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Tablet or 2 in 1 Laptop for University

zwpkhm99
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Hey guys, I recently started studying mechanical and process engineering in germany. I am looking for a tablet or a 2 in 1 Laptop. My budget is probably around 500-700 Euros. Finding one with the apropriate specs is not that difficult but I am looking for one which has really thin bezels I am probably too picky on that point but I want it to look modern and thick bezels ruin the look for me entirely.

The samsung galaxy tab s4 caught my attention as well as the ipad pro and the one apple is releasing in 2018. It would be quite nice if you could recommend me something comparable in terms of specs, looks and and price, since I wasn't able to find something which suits me. 

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I'd vote laptop. You may need the extra cpu horsepower for some engineering classes

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Just now, Derrk said:

I'd vote laptop. You may need the extra cpu horsepower for some engineering classes

It needs to have to touchscreen though because the professors are uploading their presentations before lectures so taking notes on those presentations while the lecture is going on is the main reason I want to have a portable device with me.

 

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Just now, zwpkhm99 said:

It needs to have to touchscreen though because the professors are uploading their presentations before lectures so taking notes on those presentations while the lecture is going on is the main reason I want to have a portable device with me.

 

I don't know how much they'd be but you should look for one of those laptops with the touchscreen screen

heck.

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Just now, zwpkhm99 said:

It needs to have to touchscreen though because the professors are uploading their presentations before lectures so taking notes on those presentations while the lecture is going on is the main reason I want to have a portable device with me.

 

you may still be able to find a touchscreen laptop within your price range. As a personal preference, i find it easier/more useful to write equations and math notes on pen & paper. Most of my other classes, i would just type my notes

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Just now, SirGeneral said:

I don't know how much they'd be but you should look for one of those laptops with the touchscreen screen

Yeah my problem is not finding something with a touchscreen, my problem is finding something with modern looking with slim bezels.

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I take notes on a tablet while in class, and have a low-spec gaming laptop in my bag for programming classes and for MS Office stuff. If you can afford it, you could take this route (maybe not the "gaming" part, but a Windows, or other, laptop would be nice to have on hand). Otherwise, I would recommend that you get a convertible or tablet PC.

1 minute ago, zwpkhm99 said:

Yeah my problem is not finding something with a touchscreen, my problem is finding something with modern looking with slim bezels.

If your budget is on the low side, slim bezels are very hard to find. If you want slim bezels, you're probably going to have to increase your budget. 

 

I would love to have slim bezels, but my laptop cost $600 USD, so that's not happening. In my opinion, a college student should care more about whats under the hood than how it looks.

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Compaq Presario 5000 - Pentium 4 1.7Ghz, 1.7GB SDR, PowerColor Radeon 9600 Pro (Windows XP x86 Pro)
Compaq Presario 8772 - Pentium MMX 200Mhz, 48MB PC66, 6GB Quantum HDD, "8GB" HP SATA SSD adapted to IDE (Windows 98 SE)

Asus M32AD - Intel i3-4170, 8GB DDR3, 250GB Seagate 2.5" HDD (converting to SSD soon), EVGA GeForce GTS 250, OEM 350W PSU (Windows 10 Core)

*Haswell Tower* https://pcpartpicker.com/list/3vw6vW (Windows 10 Home)

*ITX Box* - https://pcpartpicker.com/list/r36s6R (Windows 10 Education)

Dell Dimension XPS B800 - Pentium 3 800Mhz, RDRAM

In progress projects:

*Skylake Tower* - Pentium G4400, Asus H110

*Trash Can* - AMD A4-6300

*GPU Test Bench*

*Pfsense router* - Pentium G3220, Asrock H97m Pro A4, 4GB DDR3

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Maybe something in the Lenovo Yoga line?

Yoga 700??

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1 hour ago, zwpkhm99 said:

It needs to have to touchscreen though because the professors are uploading their presentations before lectures so taking notes on those presentations while the lecture is going on is the main reason I want to have a portable device with me.

 

Then a Laptop is a bad idea. Way too big, way too heavy, way too.... err.. non-practical?

Laptop ONLY, if you have to use excessive Office, like your Bachelor Thesis. 

 

You are looking mainly for "Digital Note Taking", which includes pure digital note taking itself (virtual college block), as well as PDF (script) annotation.

