How to Save Money as a Student with a Tablet PC

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 16 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

From The Student Tablet PC:

In the course of four semesters, assuming a tablet costs ~$200 more than a similarly equipted notebook, the tablet will break-even or save you money. This is not including productivity gains.

Let’s do some math. In the course of 2 years taking an average or 4 classes or so per semester:

  • 4 semester x 4 Spiral Notebooks, $6 x 4 = $24
  • Pens/Pencils/Highlighters, $5 x 4 = $20
  • 4 semseters x 4 Binders, $12 x 4 = $48
  • 2 years of binder separators tabs and folders, $102 Ink cartriges of printing, $70
  • Loose paper (printing and lined), $10
  • 2 years x Quality academic planner, $20

Grand total after 2 years: $202

You can see the numbers I used are about average, so anything high quality or extra will just increase the cost. If you take more than 4 classes, that’s just more to spend.

I’ll probaby spen $40 on papers, pens, printer ink over 2 years and I take 5-6 classes per semester.

So if you’re looking for a laptop and X’ed tablet PCs because of the price jump, now’s time to take another look.

I would argue that you could save even more. How? Books. You can easily spend $600 on books per semester. Yes, you can resell them at the end and maybe get half of what you spent on them back. At least at my school, there are copies of the books floating around school, either the library has them or the department has them. If that fails, you can either borrow them from a friend or, as a last resort, buy them from the bookstore and return them when you’re done scanning. In any event, just go borrow it for a few hours and go on a massive scanning binge. Voila! Scanned books in whatever format you choose. Personally, I would go for the Microsoft Document Image format. It’s pretty portable and you can mark it up.

At this point, I may have convinced you that you can save money, but how much money can you save? I’ll be honest, I dropped about $2200 on my Tablet. But that’s the price for getting one early in the game. Toshiba sells their Satellite R10 for a mere $1,189. Granted, it’s bottom of the line. But it’s a Tablet and it works. Now personally, I would spring for the Toshiba Tecra M4 ($1,614) or even my Portege M200, now selling for a lowly $1715. Spending $600/semester, you can “pay it off” in under three semesters (1.5 years)!