2 in 1 for CS Major

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Chellby, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. Chellby

    Chellby Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello everyone! So I'm about to start classes online for computer science and need a working laptop/tablet.

    I used to dabble in digital art, but stopped because kids, and insufficient equipment. So that's why I'm looking at 2 in 1.

    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?

    But willing to go up to $1000 if it's more power for the price.

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    Most definitely

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?

    I guess notebook convertible. I need something with a physical keyboard to do coding and whatnot.

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?


    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?


    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?

    No dislikes. My gamer husband likes to say Dell sucks, but I'm open to anything

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?

    I'm going to be connected to outlets constantly so I'm good there.

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet?

    Online schooling for CS, some dabbling in art and of course some web browsing.

    9. Do you have an OS preference? For example, do you own an iPhone and a Mac, or are you a Windows fan? Do you own an Android device and use Google services frequently?

    For classes, it has to be windows 10/linux

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)

    At the moment, I'm not sure for classes. But art, I used paint tool Sai

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.

    Not really. I'm more console.

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?


    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?

    Honesty, I don't notice much difference.

    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?


    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom EMR, AES or N-trig?

    Yes. I'm used to Wacom but I can adapt to anything.

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?

    I would like 256 ssd but I can survive with a HDD for the right price. RAM is a minimum 8gb, recommended 16gb for school

    2. What sort of inputs do you require, if any? Would you like full-sized USB and SD card slots? Are microUSB and microSD ok? Do you require HDMI inputs?

    It doesn't matter.
  2. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    To Preface since you're new. I'm finishing up a coding bootcamp....it was a 6-month WebDevelopment (HTML, CSS, JS, Node, Express, React) course that met in a class room setting 3 times a week, but shifted to online only since the Corona pandemic began. So I'm basing my answer based on my experience.

    My top recommendation would be a Surface Pro 7. More then $500....but Microsoft routinely has a sale of $799-ish for the i5/8GB/128GB Model with the Type Cover included. The Markup for the 16GB and/or 256GB models are quite substantially more money....so I would opt for the $799 deal and just get a 128GB micro SD card for the additional storage. My recommendation in the Surface Pro is simply because of its versatility. The type cover is a fine keyboard and I code on it no problem....also baring few EMR devices....the Surface Pen in the Pro 7 is substantially better then the bottom of the barrel MPP most other laptops get if they have a pen. So if you want to use it for Art....You're getting one of the better systems out there.......the pen is additional charge.....The normal Surface Pen is ok....but I find the newer (and more expensive) Slim Pen offers a much better drawing experience.

    I do not have the Pro 7, but I have the Pro 5 (which is virtually the same aside from Specs and the USB-C port)....I was gonna use that for my Bootcamp, but I ended up buying the HP Zbook x2 to use for my class. I don't regret that purchase, and I love my Zbook....but in many ways the Surface Pro is the superior device. The Zbook because of its heft, and weight is far more limited where I can use it. It has a short battery life and its clunky and industrial......where as the the Pro almost feels like a toy by comparison....not in break-ability....but its simpler design, aesthetic, and general ease of use. Like if leave my desk to continue work on my bed, patio, or couch....I grab my Surface Pro over the Zbook in all cases.

    Honestly a cheaper Pro 5 or Pro 6 would probablly suit you just as well....but the Pro 7 has one major advantage.....it has a USB-C port with the 3.2 spec.....that allows the Surface Pro to push two additional 4k monitors.

    If I can give a general recommendation for Coding or doing an on-line class......get more Monitors! I have a 4 monitor desktop rig and for my inclass bootcamp, I got a 15-inch USB-C monitor to use in class with the Zbook. Since the shifting to online....I'm now hooking my Zbook up to two of my 29'inch ultra wide monitors.....ideally I like to have the whole Zoom/Slack **** on one monitor, Visual Studio Code on the 2nd monitor, and an open web/broswer or documentation on the 3rd monitor. I honestly would have been driven insane if I had to do the class with one monitor or a single laptop. When you have to dissect code repositories with like 10 or more java-script files.....more monitors just makes it so much easier. If you don't have extra/spare monitors......a TV would even suffice quite well.

    For a TV you'd have to get an HDMI to USB-C adapter.....and for monitors.....Display Port or HDMI to USB-C (to hook two monitors to the Pro 7's USB-C port, you'll def need an adapter.)
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  3. Chellby

    Chellby Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you for the great advice! I ended up getting a Acer Aspire 5 slim laptop because my husband informed me he wanted to get an iPad to hopefully start drawing himself! So I told him I can get myself a decent traditional laptop (that I will upgrade some parts in the new year) and I'll steal his iPad when I want to draw.
    sonichedgehog360 and Marty like this.
  4. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    It's what husbands are good for. ;)

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