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  1. Because Racecar's Avatar
    Looking to get a digitizer equipped tablet for grad school, mechanical engineering, mostly to take notes and occasionally run a small MATLAB/Octave simulation here or there. I have a i7 laptop for more intensive calculations, but i can't write notes on it. Thinking of getting a Surface 3, but also looking for alternatives and user's opinions of alternatives.

    Thoughts? Thanks!!
    01-10-2016 02:48 PM
  2. smoheath's Avatar
    I used a surface pro 3 i5 128 gb for my masters degree in aeronautical engineering. I used the surface pen for all my class notes. My main programs were solidworks, matlab, excel, word. That was all I took to school everyday and it was fantastic. So if you have the money, I'd just get the pro 3 or 4. That way you don't ever have to carry the tablet ish pc (surface 3) and your i7 laptop. Not to mention that the 12" screen of the pro is the worth it. Honestly, If i were to do it again, I'd buy the surface book just because it may be the best of both worlds in terms of digitizer tablet and full fledged laptop. Just my thoughts.
    01-10-2016 03:09 PM
  3. Because Racecar's Avatar
    Thanks. I was trying not to duplicate capability (essentially avoiding buying things twice) since my laptop is good for everything except taking notes on. But I'll certainly look into it.
    01-10-2016 03:14 PM
  4. Captain_Eric's Avatar
    I agree with smoheath that a Surface Pro 3, or better yet a Pro 4, with a good processor is the better way to go, if you can afford it. Though I'm retired, I am a Mechanical Engineer too. I have a Surface Pro 3 i5. Haven't used a Surface 3, but I understand it is positioned more for data consumption than for data crunching, which I imagine you will need from time to time in Engineer School. But you can compare the specs Surface 3 to Pro 3 to Pro 4 yourself. Bottom line, the Surface products really are great devices that cover tablet, PC, and sketching / note taking needs. Full powered and thin! You might be better to buy an i5 or i7 Pro 3 or 4 and sell your i7 on eBay. Then you carry solely one device. Good luck. Keep us posted.
    01-10-2016 03:16 PM
  5. xandros9's Avatar
    What I would think off the top of my head:

    ASUS Vivotab Note 8 or Dell Venue 8 Pro
    Surface 3
    Laura Knotek and baseballbert like this.
    01-10-2016 10:03 PM
  6. Because Racecar's Avatar
    I agree with smoheath that a Surface Pro 3, or better yet a Pro 4, with a good processor is the better way to go, if you can afford it. Though I'm retired, I am a Mechanical Engineer too. I have a Surface Pro 3 i5. Haven't used a Surface 3, but I understand it is positioned more for data consumption than for data crunching, which I imagine you will need from time to time in Engineer School. But you can compare the specs Surface 3 to Pro 3 to Pro 4 yourself. Bottom line, the Surface products really are great devices that cover tablet, PC, and sketching / note taking needs. Full powered and thin! You might be better to buy an i5 or i7 Pro 3 or 4 and sell your i7 on eBay. Then you carry solely one device. Good luck. Keep us posted.
    I'll look into that. Costco has a pretty compelling deal on the SP3.
    01-11-2016 06:19 AM
  7. Because Racecar's Avatar
    What I would think off the top of my head:

    ASUS Vivotab Note 8 or Dell Venue 8 Pro
    Surface 3
    Does the Venue 8 pro have a digitizer layer? I have looked at the vivotab note, as well. Nowhere to actually go test it, though. Or pretty much any of these.

    Anyone know anything about the Lenovo Thinkpad 10?
    01-11-2016 06:39 AM
  8. harihar akhil's Avatar
    Does the Venue 8 pro have a digitizer layer? I have looked at the vivotab note, as well. Nowhere to actually go test it, though. Or pretty much any of these.

    Anyone know anything about the Lenovo Thinkpad 10?
    Venue 8 pro does support active stylus so we can conclude that it does have a digitizer.
    01-11-2016 07:14 AM
  9. Because Racecar's Avatar
    Venue 8 pro does support active stylus so we can conclude that it does have a digitizer.
    I looked, I had a Venue 8 pro 3000 series, which is why I questioned this, but the 5000 series does have active pen support.
    01-11-2016 08:37 AM
  10. harihar akhil's Avatar
    I looked, I had a Venue 8 pro 3000 series, which is why I questioned this, but the 5000 series does have active pen support.
    Oh sorry I didn't know many models did exist in dell venue pro series.
    01-11-2016 11:01 AM
  11. Because Racecar's Avatar
    Oh sorry I didn't know many models did exist in dell venue pro series.
    No worries! I appreciate the input, gave me something else to look at. The newest version has USB-C, which is pretty nice.
    01-11-2016 12:09 PM
  12. Because Racecar's Avatar
    So given the price being the same, would you go for the Surface Pro 3 i5/8gb/256 or the Pro 4 i5/4gb/128? Performance on the 4 is supposed to reach about a 20% increase, but is that realistic when weighed against the increase in RAM and SSD?
    01-11-2016 07:54 PM
  13. baseballbert's Avatar
    What I would think off the top of my head:

