What would be better for an A-level student a Macbook or iPad?

Watch
hfiewhfl
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
I am currently in my last year of sixth form. I want to get a MacBook or iPad. However, I don't know which one to get. I am going to study English at Uni. I am currently doing essay based A levels such as history and sociology so I will be doing a lot of reading and annotating and I don't know which one to get.
0
reply
username5177602
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 weeks ago
#2
(Original post by hfiewhfl)
I am currently in my last year of sixth form. I want to get a MacBook or iPad. However, I don't know which one to get. I am going to study English at Uni. I am currently doing essay based A levels such as history and sociology so I will be doing a lot of reading and annotating and I don't know which one to get.
Does it have to be an Apple Product? A Surface Pro would give you most of the advantages of the MacBook(better software support, better OS for proper work), with the advantages of the iPad(more portable, ability to take notes digitally). And that's before getting into the cons of choosing between those two. The iPad Pro runs iPadOS, which while strides have been made in this area, its still not fully capable for anything you'd need it to do. Buying a MacBook in general is not a good idea right now, as the current Intel based Macs will likely lose their support once Apple is done moving to its own "Apple Silicon" CPUs, whilst the newer Apple Silicon MacBooks might not have support for any software you'd need to run.
0
reply
hfiewhfl
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by bluewolf21)
Does it have to be an Apple Product? A Surface Pro would give you most of the advantages of the MacBook(better software support, better OS for proper work), with the advantages of the iPad(more portable, ability to take notes digitally). And that's before getting into the cons of choosing between those two. The iPad Pro runs iPadOS, which while strides have been made in this area, its still not fully capable for anything you'd need it to do. Buying a MacBook in general is not a good idea right now, as the current Intel based Macs will likely lose their support once Apple is done moving to its own "Apple Silicon" CPUs, whilst the newer Apple Silicon MacBooks might not have support for any software you'd need to run.
Hii I would prefer it to be an Apple Product only because I have been using Apple Products for a long time and I just prefer it more because I am used to using them. I just don't know if the MacBook would be better or the iPad for my studies. Also, thank you for the suggestion I will also look into that. However, for now yes I want an Apple Product.
0
reply
username5177602
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by hfiewhfl)
Hii I would prefer it to be an Apple Product only because I have been using Apple Products for a long time and I just prefer it more because I am used to using them. I just don't know if the MacBook would be better or the iPad for my studies. Also, thank you for the suggestion I will also look into that. However, for now yes I want an Apple Product.
At which point, you'd be better of with the MacBook. As much as I wouldn't want to spend £1000 ons something that's going to lose its support in a few years, an iPad can't replace a proper laptop as its software support isn't that great, and iPadOS isn't good for multitasking.

Still, I'll give you some advice whilst I'm here. There's nothing wrong with having preferences(Apple's a bit different, but it's mostly applicable), but it's not a good idea to stick exclusively to one brand. They might not have something that works as well for you as something from someone else. But it's your money and you're free to do what you want with it.
Last edited by username5177602; 4 weeks ago
1
reply
hfiewhfl
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by bluewolf21)
At which point, you'd be better of with the MacBook. As much as I wouldn't want to spend £1000 ons something that's going to lose its support in a few years, an iPad can't replace a proper laptop as its software support isn't that great, and iPadOS isn't good for multitasking.

Still, I'll give you some advice whilst I'm here. There's nothing wrong with having preferences(Apple's a bit different, but it's mostly applicable), but it's not a good idea to stick exclusively to one brand. They might not have something that works as well for you as something from someone else. But it's your money and you're free to do what you want with it.
I see your point. Thank you for the advice!
0
reply
username5177602
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#6
Report 4 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by hfiewhfl)
I see your point. Thank you for the advice!
No worries.
0
reply
bzkldn
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#7
Report 4 weeks ago
#7
i have both a macbook and an ipad and bought them brand new. if you can get them on finance this is good. i would personally buy them second hand. i disagree with the above users comments that older macbooks don’t last as long- i’m very interested in macbook repairs and the 2016 macbook pro is often recommended for its balance of price and specs. in addition the macbook pro from 2012 works pretty great, the longevity of your mac will not be an issue. apple OS in my opinion stimulates productivity, so i guess it’s all personal preference as i prefer them for schoolwork. i prefer the ipad for school though but you can’t go wrong with either one.

one thing i will say- make sure you look after it. i spilled a very small drop of water near the arrow keys on my brand new (at the time) 2017 macbook pro and the whole logic board had to be replaced (£850 repair at an apple authorised service provider). i didn’t even bat an eyelid at the spill- it was a DROP.

