06-20-2014 11:34 AM
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  1. jojoe42's Avatar
    I have a mate who has a MBP 13" with Retina and we actually had a discussion about this the other day - it depends on which sacrifices you want to make (there are some either way) - the Mac will play very nicely along with all your other devices, and as far as I'm concerned the MBP with Retina has a slightly better integrated graphics chip and a faster processor. I have the Pro 2 however, call me bias (I don't mind), and IMO it works 90% as well as an equivalent laptop, with the main gripes being the kickstand and smaller display (both fixed in the SP3) - with Office 2013/365 and OneNote this thing rocks for note-taking as the pen input is fantastic, and after a few weeks I got up to my regular typing speed on my desktop with the Type Cover 2. It's also pretty darn powerful for a tablet that is thinner and lighter than most other ultrabooks. However you might find the 13" display in the MBP much more comfortable, it'll be more familiar too in terms of UI and it's just a little bit faster than the Surface in terms of "laptop" usage however note-taking is a bit of a cripple for it - my friend has to awkwardly draw in Physics diagrams using his trackpad and then drag it into Pages, whereas I have the pen and can just draw it into OneNote. The Mac will most probably be better for gaming, but heck I play SimCity, War Thunder and TF2 on my Pro 2 and it copes well at native resolution with respectable settings.

    I think the two things people have mixed feelings about is Windows 8.1 itself and the Type Cover. Arguably the Surface range is the best device to showcase/use it on. Best bet is to try one out first if you can - however, if you don't mind learning Windows 8.1, we both agreed that it can be more productive once you get around the 'confusing' nature of the OS
    06-09-2014 03:14 AM
  2. Darth_Bane's Avatar
    Well, honestly this isn't something I'm doing for a while probably . I don't have the money to get it yet. I'm trying to just atleast get a picture what I want to get or a direction to head towards.
    If you're not ready to buy, then perhaps this discussion is a bit premature. What I mean by this is - when you are ready to buy, the landscape could have changed sufficiently to warrant this discussion moot. For instance, Apple releases a Broadwell based MBP in late 2014 - well then that might be better or you're ready to buy in 2015 and MS releases the SP4 with a ton of new features.

    With technology changing so fast, you may be better off making your buying decision closer to the time you'll be buying it.
    rdubmu likes this.
    06-09-2014 08:36 AM
  3. nasellok's Avatar
    I was going to recommend the SP3, because I have already decided to get one myself to replace my 7 year old Dell, but the more I look at your useage scenarios the more I think you already have most of what you need.

    It strikes me that for work, the iPad 4 has all the capability you want, all you have to do is add a decent Bluetooth keyboard, One note and an Office 365 subscription. Voila! You have a neat little solution which will allow you to take freehand notes and type more formal documents when needed. You can then spend the money on a horizon-expanding trip somewhere exotic.
    Have you ever tried to take notes with an ipad.....capacitive screen is the worst, and the Bluetooth pens are laggy, and not natural feeling. If note taking is something you plan to do, then I think you should go to the store and try out the SP3. Its going to be a beast of a tabtop.
    06-09-2014 04:10 PM
  4. Kyle Baker2's Avatar
    I just sold my 15" retina for a surface pro 3. I am also a college student. They're both good devices. Office is much nicer on Windows, and parallels never played nice with windows for me with the retina resolutions. That was a big factor in my decision. I think Windows 8.1 might have corrected some of the high-dpi settings though (i'm sure someone on here knows, I just never tried 8.1). I also have some engineering software that just doesn't run well in parallels. So it was an easy decision for me.
    Christian Boodts likes this.
    06-09-2014 04:30 PM
  5. unstoppablekem's Avatar
    Mostly all of us here will say go for the SP3, as this is a Microsoft site, but tbh, the retina MacBook is very nice as well. My brother has the new 13 inch one, and he likes it. :)
    sd173 likes this.
    06-10-2014 01:09 AM
  6. cdf3's Avatar
    You mentioned you will be taking notes, as well as doing a lot of typing. If you want the ability to take handwritten notes, as well as being able to type them, then I would suggest the SP3. If your note taking consists primarily typing, then I would suggest the MacBook. I have a MacBook Pro and Surface Pro 2. I like both devices, and use both daily. For those times when I have to do a lot of typing, I still prefer the keyboard on the MacBook. The key travel makes a huge difference for me when typing for extended periods. I would suggest going to the store and typing on both to see which one best suits your typing style.
    06-10-2014 10:28 AM
  7. RavenSword's Avatar
    If you're not ready to buy, then perhaps this discussion is a bit premature. What I mean by this is - when you are ready to buy, the landscape could have changed sufficiently to warrant this discussion moot. For instance, Apple releases a Broadwell based MBP in late 2014 - well then that might be better or you're ready to buy in 2015 and MS releases the SP4 with a ton of new features.

