As I sit down while on vacation to write an article about why laptops should be allowed on campus, I draw a blank on how to structure the article. Frustrated, I look down to find a hair tie, hoping something will come to me in the next 20 seconds it takes to put my hair up. When I look at my reflection in the window to check how my hair looks, I see it. I see the evidence I racked my brain for to show that laptops surpass iPads in terms of efficiency and staying on track. My proof: without thinking, I chose to bring my laptop across the country instead of my iPad, subconsciously knowing my MacBook Pro would best allow me to complete my work.
Efficiency helps alleviate the workload, especially when juggling multiple after-school activities. At first glance, it may seem like iPads would be more efficient with their touch-screen function. However, in terms of multitasking, laptops prove themselves to be the most efficient electronic tool. With the ability to have nine tabs fully visible or four tabs partially visible at once, versus an iPad’s minimal two tabs, laptops make projects requiring information gathering, such as National History Day, run smoother. In terms of efficiency, laptops take the point for most utilized screen usage.
All school devices need to come with a high storage capacity. With different storage amounts available for both laptops and iPads, one would think this evens the playing field for laptops and iPads. However, because of an iPad’s design for portability, storage suffers. iPads use solid state drives (SSD) with a lower capacity than the more developed spinning hard drives found in most laptops. While it may seem that in order to have a slim, easily transportable device, one must sacrifice storage, laptops once again excel expectations. High-end laptops also provide SSDs, which means less weight and higher performance with greater storage capacity than the drives in iPads. To quote Hannah Montana, with laptops one gets “the best of both worlds.”
In terms of structural components, laptops benefit from their built-in keyboards. While add-ons, such as keyboards, can improve iPad efficiency, they come at a cost, whereas laptops already come with a built in one. Most keyboards require bluetooth, which, while enabled, drains iPad battery. An exception to bluetooth requiring keyboards is the Smart Keyboard, which attaches to the iPad with magnets. However, from personal experience, the Smart Keyboard only works for about five to eight months before glitching and only working sporadically. The extra price (with the Smart Keyboard retailing around $170 with the cover) and inconvenience of having to purchase a keyboard to work more efficiently seems to defeat the purpose, making a laptop a much more desirable and efficient tool to accomplish tasks.
Although laptops may seem more expensive than iPads, it all comes down to the brand and model purchased. Unlike Apple’s control over iPads, many companies manufacture laptops, meaning more, cost efficient options to choose from. From the highly rated Lenovo 15.6-inch laptop costing $429.99 on the Best Buy website to the $999 MacBook Air 13-inch on the Apple website, the high availability of laptops allows students to choose the model that best fits their need and price range. However, on the Apple website, the 64 GB 10.5-inch iPad Pro (the school recommended iPad) retails for $649 (not including add-ons, such as the aforementioned keyboard). In terms of price, the choice comes down to the buyer.
Because different companies manufacture laptops, they offer different programs that Apple doesn’t. Most notably, Microsoft provides programs such as Excel, which can allow students to complete projects more efficiently. In my personal experience, when the time comes for me to put together four charts and graphs for Science Fair, I often borrow my mom’s Microsoft laptop to utilize her programs to put them together. With different options available on different laptops, permitting laptops on campus would allow students to further their work in a time-efficient manner.
As demonstrated with the evidence provided in this article, laptops surpass iPads in terms of efficiency. Because of these reasons, AHS should re-allow laptops on campus for those who choose to use them in addition to utilizing iPads in class.