Originally Posted by kckyle
i know my academic choices seems bizarre but, my 2008 macbook is not really up to the task anymore, i'm starting law school next semester so i'll need a pretty good keyboard, but on the other hand i also study engineering, which means i go through about 2-3 notebooks last semester just from formulas and derivatives, i think i narrowed it down to the surface pro 3, or 4 if that comes out before i make the jump. is there anything out there that has just as good stylus + keyboard combo or is the surface pro 3 my best bid.
I would go for the new Surface 3, Surface Pro 3 or Surface Pro 4 for functionality.
Reason is that, I have uses all 3 different tablet to take notes: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 32GB 2014 Edition, Surface Pro 2 and iPad Air with stylus. Yes, I just said, iPad Air.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition:
+ Great for note taking
+ Awesome S-Pen (Wacom)
+ Only Android tablet that can take notes.
+ Can take advantages of ****load of Android Apps
+ Less than 10 hours
+ Nice screen and resolution
+ Great camera (for taking pictures of papers, whiteboard or whatever)
+ Micro-SD Card Slot
+ Great for watching movies/TV Shows
+ Splitscreen function
+ Its Android. You get to customize how your screen would look.
- ****ty Android Note Taking Apps (Literally, it is absolute crap)
- 16:9 Aspect Ratio is awkward at Portrait use
- Long time charging. It can take you at least 4 or 5 hours to get full charge.
- S-Pen is too small that came with the tablet
- Need to switch between multiple apps for your notes. Need App for .doc/.ppt/.pdf/etc.
- Horrible offscreen button
- Recent Button is crap. It is built inside of Home Button. You have to Tap and Hold Home button to open Recent Menu. But it works 70/30 chance. Most of the time, you will open S-Voice which it is ANNOYING!
- Replace Recent Button for Menu Button which it is also crap. Randomly open S-Finder which I don't want.
- Horrible offscreen or conserve battery while at sleep. Every minutes, it eat your battery life which it can be annoying when you have a long class.
- Lacked of App support for the Splitscreen function.
- Lacked of Accessories.
+/ - Replace it with a third party stylus
+/ - Screen can get pretty slow, but you can always root it.
In the end, you only buy if you are a hardcore Android user or Samsung fan. If you are neither and prefer taking notes over brand or ecosystem, then look elsewhere.
I have use it, and it was okay but I went back to my iPad Air because I missed my GoodNote App and which IMO it is the best note taking app on any mobile Apps and probably on par with OneNote.
iPad is great at conserving battery life when at sleep, and I don't use my iPad Air at school other than note takings, checking emails, surfing, listening to music and playing few iOS games. I always get better battery life percent compare to Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.
iPad Air with Stylus:
+ Awesome 4x3 aspect ratio for Portrait use
+ Great at conserving battery life while at sleep mode. You can get at least 3 or 4 days if you use it wisely without charging.
+ Fast charging
+ Great Apps
+ Ton of accessories.
- Apps cost money
- No first party Apps and Stylus
- Can last between 6-8 hours at full use.
- Lacked of storage
- iPad is slightly pricey
+ / - Have to use third party App and Stylus for handwritten note taking Apps
+ / - If you are able to find a good App and Stylus, it would be awesome.
Like I have talked about iPad Air. It is a decent tablet. Of course, there are ups and downs about it. I am not an Apple Fanboy or anything. I just want a tablet that know how to conserve battery life and being able to take decent notes.
Surface Pro 2:
Although it isn't Surface 3, Surface Pro 3 or Pro 4, at least you will get a general idea.
+ It is a PC Tablet.
+ Download any Windows Programs or Software
+ Has Pen Input (Wacom or N-Trig)
+ Awesome kickstand
+ Connect to external display
+ Ton of functionality
+ Ton of flexible.
- Being a PC Tablet, battery life is crap. You can last less than 5 or 6 hours on full use. (Well, that is on Surface Pro 2. It may be different on other).
- Too bulky and heavy to use.
- Awkward Portrait use with its 16:9 aspect ratio.
In the end, although the battery life on Surface Pro 2 doesn't last as long. It has better functionality and flexible, you can do mean cool things with it.
I would still recommend Surface 3, Pro 3 or Pro 4 over any of those 2 mobile OS tablet. Even though I did said I like my iPad Air, the lacked of multitasking or being productive kind of bother me.
If you went for PC Tablet, what you can do is open any of your .pdf/ .doc/ .ppt file up and "Print it to OneNote). Then it will send that file to OneNote Pages, and you can take notes side by side or on top of it.
It is really awesome, and I wish I knew about it before I returned Surface Pro 2 back.
If you do go for Surface 3, Pro 4 or Pro 4, you will find the OneNote and N-Trig with its dedicated button will be useful. Especially with that awesome 3x2 aspect ratio for portrait use.
By the way, if you have Microcenter store around you, you can buy a Refurbished Surface Pro 3 i3/4GB/64GB for $599. Then buy an Type Cover on Amazon for $80 dollar, and you can get the total w/o 1 year accidental warranty for less than $700 dollar.