1. nickpoppy23's Avatar
    Hey guys! I'm a college student looking to buy a good product that I can easily load and read my textbooks from. Do I need to drop the large amount of cash for a pro to be able to efficiently do this? Or will the atom processor handle this just fine? Basically just looking for some pro's and con's to help me make a decision. Thanks!
    02-03-2018 10:01 PM
  2. xandros9's Avatar
    Any decent computer from the past several years (and maybe even older) would be perfectly capable of reading PDFs, web browsing, etc. so for reading textbooks and light usage like web browsing and Office work, you don't need to break the bank.

    A Surface Pro seems a bit like overkill in that case, but if this is going to become your primary computer, it becomes a better option.

    So I would take a look at what else you want to do, how much you're willing to spend and go from there.

    Other things to consider would be how long you want it to likely last, whether you need a keyboard, etc. The Surface lineup is solidly built and well-made but if ANYTHING goes wrong out-of-warranty, whether its a button breaking or battery wearing out, you'll essentially have to replace the whole device. There are some other tablets that are better options in this regard. Also if you want more horsepower (doesn't seem like it), desktops and less svelte laptops are better bang-for-buck options.

    But judging from just your post alone, I would think that a Surface 3 with 4 GB RAM ought to fit the bill.
    02-04-2018 12:14 PM
  3. overboard08's Avatar
    Depends on what your use-case is going to be for school.

    For engineering, you'd probably be better off with Surface Book 2 -- and you get a sweet tablet use-case out of it for that hands-on feel of reviewing text books and annotating equations.

    For more liberal arts types, I would go with Laptop or Pro. Laptop gives you solid specs and a highly portable experience. Pro gives you the tablet hands-on structure. I have a Pro 4 that I'm using for my online masters and its a great combination of being able to highlight PDFs, textbooks, annotate notes in OneNote, etc.

    I don't think the Surface 3 is a good option for you. It's OLD, the atom processor will struggle and you probably won't get much support out of it. Surface Pro will give you a solid machine that will carry you through a couple of years. I've had my Pro 4 (i5/4GB RAM) and it's still going strong.
    02-12-2018 09:44 AM
  4. TennisGuy45's Avatar
    My son had his pick of the Surface products.
    He ultimately chose the laptop because of its size and weight.

    He is 100% happy with it.
    02-12-2018 10:01 AM
  5. Ssebu's Avatar
    My 2 cents is: if you're going to be sitting in auditoriums with those small fold-out desks attached to the side of the chair, the Pro won't be comfortable because it can't old itself securely enough. A classic laptop with a flat base would be more stable.
    xandros9 and BryanMahendra like this.
    02-12-2018 10:25 AM
  6. Vincent Ryan's Avatar
    Surface Pro 4 brah!
    02-12-2018 11:33 AM
  7. Ian Hinchliffe's Avatar
    Hey guys! I'm a college student looking to buy a good product that I can easily load and read my textbooks from. Do I need to drop the large amount of cash for a pro to be able to efficiently do this? Or will the atom processor handle this just fine? Basically just looking for some pro's and con's to help me make a decision. Thanks!
    For me it has to be the Surface Book 2 (if the funds will stretch that far). I went for the 13.5" core i5 despite most reviews advising to skip the entry level option and having used it for 2 months I don't regret it. Battery life? amazing, Sshhh..what's that noise? Oh there isn't one. Seriously though battery and noise were my priorities. I don't game or edit videos. No excessive heat even when multi-tasking, using CAD, photo editing. So versatile too. It will type up those essays at the eleventh hour, then ditch the base and scribble some notes in lectures. Hook it back up after college and skype the parents to let them know their money has been well spent. Reduction in price will help too.
    02-12-2018 12:47 PM
  8. Mattemt294's Avatar
    I'm a theology liberal arts major. I used the surface pro 3 (i5, 8gb ram, 256ssd) for a few years and it worked great. between typing papers and drawing on PDFs it worked well. I did just upgrade to the surface book 2 15", I prefer this keyboard for typing over the type cover. the 15" tablet portion works well but I seriously miss the kickstand. I would stick with the 13" variety for school. I got the 15 for gaming too.
    02-12-2018 03:09 PM
  9. Sven Koens's Avatar
    I'm a student (doing chemistry stuff) in the Netherlands using a surface pro 4 for my study (Molecular Life Science in Wageningen if you're interested), every day life and almost everything else.
    I have nothing to complain about so far, but battery life (I'll get to that). My surface pro 4 (i7 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) is an excellent device. I use onenote 2016 (because office 365 is free for students) for making notes and doing exercises, I barely use pen and paper due to windows ink options and I can quickly take pictures of lecture notes with the rear facing camera (not possible if you don't have a rear facing camera) when the rest of the class is trying to keep up with typing.
    One problem with the surface pro: it's a tablet that can behave like a laptop and not a LAPtop. If you plan on using it a lot on your lap (like for example on the train or in the bus while travelling), I'd say it's not ideal.

