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iPad Recommendations

Faculty and staff occasionally ask ECN's User and Desktop Services group about the Apple iPad. When is an Apple iPad a good laptop substitute? When is a traditional laptop required?

Think of the Apple iPad, a tablet computer* with various screen sizes, as an iPhone without telephone capabilities.  The iPad runs the same operating system and apps as the iPhone.  It is designed to be operated entirely with your fingers;  it does not work with a mouse;  a physical keyboard or stylus are optional separate accessories.

An iPad is neither a PC nor a Mac: A faculty or staff member who needs to run Windows or Macintosh programs, to remotely access the Windows PC or Macintosh in your office, and/or to remotely access and edit files stored in your ECN home directory should purchase a traditional PC laptop or Mac laptop. Although remote access apps for the iPad are available, you might be frustrated trying to remotely control a desktop PC or Mac in your office because its operating system was not designed for use without a mouse.

Media consumption plus iPad apps: If your needs for a portable device include consuming audio and visual media (including e-books, videos, music, and, of course, web content), reading and sending e-mail, and accessing the hundreds of thousands of downloadable apps from Apple's on-line App Store, the iPad might meet these needs. Although many downloadable apps are available for free, most have a modest cost, and all require a personal iTunes account with a personal credit card. (Purchases at the App Store might not be eligible for reimbursement; please ask your business manager.)

Internet access via 4G:Some models also include the ability to use the AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon 4G cellular network for Internet access;  the month-to-month rate plans typically costs $15 to $50 and is enabled as needed on the iPad itself using a personal credit card.

An iPad is a "self-supported" device. Due to technical limitations, an iPad should not be backed up with an ECN-supported computer. And note that ECN is unable to provide support during your iPad's setup or routine use.

See Apple's iPad page for product information.

Some additional caveats, in no particular order:

  • Apple store shipment estimates are NOT APPLICABLE to Purdue purchases - Expedited shipping is unavailable.
  • With few exceptions, AppleCare is required for all Apple purchases
  • Apple's laser engraving service (personalized text laser-etched onto the reverse side of the device) is not available for iPads purchased with Purdue funds.
  • We would be happy to consult with you at any time in your purchase process - the earlier the better. 

Last Modified: Oct 23, 2017 5:01 pm America/New_York
Created: Aug 27, 2010 4:48 pm GMT-4 by admin