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Studying Completing a Bachelors degree without a laptop?

  1. Nov 9, 2017 #1
    Hello PF,

    Im going through some financial difficulties and i need some money, i have a gaming laptop that i can sell and that would help me greatly. Ive been considering buying a 10 inch tablet and save the rest of the money...
    Has anyone done this? going through a bachelors degree using just a tablet?(plus no pc is a plus for stduying bc there is only ethernet connection in the dorm so not so many distractions and i can use a hotspot from my phone for using the internet for studying but not for just bullshitting around bc i have limited data volume)
    Can you write a thesis with just a tablet(with those attachable keyboards) or is it a pain in the a**?

    Thank you in advance.

    ps: how comfortable or uncomfortable is to read a pdf from a tablet?
    pss: im already working so working is not an option. im pretty overwhelmed already trying to handle everything
    psss: im in the 5th semester. idk if this info might help
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2017 #2


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    Homework Helper
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    You do realize what part of the year this is, and you should expect to find some great retail deals on a few "laptop" computers to effectively be priced at less than 400 dollars, maybe as low as 300 dollars. Most likely brands would be Dell, HP, Lenovo.
  4. Nov 9, 2017 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    This might depend on which country you're in...
  5. Nov 9, 2017 #4
    Schools and profs vary in how computer intensive their courses are. They also vary in availability of computer resources the school provides. Most schools I know in the US Have computer "labs" - rooms full of computers that students may use. In these schools, it takes some care and scheduling, but most or all work students need to do on a computer can be done in these labs.

    In most cases, students with campus jobs may also be provided with a computer in their work area, and if they ask these computers will be allowed to be used for school work.
  6. Nov 12, 2017 #5
    If you are in your 5th semester then you know your computer requirements more than we do.

    While studying physics, you will want tools like mathematica, python and matlab/octave..etc to help with homework and to investigate course content. Latex is also needed to typeset assignments. The easiest way to do all this is with a laptop that you have installed Linux on. The alternative is to use online tools like cocalc. The problem with tablets is that they do not run a full desktop browser or operating system, which may make it impossible to run the tools you want.

    I would spend the tablet money on a cheap laptop with 8gb ram and an i5 processor, then install Ubuntu Linux. Reading from a tablet is similar to reading from a laptop - I also absorb information better when printed. Linux will also help boost your computer skills.
  7. Nov 13, 2017 #6
    Like others have said, the price of a good tablet is about the same as the price of an OK laptop. I found my laptop for $120 on black friday, and I keep it on campus for me to work on there. You'll be better off with a laptop, in my opinion.
  8. Nov 13, 2017 #7


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    Gold Member

    How old is the gaming laptop?
    Will you actually receive any money for it?

    If you bought it for 1200 2 years ago, it'll be worth 400 now.
  9. Nov 13, 2017 #8
    Also consider other library resources. At my university you can rent a laptop. Its for a short period of time, but you could just carry a flash drive and pick up on a different laptop each time.
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