combination will be meet that need.

    While I applaud AI for having this discussion, deciding "Which is best for A STUDENT"  is almost meaningless because partly because you haven't defined what a student is (grade school?  college? graduate level?, etc..) and partly you haven't defined what that particular student's needs are:
    -- For some it's playing Fortnite during boring lectures.
    -- For some it's taking notes or marking up a Power Point/Keynote presentation during lecture
    -- For some it's studying and/or reading e-books
    -- For some it's typing a term paper
    -- For some it's accessing social media

    And for most or all, it's some combination of each of those. 
    Steve Jobs knew:   You don't start with the tech, you start with the need and back into the tech.

    Good news. The iPad can do all of this, and the Mac can do all of this minus playing Fortnite.
    Yeh, that's true.  But then so can the iPhone.   But each is better at certain tasks and functions than the other.

    But my real point was rather than ask the simple:  "Which is better" it would be best to start asking about needs and priorities in order to pick the best solution for those needs...  Often, the answer is surprising.   As an IT systems analyst I was occasionally known to, after looking at all the factors, to recommend paper and pencil.  Even today I have artsy type friends who would be better off hand writing their term papers and then paying somebody to type them for them because it would be cheaper, faster and less stressful for them.
  • Reply 24 of 27
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,544member
    linkman said:
    I'll put forward this advice: if the method of input is important to you (and for many people including myself it is hugely important) then make a large part of your decision based on that aspect. If you currently find yourself resorting to some sort of hardware keyboard frequently (because you can't stand on-screen keyboards) instead of typing on a tablet's or phone's screen then pick the Mac.
    While this is generally good advice, the recent improvements in iOS 11 (and more coming in iOS 12) mean that full-size Bluetooth keyboards work very well with all models of iPads. While the Mac still has the obvious advantage of a built-in keyboard, some are less than thrilled with the flatter (but larger) keys on the latest MacBook-family products (just as "chiclet" keyboards were widely derided when they first appears, though of course now they are the standard on both Mac and PC notebooks).

    Using a BT keyboard means you can use a keyboard that you really like across both Macs (and/or PCs) and iOS (and/or Android) devices. My "portable" notebook stays home most days, and I take my iPad with a BT keyboard to do most of my work away from home. Since I like the Magic Keyboard, that's the one that comes with me most of the time (but I do have more than one brand of BT keyboard; I also like the Logitech K480 for example).

    In short, being picky about input does not limit you to Macs anymore, though I would add that for me (at least), full-sized keyboards (with or without number pads) are the way to go -- I have tried to like smaller "keyboard cover" type devices, but my hands say "nope." :)
    edited June 2018 watto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 25 of 27
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 227member
    The MacBook Pro is a serious device that will last you for years. (I know.)

    The iPad will limit you. Are you limited? Want to be more limited? 

    We can only do what we can afford, but money and influence buys the same. Learn that early.


  • Reply 26 of 27
    lmaclmac Posts: 188member
    Have you ever tried to post a comment to AppleInsider from an iPad. God Help Us All!

  • Reply 27 of 27
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 909member
    lmac said:
    Have you ever tried to post a comment to AppleInsider from an iPad. God Help Us All!

    This comment was posted using an iPhone 7 on iOS 11.4 using Safari. I encountered no problems. 
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