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Surface Pro 4 for students?

vmflapem

New Member
I'm considering buying a SP4 to take notes in class. Most of my classes require a lot of typing and I'm wondering if the SP4 type cover is comfortable to type with? I tried it at the microsoft store and I got an impression that I really need to practice to get used to the type cover. Is it something that we can eventually get comfortable with?
 

jrioux

Active Member
I have an SP3 that I use to take notes at business meetings. The SP4 should be fine for taking notes in class so long as you have a table or desk. Using it with the keyboard on your lap may be difficult.
 

coolowl

Member
I'm comfortable with it but don't type quickly and not all that much. If all you're really wanting it for is note taking I'd consider one of the $300-400 laptops. Don't get me wrong, I love the SP4 but a wise buying decision must take into account cost for the need.
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
In my final year of university now. started with an SP3, then got an S3 because I had a grant at the uni book shop and it was the only thing worth buying, and then got an SP4 on launch. I have to say it has been phenomenal.

The pen+onenote have really revolutionized my method of learning, and classmates have gone out and bought one variant or another purely from seeing me turn up every day with nothing but a tablet in my bag yet every piece of work or lecture and notes that we've ever done. I've not had to use a piece of paper in over 2 years, while they're still spending significant money over the course of the years printing out reams of lecture slides etc.

Regarding the keyboard though, I've used mine for every single assignment (business management and psychology, requires a LOT of typing), and I love it. I in no way feel cramped, or that it is an inferior experience, or requires adjusting to. To me it is no different to any other laptop keyboard. I've got ergonomic and mechanical keyboards etc, they all stay with my parents because I don't see a need for them. But remember, once home and doing assignments, there is no reason you can't just plug in your keyboard of choice.

If you can afford it, buy it. That's the best advice I can give :)

Best get back to writing up my dissertation on my typecover :) I'll try and keep an eye on this thread should you have any other questions regarding a surface in a school setting.
 

jrioux

Active Member
I'm comfortable with it but don't type quickly and not all that much. If all you're really wanting it for is note taking I'd consider one of the $300-400 laptops. Don't get me wrong, I love the SP4 but a wise buying decision must take into account cost for the need.
I assume that budget is not a consideration, but if it were, I'd suggest that you consider one of the Atom-based 2-in-1s like the ASUS T100s, Lenovo Yoga Tabs or Toshiba Click 10. You can get some of these in the $200 range and much less for factory refurbished units. I bought a Lenovo Yoga Tab and it's a decent machine for basic stuff. The Surface 3 is also nice, but more expensive.
 
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vmflapem

New Member
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate it.
Right now, I'm trying to decide between SP4 and Surface Book. Budget isn't a problem for me at the moment. Could someone please list pros and cons of each option? Again, my usage is mostly going to be for typing notes in class. Some of my classrooms do not have desks so I have to consider lappability issue as well...
 
OP
V

vmflapem

New Member
In my final year of university now. started with an SP3, then got an S3 because I had a grant at the uni book shop and it was the only thing worth buying, and then got an SP4 on launch. I have to say it has been phenomenal.

The pen+onenote have really revolutionized my method of learning, and classmates have gone out and bought one variant or another purely from seeing me turn up every day with nothing but a tablet in my bag yet every piece of work or lecture and notes that we've ever done. I've not had to use a piece of paper in over 2 years, while they're still spending significant money over the course of the years printing out reams of lecture slides etc.

Regarding the keyboard though, I've used mine for every single assignment (business management and psychology, requires a LOT of typing), and I love it. I in no way feel cramped, or that it is an inferior experience, or requires adjusting to. To me it is no different to any other laptop keyboard. I've got ergonomic and mechanical keyboards etc, they all stay with my parents because I don't see a need for them. But remember, once home and doing assignments, there is no reason you can't just plug in your keyboard of choice.

If you can afford it, buy it. That's the best advice I can give :)

Best get back to writing up my dissertation on my typecover :) I'll try and keep an eye on this thread should you have any other questions regarding a surface in a school setting.

I'd like to ask you something: have you ever faced any issue with the battery life? I won't have access to plugs while I'm in school (9am-5pm) so I'm not sure if the battery can last that long.
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'd like to ask you something: have you ever faced any issue with the battery life? I won't have access to plugs while I'm in school (9am-5pm) so I'm not sure if the battery can last that long.

Mine will last me that time without an issue, but bare in mind I keep it with flight mode on as well as battery saver and screen brightness set to darker. When at uni I'm using nothing but one note and pen. Everyone use will vary though.
 

coolowl

Member
There's no way mine would keep a charge for 8 hours on battery without doing the things the fellow above just mentioned. But I like a bright screen and being connected online. Can't speak about the Surface Book as no experience.
 
OneNote, pen or type, turn on recording (voice). The Voice Recording can be searched! and will highlight what you type / write when things are said. You can advance the playback by clicking on the type / writing at that time.

So, you write, while it records. You can write IMPORTANT when the teacher states something you want to go back to, then SEARCH for the word IMPORTANT and the recording will play from there. You can als SEARCH for words in the recording..... I Wish I had this when I was in school.
 

radji

Member
8 hours with the screen on is a stretch for the i5 ad i7 models. I can get thru 3 hours of OneNote + pen note taking, but need to plug in after 4.

The SP4 will definitely feel funny to type on at first, but you will get the hang of it. But if it will be just on your lap, that makes it 10 times harder to do.
 

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