My two-week iPad only experience

Wisconsin Lutheran SeminaryI returned mentally exhausted from my two weeks of continuing ed courses at the seminary. (If you’re curious, I took courses on “The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers”, “The Doctrine and Practice of the Lord’s Supper,” and “Reconfiguring Your Sunday School.”) The first week alone I had 33+ hours of classroom time. It’s been 17 years since I graduated, and although I study on my own and have been back to the Sem a number of times, I can feel the effects of time beginning to take their toll.

I’m glad to report, however, that my iPad-only experience was a rousing (although still limited) success. There were some tasks that I actually felt were easier to do on the iPad. And those things I couldn’t do directly with the tablet almost always had a work-around.

Things that were better with an iPad:

  • Portability. Unlike the other students who had to carry bulky bags to class with their laptops, most didn’t even know that I had brought an iPad with me unless/until I brought it out for research or to take notes.
  • Reading. All of the courses I took required extensive reading outside of class. I enjoyed loading up the PDF files in GoodReader and sitting in the comfy chair out in the lounge or in the library. GoodReader has an excellent highlighting feature built into the app. Others had to hunch over their laptop screens — or kill an entire tree to print out the materials. Unless they had a Kindle.
  • Battery power. Most of my fellow students needed to sit near outlets to make sure they had a steady stream of electricity to power their laptops. (Although the seminary thoughtfully provided power strips in most classrooms.) I only need to remember to plug in the iPad before my head hit the pillow at night and I was good to go for another day.
  • Entertainment. Naturally I mean outside of classroom time, when my reading assignments were done. Far be it from me to check FaceBook while the professor was lecturing! One night I started watching a Netflix movie, but I soon drifted off. The best recreational use I got from the iPad was reading a book during the flight home. Read more of this post

Don’t forget the additional expenses

As I alluded to in my first post, the total price of the iPad you’re drooling over is more than you think. You may have already discovered this with your purchase of a smartphone. You shopped around to find the best bang for your buck, carefully considering the features of iPhones and Androids, and trying to find the perfect balance of “cool” with cost. But you soon found that the ticket price of the item you decided on was only the beginning of what you would have to spend. All sorts of other additional expenses followed (some optional, some not) in order to protect, equip or augment your new gadget.

The iPad is no different. A new iPad 2 will cost between $500 and $700, depending on the features you want. But don’t forget to consider the following additional expenses: Read more of this post