I’m frequently asked if the iPad can replace a laptop. “Sure the iPad is suitable for younger students,” the argument goes, “but older high schoolers or college students need to do real work.” True enough: the iPad lacks several important items that would make it a ‘real work’ machine: keyboard, storage space, serious apps, printing just to name a few.
Before we consider if the iPad can replace a laptop, let’s look at what it already replaces:
- Textbooks (Say I’m using just two iBook textbooks, savings over print: $200)
- Graphing calculator (App vs. additional device, savings: $100)
- Camera (free vs. additional device, savings: $30)
- Voice memo recorder (App vs. additional device, savings: $25)
- Notebooks and assorted pens, pencils, filler paper, section dividers (App vs. just five (empty) binders, savings: $24)
I’m just getting started and I’ve already replaced two books, five notebooks, three extra devices, and saved almost $400. How much does a new iPad cost anyway?
These days I use my laptop less and less as a portable computer, compared to my iPad it’s just too clunky for simple daily tasks and too underpowered for my real work. The next computer I buy will be a fully tricked out desktop so when I’m ready to work I have all the RAM, hard drive, and monitor space I need. The iPad can replace textbooks, calculators, and other extra devices and academic equipment at close to net zero right now. Why not replace those things with an iPad and get a desktop at home?
What do you think? How has an iPad or other tablet changed the way you work? How should we structure BYOD and 1:1 programs as a result?