The iPad is the hot new gadget of 2010, but can it really replace a laptop? For a college student, the answer is simple. No, it can not. Here are five reasons you should keep that $500 for books and keep your brand new laptop.
1. You Can’t Type on It (without getting carpal tunnel).
Okay, so maybe I’m overreacting…a little. But there is no way you’re going to want to write that overdue, twenty page paper on a less-than-responsive touch-screen keyboard.
2. It’s Distracting!
Let’s face it; who can resist exiting out of that boring website on mid-century American history when you have a fun game of “Angry Birds” only an app away? There are distractions on your laptop too, but if you’re anything like me you don’t equate iPad or iPhone with work and studying. Your natural tendency will be to play games over writing your paper or researching for your thesis.
3. You Can’t Put Software On It.
Yeah, we all know that Macs don’t run Windows software and that means we will all be forced to figure out a way around it. But the iPad? It doesn’t run ANY software, it runs apps. What are you going to do when you need to perform some tests with software provided by your professor? There’s no “App for that”.
4. Wifi/3G Only.
What if your dorm room (like mine) doesn’t provide wireless internet? Your iPad only runs on a wifi connection, unless you want to add the extra $30-$50 / month 3G service bill onto your tuition check. Who wants to do that when you can use that money for…books?
5. No Support.
Most colleges these days have Support teams that you can bring your laptop to in case of any mishaps or hardware issues. Although most of these teams now offer support for PCs and Macs, chances are they don’t do iPads. What are you supposed to do when your project is due tomorrow and your iPad won’t turn on? Hopefully you can sell it to one of your friends who wants a big, shiny paperweight.