Gear Diary on Campus: Kayla on … iPads

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We are pleased to introduce Kayla. Kayla is a college student. Kayla is wicked smart. Kayla has strong opinions. And this is Kayla’s take on iPads.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

14 Comments on "Gear Diary on Campus: Kayla on … iPads"

  1. Really? It sounds like someone’s bitter.

  2. Nah, just holds a strong opinion.

    While I obviously don’t agree she makes some good points I think. A laptop is not a luxury for a college student. The iPad, for all it’s power and hype is. And a student specially really can’t have an iPad without a computer but you can easily have a computer without an iPad. Despite Jobs and his “post-pc” stuff you really do need access to a computer (for now).

    I did love the irony of recording and editing it on… An iPad. 🙂

  3. I absolutely agree with Kayla! I love my iPad and it is my constant companion and I make great use of it daily, but in many ways it is just the next in a long line of supplemental devices that started with my HP95XL back in ~1988.

    Obviously calling it ‘useless’ is provocative, but that is the point – it is quite demonstrably useful, but to what end is it more useful than anything else? You can get a decent Macbook Air for $1000, and have a full day of battery life and not need to get an added computer to use as your ‘home base’.

    As noted, a laptop at college is a necessity these days, but an iPad is not a ‘need’ for anyone. It is a ‘want’, a luxury item that can be very useful but is never irreplaceable with the laptop you must have anyway.

  4. Exactly! I found it to be provocative but in a funny, tongue in cheek way. Well done.

    I also thought it was interesting in that it parallels the brick wall that ebook readers have hit on college campuses. While the iPad offers more flexibility and software, at the end of the day there’s still a need for a laptop, just like at the end of the day there’s a need for a physical textbook.

    When I started college laptops were far from ubiquitous, though I did use a Palm M100 to take notes with a mini-keyboard. Which, at the end of the day, got synced back to my computer. So the more things change, the more they stay the same. Also, for all those college kids who can’t afford iPads, I have a perfectly good Palm Pilot sitting in my attic… 😉

  5. I also want to know what is up with the giant fountain pen sticking up out of the ground in the middle of campus … 😉

  6. Not her campus so… No clue

  7. Gear Diary on Campus: Kayla on … iPads #GearDiary

  8. Carly: laptops actually *didn’t exist* when I was in college; it was pen and paper or . . . pencil and paper. Some “rich kids” (as Kayla might call them) had Apple IIs, and Macs came around a bit later in my Junior year, but most people either had typewriters (yup!) or went to the various computer labs and wrote up their papers on a terminal hooked to a VAX running UNIX. In troff or nroff.

    Yes indeedy; it was the prehistoric era!

  9. I have no doubt that if iPads had been available when I was in college, I would have found a way to buy one — just because I couldn’t have stood not owning one. I always had a job of some kind through school, so it wouldn’t have been too hard. But I can understand where Kayla is coming from.

    Although … if having a 16GB iPad to carry at school meant you could get away with using an older/larger laptop or desktop back at home or in the dorm, then maybe that would be the perfect solution. I would much prefer carrying an iPad vs a laptop, especially for note-taking.

    See, I can find a way to justify buying almost any kind of gadgetry; it’s kind of a problem. =D

  10. Gear Diary on Campus: Kayla on … iPads #ipad

  11. Travis Ehrlich | March 29, 2011 at 5:52 am |

    I struggled so much to put myself through college that food was a luxury item most of the time. As a grown up with a crappy paying job, I understand her points and don’t totally agree, but as a college student I would have been right there with her. I never had a computer and had to wait in line at the library to use them. At the end of our college years, my girlfriend (now my wife) did get a Mac at the bookstore with a 1GB hard drive. People actually came over to see it because a gig drive was so rare!

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  13. Christopher Gavula | March 30, 2011 at 7:46 pm |

    I think that she overstates her case, but I can understand her concern. That said, I think the iPad, and devices like it are becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity and will continue to do so. I agree with Judie that it allows you to have more flexibility in your choice of computer – allowing for perhaps a lower level of computer. I also think you CAN use an iPad as your primary device with very little interaction with a PC/computer at all if you choose to do so, but it requires that you STOP trying to use the iPad as a laptop replacement and use it the way it is designed to be used. For example it’s a better tool for taking notes than a laptop. You need a keyboard, then pair it with a BT keyboard! I think you combine this with cloud-based storage and you can function in a much greater capacity than most of us have really properly explored yet. You need Flash? Then try something like iSwifter (it does a better job with Flash apps than Skyfire in my opinion). There isn’t much you can’t do anymore and it does it with great portability!

  14. We’ve spoken about this before; I agree with Chris that you can make your iPad more standalone, and I suspect that in 5 years, tablets will be pretty much completely stand-alone.

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