Replacing Surface Pro 3

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by mstoller, Dec 3, 2019.

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  1. mstoller

    mstoller Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I have had multiple Windows Tablet PC's since 2004 (Motion M1400, Fujitsu 900, Samsung Series 7 Slate, Surface Pro3 i5/256GB) and its time to get an updated system to replace the Surface Pro 3.
    I'm stuck in analysis-paralysis and hoping for some direction on this.

    I've been looking at the Lenovo Yoga C940, the HP Spectre360 13T (late 2019 version) and the Surface Pro7
    All of these have compromises.
    the C940 is a bit bigger than I would like, and no SD card
    the X360 has had some build quality issues, and I'd like to find reviews on the non-OLED version
    The SP7 is way out of line on pricing and only has that one USB-C (no thunderbolt)

    I'm willing to look at all options, but some things are requirements for me:
    form factor that works for typing on airplanes
    good inking system, I've taken all my notes on tablet PCs for 15 years, and I would like to continue to do that
    the performance for have multiple Visio images open with multiple powerpoints running, and a lot of web windows - I can do this now on the SP3, no point in losing that performance
    enough battery life for long flights and airport time - preferably, at least 7 hours, while working

    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget? $2000 Max, but prefer to be close to $1000

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished? Yes

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

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    12-14" range
    • 5 to7-inches
    • 7.1 to 10-inches
    • 10 to 13-inches - Likely
    • Above 13-inches - Possible

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

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

    7. How many hours battery life do you require? prefer at least 7 hours

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc).
    Work - email, web, lots of powerpoint, excel, notetaking

    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)
    Microsoft Office, including Visio, Powerpoint, OneNote, Excel, Word

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    Not really

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?
    Not necessary

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    I've been fine with the 2160 x 1440 on my SP3. The OLED displays look nice, but I'm not willing to sacrifice 2 hours of battery life for that.

    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 for the pen - pressure sensitivity would be nice. As long as I can take notes and create line drawings in onenote without a jittery pen, I'm happy. I do like to use a very fine line for note taking, as I take a lot of notes in meetings - and some tablets seem to have trouble with think lines

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    16GB RAM, prefer 512GB SSD. Expandable isn't necessary

    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?
    USB-C (prefer thunderbolt3), USB-A, and SD slot (full size or Micro) would be useful

    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    I need to be able to work on an airplane. The SP3's form factor works well for this - I just wish the battery would last more than 2 hours.

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
  2. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    The easiest upgrade path for you would be the Surface Pro 7......given its form factor and overall design is still on par with the Pro 3's. It you can concede the 16GB of Ram and 512GB SSD.....the 8GB Models are much more affordable. Microcenter even just had a very tempting Black Friday deal on the Pro 7.....$799 for i5/8GB/256GB with the black type cover included. The $799 i5/8GB deal has been fairly common with the Pro 5 & Pro 6....but those have been with an 128GB SSD.....a 256GB SSD option at that price, microcenter undercutted everyone. (sadly that deal is no longer active)

    I upgraded from a Pro 3 to a Pro 5 a year and a half ago and the pen performance is significantly better (for fast art/sketching anyway.....slow note taking might still be undecided)...but if you've been making due with a Pro'll have no problem with a Pro 7.

    I guess in a similar boat to you....the lack of Thunderbolt 3 was what made me opt not to get the Pro 7 and wait for the Pro 8. But the single USB-C port is at least USB 3.2 and can do more then regular the Pro 7 could at least push two additional monitors.
  3. mstoller

    mstoller Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you for the input

    I think I will end up with the SP7 with i5/8GB/256GB SSD
    it's still $999 with the type cover and the pen from Microsoft

    I guess I will search around for a good deal on a very fast micro SD card to get me the extra 256GB of space
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