Laptops & tabletsWatch this thread
I'm taking an Art & Design course, so you'd think that I'd be interested in buying a tablet to sketch on, but my course is very paper-based. I'm expected to keep a physical sketchbook for all of my notes and sketches. I have a MacBook Pro which I find really useful for all of the research I have to do on each of my projects, and when I do paint digitally, its high processing speed allows me to do that with ease. If you're taking math/science/business based subjects that require a lot of note taking and you have a fast typing speed, I'd suggest a laptop - unless in science you'd be drawing a lot of diagrams, where the aid of digital art programmes would be far more comfortable to use. I don't see much need to spend thousands on an iPad if you'll only hand write on it with an Apple Pencil when you could easily do that in a physical notebook... Unless you're prone to losing your notebooks and need to take advantage of a cloud storage system on the iPad.
Apple is not necessary especially if you're on a budget. I use Apple because the design industry is very Apple orientated; so, look at your needs (simple note taking or intensive graphics), and what kind of technology you should be familiarising yourself with to be equipped when going into the workforce (ex. If I only used Windows software throughout uni, I wouldn't be very well equipped to go into the design-industry that is very Mac-OS orientated).
Remember that iPads run iOS, so you're basically buying a smart-phone with a huge screen - and the capability of a stylus and large display that will only really be useful in design-based or diagram heavy subjects. If you're not studying design, a laptop will be far more useful for you without the limitations of iOS, but it depends whether you'd prefer to type or write your notes on either device.
If you have cash to spend and you will genuinely make good use of an iPad Pro then definitely go for it. Feeling professional and in control with an iPad instead of a notebook will help you feel far more equipped for learning and tackling uni-life stress free.