1. duoFurious's Avatar
    I'm trying to decide what I need for school. Currently my options are a surface, Chromebook or laptop. I won't be doing any gaming with it and will mainly be used for school work. That in mind I am planning to major in computer science of anyone has advice for that involving the choice. As far as powerful I have a gaming rig at home for any power duties needed. So this will strictly be school work and light entertainment whole at school. I do use mainly Google products and services but I'm not against trying them in IE on the surface. I primarily use Android phones and tablets but want keyboard for school. I would like to state I'm not a fan boy of any sorts so please be open minded with answers.

    Posted via the WPC App for Android!
    05-29-2014 08:38 PM
  2. pankaj981's Avatar
    Get a laptop with a decent processor since you would need it for running the programming assignments, if I were you I would lookout for a ultra book. Chromebook should be a strict no no. I won't recommend the Surface since for that price you can get a decent ultra book, unless portability is your main concern. If yes then go for the Surface Pro and not the RT version.
    05-29-2014 08:42 PM
  3. duoFurious's Avatar
    Portability is important but with student discounts I can get a surface 2 and type for about 500 new, used I could fit maybe 400 on CL. Is the Chromebook a no because of programming assignments later in classes?

    Posted via the WPC App for Android!
    05-29-2014 08:46 PM
  4. pankaj981's Avatar
    Chromebook won't be able to run any desktop IDE tools (Visual Studio, Eclipse, etc.) so yes that's the main reason, so is the case with the Surface RT. You'll need atleast an x86 processor (Atom and Celeron not included) which either a decent Windows laptop would support including the Surface Pro. Also it would be better to get a processor that supports CPU Virtualization and Execute Disable Bit, not a necessity though.
    05-29-2014 08:53 PM
  5. duoFurious's Avatar
    What ultra book would you recommend and would a pro 2 or 3 be good enough

    Posted via the WPC App for Android!
    05-29-2014 09:42 PM
  6. duoFurious's Avatar
    Mod if this can also be tagged in Android Central at the same time please do. I'm not sure of it can be two places at once.

    Posted via the WPC App for Android!
    05-29-2014 10:23 PM
  7. pankaj981's Avatar
    Well I don't know, you can actually pick anyone with a decent core processor and at least 4+ GB RAM. I actually had a Dell Inspiron 1420 with 4GB RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS on it for occasional Counter Strike during my Information Technology degree. I had later upgraded the processor to a T8300 myself. Even with this configuration I was able to run programming assignments and CAD work easily. If I were in the market to buy a laptop, I would start with Newegg's power search tool to get an idea of the options and reviews

    Sent from my Venue 8 Pro 5830 using Tapatalk
    05-29-2014 10:30 PM
  8. onlysublime's Avatar
    Don't forget that Teamviewer is available for Windows RT and Windows 8/8.1. I remote into any Teamviewer system over the LAN or Internet with zero problems. Of course, if you only need it for LAN, remote desktop connection is great too. I use Teamviewer on my Surface Pro 2 and on my Surface RT.

    So Teamviewer means you don't need to have the programming tools on the Surface RT/2 itself. And the heavy CPU activity can be done by the system to your "remoting" to (your desktop). Speed is fantastic over LAN and actually great over the Internet as well (as long as you're not trying to play games or something crazy like that).

    Since he's keeping his desktop, the Surface can be ideal for the on-campus stuff where you need a lightweight machine that has full Office and has a long battery life in a compact body.

    Of course, if your budget allows it, get the SP, SP2, or the upcoming SP3.

    Here is my Surface RT "running" Photoshop. Controlled by that mouse just like my desktop PC or Surface Pro 2. Nice and decent. Faster than if I tried to run it on my Asus Transformer T100...
    2mnpx1w.jpg
    Last edited by onlysublime; 05-30-2014 at 12:38 AM.
    05-29-2014 11:52 PM
  9. duoFurious's Avatar
    Oh thats a good idea, it also reminds me that Chromebook has something similar I think. But with that said I think it'll come down to what I can get for the best deal. The surface is probably the most ideal because of light weight and portable, plus there are computer Labs around school I am ignoring to think about. But if I came across a great deal for a Chromebook cruising Craigslist, how could I pass it up. I do think I'd be forced to do a ultra book or pro though later for the "heavy lifting" assignments toward the end of my degree.

    Posted via the WPC App for Android!
    05-30-2014 06:52 AM
  10. pankaj981's Avatar
    Yeah i hope you don't regret buying a Chromebook. Try emailing your professors to get an idea of what kind of assignments you would be getting. Also i would rather have the option to be offline and work on assignments rather than be dependant on the internet to remote in to my development machine. Also keep in mind your university might have MSDNAA access so you can install all the tools directly to your Windows laptop if needed
    05-30-2014 07:33 AM
  11. duoFurious's Avatar
    Try emailing your professors to get an idea of what kind of assignments you would be getting.
    This is a great idea, I do plan on meeting with the head of the department to help me decide if a full comp sci degree is better than a comp sci security degree (less requirements for 4 year/easier/quicker) So I will definitely ask. I'm leaning toward a surface with RT (1 or 2 (preferably)) but the chromebook is so inexpensive thats why its still in the runnings and like I said I use mostly google services. But I do see the appeal, especially since the ability to do more offline, though I can hotspot my phone easily and have tmobile lte in my area so it is quick, and campus has wifi for students. Was there any damning things about a pro v1, like bad battery or processor?
    05-30-2014 09:53 AM
  12. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    Don't forget that Teamviewer is available for Windows RT and Windows 8/8.1. I remote into any Teamviewer system over the LAN or Internet with zero problems. Of course, if you only need it for LAN, remote desktop connection is great too. I use Teamviewer on my Surface Pro 2 and on my Surface RT.

