Managers and student employees at CougarTech, the technology department of the BYU Store, said they’ve seen an increase in the number of students who have purchased an iPad over the past few semesters.
“I don’t necessarily know if it’s people buying it as their primary device that they’re working on or if a lot more people are supplementing their computer with an iPad for note-taking,” CougarTech Manager Michelle Monk said.
Monk said she has definitely seen an increase in the number of iPads the BYU Store has sold in the past nine years she has worked there.
Celeste Ashdown, a junior in the experience design management program, bought her iPad as a replacement for her laptop.
“The computer that I’d had since I was a freshman was getting kind of slow, so I wanted something that was quick and I could just like open it up and get going,” Ashdown said.
Ashdown shared that she bought a Bluetooth keyboard and an off-brand stylus to go with her iPad so she can seamlessly switch between typing and handwriting her notes.
Similarly, BYU freshman Clay Cummings said he bought his iPad as a primary way to take notes after seeing his roommates use theirs.
“I love it,” Cummings said. “Taking notes is so much easier and more interactive.”
In contrast to Cummings who has only had his iPad for a few weeks, BYU sophomore Madeline McCauley has used her iPad since high school.
“I’ve had it for forever,” McCauley said. “I like it because all of my stuff is hooked up to my phone. So anything that I do on my iPad, I can also do on my phone.”
McCauley said that there are a few drawbacks to her iPad — the small size of the keyboard and incorrectly formatted documents that often show up because they are not optimized for iPads.
BYU senior Sydney Ward said being able to customize her iPad and her note-taking outweighs any drawbacks.
“I want to be that girl on TikTok,” Ward jokingly said. “I spent an hour last night searching for aesthetic iPad layouts.”
On TikTok, topics such as “iPad aesthetic” have more than 88.3 billion views.
Besides the aesthetics, Ward said she likes that she can choose how to write her notes and that when her iPad is in split view, she can read her textbooks while taking notes by hand or annotating her reading.
Grace Rose, a freshman applying to the accounting program, suggested the Surface Pro 8 for students who like to easily switch between typing and handwriting their notes.
Rose said that she loves that she can use her device as both a tablet and a laptop.
“I like that I can draw on it,” Rose said. “I can type notes in class and then flip the screen and use my Surface Pen.”
At CougarTech, James Boyle, a student lead and certified sales representative for Apple, shared that he has seen more people buy iPads this year than laptops.
Boyle said that most people who buy an iPad do so because they are more convenient to carry around and easier to take notes with. He also said many people find writing with a pen much more appealing than typing.
Monk also said students can receive academic pricing and tax exemptions on one computer and one tablet purchase per calendar year.