I got an iPad in the middle of this semester... It has helped me to connect more with the info.. Rather than frantically writing my notes, I am able to type them... I have been using Evernote, paired with skitch,my notes can include model photos, quick diagrams, figures from the book... And I hit record at the start of lecture, and when class is over, I just hit 'done' and the recording is attached to the notes for that day. It's been good, though some earlier posters mentioned some other apps I am going to look into. Because I am able to make my notes comprehensive, complete with pictures and recordings, I think it has simplified studying for me (my book weighs so much, it's refreshing to not have it by my side at all times!!)
I still bring paper to class, but just a few sheets. For me personally, my iPad has helped organize things for my life, satisfies my tree hugging tendencies by reducing the paper I use (I read a lot, less paper required reading on my iPad!), I tend to be kind of scatter-brained, so I can keep myself in line by adding everything I think I may need to my notes.
But really, you don't need an iPad. I still make notecards while studying, and while I have the ability to write with a stylus on my iPad, I think that particular functionality has a long way to go. Do what you feel works best for your learning style. My instructor jumped around a lot, so I always wound up rewriting my handwritten notes because they were a mess by the end of lecture.
iPads are expensive. But also useful. But if you can, there are other tablet options out there (think-- iPad still does not support flash) that are just as functional, or moreso, for less money. It is nice to study while traveling without lugging a 30lb backpack everywhere with you, though.
Sleep on it. Check out youtube videos, go to the store and try one. Check ad see if your instructors permit you to use them in class, and if they allow recording of lectures. That would be a key consideration for me.