06-16-2014 09:29 AM
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  1. Rafael Rodrigues's Avatar
    Hey everyone! It's my first post, so I hope you reply

    My 4-year-old Vaio laptop is in serious need of a retirement, so I'm planning on buying something new and improved!
    I'm going to college in a couple of moths to study Bioengineering, so I need something portable, but most of all, that can last and won't brake or become sluggish after a couple of years.
    I was thinking about a MacBook Pro for that reason, but I really like the Surface Pro 3
    My only concern is that it won't last me too long, or that some disaster will eventually happen and leave it "incapacitated"

    Do you think a tablet can really withstand the years? Or the i7 CPU for that matter?
    I just don't wanna regret my decision later on

    Thanks a lot!
    06-08-2014 06:47 PM
  2. LeopardSurd's Avatar
    Hey everyone! It's my first post, so I hope you reply
    Do you think a tablet can really withstand the years? Or the i7 CPU for that matter?
    I just don't wanna regret my decision later on
    Thanks a lot!
    I use a i5 gen 3 ultrabook with Win 8.1 and it's faster than on Win 7. Anyway, Windows 8 has a setting that allow to be reinstalled, like a factory reset for phones and no virus can produce an impossibility to reset the OS. Only a hardware failure. Sincerely, a Surface tablet will be in the future a replacement for my ultrabook.

    An i7 gen 4 CPU is pure power for any portable device. More than I ever need.
    06-08-2014 07:27 PM
  3. Ed Boland's Avatar
    As with anything you choose, just get the extended warranty if you want peace of mind with the added protection. Microsoft has a package you can buy called 'Microsoft Complete' which covers spills and drops etc (with a deductable) for like an extra year I think...
    With that said though, and I don't know about the pro models, my Surface 2 seems really well built. I've had it for about 8 months, and it does feel like it will stand the test of time.
    06-08-2014 07:30 PM
  4. Rafael Rodrigues's Avatar
    That's interesting regarding 8.1

    I think SP2 is quite a nice device too, but I never did buy it for the same reason I have now. Besides, I thought the screen would be too small

    But doesn't the kickstand make you worry? I know Microsoft spent many hours working on it, but will nit still work as advertised in a few years?

    I really wanna love the SP3, cause I think it has potential to be different and to shape what comes next.
    Interesting how nowadays Apple is the only company who doesn't "Think different" regarding hardware
    06-08-2014 07:39 PM
  5. smoheath's Avatar
    I think the surface pro 3 will site your needs well. I'm a graduate student in aeronautical engineering and I currently use the surface pro 2 as my tablet/laptop/desktop. I have had it since October and it still performs like a champ. The kick stand feels pretty solid still. The second position has a little more give than the first position, but it is maybe a millimeter of movement at the base. Since the new hinge is friction based (not click stops) it is even more solid. I know because I played with it at the Microsoft store yesterday.

    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if they designed the hinge to fail after 100,000 full movements of the hinge. Lets say you move the hinge 25 times a day. At that rate it would take nearly ten years for the hinge to fail. I think the real scare is dropping the surface with the kickstand out. It would bend for sure.
    xandros9 likes this.
    06-09-2014 03:18 AM
  6. Rafael Rodrigues's Avatar
    So all you're using is the surface pro 2?
    Did you have any problems for not using a conventional laptop?
    06-09-2014 03:46 AM
  7. dstrauss's Avatar
    The Surface Pro lines have been built like tanks (SPro 1 and SPro 2 - have had both). I have no reason to believe the SPro 3 won't be the same. I watched Panos drop his from shoulder height (on carpet of course) and nary a scratch. Get the Microsoft Complete coverage if you want to sleep a little easier.

    As for being a complete replacement for a laptop/desktop - the Surface Pro 2, with two step kickstand, certainly is. Can't wait for June 20 and my SPro 3.
    06-09-2014 09:57 AM
  8. smoheath's Avatar
    I would say the only issue I had with the pro 2 is that sometimes it feels really small. Whenever I have two apps snapped side by side I always had to zoom in a ton. But with the pro 3 I think it will be a lot better.

    I honestly think that the surface pro is better than a laptop, for students. When I go to school, I only have to bring my surface (I have two chargers, leave one in my office). I take all my handwritten notes in OneNote so there is no need for a paper notebook. At any university there are desks everywhere, so you don't really have to worry about lap-ability. In my opinion, it functions as a laptop quite well. Also, being able to pull off the keyboard to use it as a tablet while presenting or teaching is really nice.

