<p>I'm considering purchasing an iPad for Rice to put all of my textbooks on. Are Rice students using eReaders consistently, or if it is advisable to even use an eReader at Rice?</p>

<p>I would suggest just buying a laptop personally. The iPad seems like a ripoff... not that many Rice students use e-readers. Of course, it is up to you, but don't think the iPad replaces a laptop because it doesn't.</p>

but don't think the iPad replaces a laptop because it doesn't.

That really depends on what sort of user you are. If you have a desktop already, the iPad with a bluetooth keyboard can probably make a pretty decent laptop stand-in, assuming you're looking for something portable to use for internet and word-processing, and not something on which to run MATLAB or the like.</p>

<p>Of course, Fromen said nothing about using the iPad as a laptop replacement; he seems more interested in its uses as an e-reader. The pressing question, then, is how many of the textbooks he will need are available as eBooks, and I have a feeling that's going to be a hard question for any of us to answer. Out of curiosity, Fromen, do you see yourself taking more math/science/engineering courses or more social sciences/humanities?</p>

<p>I've been under the general impression that an iPad is the worst choice among all eReaders if you really do just want to use it as an eReader and nothing more.</p>

<p>I'm going in as a BioE major, and no I do not intend to replace my laptop with an iPad. The appeal I find with the iPad versus the other eBook readers is the fact that it can run a Kindle app and I'm fairly certain that a Nook app is in development. This makes it seem like 3 readers in one and it has the potential for use after college with it's web surfing and app capabilites.</p>

<p>FWIW, I got almost all of my books for one of my English classes on my iPod touch through the Kindle app, which means they would almost definitely be available for iPad. I really, really like paperback books, but I will admit that it was very convenient to have all of my books with me whenever I had my iPod with me (which was all the time). It was also nice to not have ten books I'll probably never read again taking up space on my shelves. It wasn't convenient, however, to have my book's battery die in the middle of class. Not convenient at all.</p>

<p>And another caveat: there are no page numbers in eBooks, so you will always be searching for the correct page. Some eReaders come with a search function, but the Kindle app does not. For every book we read I had to figure out the page number to location conversion formula. 90 percent of the time I landed within two or three "page turns" of where I needed to be, but that other 10 percent was very stressful.</p>

<p>Ooh, one more thing. I imagine an iPad would be most useful if you're in the social sciences, since those classes generally have most of their readings as downloadable PDFs. Some of the older professors have the readings available in the department for you to make copies, but I'd say at least 80 percent of professors put their readings up online. I personally really don't like having my laptop out in class, but an iPod Touch or an iPad is a different story. And it's much more pleasant to read PDFs on an iPad than on a laptop (and you don't have to kill trees!).</p>