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Shall I get a Macbook air or a Surface Pro


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#1 Gandhi1

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 22:42

Hi I'm looking to get a laptop for university, but I can't decide between a Macbook air 128 gb or a Surface Pro 64GB (I'm also going to run Windows 8 on the Macbook). I like the idea of using the back camera to record lessons on the Surface but including the keyboard cover its more expensive than the Macbook air and I don't think I can wait for Sirface pro 2. And if neither of these two what would you recommended I was thinking of getting a Yoga, but not to sure.


#2 Hum

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 22:44

I would look at the features that are useful to you, rather than the price. ;)



#3 +fusi0n

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 22:48

I would get the air since your are one the fence and can use bootcamp for windows 8



#4 bjorndori

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 22:52

Would you like to have built in pressure sensitive stylus for art creation or to make simple scetches as you take notes in school. Then you should go for the Surface.

 

If not then I would take the Yoga for it's flexibility ;) It's really handy to be able to get the keyboard away from your face without using a gimped tablet sometimes.



#5 The_Observer

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 22:55

get the macbook air, better battery life, if you want you can run windows.



#6 OP Gandhi1

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 22:56

Would you like to have built in pressure sensitive stylus for art creation or to make simple scetches as you take notes in school. Then you should go for the Surface.

If not then I would take the Yoga for it's flexibility ;) It's really handy to be able to get the keyboard away from your face without using a gimped tablet sometimes.

Going to be studying Maths so don't think the stylus would be much use.

#7 tsupersonic

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 22:57

You could just get a regular laptop for much cheaper with better specs. Or, you could get a Windows ultrabook for around the same price. I wouldn't be comfortable using a Surface Pro as my only computer - I would use it in conjunction with my say desktop. 



#8 OP Gandhi1

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 22:58

I'm also unsure because of the screen resolution of the Macbook air the Surface is clearly better.

#9 capr

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 23:07

windows 8 without a touch screen? Def. dont' recommend that.... it will ruin your experience. 

 

 

oh and you are gonna study maths and don't think stylus is much use???? ARE you kidding me? who writes more with pen and pencil than mathematicians??? 

 

Enter One Note! greatest office app since excel. 

 

I was a math major myself. Ask me about any theorem. Since I used my tablet to write all my notes and homework in One Note, I can do a quick search and find notes, and homework problems on a particular theorem.... it's so awesome! great for grad school when you just can't remember how to use that pesky lemma. 

 

get a surface pro and use the stylus to your advantage. 



#10 vcfan

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 23:09

haswell surface pro 2. you will not regret it. great battery life, using the pen, running every program known to mankind,can do more than one thing at a time,especially in class .



#11 OP Gandhi1

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 23:09

windows 8 without a touch screen? Def. dont' recommend that.... it will ruin your experience.


oh and you are gonna study maths and don't think stylus is much use???? ARE you kidding me? who writes more with pen and pencil than mathematicians???

Enter One Note! greatest office app since excel.

I was a math major myself. Ask me about any theorem. Since I used my tablet to write all my notes and homework in One Note, I can do a quick search and find notes, and homework problems on a particular theorem.... it's so awesome! great for grad school when you just can't remember how to use that pesky lemma.

get a surface pro and use the stylus to your advantage.


I actually did forget using it for taking notes, I'm actually doing Actuarial Science and was just thinking of the software I would have to use, the only thing thats stopping me getting a surface is the Haswell update.

#12 zhangm

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 23:20

I actually did forget using it for taking notes, I'm actually doing Actuarial Science and was just thinking of the software I would have to use, the only thing thats stopping me getting a surface is the Haswell update.

If you can live with a bit less than five hours of continuous normal usage (stretchable if it's light/discontinuous), then the stylus and the form factor really make a good case for the Surface. If you need more than five hours of normal usage and are happy taking notes on paper, then go with the MacBook.

#13 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 23:21

as stated above i would look at each of them and determine based on how you would use it rather than the price tag. also it is keen to think about what applications you might be using that might not work on on or the other.



#14 vetthe evn show

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 00:18

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#15 primexx

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 00:35

The one nice thing about a tablet is that you can have an electronic copy of your textbook open and on the desk right beside your regular pen/paper.

 

If you're doing anything maths-heavy buy a good quality mechanical pencil and notebook.

 

As good as tablets are, dead tree and graphite is still the king of the hill. They allow degrees of subtlety that are difficult to reproduce even with professional drawing applications like photoshop, and nothing else is nearly as intuitive. When you're trying to get your head around some difficult concept or keep up with a strange proof, the last thing you want is to be dealing with palm-print input, accidentally undoing, or dicking about with confusing application settings. Stylus also 'feels' worse than a pen/paper.  It's not bad for doodling on the bus, but after 2 or 3 hours a day taking notes you'll start wanting the real thing.

 

Also, universities tend to have rules against recording lectures - In ~8 years of post-secondary I can count on 1 hand the number of classes that didn't forbid it.

 

I tend to use a laptop for classes where there are 'omg notes' and writing by hand would be impossible (I suspect most people can type around 100 words a minute but would struggle to write half that). For anything else: a fountain-pen/paper + tablet with e-textbook is hard to beat.

I tried the Surface Pro at the mall the other day, the stylus is very well done and feels just as nice as my Wacom Tablet PC. The stylus itself looks a little cheap physically though.