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Laptop/Tablet for School

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To current dental students,

I’m considering purchasing something new for school for studying and note-taking. My notes were primarily hand-written in undergrad so I’m thinking of going digital with an iPad and pen combo. I have a 4-year old laptop that still works well so I figured I could use that for online tests and programs that aren’t supported by the iPad. I’m also considering a Surface Pro of some sort as a hybrid between a laptop and tablet with which I can just replace my older laptop entirely.

Any recommendations would be much appreciated, thanks!

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+ excellent battery life. Very important if you get put in some room with limited amount of wall outlets. 
+amazing portability. 
+Versatile apps that you can’t get on windows (ie. Notability which allows you to record and take notes at the same time. I wish I had this in dental school). 
+Much better tablet experience than windows (I know because I’m a techie and I never want to use my Surface GO as a tablet). It’s also much thinner and lighter than a surface so you can read notes for longer without hand fatigue. 
-Expensive if you want to have a true laptop replacement experience (Ipad Pro + magic keyboard is going to be much more expensive than entry to mid level surface)

- File management is still a headache. It’s doable but you have to be prepared for workarounds. I currently use a iPad Pro and it took me a while to learn how to use the file system. 

-No dual monitor support. If you get a ipad, go into the apple store and try to have two apps side by side. Make sure that is comfortable for you cause that’’s what you’re stuck with. This may change in the future it’s a software update but don’t buy the ipad with the expectation that apple with change it anytime soon. 

-Multitasking is still a pain. It’s much more manageable with split screen and slide over but floating windows is still better in my opinion.


Windows Surface: 

+No work around required with huge backlog of applications. If you want to be productive and efficient, this is your best option. Don’t need any work arounds to get something done. You won’t feel limited like you sometimes do with an ipad. 
+Full dual monitor support. Great if you want to study at your desk. 
+Still has pen support and it’s actually pretty good. 
-battery life is acceptable but you’re not going to get the 10 hours of use like you would on a ipad if you push it.
-It’s going to be heavier than the Ipad. 
-Windows is just not very good at operating as a tablet. If you just want to read and edit PDFs that’s fine, but think of this more like a Laptop that can do tablet things the few times you need it. 

I graduated from dental school only a couple years ago but the ipad has already improved a lot since then. When I suggest is if it’s in your budget, try to get the best of both worlds. Get a Ipad 6th or 7th gen which supports Apple Pencil along with the Surface pro 6 used. If you find some good deals on these used, you’ll still save more money than buying a iPad Pro and Keyboard. I have a podcast about my experience of using the iPad Pro full time as well here if you want to have a listen: https://anchor.fm/we-love-tech/episodes/We-tried-to-use-the-iPad-pro-as-our-only-computer-edidlk

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