Would a tablet or laptop be a better choice for a college freshman?


My son is starting college in about a month, and wants an iPad to use “for school.” I think a laptop would make more sense, but maybe I’m just basing that on my own college experience from the 90s. Don’t get me wrong, I love iPads, and use mine all the time, but I also have a desktop and laptop. Can an iPad really do the things needed in college... research, sure, but writing papers and putting together presentations...I’m not convinced.

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Vote Up (16)

Both if you can afford it. The iPad is lighter and easier to carry around, but it lacks a keyboard, and doesn't run desktop apps. If you can only afford one, go with the laptop. Make sure it's a lightweight laptop though for easy carrying.

Vote Up (12)

I’d say the laptop would be better, mainly because of the keyboard and screen size. A significant part of college is writing papers, and while you certainly can do that on a tablet, it isn’t the ideal tool. You can add an accessory keyboard, and if you son really, really wants to go the iPad route I would consider that a mandatory purchase. It’s also a lot more pleasant doing work on a larger screen, which is why you don’t see a lot of 10” displays when you go into an office. 

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