    Here is some more anecdotal evidence for you. I originally bought the surface pro 1 when it came out. When the surface pro 2 came out I sold my sp1 to upgrade. For about two weeks I had to use my wife's MacBook air since Microsoft had low stock of the sp2 for a long time. I'm pretty familiar with OSX and I know Macs are solid and well built. But those two weeks were rough. I kept trying to touch the screen. I had to take a notebook and then take pictures of my notes. Ultimately, I realized how limiting a laptop is. There is really only one use case. Once my sp2 came, I was very happy 😊.
    06-09-2014 10:17 AM
  9. Reflexx's Avatar
    I would say the only issue I had with the pro 2 is that sometimes it feels really small. Whenever I have two apps snapped side by side I always had to zoom in a ton. But with the pro 3 I think it will be a lot better.

    I honestly think that the surface pro is better than a laptop, for students. When I go to school, I only have to bring my surface (I have two chargers, leave one in my office). I take all my handwritten notes in OneNote so there is no need for a paper notebook. At any university there are desks everywhere, so you don't really have to worry about lap-ability. In my opinion, it functions as a laptop quite well. Also, being able to pull off the concert to use it as a tablet while penguin or teaching is really nice.

    Here is some more anecdotal evidence for you. I originally bought the surface pro 1 when it came out. When the surface pro 2 came out I sold my sp1 to upgrade. For about two weeks I had to use my wife's MacBook air since Microsoft had low stock of the sp2 for a long time. I'm pretty familiar with OSX and I know Macs are solid and well built. But those two weeks were rough. I kept trying to touch the screen. I had to take a notebook and then take pictures of my notes.
    I could picture that.

    A non-touch device, such as a Macbook Pro might feel limiting and antiquated a few years from now.
    06-09-2014 10:22 AM
  10. Rafael Rodrigues's Avatar
    That's quite an interesting perspective.
    I'm glad to know the SP2 worked so well for you

    I see myself using it just like you!
    One question always comes to mind: do you think the processing power is enough to handle engineering software?
    The i7 benchmarks similar to the i5 on the rMBP, but that's a full mobile chip (although ulv)
    06-09-2014 12:27 PM
  11. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    Hey everyone! It's my first post, so I hope you reply

    My 4-year-old Vaio laptop is in serious need of a retirement, so I'm planning on buying something new and improved!
    I'm going to college in a couple of moths to study Bioengineering, so I need something portable, but most of all, that can last and won't brake or become sluggish after a couple of years.
    I was thinking about a MacBook Pro for that reason, but I really like the Surface Pro 3
    My only concern is that it won't last me too long, or that some disaster will eventually happen and leave it "incapacitated"

    Do you think a tablet can really withstand the years? Or the i7 CPU for that matter?
    I just don't wanna regret my decision later on

    Thanks a lot!
    Historically (last 5-6 years) Macbooks were indeed trouble-free and didn't suffer from the creeping bloat-itis that traditionally afflicted Windows machines. But in the post-Jobs era, Apple has in my opinion lost their footing and Macbooks aren't as trouble-free as they once were. At the same time, Microsoft has made significant strides in system maintenance and stability with Windows 8.1... not to the level that OSX once was, but better than ever. I think that Windows 8.1 will hold up well.

    From a hardware perspective, the Surface hardware (entire line of devices) is leading edge. But it doesn't have a track record. We don't know how well it will hold up over time. Performance-wise I've read reports where the SP2 eeks out better performance than the SP3 under certain conditions due to the differences in CPU and # of pixels being pushed to the screen.

    Factoring in all of the above, for your needs I would recommend a Surface Pro 2. It seems like a more durable, lasting design than the SP3. But then again, I prefer the iPad 4 over the iPad Air.

    I own a Surface 2 (along with a variety of other tablets) and it is built like a tank (in all the good ways, none of the bad ones)
    Editguy1900 likes this.
    06-09-2014 12:53 PM
  12. Rafael Rodrigues's Avatar
    Interesting...

    I find the SP2 a marvelous device, but as it has been stated before, I think it's too small...
    10.6 inches just feels small, like a normal tablet

    The 12 inches, imo, seem to be much more suitable for laptop needs while still being portable and light

    Plus: 3:2 aspect ratio
    Editguy1900 likes this.
    06-09-2014 01:30 PM
  13. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    Interesting...