    Because I do so much with my surface pro, the battery life is sometimes a problem. You shouldn't have this issue with the new surface pro (5), because it has more battery life although I have never used that surface so my statement is based purely on the specs.
    If you do a study like me, where you have to draw a lot (think about chemistry molecules or forces in physics) I can recommend the surface pro 4 (or 5). If you have to do a lot of presentations, I can also recommend the surface pro 4 (or 5), since you can hold the tablet in your hand with a pencil drawing during the presentation.
    But if you do not have to draw much or do many presentations and are just looking for something to run office and do regular web browsing, I'd say the surface pro is too expensive.
    It's a device that can do a lot, but if you are not planning on using it's many extra features I'd say it's just a waste of money. In the last case, I would recommend buying something a lot cheaper.
    02-13-2018 04:29 AM
  10. Justinian84's Avatar
    DO NOT even consider getting an old Surface 3. It was not a great performer even for everyday tasks when it came out, and much less so going forward. The 4 GB of RAM will also hamstring any multitasking you will want to do.

    The Surface Pro 2017 is probably the best choice. The perfect blend of weight, versatility and performance. Battery life is also 50% better than the Pro 4, so that should be avoided too.
    BryanMahendra likes this.
    02-13-2018 05:11 AM
  11. Dune 74's Avatar
    Ok, all above suggestions are great but for the most bang for your buck and will help you with pretty much any type of educational track the Surface Pro 5 or (2017 model) with i5 professor is a solid buy. Great battery 🔋 life, good size, good weight, and if coupled with the type cover and pen it becomes a well rounded device. I'm a proud owner of this device and a Engineering student. I also use it at work and to support my business.
    Justinian84 likes this.
    02-15-2018 03:43 PM
  12. Joshua kaleb Harris's Avatar
    Hey guys! I'm a college student looking to buy a good product that I can easily load and read my textbooks from. Do I need to drop the large amount of cash for a pro to be able to efficiently do this? Or will the atom processor handle this just fine? Basically just looking for some pro's and con's to help me make a decision. Thanks!

    If its just for text books the surface pro with the core m3 processor and 4gb ram should be fine enough. It runs for 799$, but the pin will cost you 99, and the keyboard another 150$, this will put you at 1048$ USD but you do get a 10% student discount so total boils down to around 950$ before taxes. This version will come with 128gb SSD which will actually leave you with just under 100gb for usable storage. In that case i recommend a high-speed SD card or flash drive (SD card is the best option in my opinion to free that usb drive for something else) The processor is fanless, but that comes with performance cuts. If you plan to run a lot of programs at once upgrade to a mid tier surface like the core i5 with 256gb of storage and 8gb ram. It will last linger but it will cost you more. with the pin and keyboard you looking at 1548$ and with the 10% student discount it will be around 1392% before tax.

    (Side Note)
    I personally have the surface pro 3 core i5 with 256gb ssd and 8gb ram and i bought it when i graduated high school almost 4 years ago, and it still works like a charm.

    Hope that helps!

    Also check out the surface book 2. Its a real power house! but cost a pretty penny if you know what i mean.
    Justinian84 likes this.
    02-16-2018 12:24 AM

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