 

My Vote for that is - based of my own experience, i do that since June - iPad Pro. But wait for Tuesday, there will be 2 Options if new iPad Pro gen is coming out:

1. You take the better, more modern, faster etc iPad Pro 2018 (3rd gen) for a similar Price

2. You take the 1.5 year old, but still VERY good iPad Pro 2017 (2nd Gen). It also already has 4gb Ram and 120 Hz Display, which makes writing awesome.

Or, iPad Pro 2nd gen 12.9" (around 50% more display area than 10.5") for a simliar Price, as ipad Pro 3rd gen 10.5" (or 11"), if size is important.

 

Size: For pure working with it, 12.9" hands down. For any "consumer-tablet" experience, carrying it around, using it to browse on the couch, 10.5" will feel more comfortable.

 

 

Why iPad? It's fast, intuitive, has a great App support, and long Updates.

Apps: Notability or GoodNotes 4 (GoodNotes 5 will hopefully come out soon, i really want that...) for example, for digital note taking, and copying a few PDFs into it to work with them (but mainly, if you write, and includde the PDF content into your notes).

If it's mainly JUST annotating the PDF itself, without writing on a seperate page (like your own summary or something), i would recommend PDF Expert. It's pretty much the best when it comes to annotating PDFs.

 

Why not Android (Galaxy Tab S4 is quite modern, and also comes with a Pen included etc):

1. Android is dead on Tablets. Google doesn't work with it anymore at all, Android itself has zero optimization for Tablet size, and neither have many Apps.

2. Apps: There are no compareable Note Taking apps, that come close to what iOS offers.

3. Longetivity: Android Updates have an even Worse (by far) Update support, than Android smartphones.

 

While Tablets like a Tab s4 is one of the best Android Tablets on the market, hands down... There are more advantages by going with an iPad Pro, even 2017 Model (2nd gen), which is a better overall package.

 

 


Alternative: Windows. Things like Surface, with a "real" digitizer. Less Models like the Yoga Book. A Keyboard, that can't be removed will be annoying as fucking hell. I personally don't need one, and never needed one: Handwriting > Typing. This way you "memorize" is MUCH better, than plain typing. And when it comes to formulas, diagrams etc, you're absolutely Lost ona  keyboard.

Surface has an attackeable Keyboard, the Type Cover. This will be neat if you're starting your Bachelor thesis. Untill then, you don't need that~

 

Windows is worse as a "Tablet". Interface is a Joke compared to iOS, and using it is much les intuitive. But it works.

It has pretty much only "Microsoft OneNote" as a note taking app. Your decision, if you like it. I could probably work with it, but in my Opinion, Notability is the better Note Taking App, also GoodNotes 4 (5 will rock everything when it comes out).

 

 

So, TL;DR:

 

1. Forget Android

2. Take iPad Pro, it's the best for digital Note Taking

3. Take a Microsoft Surface (pro/go), or a similar Alternative, if you in addition need to use x86 applications (AutoCAD or whatever), and you really want to do alot with MS Office, with the Type Cover.

 

While Microsoft Office suite is also available on ipad, and there are also Keyboards for iPad... i think, for pure Office, i would prefer the convenience of Windows (full File system, simple possibility to transfer Data via USB Sticks, etc etc etc).

 

 

At Last: I can recommend you checking out Youtube. There are tons if Note Taking videos from people, showing how they do it, and why they chose this way over another^^ Also, comparing different Note Taking Apps.


Check out, how One Note works (on a Surface, AND on iOS), check out how Notability and GoodNotes work. Interface, organisation, Features, etc.

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Android tablets aren't as bad as @Darkseth says they are. I use an Asus Zenpad 3S 10 for note taking through Microsoft's One Note. One Note is great for ALL platforms because of its cloud sync, among other features. Android on tablets is meh. But you still get the Play Store, and a big screen. 

 

iPads are great, if you get the Apple Pen. The only major downsides are cost, and iOS. Don't get me wrong, iOS is a great operating system. Its intuitive and easy to use, not to mention it has a long life span. But iPads and iOS are made by Apple. Which as we all know, Apple has some sketchy practices in repair and warranty and the infamous "Apple Tax." Personally, I would not get an iPad (even though note taking on the Pro IS fantastic).

 

Windows is a good option too, if you get a convertible or detachable like the Yoga Book and Surface. If you don't get one of these, writing will be unwieldy if not impossible. Convertibles are nice, because you can have a keyboard on demand by just flipping it around. Detachables can make the tablet experience a bit more "tablety" (more like an iPad or Android tablet). These options would be more fluid, not requiring cloud storage or USB drives for data transfer. Not to mention, Windows is often needed in engineering and computer science degrees. If you go with Windows and want to use One Note, here's a fyi: the desktop version of One Note is only available with Office Professional (for Office 2016. I do think there might be a free Windows Store version that acts like the iOS and Android counterparts). You can still use the online version in your browser though. Also, from the looks of it, Office 2019 is killing the desktop version altogether in favor of a Windows Store version. 

