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Take Your iPad To College

The Practical iPad Guide

This is the first fall season for the iPad, the first year it will be showing up on college and some high school campuses at the start of school. For those of you still in the high school system, it may take some convincing to allow the new $500 and up device on school grounds. While some K-12 schools may embrace the iPad, others might ban it from campus for reasons ranging from cheating to misuse to fear of theft (and subsequent liability). So forgive us for focusing on the college set, but they have less explaining to do (at least when it comes to this). On the plus side, many of the products listed here can apply to any student.

As a student, you probably imagine that the best practical use for an iPad will be as an eReader through iBook. It could happen: this could be the year that eBooks finally gain traction on campuses as an alternative to big, bulky books, and thanks to the Amazon Kindle and iPad, there are at least two devices that make them viable.

But eReaders have long struggled, which led to some well-deserved cynicism on the part of publishers. So while the Kindle and iPad are finally making eBooks viable, it's taking a bit of time for the publishers to come along. McGraw-Hill, one of the major book publishers in scholastic texts, only has four titles on iTunes. Not a big start. But there is some movement. An ex-Apple employee has founded a company called Inkling dedicated to making college textbooks for the iPad. Momentum is growing, but we encourage to look to your iPad as more than just a screen for reading.

So, what else can the iPad screen be? What will you want or need, beyond a Netflix and Pandora account? We have a round-up of some hardware and software that could make life a little easier and justify your pricey purchase.

  • icepick314
    you forgot door stop and wobbly desk fixer...

    at least it's half-way decent with full web support after adding Adobe Flash...
    Reply
  • yyk71200
    Or you can just buy a netbook saving money and getting better functionality.
    Reply
  • tgandy
    You'd rather have a crippled notebook on a small screen running Windows XP? Seriously?
    Reply
  • yyk71200
    tgandyYou'd rather have a crippled notebook on a small screen running Windows XP? Seriously?A crippled notebook that has better processor, allows to type faster due to the physical keyboard (additional keyboard for IPad severely cripples its mobility), can use flash, has a few USB ports, etc. Yeh, net-book it is severely crippled, lol.

    BTW, in case you didn't new about IPad shortcomings: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36179255/

    Personally, I never could imagine myself shelling out $500 for an e-reader in an Apple shell.
    Reply
  • rdmello76
    BTW, in case you didn't new about IPad shortcomings: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36179255/

    Yes, and we can clearly see that on a Microsoft site, thank you...
    Reply
  • first, sorry for my poor Englisch, it is not my native language.

    Never in my life, I would take an Apple crappy overprized crap

    What about the Entourage EDge? more value for your money imho
    Reply
  • shurcooL
    No mention of bluetooth keyboards for taking notes?
    Reply
  • fyasko
    tgandyYou'd rather have a crippled notebook on a small screen running Windows XP? Seriously?
    i'd rather have 4gb memory a dual core AMD with integrated 5XXX graphics running win 7 for 500$ with a REAL keyboard. Bobcat FTW.
    Reply
  • rambo117
    iPad = suck

    I recently wrote an article in my high school's newspaper concerning price/performance/practicality of an iPad vs. an evenly price laptop(Lenovo G555).

    I bet ya couldnt guess which came out on top ;)
    Reply