please look after which ever one that you buy, as apple products are both expensive and fragile.
0
reply
Gofre
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#8
Report 4 weeks ago
#8
(Original post by bzkldn)
i didn’t even bat an eyelid at the spill- it was a DROP.
Those are the dice you roll with any piece of electronics to be fair, one drop of water bridges the wrong contacts and anything can be f*cked.
0
reply
hfiewhfl
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by bzkldn)
i have both a macbook and an ipad and bought them brand new. if you can get them on finance this is good. i would personally buy them second hand. i disagree with the above users comments that older macbooks don’t last as long- i’m very interested in macbook repairs and the 2016 macbook pro is often recommended for its balance of price and specs. in addition the macbook pro from 2012 works pretty great, the longevity of your mac will not be an issue. apple OS in my opinion stimulates productivity, so i guess it’s all personal preference as i prefer them for schoolwork. i prefer the ipad for school though but you can’t go wrong with either one.

one thing i will say- make sure you look after it. i spilled a very small drop of water near the arrow keys on my brand new (at the time) 2017 macbook pro and the whole logic board had to be replaced (£850 repair at an apple authorised service provider). i didn’t even bat an eyelid at the spill- it was a DROP.

please look after which ever one that you buy, as apple products are both expensive and fragile.
I just can't decide I don't know which one to pick. I want to do English at Uni so that means I am going to read a lot of books and annotate a lot. So should I just get that? As I can use it as a e reader too. However, I just don't know if the iPad would also be good for essay writing. What do you think?
0
reply
bzkldn
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#10
Report 4 weeks ago
#10
(Original post by hfiewhfl)
I just can't decide I don't know which one to pick. I want to do English at Uni so that means I am going to read a lot of books and annotate a lot. So should I just get that? As I can use it as a e reader too. However, I just don't know if the iPad would also be good for essay writing. What do you think?
definitely an ipad. i’m currently studying medicine and have to annotate lots of images so that i understand them, and i can tell you it’s my most valuable resource. with english i would totally recommend the same- annotating in your own handwriting is very valuable in my opinion so the apple pencil is a must. look into something like the ipad air- much more affordable and as long as you don’t do any heavy stuff on there you’ll be 100% fine. whichever you choose you will enjoy!
0
reply
bzkldn
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#11
Report 4 weeks ago
#11
(Original post by Gofre)
Those are the dice you roll with any piece of electronics to be fair, one drop of water bridges the wrong contacts and anything can be f*cked.
absolutely. i learned from this- accidental (including water) damage is an essential now!
0
reply
hfiewhfl
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#12
(Original post by bzkldn)
definitely an ipad. i’m currently studying medicine and have to annotate lots of images so that i understand them, and i can tell you it’s my most valuable resource. with english i would totally recommend the same- annotating in your own handwriting is very valuable in my opinion so the apple pencil is a must. look into something like the ipad air- much more affordable and as long as you don’t do any heavy stuff on there you’ll be 100% fine. whichever you choose you will enjoy!
I am too scared though hahah, what if it doesn't hold the same place as a MacBook? because I will be doing ALL my work on this.
0
reply
AcseI
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#13
Report 4 weeks ago
#13
(Original post by hfiewhfl)
Hii I would prefer it to be an Apple Product only because I have been using Apple Products for a long time and I just prefer it more because I am used
Honestly based on the posts so far I think it's in your best interest to get used to Windows and grab a Surface Pro. It sounds like you'd benefit heavily from the tablet aspect, but will want a laptop for actually working on. What you might gain in familiarity by limiting yourself to Apple products you'll lose in flexibility.

Opting for either an iPad or a MacBook is going to limit in some way what you can do. Purchasing both gives you the most flexibility but is expensive. And of course I'd personally begrudge spending £1000+ on a MacBook that's likely to become obsolete when Apple release ARM MacBooks in November. Picking up a Surface Pro is the cheaper solution to getting maximum flexibility, with the only caveat being it's Windows based.

The way I see it, you have 3 real options:
Buy both an iPad and a MacBook, at the expense of your bank account
Buy one or the other, at the expense of flexibility
Buy a Surface Pro, at the expense of needing to learn Windows

Buying both seems like the worst idea, so it really comes down to whether you'd value flexibility or familiarity. If I were in your position, I'd rather have the flexibility since it sounds like it'll be quite valuable. But it's really down to you, all we can do is present information for you to make an informed decision.
0
reply
hfiewhfl
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#14
(Original post by AcseI)
Honestly based on the posts so far I think it's in your best interest to get used to Windows and grab a Surface Pro. It sounds like you'd benefit heavily from the tablet aspect, but will want a laptop for actually working on. What you might gain in familiarity by limiting yourself to Apple products you'll lose in flexibility.

Opting for either an iPad or a MacBook is going to limit in some way what you can do. Purchasing both gives you the most flexibility but is expensive. And of course I'd personally begrudge spending £1000+ on a MacBook that's likely to become obsolete when Apple release ARM MacBooks in November. Picking up a Surface Pro is the cheaper solution to getting maximum flexibility, with the only caveat being it's Windows based.

