And now for the details…
I bought the only one they sold at the Apple store, the Pogo Sketch (http://www.amazon.com/Ten-Design-Sketch-Stylus-iPhone/dp/B001QHY2V4), right off the bat. It has a foam tip which squishes down and requires you to press a bit harder which I don’t like. It is small and the other end is good for speed reading as it doesn’t accidentally flip the pages for you.
I wanted something with an even finer point as I was still getting used to writing with the stylus but quickly discovered that the screen is made to respond to pressure. from your fingertip so no stylus can be much smaller than that to work. Of the three styli I now have the Kensington (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dmobile&field-keywords=Kensington+stylus&x=0&y=0) is my favorite. I use it for taking notes on the iPad and find the pen quite handy as well. My only criticism is that it is a bit short but this seems to be typical and really only bothers me when I am using it is a pen.
Since you will not be watching movies or playing angry birds on your iPad you will definitely want a screen protector to cut down on the glare when you are slogging through all your reading! It’s not a problem at all when you are inside but even sitting here next to the window on a plane I notice a difference.
After reading the reviews I tried one of these and couldn’t be happier. The Moshi (http://www.amazon.com/Moshi-iVisor-AG-for-iPad/dp/B003YMC5RC) goes on in about 10 seconds without any bubbles. The other ones all sound horrible to put on and some even require professional installation. Don’t even bother. This one is great and you will get used to the feel of it. Its not as smooth as the naked screen but the pros outweigh the cons.
Don’t have one. I thought I would really want this but decided to hold off on buying one and have since decided I don’t really need it. I have typed all my blog posts using just the screen pad keyboard and am pretty used to it by now. I have friends that say they really dislike typing on the screen (it does noticeably reduce your viewing area) but for me, it goes back to the all-in-one concept. I need nothing but a stylus to do just about everything on here.
Good Reader – This is a great app for reading, highlighting and taking notes right onto documents like you would on a hard copy. My course packs for class come from XanEdu which has an app with far less functionality. It takes a few minutes to figure out how to download documents but it’s very easy to use once you figure that out and integrates well with DropBox (below.)
I have all my supplemental course reading in this app and also download lectures slides ahead of time if they are available so that I can take notes right on them during class. That being said it’s harder to take notes in this app than in my note taking app so I often revert back to that. I still love the ability to circle things in red, and draw arrows on documents and slides. This is one of the apps I use most often and it’s only $4.99. I have also heard good things about iAnnotate, however, if you want to check out an alternative.
iBooks – This is my favorite book app because of the nice interface. Functionally, it’s not much different than the Kindle or Nook apps but I like how the pages look like a real book and how, when you highlight something, it is a little ragged around the edges as it would be in real life (except you never run out of ink!) Not every book is available through iTunes so I have both of the other apps installed because I could only find certain books in one or the other. All the apps are free, however, and there are different books you can download for free on each so it is worth checking them all out. I have enough e-reading to last me for five years now! Ulysses anyone?
Overdrive – Just wanted to give a shout out to the library’s e-reader. I haven’t used it much but its worth renewing your library card to get access to their electronic collection of reference books or bubble-gum vacation books that don’t seem worth buying yourself.
Note: We are still transitioning to this new way of learning/studying so it requires a little bit of effort to get everything electronically. The course packs haven’t been a problem as XanEdu is set up to deliver those in e-form, but textbooks publishers have apparently been a little slower to adopt this. That being said, all but one of the supplemental books AND textbooks that I needed for this quarter were available electronically. The catch is, I had already been issued hard copies which I couldn’t return for more than pennies on the dollar so I had to buy the electronic copies as well meaning I paid twice for books this quarter and it looks like I will have to do the same again for the next. Ouch.