Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer Seminar

I just found out earlier this week that I was accepted into a summer seminar called We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, hosted at James Madison's Montpelier. It runs from July 6-9, it's completely free (including lodging and meals), and I'll get a class set of textbooks in addition to a number of other cool items to enhance my curriculum.

Yay! I'm excited.

Now, my dilemma is that I don't have a laptop. Eric and I both just have iMacs, which really aren't too portable. So. I want to buy something small and useful to bring with me. Plus, then I'll have a portable device for other events/activities (like when I'm presenting at the VCSS Annual Conference in October - yay, again! I just found out today that my proposal was accepted).

I'm trying to decide between a netbook and an iPad. I can get a netbook for under $300 and an iPad starts at $499. But, I'm a Mac girl, I much prefer their OS and software programs, and the iPad would work better with my desktop. Although, I'd definitely need to use it to type, and the netbook has a real, albeit small, keyboard. However, I've read reviews that say the iPad's keyboard is really easy to use. And the netbook would have a camera and microphone, while the current generation of the iPad does not.

What do I do?

The netbook would be cheaper, but is that $200 savings worth it in the long run? I. DO. NOT. KNOW.

Luckily, I have until July to decide.


  1. As a fellow "Mac girl", the ipad is neat, but not practical for use as a laptop. Typing on the keypad is painstakingly slow. I'd go with a Mac laptop over the netbook. But I love Mac, and to me it's worth the cost to be working with a familiar OS and not to worry about viruses.

  2. I heard that it's hard to type on the iPad, not because the keyboard isn't user friendly... but because as soon as you put your fingers over the keys to type (like on any normal keyboard) you end up with all of the letters you just stuck your fingers on. It may get some getting used to (the painstakingly slow part) because you have to use your fingers like a "hunt and peck" typer. Netbooks are cool in that they are super small, easy to transport and have a really long battery life. Again, I hear the typing is a little lame since the keyboard is so small, but at least you can put your fingers down. Since you wouldn't be using it for all your computer needs, and if you don't want to spend more than $1000 for a real laptop, I would probably go for the netbook if you ever want to type. If you are looking for applications (which it doesn't seem like it's the case), the iPad would be fun too.

    That's my 4 cents (a little more than 2 cents worth!)

  3. Interestingly I just bought a netbook for my summer's travels and as something more portable for school, etc. I love, love, love it. tiny, light weight, portable, and in every other way as good as a regular computer. No, they're not macs, but they're CHEAP!

  4. Congrats on being accepted into the program. I would love to get an ipad. I do have a kindle.

  5. Congrats on being accepted!

    Ipad all the way, buy the external keyboard/dock combo and enjoy!

  6. Anonymous8:33 PM

    I love buying tech toys. I have an IMAC, netbook, tablet, PC and another laptop. I fantasize about the day when all my computers will be macs - but am not there yet because my needs are too diverse. My advice is to pick up a cheap PC laptop (possibly used or refurbed), but make sure that it has everything you need on it. Netbooks are light, but not really a replacement for a computer. They are great for checking e-mail, but frustrating for most other applications (and way too small to work on for any length of time).

    Good luck



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