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Speaking of Costco, I'd like to mention that their extended warranty / protection plan is awesome. I got a HP pavillion a few years ago and the plastic frame broke a bit over time (it's not a mac lol, it is more fragile and it supports transport less well), I had it for almost three years & got a full refund, so I basically got a new computer for free. They also sent me a new battery once (even though it was completely my fault that it didn't work) and did not charge me anything for it. So, if anyone decide to buy a computer there: pay for the warranty, it's 100% worth it. :)

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Any thoughts on the Dell XPS 13 (2 in 1) vs the HP Spectre x360 vs the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 vs the HP Envy 13t?

I've heard mixed reviews on the Surface Pro... some people seem to have some issues with them. Also it seems that some new computers aren't coming with standard USB ports anymore? I'm trying to decide how I feel about that.

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I'm very tempted to get teh 12.9 inch ipad pro for the interactive note taking during lectures. I find transcribing things by typing under a powerpoint slide to be least likely for me to want to study or memorize. However, because some exams are conducted online, I'd need a laptop for that. Tempted to buy both tbh.

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The recent move to online examination in many schools brought up some technical requirements you might want to keep in mind. As great as ipads are for note taking and mobility, the exam software is not yet set for them. I would suggest a good mac, and an ipad in the future. The ability to sync between devices seemlesly has helped me keep everything organized and easy to access.

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On 5/28/2020 at 12:32 AM, ShadesofCyan said:

Any thoughts on the Dell XPS 13 (2 in 1) vs the HP Spectre x360 vs the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 vs the HP Envy 13t?

I've heard mixed reviews on the Surface Pro... some people seem to have some issues with them. Also it seems that some new computers aren't coming with standard USB ports anymore? I'm trying to decide how I feel about that.

I was pushing the Dell XPS series on the prior page, but cannot comment on the 2 in 1. I know that the battery life takes a hit because of the touchscreen (the 2-in-1 is sized with a larger battery, but its possible to get that same battery in a non-2-in-1 XPS to boost the battery life). That isn't to imply the battery life is bad on the 2-in-1, its just a trade-off to think about. I can't comment on the other options.

In terms of USB ports, while that is true, there are many dongles that can be purchased that are quite discrete while allowing you to utilize USB accessories. I have one now that goes into the lightning port of my XPS 15 that has four USB ports, an HDMI port, and an ethernet port for hard-wiring my internet connection (great for ensuring you are maximizing your internet connection). Best Buy has the largest selection of these, Staples has some as well (as does Amazon). Some dongles don't even have a cable if that is a concern - they just integrate right to the side of the laptop (most common for Macs though - I don't see these styles for Windows laptops as much).

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34 minutes ago, conditional knockout said:

I'm very tempted to get teh 12.9 inch ipad pro for the interactive note taking during lectures. I find transcribing things by typing under a powerpoint slide to be least likely for me to want to study or memorize. However, because some exams are conducted online, I'd need a laptop for that. Tempted to buy both tbh.

Having both really helps, ipad gives you the writing experience facilitating taking notes over lectures' notes and mac helps for softwares that ipad can't run including exam's softwares. Having both enables you to share screen, airdrop big files and sync everything, you can also watch your lecture on your laptop while taking notes in the ipad (very useful knowing next semester will pretty much be that...) :) the 12.9 inch ipad is awesome. Some people say it's too big but you get used to it, it really lets you write and see your notes as if it was a full page of paper !

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1 hour ago, conditional knockout said:

I'm very tempted to get teh 12.9 inch ipad pro for the interactive note taking during lectures. I find transcribing things by typing under a powerpoint slide to be least likely for me to want to study or memorize. However, because some exams are conducted online, I'd need a laptop for that. Tempted to buy both tbh.

I'm in the same boat! However, I am going to be waiting until Q4 2020 to make the purchase since the Apple supply chain insiders have been saying that the slightly smaller and cheaper iPad Air is supposed to get upgraded with an edge-to-edge screen, Face ID, and Apple Pencil 2 support by then.

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On 6/4/2020 at 3:48 PM, TheRealPushaMan said:

I'm in the same boat! However, I am going to be waiting until Q4 2020 to make the purchase since the Apple supply chain insiders have been saying that the slightly smaller and cheaper iPad Air is supposed to get upgraded with an edge-to-edge screen, Face ID, and Apple Pencil 2 support by then.

Good to know! Do you think it would be out by September?

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1 hour ago, conditional knockout said:

Good to know! Do you think it would be out by September?

From what I can gather, probably. Apple almost always has a special event at the beginning of September where they introduce the new iPhones + 1 or 2 other devices. All of the insiders are expecting the iPad Air 4 to be announced at that event this year. If you hold out for it, you'll likely get it by the end of September. 

