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When technology is new or in the early stages, the price is high, often prohibitively so. But other factors come into play, factors such as longevity, scalability, flexibility, advanced features not found elsewhere, and even design. Since Apple announced iBooks2 with an emphasis on academic titles and classrooms, there’s been no shortage of debate about what it would take for the iPad to replace the print textbook. Well, it depends how much emphasis one puts on the tangible and intangible, the short term and the long. Discovery has come up with their assessment and given us a nice visual to help translate costs. Right now, at least according to their assessment, it seems difficult to justify iPads as a cost-realistic textbook replacement — no matter how rich in features.

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