    So Teamviewer means you don't need to have the programming tools on the Surface RT/2 itself. And the heavy CPU activity can be done by the system to your "remoting" to (your desktop). Speed is fantastic over LAN and actually great over the Internet as well (as long as you're not trying to play games or something crazy like that).

    Since he's keeping his desktop, the Surface can be ideal for the on-campus stuff where you need a lightweight machine that has full Office and has a long battery life in a compact body.

    Of course, if your budget allows it, get the SP, SP2, or the upcoming SP3.

    Here is my Surface RT "running" Photoshop. Controlled by that mouse just like my desktop PC or Surface Pro 2. Nice and decent. Faster than if I tried to run it on my Asus Transformer T100...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I agree, and I use TeamViewer too. I take my Surface 2 with me to the office and am able to control my iMac at home. The performance and responsiveness is so outstanding that I'm even able to use Pixelmator to do fine image editing.

    If the OP goes that route, I'd recommend the Surface 2 over the RT for (A) the performance boost and (B) the higher resolution of the screen... both of which are helpful when using TeamViewer.


    This is a great idea, I do plan on meeting with the head of the department to help me decide if a full comp sci degree is better than a comp sci security degree (less requirements for 4 year/easier/quicker) So I will definitely ask. I'm leaning toward a surface with RT (1 or 2 (preferably)) but the chromebook is so inexpensive thats why its still in the runnings and like I said I use mostly google services. But I do see the appeal, especially since the ability to do more offline, though I can hotspot my phone easily and have tmobile lte in my area so it is quick, and campus has wifi for students. Was there any damning things about a pro v1, like bad battery or processor?
    Chromebooks are still extremely limiting, but Microsoft has provided Office components for Chrome. Regarding the Surface Pro 1, battery life and heat were the 2 biggest issues.

    As a CompSci major, you may find the screen on any of the Surface devices or Chromebooks too small. I'd recommend looking into a 14" notebook/ultrabook. As a software developer myself, I have found that 14" to be the sweetspot between portability and screen real estate.
    Last edited by WillysJeepMan; 05-30-2014 at 10:55 AM.
    05-30-2014 10:40 AM
  13. duoFurious's Avatar
    So it sounds as though you'd recommend the surface 2 the most with a ultrabook being better if I want to spend the cash or need it for higher level classes?
    05-30-2014 04:57 PM
  14. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    So it sounds as though you'd recommend the surface 2 the most with a ultrabook being better if I want to spend the cash or need it for higher level classes?
    My comments regarding the Surface 2 were in the context of using TeamViewer and why it is better than a Surface RT. That solution requires that you have another computer that is always on and always available.

    Having said that, I wouldn't recommend any Surface for software development. Obviously it depends upon the courses you'll be taking and whether or not you'll need to go to a lab to do your work or be able to develop code on your own machine. I would feel very claustrophobic if I had to use something like Eclipse or Visual Studio on something less than a 14" hi-res screen. (besides neither of those would work on a Surface RT/2... but could on any of the Surface Pro) I too use Google services heavily and using a Windows RT device means that is not going to be a very enjoyable experience.

    I have a Lenovo S400 Touch. I refer to it as an ultrabook-wannabe. I paid $379 for it new. Has a Core i3 and quite lightweight and sleek for the price but battery life is terrible. But I suppose if you looked at notebooks in the $500-$600 you could find a good quality 14" notebook that would serve you well. Notebooks aren't as sexy as tablets, but they're more functional.

    That would be my highest recommendation... a quality 14" notebook.

    05-30-2014 05:37 PM
  15. onlysublime's Avatar
    This is a great idea, I do plan on meeting with the head of the department to help me decide if a full comp sci degree is better than a comp sci security degree (less requirements for 4 year/easier/quicker) So I will definitely ask. I'm leaning toward a surface with RT (1 or 2 (preferably)) but the chromebook is so inexpensive thats why its still in the runnings and like I said I use mostly google services. But I do see the appeal, especially since the ability to do more offline, though I can hotspot my phone easily and have tmobile lte in my area so it is quick, and campus has wifi for students. Was there any damning things about a pro v1, like bad battery or processor?
    only in a campus setting does a chromebook make sense. where you have wifi throughout the campus.

    in the real world for most people the chromebook doesn't make sense because of how limited it is when you're not online. Yes, if the computer is a desktop that's always connected to the Internet, the online requirement is not important. But chromebooks are not desktop machines. You can to be able to be mobile and that's where the chromebook fails unless you have a data plan. and most cellular networks require a data plan and charge for the ability to tether the machine to a cell phone (creating a hotspot). There are some apps that bypass the cellular network restrictions but they're all clunky and unreliable. Most people only get wifi connectivity at coffee shops, airports, etc. Not a lot of places give free Internet or it's slow free Internet.

    really, the only bad things about the Surface Pro 1 is the battery life and the 1-position kickstand. That directly affects your workflow. On the Surface RT, it was so lightweight that the one-position kickstand wasn't bad. You can use the Surface RT in a wide variety of environments. However, the Surface Pro is heavy so it was harder to do some positions (like having the SP on your lap). The Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 have 2 positions and you can do almost any body position because of that 2-position kickstand.

    Other things are more cosmetic (i.e., running hot) and don't really affect what you do with a computer.
    05-30-2014 09:53 PM
  16. onlysublime's Avatar
    as for code, the surface machines in portrait is great because of the long 16:9 aspect ratio.

    code writing is mostly vertical. most people do not write long lines of code horizontally. at least I don't. I write short lines so I don't have to scan my eyes so much. I go vertically.
    05-30-2014 09:57 PM

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