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1 minute ago, TheRealPushaMan said:

From what I can gather, probably. Apple almost always has a special event at the beginning of September where they introduce the new iPhones + 1 or 2 other devices. All of the insiders are expecting the iPad Air 4 to be announced at that event this year. If you hold out for it, you'll likely get it by the end of September. 

Great. Hopefully Covid hasn't slowed down the manufacturing time. I was determined to pick up the ipad pro this month, and continue to use my 4.5 year-old PC, but now that you introduced the ipad air option to me, i might get that and a macbook air. Still debating between the two scenarios :P Any input is appreciated

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On 6/4/2020 at 3:17 PM, conditional knockout said:

I'm very tempted to get teh 12.9 inch ipad pro for the interactive note taking during lectures. I find transcribing things by typing under a powerpoint slide to be least likely for me to want to study or memorize. However, because some exams are conducted online, I'd need a laptop for that. Tempted to buy both tbh.

I ended up buying the cheapest ipad available (in addition to my 15" macbook pro) during med 2 and it was awesome to be able to jot notes down with the apple pencil during lectures - much quicker/easier to just draw on the slides than trying to type the relevant notes beside the slides... honestly if you will use both, its worth having both, IMO.

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26 minutes ago, conditional knockout said:

Great. Hopefully Covid hasn't slowed down the manufacturing time. I was determined to pick up the ipad pro this month, and continue to use my 4.5 year-old PC, but now that you introduced the ipad air option to me, i might get that and a macbook air. Still debating between the two scenarios :P Any input is appreciated

Additionally - Apple typically has a "Back to School" event in July/August where they offer some sort of incentive to buy a new MacBook from them (I got a pair of Beats by Dre for free with my MacBook purchase in 2017).

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To what extent are handwritten notes useful? I've read around that lots of people end up going back to typing notes on a laptop because it is too hard to keep up when handwriting.

If this is the case, I'm leaning towards the new XPS with touchscreen since it has a nice keyboard, and I'll be able to draw simple diagrams as needed.

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Hi! I'm a windows geek, some general recommendations (minimums) are:

- 8 gb ram

- 256 gb SSD (don't get HDD)

- Intel i5/AMD A8

- Touchscreen (and make it a 2-in-1, if possible)

- Accidental Warranty

- Windows (Apple ain't all that)

- Stylus's are meh

I would recommend shelling out a bit extra rn (I know it's hard rn, but it'll be worth it, I promise):

I would recommend a Dell XPS 13/15. Stay Away from HP. Try to buy from Costco, since they give a 3 year accidental warranty for $99 (no deductible).

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Hi guys! I'm looking for some advice if possible.

I am a Mac user (android phone though) but my MacBook broke a few months ago so I've been using my partner's MacBook pro.

At this point, I am looking at purchasing a laptop plus a tablet since I don't have a laptop anymore.

Some background info: I will be using the laptop to edit videos, will be using lightroom for photography and indesign for other projects so I definitely need something that can handle these programs, which the macbook pro has been great at.

My only deliemma is that since I need a tablet now as well for in class note-taking, I was thinking of these two options:

Option 1: the new surface book 3 (32 Gb ram)

- with this option, I can just grab the surface book 3 without buying a tablet since it is a detachable 2 in 1. It seems like it can handle the programs I will be using but I am still a bit worried that it might lag big time. I also have not used a windows computer in a really long time but I'm sure I can get use to it.

- but I LOVE the idea of just having one computer that has everything: tablet + computer

 

Option 2: iPad pro (or just iPad) + macbook pro

- this option is more costly but I have the funds saved up for that price point.

- I know that the macbook pro can handle the programs I will be using and I am more comfortable with using a Mac. I also don't have to worry about any complicated issues that might arise with the 2 in 1 design, especially if i am heavily editing videos, photographs, etc

- the ipad is just a tablet and will only be using it for notes during and after class. Other than that, I won't use it much.

 

Any insight or help would be appreciated! I am not that knowledgeable with computers and specs so please forgive me for my lack of knowledge if I said anything silly :) 

 

Thank you!

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Does anyone have any hands-on experience with a Surface Pro? I'm a bit worried the keyboard might not be good enough for typing notes and if the battery life would last the entire day

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I used to have an older one and it was great, especially at first. Over time the battery life definitely does start to decrease, but that's a fact of life for laptops. I loved how easy it was to switch between typing and marking diagrams, especially in courses where there were tons of diagrams. I do wonder if having a detachable keyboard is really a big deal for most people; I almost never disconnect mine. That being said, there are a bunch of scenarios where having a detachable keyboard is great. 

As far as typing notes, so long as you have a solid surface it's fine. The fact that the keyboard connector is soft means that if you want to type on your lap or another irregular, softer, surface it is tougher since you have the kickstand. It's not a world class keyboard but it gets the job done, although the amount of key travel is small. If you really hate it look into aftermarket solutions. 

When I need to replace my current device I'll probably get a Surface Book, since it seems to overcome some of the issues of the 2 in 1 design and a friend loves his. 

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