OP - since you seem pretty convinced that an iPad will work for you, maybe you could put off any purchase until after your first semester. Try college with your current iPad and if it works out for you, you can buy the new iPad after first semester. If it doesn't work, you can buy a laptop. Some issues are campus specific (ease of getting computer access in libraries and labs, software required etc.) and you'll be able to see how your campus and individual needs can be met with an iPad only. A lot of purchases can wait until after a few weeks or months in school. Then you'll know more about what you really need.