2-in-1 tablet for consultant

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Arachas, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Arachas

    Arachas Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    16
    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?
    Around €1500.

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    Whatever best fits my use case and gets me the most bang for my buck.

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    It's got to replace my Macbook Pro of 5 years, so I'm on the fence between a convertible or a real tablet. My intended use case would indicate a tablet. See below.

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    • 10 to 13-inches
    • Above 13-inches
    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?
    The Netherlands

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    Preliminary research leads me to consider the new Surface Pro, the HP Spectre x2, Elite x2 or x360.

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    It feels like I'd want to get as much as possible so I won't have to think about it. In reality I am often close to a power socket.

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)
    I'm a marketing consultant, which means I spend both time at home working, in offices with clients and also tend to set up shop in a cafe or somesuch. I'm pretty mobile, but I do usually work longer stretches of time in the same place.

    I also tend to take a lot of notes. I barely ever review them, but writing helps me process information. Hence I'm considering a 2-in-1 convertible.

    What do I do on it? Honestly, nothing special. I tend to work in several browsers at once (FF, Chrome, etc), with lots of tabs. I also tend to use a dedicated email client (Airmail on Mac, Mailbird on Windows). Then there's Spotify, WhatsApp web, Calendar, etc, etc.

    Most of my work is spent in my browsers using cloud-based marketing tools and CRM systems, writing documents in Google or Word. I do occasionally game on it, but since it's older and never made for gaming to begin with, it's limited to my GOG version of Fallout 2 (but to be fair I could run something like Pillars of Eternity on it).

    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?

    I currently own a i7/8Gigs/128SSD Macbook Pro from 2012. I love its durability, build quality and the stability of the OS.

    That said, I'm not an Apple guy at all (I have an Android phone), but it was a huge step up from previous Windows machines at the time, in terms of reliability, stability and just working.

    So now I'm 5 years ahead and it still runs really well, BUT... it's been worn down, it's actually pretty heavy, the screen res is really low (1280x800... that was low in 2012!)... actually that's it, great machine.

    Considering my use case it’s likely Windows is the only option, but from what I’ve seen the OS is much improved these days.

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)
    As mentioned above: multiple browsers, Office, apps… and light gaming if possible.

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    Yeah, so, I’d love to, but it’s a “nice to have”.

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?
    If I can, sure.

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    As good as possible.

    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?
    Nice to have. Not necessary.

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom EMR, AES or N-trig?
    I will definitely want a pen, but I won’t really use it for drawing. Just pleasant and quick writing.

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    I’ve done fine with a 128 gig SSD over the last 5 years, with all this cloud space I don’t really need it. Memory, however, I worry about: how long will I last with 8 gigs? Another 5 years? Or would I need 16? Expandable would be nice then, I guess.

    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?
    I’d like to hook it up to a monitor, a keyboard, etc. HDMI would be great, but dongles are fine.

    Misc

    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    See below.

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    So, as mentioned I’m looking to replace my 5 year old Macbook and just can't make up my mind.

    I was really waiting for the new Surface Pro, but then I saw this one and thought... that looks like more bang for my buck. But then I called my account manager (at the business I tend to get my hardware) and said... consider the x360 or wait for the Elite x2 that's released later this year.

    I would love to get something that's stylish, mobile, ensures I can replace my paper notepad, is DURABLE and comfortable to use for longer stretches of time.

    Will any of these machines last me another 5 years, or is that just unrealistic? I mean not just in the durability of the chassis, but also the amount of RAM and the processor speed.

    So, what would you recommend?

    nSP?
    Spectre x2?
    Elite x2?

    GO!
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  2. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Adding my comments, roughly the same as the other thread this came up in...

    I looked at the x2, nSP, Galaxy Book, and Acer Switch. I ended up with the nSP and am delighted with it.

    My use case is (similar to you) that I'm in consulting, and so I spend time working docked in my home office; or in meetings at client sites; or traveling in a plane, coffee shop, etc.. I use office tools, browser, email, and MS Project. My "other" is I'm also a photographer and have about 75,000 images in Lightroom. I've been using Macs for many years, but switched back to Windows at work when I changed jobs a few years back. I wanted to converge everything into one device, and I didn't want to carry a separate tablet and laptop for long travel.

