iPad for Engineering(7 interesting things to know)

Many engineering students, especially freshmen, have an intention to use iPad in their studies. But they’re not sure if the iPad would be good and useful to use.

So in this article, we’re going to respond to the most popular question that engineering students ask about iPads.

In other words, you will be able to know if Ipads are good for engineers or not and also know what popular device the majority of engineering students use.

iPad for engineering students

Having an iPad is a great tool for engineering students. It is a useful taking notes tool for laptops or traditional notebooks. It is flexible and has a lot of options that help students in taking notes or solve assignments.

But, iPad also has limitations and things that students could count on. So in the next paragraphs, we’re going to discover these limitations and how could affect engineering students.

Best iPad uses of engineering

1 – paperless

There is no longer need for paper notebooks or binders. iPad has great functionalities that allow making a great take notes. It solves the major issues of stacking notebooks on shelves and forgetting them for a long time.

So students find a lot of difficulties and consume time going back to their old traditional notebooks.

Using the iPad allows engineering students to save their notes in the cloud or device and index them. Wich makes it super easy and gets instant access to the information.

2 – Organized note saving

Using an iPad gives access to organize and modify easily the notes. Everything is indexed. Engineers won’t need to smash papers and start over again. it could be frustrating to lose effort and energy.

Editing notes

Editing notes on the iPad is very flexible and has many options. with iPad you could:

  • make copies of notes
  • add images and include them inside notes
  • change colors writings to make things more appealing
  • add graf or drawings like mathematical functions histograms etc.

you could watch this video to see how people are taking notes on the iPad.

Which iPad is the best for an engineering student?

To make a comparison of the iPad version we’re going to base it on 3 principal things that are interesting for engineering students:

  • price
  • portability
  • configuration

So the best iPad engineers to choose between are :

Ipad 9

iPad pro 11

iPad pro12

About price

For student engineers who have a tied budget, Ipad 9 is a good option to look for. $400 for a piece would be cheaper compared to the $1100 for the last and most expensive version. It has all the necessary options to look for.

It has a low configuration if we compare it to the last Ipad version. But $700 of difference less expensive 3 times.


The Ipad pro 11 is a more portable and flexible version according to its functionalities. It has a powerful ram and graphic card configuration. As a result, having the best experience playing games and designing outside the home as an engineer.

Ipad 11 allows the user to have the maximum graphic and ram capacities for durable times. You can run the iPad for more than 6 hours of intensive use. That being said, playing games, making videos, watching videos, all that while being connected with a WIFI.


If you are looking for a big screen and optional quality image. Ipad 12.9 is the best tool to look for. It is expensive. It starts from $1100 without a pencil. But it is good for people who love working on comfortable screens.

This version has the biggest screen and the best image quality, especially for HDR content. So it is good for people who love the design and use it like a dual monitor.

This informations were extract form reel life experiments and tests like this.

Conclusion( personal recommendation)

As a personal recommendation, the best iPad version from the 3 examples above is the iPad pro 11. It has the best quality and price balance. Ipad 11 pro has the same characteristics that 12.9 inch it does except 2 things.

The only thing that differs between 11 and 12.9 iPad Pro is screen size and speakers. So it will be not wise to spend an extra $300, just having 2 inches more large screen.

iPad is best than laptop for engineering students?

Yes and No. Ipad is the best laptop to take notes for engineering. But not to replace a laptop as the main computer. iPads are not good for that. So we’re going to discover the following reasons why the iPad could not be better than a traditional laptop.

Reasons why iPad is not best than a laptop

1 – iPad doesn’t support standard engineering applications

you won’t be able to use the majority of engineering software like Solidworks, CAD, Matlab’s, on iPad. which is very bad for mechanical engineers or 3d design in general. These programs are standard in the industry. So can’t make professional designs.

All windows applications aren’t available on Ipad. Thus you have to begin from scratch and looking the alternative of the word, excel, and so many other tools. That becomes very embarrassing and a loss of time.

So, the iPad can’t replace or become the main laptop to use in college or school.

2 – iPads are expensive, so expensive

For instance, to use an iPad as a laptop you need to invest $1500 to get a normal iPad laptop. which include

$1100 ipad tablet
$120 pencil
$280 keyboard

Total $1500

So you need to spend $1500 to use the iPad as a computer. And the worst thing is will not be enough to use alone according to the limitation that we noticed above.

