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FeministCorgi

Ipad or Surface Pro 3 for grad school?

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Hi all,

I was recently accepted to my 1st PhD program and was just wondering which tablet to get for grad school?

 

I have not crossed over to apple products yet and still use a PC ultrabook. The ultrabook is great but the unreliability of wifi is annoying. The surface pro 3 has a 10% off for those with .edu e-mails. Do apple products have the same offer or no? 

 

I guess my main questions are : How would you rate the Durability, Organization? etc,

How friendly is the apple interface?

Are all apps/programs available across Microsoft and apple (barring Microsoft office) platforms?

Thanks =)!

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Apple does have student discounts.  I can't remember what they are, but I'm sure a quick google search will find them.  I can't say anything about the Surface Pro as I've never used one. 

As for the iPad, I've never had a problem finding apps.  I downloaded Microsoft Word to my iPad yesterday so I could edit Dropbox documents.  The interface is very useable IMO.  I've had my iPad for less than a year so I don't really want to comment on durability.  I will say that some apps on the iPad really eat up power so if you do something like read documents on it all day, you'll need to charge it at night.  I don't like typing on it, but you can always order a keyboard which are ungodly expensive in the stores but fairly reasonable online. 

 

I'd say the benefit of a non-Apple product is that the accessories seem to be cheaper. 

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I'd go with the Surface and use it to replace all your computers. You can use it as a laptop, tablet, and even a desktop if you buy the docking station and hook up an external monitor. It's nice having the same files and programs available wherever you go.

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I'm not in grad school yet, but I have been using the surface pro 3 as my computer through my senior year of undergrad and I love it. I have the model with 8gb RAM with 256gb. I use programs like SPSS, Morphologika, and MicroScribe and have no problems with it being slow/ overheating. It does everything a regular computer does and its super portable. Even though it has a larger screen than the pro 2, if I stick it in my backpack with no books or anything, my backpack feels empty.

 

Its also been great for taking handwritten notes since it comes with a pen that doesn't lag. Another plus with the note-taking function is that you can record audio while you are taking notes. So if you look back at your notes, you can tap the pen on your handwriting and it will play back the audio from the point you wrote that note (a lot like a LiveScribe pen). Only thing I dislike is the keyboard track pad can be finicky sometimes, and the kickstand can be annoying if you are looking at your laptop laying down in bed. 

 

If you are happy with your current laptop and you are just looking for a regular tablet to take with you class, go with the iPad; its cheaper than the surface. If you want something that can do everything your computer does and is super portable, go with the Pro 3. However, if I were you I might wait and see if Microsoft comes out with a surface pro 4 this fall because they seem to be releasing new ones annually.

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My co-worker and my boss both have the surface pro 3. They LOVE it and use it all the time. I'm looking at getting one later this year, hopefully to use in grad school (still waiting for an acceptance).

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I'm on the Apple ecosystem so I have an iPad. I had an iPad 2 and now I have an iPad Air. They are pretty durable - I cracked the screen of my iPad 2 into it's second year, but it was stilly totally useable and the crack was actually not that noticeable. I used it for at least a few months after that, then gave it to my husband when I bought an iPad Air and he still uses it. It's about 3 years old, I think.

 

In my opinion, it's not a computer replacement, though. You can get some tasks done on it - word processing, editing presentations and spreadsheets, reading and annotating PDFs, managing your citations/references. But I don't use it for heavy work. I mostly used it to grade student papers on the go, or edit presentations I had already created elsewhere, or to read and annotate papers when I was traveling. I think for some short trips I might consider leaving my laptop home and just bringing the iPad, but I have a MacBook Pro that I used for most of my every day computing tasks, including data analysis, when I was in graduate school. (I now also have an iMac at work in my postdoc that I use for most work tasks; the MacBook Pro is now mostly for fun or to get some work done from home.)

 

I personally would not replace my laptop with even a Surface Pro, although I might get one of those tablet computers like a Lenovo Yoga - if I were interested in switching back to Windows.

 

I haven't had a problem finding apps on the iPad - in fact, the app store for Apple is more expansive than Windows', although Windows' is quickly catching up and has everything that you might need to be productive.

 

Also, you can keep your files and programs synced across devices using cloud storage, which is relatively cheap and stable these days. $6.99 a month with Microsoft gets you the Microsoft Office suite on your tablet and computer and gives you 1 TB of cloud storage. Google Drive and Dropbox also offer relatively cheap cloud storage. (iCloud Drive is too expensive.)

