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What to buy????


New Member
Hi Everyone,

I'm looking for some advice and suggestions. I currently have an Asus laptop with 17" screen and I5 processor, Asus Netbook 1005HA-PU17, and an Apple iPad-2.

When in the office, I use the laptop primarily for accessing Google Apps (email, calendar, contacts), Evernote, MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and basic Expression Design/Web development.

When traveling (50-75% of the time), I use either the iPad-2 or netbook because of battery life and portability. The devices are used for accessing Google Apps (email, calendar, contacts), Evernote, MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, but no Expression Design/Web development when traveling.

The iPad's office capabilities (iWorks, OfficeHD, QuickOffice, Polaris Office, etc.) are way too limited and frustrating me every time I can't do what I consider a basic function, for example, sort ranges in Excel.
With the netbook, I'm also frustrated not having the touchscreen capabilities and having to wait every time I boot it.

Other than solitaire, I don't play games.

Based on my usage scenario, would you recommend to complement(not replace) my laptop when traveling:
1) Buying a Windows Surface RT tablet,
2) Waiting to buy a Windows Surface Pro tablet,
3) Sticking with the solution I have as it won't get any better, or
4) Other?

Not that it matters, but I recently cracked my iPad screen and bought a replacement with the Apple warranty which still has 1.5 years left on it. If I buy something else, I'll sell the iPad as I'm hoping for a replacement, not another device.

Thanks everyone for reading this and providing your suggestions.

Best - Dan


New Member
The Windows RT or Pro tablets would be the ideal tablet solution for Microsoft Office use -- the main difference being that only Pro supports Access and Outlook. Surface allows you to transfer files via microSD, USB, and SkyDrive. I work back and forth between my laptop and Surface RT with no compatibility issues. This is a big plus.

Integration with Google e-mail, calendar and contacts is easy to setup, however the apps currently offered are primitive and slow. You would likely prefer using Internet Explorer to access these features for now, and could set up a tile to make it readily accessible. I hope MS either vastly improves these apps or third parties develop better options. Not sure what the difference will be here between RT and Pro, other than I would expect app performance to be better on the Pro.

Evernote does have a native app, I don't use it so can't offer any comments on how it works.

There are a number of third party Solitaire games available. MS' version of Solitaire is available only for Pro tablets right now, MS promises that it will be available for RT soon.

If you need 3G/4G, you'll need to look at other Windows tablet offerings, Surface currently doesn't support this.


Active Member
If you're considering the Surface, I suggest to wait for the Pro to be released. I say this because you mentioned you use Publisher, Exp Design and web development tools. These applications you mention will not work with the RT version. The only apps you'll be able to install and use are the ones available in the MS Store.


New Member
Thanks MichFan and DarthBurrito for responding. Speed is one of the concerns I have, especially with accessing mail and calendar. I really want something that I can access without requiring an internet connection. I won't be running Publisher or any other development tools on Surface if I go that route. Just email, standard office apps, evernote, and Dropbox.

On the Windows Pro side, even though its not released yet, I'm concerned that I will lose significant battery life for performance.

One other thing I forgot to mention is Dropbox. Do you know how well (if at all) Dropbox integrates with Office. Can you save files directly to dropbox folders as you can with Windows 7?

Please correct me if I have anything wrong here, but this is how I see the positives and negatives of each solution:

1) iPad-2
Email - Native email app works great with Google Apps
Calendar - 3rd party calendar app works great with Google Apps
Contacts - There is not a good integrated contacts solution
Office Apps- Very limited
Except for iPad friendly printers, there is no local printing

2) netbook
Email - Many native email apps
Calendar - Main native calendar apps
Contacts - Full Support
Full Office Support
Ability to print to PCL5 printers
No touch screen input
Takes forever to boot
No instant access to mail, calendar, etc...

3) Windows Surface RT
Email - Native email app supports Google Apps
Calendar - Native calendar app supports Google Apps
Ability to print to PCL5 Printers
Performance concerns - unsure how to quantify.

4) Windows Surface Pro
Full support of all needs
Concerned early reports state battery life will be very limited, the tradeoff for performance.

I wish I knew how to better quantify the performance and battery tradeoffs.
Again, I appreciate all the help everyone. Thanks


New Member
Rumors say that Microsoft is waiting for Intel's new generation of processor (Haswell), so they can then release Surface Pro with it. If this should be true, I don't think there should be a significant loss of battery life. I'm also waiting for the Pro to come out, mainly because I'm looking for a notebook replacement and I need x86 software like Visual Studio and stuff.