Light-weight TabletPC with large screen, durability and stability

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by cleft, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. cleft

    cleft Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I am looking for a replacement to my current setup: a 15" workstation (for coding) and a Surface Pro 3 (for reading/note-taking/drawing). However the combined weight is straining on my shoulder, so I am looking for a more portable solution (<2kg).

    I am deciding between MS Surface Book 2 (with dGPU), Lenovo ThinkPad 370, HP Elite X2 1012 G2, Acer Switch 7 Black edition, but also open to other options.

    In short, it seems that a Surface Book would fit my needs, but the instability I had with my current SP3 (hang at booting, occasional waking-up from sleep), make me hestitate to go for another tablet from Microsoft.

    Thanks alot
    Answers to the survey questions:

    1. What is your budget?

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    Yes, if the device has proven durability (e.g. Macbook Pro or business-grade series such as ThinkPad, Elitebook, Latitude etc)

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    Windows TabletPC (either detachable or foldable/convertible is fine)
    or 1 laptop + 1 penable Tablet (iPad Pro or Windows tablet).
    Please see answer to question 8 and 10
    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    • 5 to7-inches
    • 7.1 to 10-inches
    • 10 to 13-inches
    • Above 13-inches
    Preferrably from 13 to 15.6 inches, but 12" is acceptable if there is no larger-screen device that satisfies other requirements

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

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

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)
    I will use the device extensively for coding, reading, and making hand-writing note. Though not very often, I also like to draw when I take a break.

    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?

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)
    - Coding with memory-hungry software (~300MB at start-up)
    - Reading: Chrome with 20+ tabs; PDF Reader with 5-10 documents opened
    - Note-taking with OneNote
    - Drawing with ClipStudio Paint
    - Word-processing + making presentation with MS Office and LyX/LaTeX

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

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

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    1080p or above

    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom EMR, AES or N-trig?
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Yes, and with pressure sensitivity. I prefer N-Trig/Wacom AES, unless the new Wacom EMR is parallax-free

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    Minimum 8GB RAM, 200GB storage

    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?
    No hard requirements

    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    Discrete nVidia GPU with 2GB+, or ThunderBolt3 port (for eGPU)

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    Durability. I sometimes do some heavy lifting, which is equivalent to gaming, that stresses the CPU (and GPU if available) for ~30 minutes continuously. It will make excessive heating in that duration, and certainly affects longevity of the internal parts. As for detachable tablets, I am also worry about the effect of heat to the bond between digitizer and screen panel.
    Stability. While I like the Surface Book line, I have seen many complaints about the base getting disconnected intermittenly, crashing the programs that are using the dGPU, or worse, the system. I also faced other instability issues with the current SP3 (eg hang at booting), which disrupted the continuity in my workflow (and my focus) more than often. Therefore I absolutely want to avoid that as much as possible.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  2. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I use LyX/LaTeX on my Samsung Galaxy Book 12 and it works well --- a similar machine more in line w/ your specifications would be the HP Zbook X2 (which I'd consider getting if Microsoft would get this whole select text in Microsoft Edge, and allow stylus to be used in legacy applications thing fixed)
    Starlight5 likes this.
  3. Starlight5

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

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    @cleft consider newer Thinkpads - Thinkpad X1 Yoga 3rd gen with HDR display and X380 Yoga. These are durable business-class convertibles with eGPU support; Thinkpad (Yoga) 370 you mentioned is somewhat outdated because of dual core CPU, while 2018 models come with quad-cores.
    cleft and WillAdams like this.
  4. cleft

    cleft Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Yes, I'm also LyX'ing (if it is the right word :D) on my SP3 just fine. Still the lack of dGPU/TB3 port is a deal breaker, unless I pair the SP3/Galaxy Book 12 with another laptop for my workflow.

    Zbook X2 looks really promising. Hope that I can find some used one in where I live, otherwise importing from abroad would blow off my budget with import tax included :(

    Thanks @Starlight5 ! I totally forgot the X1 Yoga. Will certainly look into it.
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