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Expanding/Converting the Home Network


Active Member
I've been a Mac guy for quite a few years now, but after taking a hard look at the direction Apple is taking with the UI in Yosemite and finding out how much it strains my eyes, I'm thinking of changing things up.

Currently I have an SP1, Acer i3 laptop and a MacBook Pro w/Retina.

The Acer laptop is getting long in the tooth and wasn't very powerful to begin with. It now sits there as a PlayOn server and little else. I want to at minimum replace it.

And that's where the quandary comes in. I don't need portability, but I do need something to run PlayOn and iTunes (assuming I take the MBP out of the equation).

Here's the things I'm considering.

1. Since I have a Docking station and power keyboard, repurposing the SP1 to take over running PlayOn and iTunes. It would be perfectly good at this. If I did this, then get a SP3 to be my go anywhere box.

Downside of this is that it seems like somewhat of a waste of the SP1. It has been more than good enough for a very portable tablet/notebook for everything I'm doing or will do.

Upside is that the SP3 with its larger and changed shape would be good to put sheet music on to read while playing the organ.

2. Get either a touch laptop or desktop to replace the Acer. I'm thinking more desktop and the 23" HP Beats box looks to be a very nice addition. Powerful enough and very good looking.

The upside of this is that I would have a more powerful computer with more storage and a very nice screen size for games and such.

Some feedback/suggestions welcome.


Well-Known Member
My personal humble opinion...

You probably would still end paying for a new, not horribly spec'd laptop to replace the Acer, about what you'd get or more for the SP1 if you sold it. So don't lament the fact that you're "wasting" the SP1, it's a good machine and you already have it on hand, you won't need to buy something for those tasks.

And yes... the SP3 is so nice for sheet music...


Active Member
You don't have to be humble... :)

If I did a laptop, the one I'm considering is a 15" HP Beats @$600

Or an all-in-one HP 23" Beats @$1000

While I am actually leaning towards the laptop or desktop, I'm still hesitating and procrastinating. :)

BTW, what is a good piece of software for presenting scanned in/converted sheet music on Windows?? I haven't done any research on that yet.

Thanks for the feedback, appreciated.


Active Member
A little follow up.

The SP1 will remain as it is. My primary tablet. The 128Gb SSD+128 SDXC card and the 4Gb of RAM make it very suitable for that as well as some lighter laptop duties.

I had thought to make it a stationary unit with the dock I have, but it is a little lacking for running Sibelius on when I want to do music engraving. More RAM would be very handy in that case.

I downloaded a music PDF sheet music software to test and the SP1's screen is big enough and the widescreen presentation makes it very handy for that use.

While the SP3 would be great, if I got one I would need something with more RAM than the i5/128Gb SSD version, and frankly I think the price increase to the next step up is much too great and not a good value. And I don't need 2 Surfaces!

Since my most likely scenario going forward is to move out of the Mac world, a bigger notebook or desktop would be of more value I think. I'm really leaning towards the 23" HP touch all-in-one. Plenty of giddyap for my needs, 1Tb hybrid HD and 8Gb RAM that could be upped to 16Gb easily and inexpensively.

From a dollar and cents standpoint, each comes in fairly close.

Surface 3, i5/128Gb SSD = $999, plus I would need a big USB 3 HD for the then stationary Surface 1 = about $125. Total cost about $1125.

23" all in one touch desktop about $1050.

I had considered a 15" touch laptop, but I don't find touch to be handy on a laptop at all. The keyboard area is just too deep, and I don't need the portability.