    With technology changing so fast, you may be better off making your buying decision closer to the time you'll be buying it.
    that's true. honestly, I have a tendency to put the cart before the horse sometimes.
    06-11-2014 11:43 PM
  8. RavenSword's Avatar
    Even if I go with the MacBook, I think I'd still like to use office 365, onedrive , and etc. I'll have to see how good those are in Apple hardware .
    06-11-2014 11:56 PM
  9. Darth_Bane's Avatar
    Even if I go with the MacBook, I think I'd still like to use office 365, onedrive , and etc. I'll have to see how good those are in Apple hardware .
    Office for the mac is not as feature rich as windows and I found it to be visually more unappealing to use (for some reason the spreadsheets and documents need to be zoomed in by 150% to make them readable and the performance is lack luster.

    While MS is going to be releasing a new version of office for the mac later this year, they typically do not bring it up to par with the windows version, it still lacks features.

    Personally, I avoid Office for the Mac like the plague, its not something I think that will motivate you to use the Mac platform. Just my $.02.
    06-12-2014 06:25 AM
  10. RavenSword's Avatar
    Office for the mac is not as feature rich as windows and I found it to be visually more unappealing to use (for some reason the spreadsheets and documents need to be zoomed in by 150% to make them readable and the performance is lack luster.

    While MS is going to be releasing a new version of office for the mac later this year, they typically do not bring it up to par with the windows version, it still lacks features.

    Personally, I avoid Office for the Mac like the plague, its not something I think that will motivate you to use the Mac platform. Just my $.02.
    I see. That interesting about the zooming thing.

    In that case I'm unsure what productivity suite I'd use in MAC. My issue with pages is that I hear word document support is kinda wonky with it.
    06-12-2014 08:21 AM
  11. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    I see. That interesting about the zooming thing.

    In that case I'm unsure what productivity suite I'd use in MAC. My issue with pages is that I hear word document support is kinda wonky with it.
    It's very subjective. I have Office 365 and use it on my iMac, iPad, Lenovo ultrabook-wannabe, and Asus netbook. My wife uses it on her MBP and iPad. At $67 for the year subscription, it's a decent deal. (In addition to the MS Office that comes with my Surface 2)

    We have no problems using MS Office on our Macs. The greatest "complaint" that I have is that it looks and feels like a Windows app (circa 2009) than an OSX app. It far exceeds the capabilities of the latest (free) iWork suite.

    Before that, when we were all-Apple, we used iWork 09. That was a great productivity suite... and we still use it for those things that we need to send out to get printed.

    We tried the LibreOffice/NeoOffice approach for a while. Not bad, and certainly couldn't complain for the price, but document exchange with MS Office was still not 100%.

    Having said that, I'm looking forward to the Office for Mac update.
    06-12-2014 08:39 AM
  12. RavenSword's Avatar
    It's very subjective. I have Office 365 and use it on my iMac, iPad, Lenovo ultrabook-wannabe, and Asus netbook. My wife uses it on her MBP and iPad. At $67 for the year subscription, it's a decent deal. (In addition to the MS Office that comes with my Surface 2)

    We have no problems using MS Office on our Macs. The greatest "complaint" that I have is that it looks and feels like a Windows app (circa 2009) than an OSX app. It far exceeds the capabilities of the latest (free) iWork suite.

    Before that, when we were all-Apple, we used iWork 09. That was a great productivity suite... and we still use it for those things that we need to send out to get printed.

    We tried the LibreOffice/NeoOffice approach for a while. Not bad, and certainly couldn't complain for the price, but document exchange with MS Office was still not 100%.