    I will also say that part of my requirements was to have something that helped portray the consulting image I wanted in front of clients, so that kind of pushed me away from things like Acer and Samsung. The nSP I think portrays a great professional image.

    I was at a client and a conference last week, and spent several days nearly all day doing interviews and taking notes in OneNote by pen. I was getting about 8-9 hours of work time on a charge. I put it through its paces quite a bit and got a lot of admiration from colleagues on the quality of the display, and the overall package. I guy that works for me who was traveling with his Dell company laptop, an iPad, and a personal Macbook, confessed to me upon return that he is drooling about the Surface Pro and had he not just bought the Macbook, he'd be buying one.

    Things I like - the pen experience is wonderful and feels like using a fine gel marker, but better because of all you can do with colors, erasing, etc.. battery life is great.. no fan so totally silent... keyboard and trackpad are both very good. I also have the dock that I use in my home office to drive a 4K display and then have the nSP tilted in note taking mode as a dedicated OneNote notebook on my desk.

    I played around with the HP x2 a bit in Best Buy and the Galaxy Book at Verizon. The x2 is a great value, but the battery life isn't great, has a fan that some have said can get loud, didn't care for keyboard, and finally cosmetically the shiny gold kickstand isn't the image I want as a consultant. The Samsung doesn't have a kickstand at all so has a strange keyboard cover, and it looks very similar to an iPad which I was not particularly interested in. Otherwise its pretty good and has a gerat display. I just liked the total experience of the nSP better.

    I don't see the demands for faster processors being highly different for the next several years, so I think the i5 will be fine for that timeframe. My old Mac devices are older than 5 years, and still fine. The bigger question you raised is about the battery. I'm sure in 5 years it will degrade some, and nothing can be done about that. The issue with most of these tablets is they are nearly unserviceable because glue is involved in assembly. So I think it comes down to making sure you will get your money's worth from it during that time.
     
  3. Starlight5

    Starlight5 So what if I'm crazy? The best people are.

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    56
    @Arachas HP Elite X2 1012 G2 is excellent except lack of WiGiG (which you probably won't ever need), so that would be my main recommendation. If you want lots of tabs 16GB is a much better choice, since you won't be able to upgrade it. Since you are considering Elitebook X360, take a look at Thinkpad Yoga 370 - it may last a little bit less on battery, but has much brighter (and thus outdoor-friendlier) display, expandable RAM (in configurations without built-in LTE modem), and it is noticeably cheaper than competitors which may be a deciding factor given your budget. All machines I mentioned are reliable business-class offerings, unlike premium consumer Surface Pro, meaning they are much more durable, have better keyboards, easily upgradeable SSDs and can be serviced by yourself. Additionally, each of them supports USB-C & Thunderbolt 3 docking stations, so you will be able to use single cable to appropriate docking station to connect both peripherals and power, for increased comfort. b

    @convergent when you write HP X2 it bears no meaning at all unless you mention exact model. There are HP Spectre X2, HP Pro X2, and HP Elite X2 series - and different generations of each series are unlike each other in many aspects, not to mention the machines from different series.
     
  4. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Spectra... sold in Best Buy.

    I guess we'll agree to disagree on whether the Surface Pro is a professional or consumer machine. Compared to the HP Spectra, the Surface Pro to me is more professional grade than the Spectra and on par with the business class Lenovo and Dell laptops I've used over many years. The only place I've ever come in contact with anyone using one was in a business context. A shiny gold plated kickstand doesn't really scream professional to me. Can't comment on the upgrade-ability of the HP machines; but the Surface Pro is definitely not.
     
    Starlight5 likes this.
  5. Arachas

    Arachas Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    16
    @Starlight5 I have no idea what WiGiG even is, so I would say your assessment is correct. ;)

    Truth is, if 16 Gig is what I need to last another 5 years, I will splurge some extra bucks on a machine that's right for me. But you're saying I can upgrade an Elite x2 in a few years with extra RAM?

