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Hoping I can get some good advice here from you Ipad experts! I've got 2 kids, one starting high school and one starting middle school next year.  I'm trying to decide if an Ipad will be sufficient for school work and if so, which one. OR if I should get a laptop instead. They use Chromebooks at school and a PC at home. Right now they are ok sharing the PC, but with the high school work load I think they'll each need a machine to work on.  I think the Ipad will be easier to tote around and I hear they're quite powerful but I really have no idea what to get. 
Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
Ruby
 

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I have an iPad air and love it.  I have not explored enough, to know if it has the capability to create documents, ie, reports, and to print them.  I can print from mine but with a lot of difficulty, and that's because I have an older Epson printer, probably about 6 years old, that is not an air print printer.

A regular keyboard will help a lot, I have a ClamCase on. Zagg and NewTrent make some  iPad keyboard cases also.

I think you need to look at the capability to create documents, save and print them, and how easy it is to do so.    Personally I think I would look at a small tablet type laptop.  I had one that the screen would rotate and fold back and make it into a tablet and gave it to my son because I needed something faster with more memory for what I was doing.
 

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My daughter is in high school, she uses her iPad and laptop. When she has to use ms word or other ms office apps she uses her laptop. Some of her teachers use web-based programs, in those instances she's on her iPad. It really depends on your preference, there is a version of office for iPads, but apple has their versions as well, which are ok, once you get used to using them. You can also get a keyboard for your iPad. Either one could work it's just a matter of preference .


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Thanks all for your suggestions. I've got a call into the school to see what they recommend. But I think I'm going to get an iPad mini 2 (just for the heck of it) as I've read that you get a lot for your $ with that model as opposed to the more $$$ iPad mini 3.
 

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I would think if they are using Chromebooks at school already then a Chromebook would be the way to go. I have an Ipad ( with Brydge Keyboard) and really like it along with an Iphone 6+ but being in your position I would go with the Chromebooks especially as 2 of them can be had for less than the price of an Ipad and a keyboard.
 

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iPad is fine but I think you'll need a proper keyboard if your kids have anything more than a few words to write. iPads are great but I wouldn't recommend the 'virtual' keyboard for any serious writing.

The only other thing I'd consider is whether any of the websites they might use would require Flash. Some of the educational sites use this and it's a bit of a problem for iPads.
 

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Paul Webb said:
iPad is fine but I think you'll need a proper keyboard if your kids have anything more than a few words to write. iPads are great but I wouldn't recommend the 'virtual' keyboard for any serious writing.

The only other thing I'd consider is whether any of the websites they might use would require Flash. Some of the educational sites use this and it's a bit of a problem for iPads.
Flash is an issue for any tablet or smartphone, but there are workarounds.
 

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Ruby296 said:
Thanks all for your suggestions. I've got a call into the school to see what they recommend. But I think I'm going to get an iPad mini 2 (just for the heck of it) as I've read that you get a lot for your $ with that model as opposed to the more $$$ iPad mini 3.
I picked up a Mini 2 late last year, a wifi only 128 gb model, new off ebay for a very good price. I wanted it because it was larger than my Kindle, more storage, and smaller than the ipad air. My air has cellular capability, but since Verizon upgraded our phone plan to include hot spot I do not need that, although I will admit it is more convenient. I chose the larger capacity to store my pictures and some pharmacy reference sources.
 

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When my son wanted a newer iPad for Christmas last year I got a refurbished one direct from Apple. I'm frugal like that. But . . I did spring for Apple Care, which brought the price up to about what NEW would have been without it.  Good choice.  He called the other day to tell me it was acting funky. . . . he contacted Apple and they sent him a thing to print and take to UPS . . . shipped the thing to CA overnight, they fixed it and he'll have it back today. 

Or, at least, he would, except he figured it'd take more than a day for all this to happen -- thinking it'd be returned next week -- so had it shipped to his work address which is usually where he is during the day. If he's not home it's a pain to get a UPS delivery at the apartment.  BUT. . . the mail room is closed on Fridays at the college during the summer. So he'll REALLY get it on Monday. But he was VERY happy with the service and response time -- assuming, of course, the thing's really fixed. :)

And I had another friend whose iPad hit the floor at our church.  Marble. :eek: Ouch! iPads do not bounce. Sadness. :( Also had Apple Care and had a replacement within a day.

 

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This isn't an easy question to answer, because there are a lot of little things that need to be considered.

My father bought an iPad, much to my surprise. It has become his primary machine for doing pretty much everything. The only time he goes to the computer is when he needs to edit and print out a picture. That's it. He rarely uses his desktop anymore. He didn't even need a keyboard with it. He does all his typing right on the screen. He uses it constantly.

Now, the issue is, my father is a consumer. He consumes information, he doesn't generate it. He does write a lot of Op/Ed pieces for the local newspaper and a lot of email, but that's it.

If one is going to use an iPad for production—writing, editing, images, graphics, etc.— then I would recommend getting at least a bluetooth keyboard. A bluetooth mouse or trackpad would be an optional add-on. Apple does have Pages for iPad, and Pixelmator (Photoshop alternative) is now available for iPads and iPhones. You really can get a lot done on an iPad, but I would recommend the top-of-the-line model with maximum memory if that is going to be what you are doing.

But for actual production work, especially if your kids will be learning computer programming, then you absolutely want a MacBook. It has a lot more flexibility and horsepower for doing the same work I mentioned above and more.

The Chromebook Pixel will cost you $300 less than the MacBook Air, making it the better choice where cost is concerned. But I consider the Apple the better choice for value and quality.

If your school is using the Chromebook as its default platform, it might be best to stick with that to allow better continuity. In contrast, I used to work in Research & Development and pretty much everyone was using a MacBook Pro to do their programming work, myself included. The Apples allowed for a great deal of flexibility, and the Unix underpinnings gave us the same environment that our high powered computing systems were running. I used Parallels to run other operating systems such as Windows or various flavors of Linux when necessary.
 
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