    I find the SP2 a marvelous device, but as it has been stated before, I think it's too small...
    10.6 inches just feels small, like a normal tablet

    The 12 inches, imo, seem to be much more suitable for laptop needs while still being portable and light

    Plus: 3:2 aspect ratio
    Yes and yes on the 10.6" feeling small and 3:2 aspect ratio being a plus.

    I regularly switch between my Surface 2 (10.6") and Asus X200MA (11.6") netbook. When I need the ultimate in portability, I'll grab my S2 w/TypeCover2. It's a reasonable trade-off for the smaller screen size... doesn't impede my productivity that much. I've been quite pleasantly surprised by the usability of the Asus' 11.6" screen, and I can see the appeal of the SP3's 12" screen.

    Having said that, I think that for students, there is a benefit to having a SMALLER device that can then hook up to a larger screen. Take the smaller device untethered to classes, lectures, library, etc. and then attach it to a larger monitor at home/dorm.

    The Surface 2 does a remarkable job handling an external display. I can only imagine how much better the PRO version does (with the availability of legacy apps)

    I can see an SP2 + (dock +) monitor being an overall more flexible solution than going all in on an SP3.
    06-09-2014 02:06 PM
  14. Rafael Rodrigues's Avatar
    That's interesting...
    I was definitely thinking of hooking it up to a monitor, and using it as a desktop too

    There is a place here in Portugal selling all SP3 with 10% discount on pre order, so it's like 150 euros off on the i7! It's a great deal, and I was considering that over the SP2 cause it only costs 100 euros more, it's the last generation and it has the i7-4650, superior to the processor on the SP2

    I guess what you mentioned before about the processing power of the SP2 vs SP3 is with both i5. Microsoft says the i7 is 20% better without decreasing the battery life

    One thing going for the SP3 is the keyboard cover, with the far better track pad!

    Honesty, I don't see much point on getting the SP2 with all improvements they made with the design, hinge, screen, processor and overall the price in getting it at (just north of 1400 euros)
    06-09-2014 02:26 PM
  15. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    That's interesting...
    I was definitely thinking of hooking it up to a monitor, and using it as a desktop too

    There is a place here in Portugal selling all SP3 with 10% discount on pre order, so it's like 150 euros off on the i7! It's a great deal, and I was considering that over the SP2 cause it only costs 100 euros more, it's the last generation and it has the i7-4650, superior to the processor on the SP2
    Price is certainly a factor. If there are incentives to buying an SP3 vs an SP2 that obviously needs to be taken into consideration.



    I guess what you mentioned before about the processing power of the SP2 vs SP3 is with both i5. Microsoft says the i7 is 20% better without decreasing the battery life

    One thing going for the SP3 is the keyboard cover, with the far better track pad!

    Honesty, I don't see much point on getting the SP2 with all improvements they made with the design, hinge, screen, processor and overall the price in getting it at (just north of 1400 euros)
    Do you know firsthand that the SP3 keyboard cover trackpad is better? Panay said that it was better (I wouldn't expect him to say anything different), but reviews are mixed. Most say that there is improvement, none say that it is on par with quality trackpads.

    But that's just the optional keyboard cover. You could always go with a 3rd party bluetooth keyboard.
    06-09-2014 02:48 PM
  16. Rafael Rodrigues's Avatar
    Well, I don't really expect it to be on par with an MBP trackpad, but it's better than the one on the SP2.

    I thought of an external keyboard, but the combination of SP3 + cover is muc sexier! They intertwin, making the device feel whole, I think

    It's a pity Microsoft didn't include them with the tablet...
    06-09-2014 02:53 PM
  17. smoheath's Avatar
    The sp3 track pad is loads better than the sp2. It isn't as good as a MacBook, but then again, nobody beats the track pads on Macs.