    Having said that, I'm looking forward to the Office for Mac update.
    Are you mostly all windows now? What made you change from all Apple?
    06-12-2014 10:34 AM
  13. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    Are you mostly all windows now? What made you change from all Apple?
    I'm still in transition. My Apple TV has been replaced by a Roku 3. My now-dead Macbook Pro has been replaced by an iMac (I see it as my final OSX-based computer) and Lenovo notebook. My iPad 4 is still my primary tablet. My iPhone 4 (on StraightTalk) continues to go strong.

    As to why the change, it's a long story, but in a nutshell, I was originally drawn to Apple products because of the quality of the ownership experience. I'm a software developer and systems architect and the last thing I want to do is another shift of IT work at home. In the Jobs-era Apple, the scope of their products were well defined, and worked extremely well within that scope. High quality (not the same as leading edge) hardware, high quality software. In the post-Jobs-era Apple, that attention to detail and quality has suffered. Apple appears to be coasting on their track record and on the mass of their consumer base rather than continue to reach for that high standard. The result: quality is on the decline, but pricing is stable or in cases rising.

    The final straw was Apple's denial by silence of a widespread issue with late-2011 Macbook Pros overheating causing GPU failures due to a manufacturing defect.

    On the flipside, the competition has improved. Windows 8.1 (as an operating system) is better than XP, Vista, and Win 7. Hardware makers are able to improve quality without raising prices. I am quite pleasantly surprised at the performance and quality of my 11.6" Asus X200MA netbook.

    That's one of the reasons why I'm not so starry-eyed about all-things-Microsoft... I have a personal agenda, I want a high quality option as I continue my exodus from Cupertino.
    Loco5150 likes this.
    06-12-2014 10:58 AM
  14. RavenSword's Avatar
    So I went to a best buy today and saw that they had a surface pro 3 demo unit up and decided to use it a bit to see how I like it.

    This is honestly a quality made piece of tech. The kickstand felt great, the type cover was pretty great from what I used, the trackpad is miles better than previous versions, and the whole unit just fells very well built and solid. This might be considered blasphemy here, but it felt like something built by Apple from a build quality standpoint.

    Using it, it was snappy and fast. Screen was great, and the unit was pretty light and thin.

    As a laptop, it seemed like it performed pretty well as that and I could see myself using it for a laptop, however using it like a tablet was a bit of a chore. I should state that I really couldn't get a proper sense of picking it up and using it as a tablet because the unit was on a cord attached to the table, had a security alarm on it, and I couldn't detach the keyboard, but from I could gauge I still think it would be too big to use as a tablet and that it may be heavy enough to be a uncomfortable as a tablet. even though I think the unit is rather light for a laptop, as a tablet it's a fair bit too heavy.

    And that's where my concern came from with the product. If i don't enjoy using it too much as a tablet and enjoy it mostly as a laptop, why wouldnt I just get a cheaper laptop and keep my iPad? The unit they had for demo was the 799 dollar i3 model, which wouldn't be the one I'd get I think. I'd go for the 256gb i5 model and that costs 1500 dollars.

    So that was my take. Good laptop, meh tablet.
    06-14-2014 02:17 AM
  15. photobriangray's Avatar
    I should state that I really couldn't get a proper sense of picking it up and using it as a tablet because the unit was on a cord attached to the table, had a security alarm on it, and I couldn't detach the keyboard, but from I could gauge I still think it would be too big to use as a tablet and that it may be heavy enough to be a uncomfortable as a tablet. even though I think the unit is rather light for a laptop, as a tablet it's a fair bit too heavy.
    Do you have a Microsoft store nearby? They have them just roaming the store, untethered and free like their are on tech safari. When you detach the keyboard, you are shocked by the weight or lack of it. It is so balanced that I could not detect the extra quarter of a pound when holding the Surface 2. The security tether will ruin that sensation, for sure. It feels very natural in portrait for browsing and note taking.

    Best Buy really should have an untethered unit for reps to bust out and show off how light it feels and how well it handles; they would sell a lot more of them.
    kittengirl likes this.
    06-14-2014 07:41 AM
  16. RavenSword's Avatar
    Do you have a Microsoft store nearby? They have them just roaming the store, untethered and free like their are on tech safari. When you detach the keyboard, you are shocked by the weight or lack of it. It is so balanced that I could not detect the extra quarter of a pound when holding the Surface 2. The security tether will ruin that sensation, for sure. It feels very natural in portrait for browsing and note taking.