The way I see it, you have 3 real options:
Buy both an iPad and a MacBook, at the expense of your bank account
Buy one or the other, at the expense of flexibility
Buy a Surface Pro, at the expense of needing to learn Windows

Buying both seems like the worst idea, so it really comes down to whether you'd value flexibility or familiarity. If I were in your position, I'd rather have the flexibility since it sounds like it'll be quite valuable. But it's really down to you, all we can do is present information for you to make an informed decision.
Thank you for this really useful advice. I will keep this into consideration.
0
reply
AcseI
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#15
Report 4 weeks ago
#15
(Original post by hfiewhfl)
Thank you for this really useful advice. I will keep this into consideration.
Honestly for stuff like this, I always say it's best to go try things out. COVID makes that a little difficult, but go play around with an iPad and a Surface and see what you think. Online advice is great and all, but sometimes it's much easier to decide when the device is in your hands.

Also in case you weren't aware, both Microsoft and Apple offer student discounts which you'd be eligible for if you have an academic email address. If you don't currently have an email in sixth form, then try to wait until you go to uni since you can get a fairly substantial discount (and the MacBook offerings will likely be much better in a years time). I'm not sure off hand if you can prove you're a student using ID cards, so might be worth enquiring before making any purchases if you need to buy sooner.
0
reply
hfiewhfl
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#16
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#16
(Original post by AcseI)
Honestly for stuff like this, I always say it's best to go try things out. COVID makes that a little difficult, but go play around with an iPad and a Surface and see what you think. Online advice is great and all, but sometimes it's much easier to decide when the device is in your hands.

Also in case you weren't aware, both Microsoft and Apple offer student discounts which you'd be eligible for if you have an academic email address. If you don't currently have an email in sixth form, then try to wait until you go to uni since you can get a fairly substantial discount (and the MacBook offerings will likely be much better in a years time). I'm not sure off hand if you can prove you're a student using ID cards, so might be worth enquiring before making any purchases if you need to buy sooner.
Yesss, I am eligible and I will be using it. I also had a look at the surface pro and i don't know if i looked at the right one but when i looked it came to the same price as an iPad pro. So, don't you think it would be better for me to get the iPad pro with the keyboard because it was literally the same price if not higher than an iPad. But then again I don't know if i looked at the right model.
0
reply
username5177602
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#17
Report 4 weeks ago
#17
(Original post by hfiewhfl)
Yesss, I am eligible and I will be using it. I also had a look at the surface pro and i don't know if i looked at the right one but when i looked it came to the same price as an iPad pro. So, don't you think it would be better for me to get the iPad pro with the keyboard because it was literally the same price if not higher than an iPad. But then again I don't know if i looked at the right model.
The Surface Pro is a proper computer running a proper computer operating system with support for proper desktop-grade software and proper multi-tasking. As I mentioned in my post, it makes more sense to pick up the Surface Pro for this reason as it means it can actually replace a proper laptop - unlike an iPad can't really due to running iPadOS, which despite the strides that Apple has been making, it still doesn't have the same degree of multi-tasking and software support.
0
reply
AcseI
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#18
Report 4 weeks ago
#18
(Original post by hfiewhfl)
Yesss, I am eligible and I will be using it. I also had a look at the surface pro and i don't know if i looked at the right one but when i looked it came to the same price as an iPad pro. So, don't you think it would be better for me to get the iPad pro with the keyboard because it was literally the same price if not higher than an iPad. But then again I don't know if i looked at the right model.
Not quite, for the reasons bluewolf has covered. A Surface runs Windows 10, which software wise will offer the same level of functionality as a MacBook. An iPad on the other hand runs iPadOS, which builds on iOS. Functionally this makes the iPad somewhere between an iPhone and a MacBook in terms of capability. To give an example, imagine trying to work using just the apps available on an iPhone. It's doable, but it's not ideal.

To put it simply, a Surface does not have the same restrictions as an iPad, but does offer the same benefits. That's not to say you can't get an iPad and work off that. Some students claim they've gotten through a degree just fine with nothing but an iPad. But it won't be as good as a proper laptop.

To put it another way, an iPad is a lot like a large iPhone. A Surface is like a proper laptop, crammed into a tablet.
0
reply
SR789
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#19
Report 4 weeks ago
#19
I use an iPad Pro for school and it's so easy to use and annotate text, if you are going to use a stylus a lot definitely get an Ipad. If you get one for uni you get free AirPods!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Current uni students - are you thinking of dropping out of university?

Yes, I'm seriously considering dropping out (57)
14.88%
I'm not sure (14)
3.66%
No, I'm going to stick it out for now (130)
33.94%
I have already dropped out (6)
1.57%
I'm not a current university student (176)
45.95%

Watched Threads

View All