College Students Should Buy Tablets Instead of Laptops

Discussion in 'General Smartphone/Handheld/Wearable Discussion' started by Ed Hardy, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy TabletPCReview Editor Staff Member

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    There's an article on TabletPCReview you might be interested in:

    Most colleges and universities require computers, and many students assume they need to buy laptops during back to school season. This is a mistake because a tablet is often the superior option.​

    You can read the full text at:

     
  2. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    That is some of the most ill-advised advice I've seen yet. If you've got money to burn, and feel like spending more than you would for a fully functional laptop, it still isn't worth it. If you think that churning out a paper on a gimped tablet, in full college paper fashion, is going to get you the grade? If you think for a second that you can easily research your topic, while typing your paper on any of these single instance tablets, while being efficient, is going to happen?

    I don't buy this one bit. I'm in this industry. I've kept my mouth shut and not influenced student decisions, because I was told to let them decide so we could measure the effectiveness of these devices. I have watched students scrambling to get their hands on tablets in a bring your own device environment, and I have seen first hand, how they repeatedly fail to live up to expectations. I have seen students abandon these tablets, and head back to the student labs, to actually do work.

    You want to do well in college right? You know that college is far more than consumption, right? Give up this tablet crap. It's not going to do the job, to the level you really need it to do, and you don't want to be caught flat footed and in a scramble when you are on a limited schedule to produce quality content.

    And as far as a Windows tablet? You're spending more money, on a device with more parts, more complexity, and less serviceability for what purpose? It's a tablet, it's the cool thing!! Encourage students to be smart, not hip, not in the fad crowd. Encourage them to use a device that is known to get the job done right, the first time.
     
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  3. z22 2006 User

    z22 2006 User BHOT's Own Fluffy

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    I had the same thought process with my iPhone when I got it a couple weeks ago. I was impressed to see Apple gave you something that could handle word documents and presentations, but it's extremely impractical. Even with my tablet before it, I never used it for editing word documents or anything like that. I prefer desktops/laptops for more involved tasks. If I need a portable solution I just bring my laptop along since it's full-featured and does everything I could do at home. I entered my 2nd year of community college a few days ago and I was amazed how many people were opting for an iPad combined with one of those mini keyboards over a traditional laptop. It was even more striking to me when they were typing on their tablets mere feet from the publicly available computer lab.
     
  4. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    I'd started this post earlier, but headcronie has said it all better than I did,
    quoting myself above.EDIT: rephrased for clarification of whose quote that was above
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  5. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    I fully agree with HC, z22, and Rick. A tablet is most certainly not a replacement for a laptop for college (or professional) use. Tablets are still, and IMO will remain (at least for the foreseeable future) as complements for a full-fledged computer. Office support is still not fully implemented, at least on Android, and although I haven't tried the iOS version myself, I've seen friends and co-workers struggle with it to finally return to the desktop or laptop for the full experience. Storage is another field where the tablet is still way behind the laptop. And remember that "college" is not just Office and note taking, but also heavy apps such as, for example, engineering (i.e. AutoCAD). It's simply not possible to do this in a tablet.

    I totally disagree with this opinion. The keyboard is not just needed to enter lots of texts, but to more easily and quickly handle shortcuts in an app. Apps like AutoCAD and Photoshop rely heavily on keyboard shortcuts, so trying to do any serious work without keyboard (and mouse) is not possible.
     
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  6. z22 2006 User

    z22 2006 User BHOT's Own Fluffy

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    On the point of software, something new to me this semester is the majority of my classes depend on a web-based companion software that costs a very large amount of money (but that's a discussion for another day..). This is usually used for things like completing homework and viewing the e-text version of the book. Since there's no app for these, the best you can bring up on your phone/ipad is a very small version of the assignment.
     
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  7. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    I have to agree with headcronie on this one. Unlike others however, I don't think we're very far away from when tablets (with keyboards) will be viable options. I just don't think we're there yet. And that's from someone who used to use a Palm with a keyboard as a laptop replacement as much as possible a long time ago.
     
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  8. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    I love having my tablet and Lenovo keyboard as a very portable alternative. If I have to get work done and can't have anything else, I can, with some effort get work done. But it is always easier using a laptop and if I have access to the laptop, I won't touch the tablet. That tells me something.

    I'm beta testing the new office suite for tablets from Softmaker and it's capabilities are truly amazing. It is nice that I can have that much capability on a tablet. But while capable, it remains, slower and clunkier and tablet multitasking is still light years behind Windows or OSX. Plus, if I were really a gamer...

    Why buy a limited device just because it can do most of the things you want if it doesn't do them as well as another option. It would be like telling Capt. Kirk he didn't need the Enterprise, he could just wander around for 5 years in a shuttle craft.

    I see a lot of folks in the enterprise with iPads and other tablets. They use them a lot. However, I haven't seen one that doesn't also have their laptop. There is a reason for that, and a college student is better advised to get the maximum functionality for their 4 years so that they have greater opportunities to discover things they want to do with more advanced computing capabilities.
     
  9. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    We're not comparing an Android tablet with a Windows laptop, are we? If a Windows tablet can have all the same peripherals, external keyboard, monitor, storage, etc., as a laptop, but provide more versatility especially when it comes to portability, then why not a tablet? You seriously can't call a Surface Pro 3 a gimped tablet, can you? As we've often said on this site - options are good and what works for one person might not work for another, but I don't get the argument against tablets. I happen to know quite a few successful college students who use older netbooks as their primary computer! My nephew just upgraded his netbook to an 11" refurbished laptop, and it's just fine for him. But if he could afford it, a comparably spec'd tablet with keyboard dock would suit him even better, giving him the versatility of carrying the tablet by itself when he just needs to consume information or do light work, and add a keyboard for more intensive tasks.
     
  10. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    Hook, your tablet is a 7" Android tablet, not a 12" Windows tablet. Of course you're going to use a laptop when available. That makes sense. But that doesn't mean a 12" Windows laptop is better than a 12" Windows tablet.
     

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