Questions About iPad and Other Tablets.

So recently I was informed by my school that they offer the option to use an iPad so you can download nearly all of the books electronically. They said that these versions of the books are significantly cheaper than physical copies, almost to the point where the iPad comes close to paying it self off within two years. Plus, you don't have to carry around all those books. However, I have some questions about this.

I already have a really nice laptop, so why can my laptop not read or use the downloadable version of these textbooks? I'm assuming that they should be in PDF format, although my knowledge on iPad is limited so I don't know what formats it uses/reads, so why could I not download them on my laptop and use that to view them?

If it doesn't work on my laptop, would an Android based tablet be able to view these electronic textbooks? I don't see why not, but again, I'm not all that great with tablets in general so I may be missing something.

I just want to know before I go and spend $500 on another piece of equipment. Thanks for reading, replies are appreciated!
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  1. Check with the school. It varies on what they are using and how, it may be in pdf, it may just be a rtf, or a docx... It really depends on what the school uses, it may be loaded using an app, that is also limited to iOS,... I'd ask the school what app you need etc..
  2. Alright, I will be there today so I'll be sure to do that. If it comes down to working with only tablets, but android ones included, what would you go for? I know Macs are incredibly overpriced, so I don't want to buy an iPad if it costs more than an android one and can't do as much/isn't as powerful.
  3. Well to me any tablet is limited to being a media consumption device. Sure you can use it to take notes in class, but the virtual keyboard takes up a lot of space. I would say that if you need to draw lots of diagrams in class then it would be a good device to buy. For example, if you are a science major then you need to take a chemistry class. The professor is going to be drawing some charts and graphic probably, but most he/she will be drawing lots of molecules diagrams.

    The Asus Transformer piqued my interest because it is a tablet with an optional keyboard which makes it good for productivity or surfing the net; thus turning into a netbook. But in the it would have ended up costing $650; $500 for the 32GB Asus Transformer and $150 for the keyboard. The keyboard has additional ports and a battery which adds another estimated 6 hours on top the estimated 8 hours for the Transformer; totaling an estimated battery life of 14 hours. The 16GB Asus Transformer is $400.

    $650 for an Asus 32GB Transformer + keyboard brings that tablet / netbook combo into the realm of the price of a laptop. To me it just didn't make sense to spend that kind of money on a toy that would not really allow me to do much.

    As suggested, check with your school to find out if the digital textbooks are compatible with your laptop. I don't see any reason for them to not to be.
  4. Thanks for the advice. I'm about to leave shortly to go to the college and find out. I don't really care for tablets either, but if an iPad is the only way to get eBooks and it would end up paying for itself due to the reduced cost of eBooks, I don't see why I wouldn't get it. But it would be a huge relief if the eBooks did in fact work on my laptop that I will have with anyways to take notes.
  5. See what they are using for the books. The Eee Pad has the Kindle App and Amazon just started doing text book rentals. I would be surprised if you couldn't find what you need in the Kindle Store.
  6. I was looking around online and the eBooks I found many were rental for like 180 days. Why? Can you not obtain an eBook that you can actually keep? This doesn't make sense to me.

    And I just got back from my school. Their book store isn't open so there was nobody there that could let me know whether their books would work with a laptop or android tablet. This is just really discouraging. I have to get books soon but there's no way I can get the information I need to base this decision upon. If I went to bestbuy would their employees in the Apple or Tablet section be able to provide any insight?

    The only thing I have right now is a list of four books I will need for first semester but I tried searching online and all that came up was random sites and eBook torrents.
  7. Huh, so the eBooks you buy are only "rentals" for 180 day. I suppose that kind sense from their end since if it was a book you can own for life, then you can eventually break the DRM and simply give it to someone else.

    Anyway, that bad thing about this rental is if you need to want to reference the in the future you will not be able to.

    I suppose in the end it boils down to how much these ebook rentals cost, and if you are willing to give up the ability to reference something in the future from an old textbook.
  8. Well I just would like to know if it's like that for every eBook. That was just on some website for eBooks I found after 5min of searching. If I download like iTunes for my pc would I be able to browse the app store for the eBooks so I can check out what specific ones are on there and their price? Or does it not work like that?
  9. Pretty sure you can actually buy them in the Kindle Store. If you want, PM me the books (with the ISBN if you have it) on the list and I can look in the Kindle Store and see if they are there.
  10. Also, just looked at Amazon's site and you can download the Kindle App to your PC and read/buy books that way:
  11. I'll download it myself and look if the books I have on the list are on there. Thank you so much for the link! So does the iTunes have a book store like this too that I can download on PC?
  12. Ya know, I use iTunes so infrequently that I don't have an answer lol
  13. That's alright, I'll just download iTunes and check it out. I downloaded the Kindle thing and looked on their store, and unfortunately only one of the four books on my list was on on that store. So it appears that isn't an option.
  14. Personally, I'd rather have a book I keep for life, it doesn't matter if it is physical or digital to me...

    I think a tablet, or decent netbook with the capabilities of running the kindle store or itunes would be best, that is, if those programs allowed you to keep the ebooks- it is discouraging to find out all the limitations you have because the companies don't want to loose a penny...
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