Anyone Replace Their Laptop With Surface 3?

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by dstrauss, Jul 9, 2015.

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  1. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I find my S3 to be more than adequate for lap use (typing this up write now in my lap comfortably rocking in my La-Z-Boy). As one of the most vocal critics of the Surface for that particular shortcoming prior to growing accustomed to my S3, I've been converted.


    For me, the clam shell keyboard doesn't justify the weight/bulk for a device I use primarily as a slate. And again, I'm very happy with it in my laptop role (which is my ~#3-5 role vs. ~#2-3 for slate).

    Badly written (or fundamentally demanding) software can bring the beefiest of machines to its knees. I've never used a machine that doesn't have occasional stutters. The S3 (for what I use it for) is plenty smooth. The only real exception is this website (occasionally). For the work activities I run on my S3 (OneNote, Office, NoMachine) it is as smooth as my T904 was for the most part.

    On the other hand, your "beefy" TPY wouldn't even be remotely adequate to do my "real work". Several of my codes wouldn't even run due to insufficient memory, disk space, or CUDA capable GPU with enough memory. Even if it could run it wouldn't be worth the loss in speed. The code I was working on this week takes ~9 days to run on the whole data set (~3TB of raw data). I'd hate to think how long that would take on a TPY (if it could even run it, which it couldn't).

    That's exactly what it is for me. No single devices satisfies all my computing needs. I need multiple devices, and for the role the S3 fills in my computing needs, the S3 is the best compromise.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
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  2. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    So, with the .75lb battery, your 3.5lb 12.5" Notebook is 4.25lbs. I haven't carried that much weight since I purchased my old Acer 3820TG five years ago. The 3820TG got me under 4lbs. My Thinkpad X301 got me under 3 and my S3 now gets me under 2. Progress.

    For me, the issue is not only the amount of weight I have to lug on or off a plane, but "travel" is anytime I'm not in the office. The S3 is nearly half the weight of the TPY 12.5" and takes up roughly half the room. Although to some this may not seem to be much of a difference, it was enough to make me stop carrying my 3.0lb X301 around with me full time and opt for an M80TA and BT KB instead. Setting aside the performance issues related to the M80TA's limitations, the use of a "secondary" device injected the need to sync my devices to assure that I had the most current files with me at all times. The S3 has eliminated the multi-device shuffle, not to mention the cost of the secondary device.

    As much as I like the Yoga design as a notebook, it is (IMHO) an inferior tablet. It is a tablet with a notebook attached at all times. The extra weight of the TPY is always there. Not only when traveling, but when using it as well. Even with a better pen system than my S3, I would prefer to work and read documents on my S3, which feels more like a legal pad than a notebook. It is particularly comfortable to use in portrait mode, my preferred orientation for reading documents, cases and the like. The S3 is every bit as comfortable to use in this mode as my Wife's IPad Air. I can hold the S3 in one hand comfortably while reading for extended period. The TPY ... not so much.

    This is where we part company most. It is the compromises inherent in the Notebook/Tablet design over the Slate/keyboard design that makes me choose the latter over the former. I don't think the keyboard is that much of a compromise. I have been surprised how productive I can be with it. As far as performance generally, since the S3 outperforms my X301 in every category, the switch to the S3 over the X301/M80TA was a no-brainer.

    The display is a very serviceable size. It compares favorably in size to the 11.6" displays I have used in the past in my travel notebooks. My kids all use 11.6" displays on their primary notebooks. This is my daughter's Acer V5-122p. The S3 actually has more vertical real estate.
    [​IMG]

    The infinite adjustment is also not an issue for me. With an IPS display, I find viewing angles to be less of an issue. There is no problem using the 3 position display of the S3 (I would prefer infinite adjustment but I can live with the set angles).

    Finally, there is the fan. I returned my SP1 because of the fan. I find the noise unacceptable in a professional setting like a conference room or courtroom. I have gone out of my way to assure that my note-taking device is whisper quiet.

    I just don't see the mountain of compromises that others find in a transition to an S3 as a primary device. I can understand why some would prefer the more powerful SP3 or, for that matter, why you prefer the TPY. I just don't think that one is so clearly superior to the other. For me, the best solution is the S3. As I have cautioned a bazillion times, it is not for everyone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
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  3. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    PC means "personal" computer, and that's what each of us has proven over the last several pages. There is no single use case and no single personal taste. And thanks to Microsoft and a host of great oems, we can fill our needs from numerous options these days. Best of all we don't have to have evangelical holy wars; just tell our stories, share our experiences, and give folks the benefit of that in their quests - no flame wars here, just opinions. Thank you all for listening all these years.
     
  4. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    @Bronsky

    I get that portability is important to you. In Japan where we spend an inordinate proportion of our time on public transportation it is indispensable if you want to be productive while being transported. However, the U.S.is the paradise of private cars, hence I assume that you are all going back and forth in private splendor. And this is where I get confused. If you just drop off your bag on a passenger seat, what is a pound here or there?

    Twitter is to communications as haiku is to literature.
     
  5. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    I have the same battery, and it is great (except for the S3 which it wont charge), but it isn't 0.75 lb. I just weighed it and it is 1 lb. 4 oz. (1.25 lb), so it is almost as heavy as the S3 slate itself (which is what my senses told me and prompted me to check).
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
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  6. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    You're thinking about the other America. I live and work in the North East corridor. It is some times referred to as the North East Megalopolis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_megalopolis I live and work among my 50,000,000 neighbors who also live here. I spend quite a bit of time on public transportation, AMTRAK shuttling to and from DC, high speed rail into NY or Philadelphia where I spend a lot of time in the federal courts. Even when I do take the car, I tend to park on the outskirts of the more dense areas and walk a mile or two to the more centralized business areas or take a shuttle train, like the PATH that goes from North Jersey to NYC. I carry only a briefcase when I can. Weight is at a premium.

    We're not all Texans, covering the sparsely populated desert landscape in our 440ci V8 Chevy Suburbans, chewing up enough fossil fuel to power a sub-Saharan village for a month. Right Dale?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
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  7. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    Never again will I carry around 3.5-4lbs convertible tablet when I carry around the power I need in under 2lbs....If I need more power I can crank up my Azure VM.....
     
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  8. jl199954

    jl199954 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Whole ecosystem thoughts here as well. With MS' latest moves, reconsidering my Apple thoughts. I need IPhone for work systems, and love their hardware in general and MS office on it works well. IPad with Wacom quality pen might cause me to reconsider Apple.
     
  9. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    Sounds almost Japanese. I was under the impression that AMTRAK was ready for chapter 11.

    Twitter is to communications as haiku is to literature.
     
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  10. jl199954

    jl199954 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    If we judge my satisfaction with a device by mean time between (TPCR) logins (MTBL or "Meatballs"). Then my SP3 satisfaction has been quite high. Little time spent suffering deficiencies. Would like to be able to pin some windows and zoom states better... but these are largely Windows issues. So have definitely replaced my laptop with the SP3 and fewer gripes than any device yet. Physical design has a lot to do with this. (I'm a heavy pen user with a desktop at the office.)

    Now I just have to figure out what today's login mean..... am hoping it's simply my internal evolutionary/migratory clock signaling the arrival of a new season (or new device??).
     
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