I use a netbook, not an iPad, but I prefer electronic copies of my books. It's difficult to find some of them in elec format. Beyond that, it depends on your study style... do you like to highlight/take notes in your book? Some ebook programs are ok at it, but most suck. Also, some people find it incredibly hard to read for long periods of time on a computer/tablet. Some love it. It's very much a personal taste issue.
It's also not that much of a money saver, btw. I've ended up spending as much and a lot more effort to get the elec versions. I'm hoping this changes as e-texts get more popular, but right now it's just not ideal.
An iPad is a good investment for nursing applications and for some books. I use mine to take notes, record lectures, find Internet data etc.
Not all texts will be available for iPad or Kindle (which you can access of iPad with the Kindle app). If the only reason you would get one is because you might be able to get some text books on it, I would say don't.
On the other hand, it's ridiculously useful for a whole sack of other reasons.
I love Mine! It was a gift from my inlaws because they thought it would be useful for school. I have nursing Apps on it along with some e-textbooks. I also have a note taking app that I use a lot, it has a built in sound recorder so I can record all my lectures and listen to them later. It is a lot easier for me to take my iPad everywhere so I can easily study on the go, rather than lugging around a lot of heavy, large books. Unfortunately, not all of my books were available in a format for it. It is still worth it to me though as it lightens my load considerably. If you can afford it, I would certainly recommend one. As a cost cutting measure though it has only saved me about 10% on my text books, compared to the paper versions.
We were offered a book box that contains the 17 physical texts, simulator software, e-books for 5 of those books and online codes. On the e-books they are downloadable to 2 electronic devices. I will load them on my laptop and ipad. I'm also downloading the 3 reference books we need and are not included in the package. They offered a separate package for those that includes online codes for them. My ipad is 64GB/3g capable but I don't have it hooked up and not going to. Will rely on wi-fi and use iphone for the rest. As another reader pointed out.... I have a hard time reading online text for a very long time. Had a Stats math book online...ended up buying the book.
I have downloaded two note taking apps.... not sure how they will work out. Notetake HD and Penultimate.
In our school we are encouraged to have a PDA or Iphone/Droid to download some of our books. We got a package of 3 books for 159.00. They were Davis Drug Guide, Tabers Cyclopedic, and a Diagnostic Tests book. I have it downloaded on my Droid and it comes in very handy at the clinical site. Fits right into my uniform pocket. Great investment.
I will begin my 1st semester this fall. So far I have gotten several of my books in electronic format for my iPad but there were several I chose not to or they weren't available in e-format. The primary problem is when the instructor requires a "book and access code and user guide". It works out to be a good bit more to buy the e-version if I have to buy the access code separately. I did get my pharm book, health assessment book, and gerontology book via vital source bookshelf. This allows access from your home computer (mac/ or pc), iPad, and iPhone. It also syncs your notes and highlights. I got Taber's med dictionary through skyscape but they only allow access via one platform - I got it on my iPad. I'm hoping I don't regret that. I got my Care Plan book via kindle for iPad but I can use it on my phone and iMac at home as well. All in all I did not save much money buying e-versions it's just a matter of not having to lug the books around. We'll see how this works out as the advisor did not support the idea of electronic books when I mentioned it. What did save me money was not buying via the bookstore. So far I've save over $200 by researching and buying on my own. I figure with that savings if I end up having to buy an extra hard copy of a book for some reason (needing it a clinical and not be able to take my ipad/ iPhone) then I'm still ahead of the game. Just make sure you use the ISBN # and get the correct edition/ package. Also, my program has made two changes to the book list since I got it back at the beginning of summer. Thankfully, I didn't get screwed in the deal. So just make sure they aren't going to make any changes.