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I'm getting the Acer Iconia, which does most everything the surface does but for less. It runs full Windows and my mom even has the whole Adobe suite on hers and it runs great.

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(to echo juilletmercredi)

 

If you're really set on only having one piece of technology in your life, a Surface makes sense. I wouldn't recommend having just an iPad, as that's not its purpose.

 

I have a Macbook Pro, Thunderbolt Display (docking station w/ keyboard and mouse), and an iPad Air 2. (I also have a Samsung laptop and custom Asus tower for gaming.) I can type on my iPad like a normal keyboard, but I really prefer a physical keyboard for any extended writing that I'm doing. It's really nice to be able to work on something here in my home office, and then just unplug the Macbook from the display, take it with me on campus, and keep working. The battery life is also great.

 

I use my iPad extensively while I'm teaching--there's an app I use for attendance, one for randomly selecting students, and then I can control the course manager through the browser. I also use it for ebooks in class, which I can also open (and copy and paste from) from my Mac. For me, I don't really need the iPad, but I couldn't use it in a completely effective way without also having a Mac, so that's something to keep in mind. I know some people who do use it alone, but I'm a bit of a luddite with the whole tablet revolution.

 

My university has Office 365 for all students, so I have the full MS Office suite on my laptop and my tablet. It's relatively inexpensive, if yours doesn't offer that. I also have Dropbox, MS One Drive, and Google Docs on all of them.

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I have been using Apple products for a really long time.  I have had an iPad beginning with the iPad 1.  My personal opinion is that if you were to use one particular app for a long period of time (time as in hours), than an iPad would be okay.  Other than that, I think they, and iOS in general, are the worst for productivity.  I also agree that the iPad (and iPhone for that matter) don't live up to their full potential unless paired with a Mac.  

 

Apple is not known for being philanthropic, but they do offer a student discount.  It is either a straight $100 or $50 off the product, depending on which the product. 

 

If you are just looking for something to carry to class and around campus, I would lean towards the Surface Pro, but depending on what you usage is likely to be you may also like the iPad.  However, I cannot honestly see working on a thesis or dissertation through a tablet, no matter who much of a hybrid it is.  If you are looking for something to replace your "home computer" I would suggest another laptop.  

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I use a MacBook air for travel and daily use - but I have an iMac at home and an iPad. My iPad has really held up (I've had it 3 years). However, the iPad isnt a replacement for a laptop. I can't comment on the surface pro - but I would suggest actually having a laptop for grad school.

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Have any of you heard of using a kindle fire and keyboard for taking notes in class? I have a laptop but it is 15-inches and I'd rather not lug that thing around. I'm also trying to avoid any large purchases due to the impending cross country move. But I looked up keyboards and can buy one for ~$30.

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I have a macbook air (mid-2013 model) and I think that it meets the requirements for SAS and the other statistical packages I'll need for school, but I was thinking of getting an iPad (probably the mini) to use for e-textbooks and reading documents and articles for class. I like the idea of having all my books with me all the time, without them breaking my back. I don't like reading from my laptop, and in my experience a lot of e-books aren't available unless you're using a tablet reader. Has anyone else had any experience with this? Does it sound like a good idea, or should I not bother? Thanks!!

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I love having most of my books on kindle for iPad. I also have some of them on my PC. It's so much easier to carry them around, and the Kindle versions are cheaper too. Plus all types of other documents you might need. It's really handy.

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Surface Pro is your best bet. I carry a 15" retina MacBook Pro, iPad Air, and a Surface Pro 3. If you want to take handwritten notes or annotate PDFs get the Surface. I am a fan of the Apple Ecosystem but I have been thoroughly disappointed with PDFS annotation. With the Surface I can store a PDF on Dropbox and write on it and view it from other computers. iPad storage is too sandboxed so even with iCloud Drive I couldn't find a good way to centrally locate and edit PDFs. I like OSX better but Windows still does more in my experience.

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I have a macbook air (mid-2013 model) and I think that it meets the requirements for SAS and the other statistical packages I'll need for school, but I was thinking of getting an iPad (probably the mini) to use for e-textbooks and reading documents and articles for class. I like the idea of having all my books with me all the time, without them breaking my back. I don't like reading from my laptop, and in my experience a lot of e-books aren't available unless you're using a tablet reader. Has anyone else had any experience with this? Does it sound like a good idea, or should I not bother? Thanks!!

 

Same here. I'm getting an ipad mini for graduation....for the sake of random research, foreign language learning, writing, and reading (Kindle).The same goes for having your documents on the 'go' on a smaller device as well.

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