iPads or Laptops

If you could buy one mobile device for a student would it be an iPad or a laptop?  Now that Ultrabooks have been released, weight is less of a factor and they are more functional because of the multiple input options (flashdrives, SD cards, HDMI, etc.).  iPads are great but a laptop may offer a bigger bang for the buck (they still don’t support flash, so there is some compatibility issues as well).  Also, some manufacturers are going to offer touch screen functionality in a laptop form factor as well.  So you have $800 bucks, what do you buy/recommend for a student?


2 thoughts on “iPads or Laptops

  1. One consideration is that not all students are young. I just purchased my first smartphone and spent numerous hours finding one with a tactile keyboard that worked for me, as small touchscreens don’t like the shape of my thumbs. Which option is better for people with hearing, vision or tactile diabilities/limitations? Does either offer a better fit for a broader user group?

    On another note, do we know the comparable number of repair incidents for each device, and is additional training needed for tech support to provide service to IPads? I assume lab aide staff would need to receive additional instruction in supporting IPad use…

    • At this given point in time if I had 800 buck, I would lean towards a laptop. I know there are some ultra-books out there but again they get a bit pricey. The first thing I tell people when they ask my opinion is what are you looking for in this device. I am sure most people agree that the iPad’s and other tablet devices are not just there to be considered a laptop replacement.

      Then again these devices support a large growing segment of people who really do not need a laptop but need a more portable iPad’ish device. As technology moves closer to being platform independent (i.e hardware/software independent) I would see this being more of a choice factor in the near future than what can this device support and what it cannot. In today’s market a lot of people are using tablet as most of the time they email and use productivity apps. Architects who love to use CAD will still opt for that horsepower crazy workstation and as large of a monitor that you can five them, but then again they love the iPad so that they can digitally scribble notes and drawings when talking to a client and have the flexibility of emailing their notes to everyone in jiffy.

      Ultimately, the world seems to be converging to smaller, portable, lighter and low power devices. Google and Apple seems to be dominating the market. Windows is lurking around but I always find it exciting to see how these giants like to take things to another level with each iteration of their product development cycle.

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