Justifying my iPad – some empirical evidence

I decide to do a quick experiment to see just how much my iPad has saved my in printing costs over the last few months. In addition to printing costs, it saves me an immeasurable amount in organization – in that it is a critical component in my literature review process.

For this experiment, I decided to count all the pages that I would have had to print in order to review all the articles in my comprehensive exams reading list. The following table outlines the topic, number of articles, and number of total pages for each topic.

topic # articles # pages
Design-based research 47 705
Faculty Development 30 424
Technology adoption 35 473
Total: 112 1602

Using a printing cost of $0.05 per page, I saved 1602 * $0.05 = $80.10. Now, for every document that made my reading list, as least one other did not, so in reality, I would have printed at least twice this much, so $160.20.

In addition to the printing cost savings, I also saved a lot of time. For each article on my reading list, I estimate that I would have required an additional 15 minutes to transcribe key quotes and margin notes. This equates to 15 * 112 = 1680 minutes or 28 hours. At the current rate they pay graduate students at Ottawa U, this equates to approximately 28 hours * $34/hr = $952.

Now, this just includes articles that have been read and annotated. I also use my iPad to read and annotate eBooks. This too involves a significant time savings, as I can directly copy-paste key quotes from my Kindle web page into my note software – so again, I am saving time not having to type in key quotes and notes.

If I consider that my comprehensive exams were a 4-month process – and I could easily be expected to do the same amount of literature review and reading about 1.5 times per year, the savings per year would be ($952 + $160.20)*1.5 = $1668.30.

So, I can clearly say that my iPad was a good purchase, and based upon my cost savings, I can easily justify a yearly upgrade to the latest model 😉

4 responses

  1. Nicky Avatar

    hmmmm… I was with you up until the last leap of needing the upgrade. Seems what you demonstrated is that the current one is serving you perfectly well! 🙂  (though I do understand the human inclination to rationalize new purchases!)

  2. Meike Avatar

    Oooooh thanks! I’d already planned on buying the iPad3, but this makes me feel a lot less guilty.
    But wait…I’m not going to school at the moment…Details, shmetails. I’m still getting it!

  3. Frank Emanuel Avatar

    You forgot the all important coolness factor – it is hard to put a cost on coolness but I'm sure you can come up with some sort of number. 😉 
    When I bought my kindle I compared how much it was going to cost to print and sirlox [sp?] the ones I had already identified. I based this on printing one already. It easily covered the cost of the kindle and I've since bought many texts to review (for courses I'm teaching) and captured many articles. It has more than paid for itself. Now my tablet is just riding on pure coolness factor, for now. 

  4. Scott Avatar

    Hmmm…. I wonder who this blog post is targeted at? 🙂

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