    Best Buy really should have an untethered unit for reps to bust out and show off how light it feels and how well it handles; they would sell a lot more of them.
    I think the closest microsoft store is like 45 minutes away from me. And yeah , the tether made trying to get a sense if using it as a tablet pretty impossible.
    06-14-2014 10:22 AM
  17. acegamer's Avatar
    Yeah, you won't be able to get a feel for the tablet functionality at Best Buy unfortunately. I played with it a couple of times at the MS store and it felt great as a tablet to me. It would be a bit heavy if you just try to hold it out in front of you but I find that when I normally use a tablet it is resting in my lap anyway. When standing up holding the SP3 in the crook of your arm between wrist and elbow with it against your side works pretty well and will let you hold it for a longer period without the weight being an issue. It is obviously not as light as some other dedicated tablet devices but it is a good compromise if you really want an all-in-one device to avoid having to carry two devices around.
    06-14-2014 11:18 AM
  18. ytrewq's Avatar
    I'd go for the 256gb i5 model and that costs 1500 dollars.
    256gb i5 is $1300, not $1500. And if you are a student or (are willing to say you are a student or that you know a student), it's only $1170 at the Microsoft Store.
    06-14-2014 01:56 PM
  19. mozman68's Avatar
    So that was my take. Good laptop, meh tablet.
    But really, good conditions to try as a laptop, bad conditions to try as a tablet...I disconnected the keyboard and it wasn't locked in at the Microsoft store in Chicago. Incredibly light and worked great as a tablet IMO.
    06-14-2014 05:07 PM
  20. RavenSword's Avatar
    But really, good conditions to try as a laptop, bad conditions to try as a tablet...I disconnected the keyboard and it wasn't locked in at the Microsoft store in Chicago. Incredibly light and worked great as a tablet IMO.
    Yeah, it's not really fair of me to judge it as a tablet in those conditions. Bit it was the only thing I had available.
    06-14-2014 08:05 PM
  21. RavenSword's Avatar
    256gb i5 is $1300, not $1500. And if you are a student or (are willing to say you are a student or that you know a student), it's only $1170 at the Microsoft Store.
    It's 1500 with the 8gb of RAM, no?
    06-14-2014 08:06 PM
  22. xboxonthego3's Avatar
    It's 1500 with the 8gb of RAM, no?
    $1299 is i5, 256gb ssd, 8gb Ram. I know because I ordered one. The next one up is $1549 for an i7, 256gb ssd, 8 GB ram.
    06-14-2014 08:15 PM
  23. RavenSword's Avatar
    $1299 is i5, 256gb ssd, 8gb Ram. I know because I ordered one. The next one up is $1549 for an i7, 256gb ssd, 8 GB ram.
    Gotcha. Still, pretty pricey.
    06-15-2014 12:19 AM
  24. Ian Too's Avatar
    Have you ever tried to take notes with an ipad.....capacitive screen is the worst, and the Bluetooth pens are laggy, and not natural feeling. If note taking is something you plan to do, then I think you should go to the store and try out the SP3. Its going to be a beast of a tabtop.
    When I read your comment I took up my old iPad, signed in to One Note and found that, much t my surprise, One Note for iPad does note support freehand note taking and neither did any other app I had installed. So. I take your point and say give the SP3 a decent look.

    Sometimes you just don't realise what you have. I think this is the death-knell of the iPad in my home.
    06-15-2014 02:09 AM
  25. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    When I read your comment I took up my old iPad, signed in to One Note and found that, much t my surprise, One Note for iPad does note support freehand note taking and neither did any other app I had installed. So. I take your point and say give the SP3 a decent look.

    Sometimes you just don't realise what you have. I think this is the death-knell of the iPad in my home.
    That is Microsoft's fault for not providing that support in OneNote. They also don't provide that support in the OSX version of OneNote.

    As for "any other app you had installed"... you don't have the proper apps installed. Outline+ is a OneNote clone that DOES support freehand notes and supports reading and writing OneNote notebooks. Penultimate is one of the top selling notetaking apps in the iOS app store and it too supports freehand notes. There are literally dozens if not hundreds of notetaking apps for the iPad that support freehand notes. There have been freehand notetaking apps available since day-1 of the iPad's availability.

    So I'm left with the questions, "just how important is freehand notetaking to you that you don't have any of those apps installed? How could you have searched the iOS app store and NOT find a freehand notetaking app?"
    06-15-2014 09:48 AM
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