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Shall I get a Macbook air or a Surface Pro

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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

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Posted

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

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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.

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Posted

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

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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.

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Posted

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. 

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Posted

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

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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. 

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Posted

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 .

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Posted

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.

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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.

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Posted

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.

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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.

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Posted

I have no idea what is best for you. You need to decide that for yourself.

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Posted

Hello,

 

I would suggest looking at a Lenovo ThinkPad X230 (or, if you're looking for a touchscreen, the X230t).  It is likely to remain usable for a longer time than a MacBook Air or the Microsoft Surface.  It certainly is more upgradeable than either of those computers.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

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Out of the two choices I would go for the macbook. But if we are suggesting other things as well then I agree with Goretsky, the X230 would probably be a decent option to go for and will probably cost less as well.

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Posted

Hello,

 

I would suggest looking at a Lenovo ThinkPad X230 (or, if you're looking for a touchscreen, the X230t).  It is likely to remain usable for a longer time than a MacBook Air or the Microsoft Surface.  It certainly is more upgradeable than either of those computers.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

If I was going to use Windows 8, I'd be using it on a ThinkPad.  I don't think I'd bother with a Surface, I love just about everything about it, except the keyboard.  I just cannot be doing without a decent keyboard and I don't see the point in having to lug around two devices - might as well just get a laptop.

 

I'm not anti-Mac, but I don't particularly like them either, however in this case if you're dead-set on one or the other, it'd be the Mac for me.  If you're open to other choices, I'd ditch both and grab something like a ThinkPad or just a decent spec laptop, really.

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I'd be inclined to go and have a play with a Surface Pro before making a decision.

 

There are some limitations. For instance, using it "angled" on your lap is difficult, you can't really use the kick stand on your lap. The screen is smaller than that on the Macbook, but higher quality. The Pro gets warm/hot (not unbearably) and the battery life isn't amazing.. It's about 4-5 hours give or take. You need adapters to plug into a projector/ethernet cable (both can obviously be done wirelessly)

 

The benefit of the Pro is that you have a stylus (which is awesome with OneNote (Learn to love it, it's your best friend at University regardless of whether you get a Mac or PC)). It's one of the most portable devices on the market. It's getting pretty regular updates and it performs nicely. In all, I think it's a great choice SO LONG as you know the limitations :)

 

My choice would be the Pro, but you need to decide with the pros and cons of both.

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Posted

 

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.

 

Can't agree with this.... Stylus feels way better for me and I find myself writing with a lot more fluidity than I do with a pencil.... If i make a mistake I hold down the button on my pen and erase something, don't have to stop and look for an eraser or have scratch marks all over.... 

 

If you really need that paper feel, you can buy a cover for your tablet that gives it the paper feel when you write. 

 

I have a digitized tablet PC from fujitsu. I don't know how well the surface writes. I would Strongly recommend you going into the store and writing a little in one note. don't doddle! actually write something out. 

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