Should You Buy an iPad or MacBook Air for College?

by Esther P., Pad & Quill Techster
It's that time of year again. The smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the satisfaction of slipping a stack of crisp folders into a brand new backpack are back to haunt school-age kids and instill nostalgia in those of us without a 3-month summer vacation anymore. For students headed to college, however, getting ready for back to school means a lot more than just pencils, folders, and backpacks. Dorm bedding, laundry baskets, and bath towels are also on the list…along with a laptop or tablet for doing homework outside the computer lab or taking notes in class.
With tablets gaining in popularity, college students are now faced with the decision of choosing whether to buy an iPad or a MacBook Air for college. One is ultra-mobile and fun with a long battery life, while the other is more powerful for bulky software (like Adobe PhotoShop) and easier to use for multi-tasking.

Why an iPad?

using ipad
When you're carrying around a load of textbooks in your backpack, the last thing you want to do is add the extra weight and bulk of a laptop. An iPad, on the other hand, is so light that you'll barely notice it's there. Plus it takes up less space in your bag.
Since the battery life lasts much longer than a MacBook Air, you can use an iPad for taking notes, keeping track of homework assignments, and Skyping with friends all day without recharging. The iPad is cheaper then a MacBook Air, and if you can buy or rent digital versions of your textbooks, you'll save even more money.

Why a MacBook Air?

Although a MacBook Air is more expensive than an iPad, it's also a better workhorse when it comes to multi-tasking, using advanced software, and working on spreadsheets or reports. The ability to work locally as well as cloud compute is a bonus—along with the ability to connect easily to almost any printer.
college macbook air
The MacBook Air is faster and more powerful than the iPad. With a bigger screen and built-in keyboard, it's easier to write papers, do research on the web, and switch between multiple tabs and screens. If you're studying graphic design or computer programming, the MacBook Air is a no-brainer, since you'll need the capacity for Adobe design software or programming suites.
The MacBook Air will also prove to be more functional when you're out in the real world and working on spreadsheets, completing data forms, and filling out reports for your employer. As a long-term investment, the MacBook Air proves superior to the iPad when it comes to functional (rather than primarily recreational) use.

MacBook Air Case & iPad Cases

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