iPad 2 as a laptop replacement?

<p>Okay, well first off, I know that under traditional circumstances that this would be a 'no'. I am going to be a freshman in college this fall, studying computer science, and my school has a program that gives me a free iPad 2. If I bought a keyboard for the iPad instead of an actual laptop (purely to save money), would it serve as a suitable replacement? I have a desktop that's about 4-5 years old, running windows 7, and has plenty of storage and 4 gb of memory. Were I to keep this in my dorm to do the "heavy lifting" as it were, could the iPad serve my computer science needs (and other educational needs) in the classroom?</p>

<p>You can excel and enjoy college without having any technological device that began to be mass-manufactured during the past decade. It's amazing how some luxuries are considered as necessities by some people.</p>

<p>Case in point:
One of my friends graduated last week with an engineering degree. He did reasonably well - he has a 3.55 GPA, got three internships during the past 4 years, and graduated on time. He was also an active participant of two intramural sports and was an active member of his school's engineering club. During his spare time, he does some fun stuff such as rock climbing, bungee jumping, and horseback riding.</p>

<p>As of today, that person has never owned or borrowed a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or digital camera in his whole life even though he can easily afford them. He has been using the same desktop since 2003, and he doesn't have a profile on any social networking site.</p>

<p>I'm pretty sure you have to jailbreak the thing to even get GCC working, so I'm going with no if we're talking long-term. Get a laptop, and not a gaming laptop.</p>

<p>@NegativeSlope: Maybe your friend is a super genius who has a computer in his head because it sure is hard to be an engineer without using any technology at all. Stop jumping on people for asking good questions. And btw, this question is in no way referring to buying luxury items out of necessity. OP is merely asking whether the FREE ipad 2 he will get will serve as a suitable replacement to a computer because he doesn't want to waste money on it. Oh, and what's wrong with owning a camera, a smartphone, a laptop, or being on a social networking site? nothing in my opinion. Sorry for the rant there, probably got to defensive there....</p>

<p>Sell the Ipad 2 and buy a laptop</p>

<p>I say yes because you have a heavy duty computer back in your room.</p>

<p>What greennblue said.</p>

<p>You don't need a laptop in class. I think I took my laptop out of my room maybe 3 times the entire semester, and that was all to work on group projects in the library. Good old fashioned pencil and paper is best for notes and whatnot in class, especially science and math classes.</p>

<p>So to answer your question: yes, it would be fine for the classroom. Just expect to be distracted.</p>

<p>Do you actually want to do your CS programming assignments on the portable (as opposed to merely installing an ssh client to login to the campus computers to do them)?</p>

<p>If so, you may want to consider an actual laptop. If not, the iPad with keyboard and ssh client should be fine.</p>

<p>It looks like most of UMD's campus computers for CS courses use Linux, so if you want to do CS programming assignments on your own computers, you may want to install Linux on them.</p>

<p>@NegativeSlope Clemson requires all students have a laptop. How would you take things like autocad or programming courses without one? Most of these courses would require a laptop in class. Guess he hauled a desktop around?</p>

Do you actually want to do your CS programming assignments on the portable (as opposed to merely installing an ssh client to login to the campus computers to do them)?

I really don't know much about iOS 4 nor the iPad, so I'm wondering if it's possible to install compilers such as eclipse on there (I know you can do it with OS X). It would be very helpful if that were possible, simply for the ease of taking notes (as opposed to actually doing heavy programming on it).</p>

<p>I'm a CompE at UMD so I have some experience with the CS classes here. You are going to need to keep your iPad for DCC projects that you will have from time to time (I'm not sure how often as Im not in DCC). I think you will need a laptop though. In the first two classes you are just using eclipse but after that I have heard it is very helpful/needed for some profs to run linux of some sort. I hope this helps</p>