    I don't think I mentioned the EliteBook, I mentioned the x360 (which I think is another Spectre model - but now that I think of it, you're probably pointing me towards another business model here, which I then suppose is a good thing!). Looking at the EBx360, though, you might be on to something.

    But if we're going down that route, don't I want to consider a Dell XPS?

    I really don't care for the Lenovo machines in terms of aesthetics, I would definitely pay a little extra for a gorgeous HP machine.

    I'm still partial to a tablet though.

    @convergent I'm in the Netherlands, we don't have Best Buy. :) I do have a business account with Coolblue, our biggest electronics provider, which is usually very competitive in pricing.
     
  6. Starlight5

    Starlight5 So what if I'm crazy? The best people are.

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    56
    @Arachas you can upgrade RAM on Thinkpad Yoga 370; on Elite X2 it's soldered and thus not upgradeable. If you want a machine to last 5 years, there's no way around 16GB RAM, otherwise it will be technically obsolete by then. You can upgrade SSD on everything mentioned here except Surface Pro, though. Elitebook X360 is a great machine except dim screens which are viewable outdoors only in the shade. XPS & HP Spectre are (premium) consumer machines - they won't last 5 years unless babied. XPS 13 2-in-1 is nice, but passively cooled Core M CPU is not good for gaming. Spectre X360 13 is also a nice machine. Neither is bright enough for direct sunlight, though.
     
  7. Arachas

    Arachas Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    16
    @Starlight5 I'm not too worried about outdoors, honestly. As mentioned in the OP, it's nice to have but not necessary.

    So would you consider a Macbook Pro a consumer machine? Sure it's got dents and scratches, but otherwise operates perfectly. That's what I'm going for.

    Oh and about gaming: it's nice to have, but if the Dell is otherwise a good bet... I'd be interested.
     
  8. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    71
    The Best Buy comment was in response to the other post from Starlight5 not knowing which x2 I was referring to.

    With regard to 16GB being necessary to have the machine make it 5 years, I don't really agree with that. RAM need is dictated by use cases and what apps you run. Microsoft has settled on not releasing another OS, and will simply make incremental tweaks to Windows 10. And the apps I'm using aren't going to substantively change... MS Office, browser, email, Lightroom. Sure it would be great to have more, and as prices continue to go down newer machines will eventually bump up the entry level; but that doesn't mean the machine won't run well. I have a 4GB MacBook Air that is well past 5 years old and it still performs as well as it did when I bought it. With modern computers having SSD instead of hard drives, even if you started paging then the slowdown would not be huge.

    If you expect that your usage will be dramatically different in 5 years... take up editing 5K video, virtual reality, or something... then that would be what drives more RAM usage, not the number of years that passes.

    The one thing that will "age" is the battery. So in 5 years your battery life will have diminished quite a bit. Processors may also become more power efficient. No way to buy a machine now to account for that.
     
  9. Starlight5

    Starlight5 So what if I'm crazy? The best people are.

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Using browser with a lot of (20+) tabs constantly and one-two more browsers with less tabs occasionally like OP, I dare say 8GB is bare minimum for such workflow. Resorting to pagefle is just bad, SSDs are still nowhere as fast as RAM - so it better be avoided at all cost. I currently have 8GB RAM in my main machine, and have to close browser when running demanding games, not to run out of available RAM. At least I can (and will) upgrade it later; most convertibles lack such possibility. RAM demands, especially for browsing, will only rise in time, and 8GB is not much for described workflow even now.
    Battery replacement is a trivial procedure on many machines, especially business-class. Last 5 years processors performance didn't change much, Sandy Bridge CPU from 2012 perform just great - and some machines from that era also deliver excellent battery life on par with modern devices. What really improved, however, is GPU performance, displays and interfaces.
     
  10. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Well I guess we'll have to wait and see. I don't see web pages getting a lot heavier. I expect we'll see continued efficiency gains in web standards. But time will tell. I don't see any big problems even on my 4GB MacBook Air with many browser tabs. That said, I don't have a need to have 20+ open so if it did slow down then I'd probably just close some tabs.

    On the processors, I meant the battery life improvements that the last cycle gave... SP4 vs nSP is a pretty big battery life bump. I expect that will continue to get better in coming years.
     
Loading...

Share This Page