I am very very fortunate to have the opportunity to add some new technology to my collegiate life, now or in the future! Should I get an iPad now, or put that resource towards new tech in years to come?
posted by femmegrrr to Technology (11 answers total)
As a college student, my primary device has been a 2010 13" Macbook Pro. The screen is cracked and it's pretty heavy, but it's extremely functional.
Originally, I had a 2nd gen iPod touch. I swapped it out for a damaged 4th gen earlier this year to have greater compatibility with apps. I use the iPod for music, checking email, basic internet on campus, and tracking my todo list. Up until recently, I've had an LG cosmos brickphone. I'll be swapping that out for an iphone 5c in a couple weeks. Very exciting. That said, my current setup (macBook and iPod Touch) meets my barebones needs -- I can do everything that is required for school and work.
I now have the very unexpected opportunity to either get an iPad (16gb, mini or air), or save that money (five or six hundred dollars) towards a new computer or other tech device in years to come. I borrowed a friend's iPad, and loved the user experience -- I would definitely make use of an iPad, but it feels like a luxury/unneeded item. It seems like the resources could be better directed elsewhere. I'd like some help figuring out what makes sense in terms of my current and future needs.
This summer, I'll be traveling in Eastern Europe for eight weeks on a scholarship. I'll be in an academic program for a month, traveling for three weeks, and doing research in various state archives for two. I have pretty significant back pain/joint issues, and a lighter weight setup would vastly improve my quality of life during those inevitable long walks lost in a new city with everything I own on my back. I anticipate having wifi access in most locations.
I will definitely bring:
-digital camera for photographing documents
-either unlocked iphone or dumbphone and 4th gen ipod touch
Things I anticipate needing to do during my trip:
-research travel locations, find contacts on the internet, and other browsing
-download documents/assignments/videos emailed out by professors, all of which are in a non-Latinate alphabet
-take extensive notes both in english and non-latin alphabets
-upload photographs of archival documents to the cloud from the digital camera
-google voice calls and texts, skype
-lightweight academic reading ie. a few PDFs, search google books
-relatively heavy email correspondence
-entertainment on flights -- books, videos, games, etc
-check in for flights, purchase train tickets, etc
I'm already a heavy user of Dropbox, Evernote, Simplenote, Things and a variety of other apps that will facilitate syncing many of these tasks. Academically, I use DevonThink (no app) and Papers (terrible apps), but I think I can do without them during the trip.
-I'm graduating soon, and will not have the resources for another technology purchase for a good long while. Thus, I'm trying to balance short term needs (lightweight device for travel) with longer term (will I wish I had waited and gotten a new laptop a year or two from now? Will I use the iPad after the summer?)
-usability once I return to school in the fall: I don't mind carrying my laptop short distances around campus. Will I use my iPad after the summer, or will it be more of a novelty device compared to my laptop? Once I'm not on a campus, without constant wifi, will I be grateful for something I can slip in my pocket, or wish I simply had an ultralight laptop?
-If I were to get an iPad, would a mini meet my needs or do I need a fullsize? Would another tablet be a cheaper and better fit? I'm inclined to get the iPad for the apps, but if there's a serious price/quality differential I'd certainly consider it.
-There's likely to be a new iPad released in the next year. Will I regret not waiting for the newer model?
Thanks in advance!