    ASUS Vivotab Note 8 or Dell Venue 8 Pro
    Surface 3
    I've got the Note 8, solid tablet, stylus is really nice.
    xandros9 likes this.
    01-11-2016 09:36 PM
  14. Because Racecar's Avatar
    I've got the Note 8, solid tablet, stylus is really nice.
    32 or 64 gb? I wonder if the 32 is to small to do anything with?
    01-12-2016 10:09 AM
  15. Because Racecar's Avatar
    I got to play with the S3 and SP3 and onenote at Best Buy. Unfortunately, there was no actual version of OneNote install, so I could not test the handwriting to text for formulas. Any experiences here?
    01-12-2016 11:18 AM
  16. baseballbert's Avatar
    32 or 64 gb? I wonder if the 32 is to small to do anything with?
    The 64gb with a 64gb MicroSD card. I didn't think 32gb would be enough after a Windows 10 install.

    I tried a 128gb card, but it acted a little squirrelly.

    It has a lot of upside, the only thing I'd like to see if there is another version:
    128gb option
    Higher resolution screen
    Speakers with a little more oomph although headphones sound good

    Other than, I like it quite a bit.

    Very good quick productivity on the go companion device. If you get one, I'd also recommend the Asus Versa Sleeve. I've read too many things about the magnet cover cases hampering the stylus, but you don't have to worry about that with the Versa Sleeve.

    I also got a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard when I need to get a little work done.
    01-12-2016 11:27 PM
  17. Because Racecar's Avatar
    So if anyone is still listening, I think I'm going with the Surface Pro 3 i3 128 GB. Best Buy has it for $499 right now for college students. With some gift cards I have, I'll be out of pocket ~$150, which seems like a pretty good deal to me.
    01-14-2016 09:44 AM
  18. Captain_Eric's Avatar
    So if anyone is still listening, I think I'm going with the Surface Pro 3 i3 128 GB. Best Buy has it for $499 right now for college students. With some gift cards I have, I'll be out of pocket ~$150, which seems like a pretty good deal to me.
    Good choice, a good price within budget. Make sure to get the new "Surface Pro 4" keyboard and Pen. Both work on Pro 3 and the keyboards are the same size. Congratulations. Enjoy!

    Edit in: If the track pad on the keyboard doesn't float your boat, buy yourself a Microsoft "arch" Bluetooth mouse. (I have a Pro 3 and understand the Pro 4 keyboard is better.) It's expensive, but if you're moving from class to class, it's collapses flat, so was to put in a sleeve.
    Last edited by Captain_Eric; 01-14-2016 at 08:17 PM.
    01-14-2016 05:17 PM
  19. Because Racecar's Avatar
    Good choice, a good price within budget. Make sure to get the new "Surface Pro 4" keyboard and Pen. Both work on Pro 3 and the keyboards are the same size. Congratulations. Enjoy!

    Edit in: If the track pad on the keyboard doesn't float your boat, buy yourself a Microsoft "arch" Bluetooth mouse. (I have a Pro 3 and understand the Pro 4 keyboard is better.) It's expensive, but if you're moving from class to class, it's collapses flat, so was to put in a sleeve.
    Awesome. I have the older version of the MS Arc, the red one that folds up. It's great, but needs a USB dongle installed to work. They have good quality items, so I'm hopeful.
    01-15-2016 05:15 AM
  20. Captain_Eric's Avatar
    Awesome. I have the older version of the MS Arc, the red one that folds up. It's great, but needs a USB dongle installed to work. They have good quality items, so I'm hopeful.
    Sounds good. But just FYI, the Arc mouse I'm talking about uses Bluetooth, so you don't use the USB dongle, which takes up the one USB port. Damn expensive though at over $50.
    01-15-2016 12:53 PM
  21. Because Racecar's Avatar
    Well, that decision didn't last past the door to Best Buy. I was all ready to hit the button on the SP3 i3, but they had a huge display of open box systems sitting out, so I browsed. I noticed a particular system, an HP Spectre x360. Ok, I went over and looked at the display, and sort of fell in love. But the display was the new one, Skylake i7, 256 GB of replacable m.2 SSD, only a full HD screen but let's be honest, that's good enough on a 13.3" laptop (I know, my Yoga 2 pro has the QHD and I just set it to full HD because it looks the same). I figured the open box unit for $350 less had to be the older 5th gen, but no, it was Skylake. So for about $200 more than the i3 SP3 I got a full on laptop with 8 GB ram and some serious horsepower, and FULL active digitzer support. Yeah, it's a bit heavier, but if I can snag a mere $350 for my Y2P, it ends up nearly free for me. This is a seriously nice laptop. Sadly, they had no Synaptics digitizer pens in the store, but Amazon will save me tomorrow. I think this is a better choice than the SP3.

    Now about those 1 TB ssds....
    01-18-2016 07:20 PM

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