 

MS Office is still required for most schools. Though some schools offer the Online 365 at discounted rates (or free with enrollment in some cases) that can negate the need for a full PC in some degrees. Online Office transfers across all platforms (much like One Note)

 

Chrome OS could also be a nice option. There are convertible Chomebooks out there, and with Android app support you can get One Note. So there's another option. Plus, you can run Crouton (and some other Linux distros) on the side if you need the extra utility. The only downside can be storage and CPU power. A lot of Chromebooks have USB ports and/or SD card slots, so you can dongle or card your way to a bit of extra storage if you need it. CPU power will come down to the model you buy, make sure you get one with the power you need.

 

TLDR;

Android isn't useless, but is cheaper than iOS/iPad.

iOS/iPad is your "premium" option in tablets with mobile OS

Windows has the most power and utility, but can be bulky and unwieldy.

Chrome OS is a cheap all-purpose option, but Chromebooks can lack CPU power.

 

I know you're going into engineering, so you may need Windows in order to run software like Solid Works. But you may not, I can't say for certain. Not to mention, its all up to you, and can depend on what the price tags say.

 

Primary PC: - https://pcpartpicker.com/list/8G3tXv (Windows 10 Home)

HTPC: - https://pcpartpicker.com/list/KdBb4n (Windows 10 Home)
Server: Dell Precision T7500 - Dual Xeon X5660's, 44GB ECC DDR3, Dell Nvidia GTX 645 (Windows Server 2019 Standard)      

*SLI Rig* - i7-920, MSI-X58 Platinum SLI, 12GB DDR3, Dual EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 in SLI - https://pcpartpicker.com/list/GHw6vW (Windows 7 Pro)

HP DC7900 - Core 2 Duo E8400, 4GB DDR2, Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT (Windows Vista)

Compaq Presario 5000 - Pentium 4 1.7Ghz, 1.7GB SDR, PowerColor Radeon 9600 Pro (Windows XP x86 Pro)
Compaq Presario 8772 - Pentium MMX 200Mhz, 48MB PC66, 6GB Quantum HDD, "8GB" HP SATA SSD adapted to IDE (Windows 98 SE)

Asus M32AD - Intel i3-4170, 8GB DDR3, 250GB Seagate 2.5" HDD (converting to SSD soon), EVGA GeForce GTS 250, OEM 350W PSU (Windows 10 Core)

*Haswell Tower* https://pcpartpicker.com/list/3vw6vW (Windows 10 Home)

*ITX Box* - https://pcpartpicker.com/list/r36s6R (Windows 10 Education)

Dell Dimension XPS B800 - Pentium 3 800Mhz, RDRAM

In progress projects:

*Skylake Tower* - Pentium G4400, Asus H110

*Trash Can* - AMD A4-6300

*GPU Test Bench*

*Pfsense router* - Pentium G3220, Asrock H97m Pro A4, 4GB DDR3

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it's far more useless than iOS for Tablet purposes, and espeically for productivity (like digital note taking).

It's simply FAR superior to iOS, sadly (i used Android tablets for 3 years before i switched, still using Android smartphones, and will continue using them).

And after 2 years, you won't see any updates, let alone have an up 2 date OS.

 

And optimization. Of course you can "use" them. They won't magically stop working. But you can really feel how the OS is simply not optimized at all.

So much, i felt i could do actually "more" with the iPad Pro, compared to my Pixel C. For pure Mediaconsumption, there is not a real difference tbh.

For anything more.. not easy to explain, but all the small details make it better useable.

 

For writing: Having a digitizer + a good active Pen (Apple Pencil, Surface Pen, etc) vs. a non-digitizer Display with a 5€ Pen with just a capazitive Tip....

This is absolutely no comparison in terms like precision, hand recognition etc.

 

There is a cheaper alternative: iPad 2018. Here in Germany, <300€ when there is a deal. This is really unbeatable by any Android tablet, considering every aspect, and this is far from expensive.

 

 

I keep at my original Comment: Android is dead on Android, there won't be any optimization, and it honestly makes not much sense getting Android over iOS - especially if you want to do any kind of productivity stuff like Digital note taking, drawing etc.

 

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