    As for engineering software. I run matlab and solidworks on my pro 2 (4GB version) and it handles pretty well. I haven't done any assemblies with more than 200 parts so it may get bogged down with bigger ones. Just make sure your running it in high performance mode, which makes battery life pretty terrible.
    xandros9 likes this.
    06-09-2014 03:05 PM
  18. Rafael Rodrigues's Avatar
    Thanks for the information
    I was quite worried with it not being sufficient to run such programs

    How badly does the battery become? :S
    06-09-2014 03:18 PM
  19. smoheath's Avatar
    With CAD programs running with other stuff, it can be as low as 4 hours on high performance mode.
    06-09-2014 04:35 PM
  20. Rafael Rodrigues's Avatar
    That's quite low, but since the charging time is quick I guess it's usable
    Though a rMBP would maybe have better battery life (not really sure with such CPU-demanding tasks)
    06-09-2014 04:47 PM
  21. hopmedic's Avatar
    You mentioned that you want a machine that doesn't get sluggish after a couple years. As with any computer, that is entirely a function of you. How you surf. What kinds of sites you use, what you download and install. Do you install toolbars? Little "helper" programs? Those are more often what I would consider spyware than actual helps. I manage the computers at my church, and I have a very strict "no toolbars" policy, and whenever someone else installs Chrome, Firefox, or a toolbar, I uninstall it as soon as I discover it. Nothing against Chrome or Firefox themselves, as I have Firefox on my PCs for sites that don't work correctly in IE, but that's just two more places I have to look for junk to delete when I'm trying to find what made the computer slow down. The PC in our sound booth is the big problem, as there are a half a dozen or more of us using it, but it's not there for surfing the net. It's there for projecting for the congregation. The only reason it is connected to the net is that we do search for song lyrics and images from time to time.

    Do you use illegal media (whether you agree with the legal definition or not)? Often those sites require a downloader (why? IE/Firefox/Chrome are all perfectly capable of downloading a file...), and often those downloaders are just a way of spying on you, slowing your PC down.

    The Ask toolbar is probably the biggest/most common cause I come across. There are lots of "free" downloads that you can install, and lots of those fund themselves by sticking the Ask toolbar in their installers. But it's malware from start to finish. Do not install it. I don't even click links to ask.com.

    I hope you see how it's up to you whether your computer will become sluggish or not. If you use wise surfing habits, you will eliminate probably 90% or more of the causes of computer sluggishness.
    Last edited by hopmedic; 06-10-2014 at 03:10 PM.
    m0rf3us and xandros9 like this.
    06-10-2014 02:03 PM
  22. m0rf3us's Avatar
    Rafael,

    I'm a mathematics graduate student and teacher, I've been using the 1st generation Surface Pro since a week after it was released. I use it every day as a media consumer, student, teacher, and desktop PC. I can tell you that you will not be disappointed. Prior to getting the SP1, I had always wanted to use my laptops more efficiently when taking notes, but it just couldn't happen in mathematics (I assume the case will be parallel to your experience in bioengineering, as I had many bio/chem major friends who rarely used their laptops for notetaking). Whether it's notetaking, heavy duty software, or just media consumption, I have only three complaints about the SP line in general; screen size, battery life, and kickstand. All three are infinitely better on the SP3 (I spent a good 40 minutes yesterday with one at a Microsoft Store). I am still working on my degree and plan on buying the i5 SP3 on June 20th, I highly recommend you do as well. having my SP1 for over 15 months now, I can tell you that there has been no durability worries (yes, I have dropped it many times, kickstand open and close).

    All in all, the SP3 should suit you just fine. Good luck with your decision and starting college, such an exciting time!
    06-10-2014 02:17 PM
  23. m0rf3us's Avatar
    Yes, the trackpad is SO much better on Type Cover 3. I spent 40 minutes with it yesterday and compared to the Type Cover 1 (my own that I use daily) and the Type Cover 2 (my mother and aunt have and I HATE USING IT), the trackpad on Type Cover 3 is amazing.
    WillysJeepMan likes this.
    06-10-2014 02:20 PM
  24. Rafael Rodrigues's Avatar
    That was important information, though i don't use toolbars anyway, actually for the exact reasons you stated above.
    Furthermore, regarding downloads, I think it's perfectly easy to control what to keep and you don't, aside from clearing cache and temporary files

    My intention when using the word "sluggish" was to represent what my PC is now: a browser with office capabilities.
    I want to buy something reliable that will keep up over the years and not become slow or unusable in 2/3 years

    Most users with a SP1 speak highly of it and proclaim it works "just as day one"
    That's what I look forward in a product of any kind
    That's what I look forward in surface :)
    06-10-2014 02:23 PM
  25. Rafael Rodrigues's Avatar
    That's so good to hear regarding the trackpad!
    I do have my eye on a Microsoft Sculpt Comfort mouse, with the side home button

    I think once you get used to it, it will make a fine addition to any Windows 8 machine
    06-10-2014 02:26 PM
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