8 things an iPad can do for students what a Laptop can’t (Macbook vs. iPad)

8 things an iPad can do for students what a Laptop can't (Macbook vs. iPad)

Tech Highlights:

  • The answer here is actually more complicated than you might think because while Macbooks are generally more powerful and more expensive pieces of tech than iPads, there are actually a bunch of reasons (at least seven, actually) why you might want to opt for an iPad instead. So sit back, strap in, and check to see what this semester’s tuition is going to run you because we’ve got a list of the seven things an iPad can do for students that a Macbook can’t.

  • Do you require a reliable working tool for school but don’t want to spend a fortune? Instead of a Macbook, think about an iPad. So, as a student, you require technology for your time at college or university. You might even be aware of Apple’s annual Back to School sales on a variety of Apple products(opens in new tab). Those of you already enrolled in higher education are likely aware of how commonplace iPads and Macbooks are on campuses. And even if this is your first trip there this year, you’ll see in due time. Therefore, the question is: Should a student get a laptop, PC, Macbook, or iPad?

This won’t shock you, but iPads are actually smaller, lighter devices than Macbooks. A Macbook Air comes in at around 2.8 pounds / 1.3kg, while an iPad Pro weighs just 1.5 pounds / 0.7kg. Of course, a Macbook takes up more surface area with its keyboard than an iPad does as a tablet, too. When you’re walking between classes with a bag strapped to your back, keeping that load light is a priority, especially if you’re stuck with having to carry around textbooks, too.

Simply toss a keyboard or a mouse in your bag with you (and don’t worry, companies make small, portable versions of these perfect for using on the go) and in just a few seconds you’ll be set up on your iPad-turned-laptop at your desk. Plus, you can get yourself a little case/stand for your iPad to make it a more ergonomic device to prop up, look at, and type on with a keyboard.

Yes, it’s true that Apple’s obsessed with thin-and-light designs for their laptops, but nonetheless, a Macbook still isn’t as easy to bring with you as an iPad is, and if you’re just looking for something to take notes on and maybe use to not pay as much attention to the professor as you should, then an iPad can get the job done without the bulk. Typing on a touchscreen is fine. We all do it; we’ve all got phones. However, sending a text is a lot different than generating a long document of notes from a multi-hour class, so you might want a keyboard and maybe a mouse for that. The good news is that an iPad can effortlessly (and wirelessly) connect to Bluetooth keyboards and mice(opens in new tab) without a problem.

Macbooks run macOS which by design has a ton of overlap with iOS and iPadOS. Apple’s been trying to make the user experience of all its products uniform for quite a while now, but no class of device has benefited more from this push than iPad. Of course, you can get all the apps you’d like on a Macbook, no problem, but you can (in most cases) get that on the go in a slimmer-but-still-full-featured package.

Tablet software is maturing at a rapid rate, and today, you can download Photoshop, the Microsoft Suite, the Google Suite, Slack, video editors, messaging apps, productivity tools, notetaking apps, and almost everything else under the sun directly to your iPad and have largely the same experience you would on a Macbook.

With a Macbook, you’re going to need to bring your power brick around, and you’re going to need an outlet to really make regular use of one. Sure, a modern Macbook has about 10 hours of battery life, which is about what modern iPads can do, but an iPad is a lot easier to charge than a Macbook is, especially on the fly. And we all know that it’s easy to forget to fully charge your devices before you go somewhere. Grab yourself a little powerbank(opens in new tab) that you can drop into your backpack without taking up nearly any space at all, and you’ll have an easy way to massively extend the battery life of your iPad wherever you go, and you won’t be tethered to having to find an outlet anymore, being forced to try to find that one seat in the classroom with the perfect power access.

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