Surface Pro 2 vs other Win Tablets

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by ivan99, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. ivan99

    ivan99 New Member

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    I am presently considering the purchase of an sp2 but still undecided. So may tablets on the market to choose from. One coming up soon (Mar, I hope) is the new Asus dual tablet (Android and Win TD300?), others are of marginal interest such a Lenovo or a Sony, all win 8. Should I wait or should I go ahead with a sp2? I have been following this forum about the 1.9GHz update? I found some lots 1400 and above in San Fran on Mkt St and I can get a 128Gb there too. My wife has an iPad Air and I have an Asus laptop. Any advice?
     
  2. godson594

    godson594 Active Member

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    What is it that you will use it for? I wish I would have researched it more before purchasing mine to be honest. For me I end up needing a keyboard most the time so in all reality I would have been better off with a Lenovo 12.5 Yoga Pro. I like the way you can tilt the screen to ANY angle being I don't always do my work at a desk. I like leaning back in a recliner and working too and the SP2 sucks for this :D

    If you don't need the Wacom digitizer then you certainly have other options.

    Edit - I see you are looking at a store in SF. I purchased mine at Valley Fair's Microsoft store and they had a bunch of 4300u's that had come in. Not a far drive from you - you may want to call them and see if they can hold one for you. They have a 2 week return policy in case you don't like it.
     
  3. MickeyLittle

    MickeyLittle Active Member

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    Hopefully MS will have all the firmware bugs worked out soon? It seems like it was pretty bad for people who got the bad firmware update back in December. I was lucky and got the 4300u processor in early January so I don't really have any gripes at all. As far as getting the SP2 or the TD300 I guess it depends on whether or not you desire a dual boot tablet or not? Simple as that.
     
  4. MickeyLittle

    MickeyLittle Active Member

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    Sounds like you could use the Lenovo Twist. It's 12.5 with the rotating screen, 500gb hard drive, and Wacom digitizer for less than $800. I tried it in a brick and mortar and it was kinda tempting.


    No Wacom digitizer! My bad!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  5. godson594

    godson594 Active Member

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    I didn't know it had Wacom :O - I needed 8GB ram for Solidworks too, I was running 4GB on previous machine and it wasn't fun :(
     
  6. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    The ThinkPad Twist is only 720p and Touch Only (no Active Digitizer) and IvyBridge, The ThinkPad Yoga has an Active Digitizer and is full HD and is Haswell.
     
  7. ivan99

    ivan99 New Member

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    I really do not need a keyboard. I like to work in bed at night, the keyboard is an impedement since i would need light to see it and I look at videos and do reserach with my fingers.
     
  8. godson594

    godson594 Active Member

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    Then Surface Pro would be better for you. I actually love using the type keyboard flipped backwards and then having the surface stand resting on the back of the keyboard. It's so much more comfortable on my chest/lap that way.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. MickeyLittle

    MickeyLittle Active Member

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    My memory fails me again! Enjoy your youth people!
     
  10. Tekn0

    Tekn0 New Member

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    I'm still torn whether Thinkpad Yoga may be a *safer* choice than Surface Pro 2 (since my main purpose is a drawing tablet/hybrid machine). This forum gives one the impression that SP2s are all broken thanks to firmware issues.
     
  11. godson594

    godson594 Active Member

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    If I could do it over I would have went the Lenovo route for sure. I'm on my third surface and not even because of the firmware, I had two squeaky screens.
     
  12. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    Just throwing my hat into the ring here: I'm on my 2nd SP2 but only because I upgraded from the 4200U to the 4300U. It may be luck or that forums tend to be biased toward negativity (most people only go to forums because they have a problem), but I have not had any hardware problems and only a few limited software bugs that were easily fixed by rebooting. I did, however, suffer from the Dec. firmware fiasco but fixed that when I exchanged for the 4300U. Best tech device I have ever used, including most of Apple's devices and a few Android tablets. I find that Windows 8 is the best version of Windows ever created (not considering their historical significance but functionality): it marries the simplicity and convenience of smartphone apps but let's you get under the hood and use all of your serious programs that you already own and the wealth of open source software available. This gives it a versatility that really shines with the SP2, whether acting as a tablet or a full Windows laptop, which might be the kind of hardware they were designing the OS for.

    Getting to the original question, the considerations that I had to decide to get the SP2 were the following: I wanted something incredibly portable that could be used as a tablet for reading and note taking with a stylus but also packed with enough processing power, graphic power, and RAM to multitask like a fiend. As a research scientist, a major scenario that I could see myself using the device for would be writing a paper in Word while analyzing data in Excel and CPU-intensive curve-fitting software, having both Photoshop and Illustrator open to make figures while having my web browser open to 10 or so tabs and maybe 5-10 pdf papers open while listening to music. This usage might exceed the 4 GB of RAM that most of these Windows tablets have, not to mention the limited 128 GB of SSD that most have. The SP2 is also ~60% faster than those with the Core i5-4210Y when considering the Core i5-4300U CPU in the newer SP2s. Its 10.6" tablet form factor at 2 lbs (2.5 lbs with Type Cover 2 keyboard) was highly attractive for me so that I could bring this device anywhere without having to plan to use it since it is so small and light, which has come in handy a few times already. I use it to take notes in seminars with the stylus in portrait mode on my lap, which is great when there are no tables, or flat on the table as I would a sheet of paper. When I need to type or just don't want to hold up the tablet, the 2 position kickstand is such a game changing feature which makes it both easy to use on my lap and on a desk. Contrary to what others may say, I find the SP2 Type Cover 2 is rigid enough for rapid typing on your lap (not sure about Type Cover 1).

    I'm also quite a gamer and having the ability to play modern games on the go (albeit at lower res and detail settings than I'm used to) is amazing. Playing heavily modded Skyrim plugged in at my work desk with a mouse when working on the weekend is awesome. XCOM: Enemy Within on my lap on the subway using the Type Cover keyboard and the stylus for mouse is even more awesome. Don't have a seat?: I play Civilization V in its touch-enabled mode and take off the Type Cover to reduce the weight since I'm usually standing on public transit. Most other Windows tablets are not powerful enough to give you a good experience with these games. You can also play classic games (such as from GOG.com) which would also run on the weaker tablets but not the Android ones.

    So, yeah, that was my thinking when I decided to get a SP2 versus other tablets. I would have gotten the SP1 except that its battery life sucked and the Intel HD 3000 GPU was still terrible. These were fixed by using the Haswell processor while also massively increasing the GPU power to an acceptable level with the HD 4400. Personally, I can't say much about the tablets that aren't out yet and, since I got the SP2 in December, I haven't really been keeping track of what's on the horizon. In summary, the SP2 is my tablet of choice because of full Windows 8.1, powerful CPU and (relatively) GPU, larger SSD if you want, Wacom digitizer for accurate and pressure-sensitive stylus, superior kickstand, and more RAM option which would allow me to effectively multitask an intensive array of programs like a laptop while also bringing the conveniences of the touch tablet experience.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
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