Whereas $1500 could give you the best configuration in the market such

Intel core i7
16GB memory ram versus 8GB in iPad
1 TB SSD versus 128GB in iPad
NVIDIA GeForce 3070 Much stronger than iPad

students who have Ipads they always have to use laptops. So if you have one decision to make between, an iPad or a laptop you already know the answer.

3 – Ipad can’t be upgraded

iPad comes with a fixed internal memory. In other words, you won’t be able to add space like upgrading the hard disk from 128 to 256GB. It doesn’t have even an external SD card reader.

The company makes these limitations for commercial sake.

In addition, the iPad doesn’t come with a USB port and HDM reader. So you will need to continuously pay for its expensive extensions.

iPad is good for computer science students?

Ipad is good for computer science students as a taking note tool, not the main laptop to use. The iPad is powerful when it comes to taking notes and making assignments. But very limited to use instead laptops like windows or MacBooks.

iPad doesn’t support windows applications and many programming IDE’s. So, using an iPad alone is not a feasible idea.

For computer science students who would think using alone iPad. It is not a good idea depending on what we noticed above in our article. But as an extension tool for note-taking. IPads are amazing.

iPad is enough for college?

iPad is not enough for college, especially for people who want to code using eclipse visual studio and another famous coding IDE. Also, learning to design in industry-standard software like CAD, SolidWorks, and so on.

To sum up, it is not a tool to learn something essential from it. iPad excel for taking notes and assignment tasks. it useful for people who love to take notes and have portable a device to carry and use anywhere such as libraries, coffeeshop, etc.

In other words, the iPad is good as an extension device for taking notes and making assignments. Not a principal device to learn coding or designing.

College students use iPads for taking notes and laptops for learning complex things. So, they know when is to time to bring an iPad to college and when is the time to use a laptop.

Things to know before buying an iPad as an Engineer student?

we’re going to list 5 things to know before buying an iPad as an engineering student:

iPad can’t be used as the main computer

iPad is a tablet and will never replace a laptop. That is not impossible but Apple won’t do it. Apple wants to sell iPad and sell MacBooks. Hence, iPad has many limitations and is not made for learning design or coding. is made for taking notes.

iPad is the best tool for taking note

iPad has the best product for people who want to get rid of Booknotes or Binders and make beautiful colored and appealing notes. Especially using the Ipad pro 12.9 inch- version. It is so helpful in multitasking activities and writing essays with a pencil. you could watch this video.

iPad is expensive more than a laptop

I pad is more expensive than a laptop. Investing $1500 for an iPad and keyboard-pencil tool can bring you the best laptop configuration in the market. you could see the difference that we clarified above in the article.

iPad doesn’t support windows applications

If you think to use the iPad as laptop or MacBook windows you’re wrong. with an iPad, you wouldn’t be able as an engineering student to do software development or professional design. Because the iPad operational system doesn’t support these software applications.

So you could say bay to:

  • CAD

and so on. The list is longer…

iPad doesn’t come with a pencil and keyboard

The initial version of the iPad 12.9 pro(The most expensive and best model among other iPads) starts from $1100. It comes without a pencil or keyboard. So you have to invest $120 to buy a pencil and $280 to add a keyboard which is $400 extra. In total $1500.

In addition, you will have limited configurations like 8GB RAM and 128 SSD storage. So, if you look for high capacity storage like 1TB and 16GB ram you could reach the $3000 as a global bill.

iPad or traditional notebook for engineering students?

for people who are taking a lot of notes especially engineering, medical, physic, law, and biology students the iPad is worthing. It helps so much to organize and create beautiful notes. Also, make assignments anywhere outside.

To sum up, iPads are way better than notebooks. With iPad you could:

  • save and index your notes
  • add images and graphs to notes anywhere and any time
  • use preferable colors, not like 3 or 5 colors as maximum for notebooks
  • use the cloud to save thousands of notes without taking any feet of space
  • get rid of smashing paper over and over.
  • edit, change notes fluently which is impossible for notebooks
  • use the split-screen option to take notes and follow instructors(youtube videos or books)
  • highlighting images or lectures
  • get access by using iPhone to assignments or cloud notes(in case of forgetting or losing the iPad).
  • use it as an entertainment tool and also to watch films or videos.


As for advice and based on what we’ve seen about Ipad details, covering pros and cons for engineering students. Ipad is worth buying as a note-taking tool, not a main computer or laptop to use.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.