Do you own a Microsoft Surface tablet? — Buying Advice / Shopping Help

So… my laptop has been very glitchy the last few weeks. It does not have a virus… but it has a limited amount of memory, and it wasn’t great to begin with because cheap was all that I could really afford on a college budget. Well… it has served me through my first two years of graduate school (and helped write the Master’s Paper). Heck, this laptop has even traveled to the Philippines and back with me. But I am now looking into upgrading my laptop to a Microsoft Surface.

  1. I want more memory. My laptop has 2 GB… the base Surface RT has 32 GB, but I will probably get the 64 GB.
  2. I want a machine that will not choke under pressure. My laptop, twice, flipped out in the middle of important class presentations. I don’t know if you have ever had to give an entire presentation from memory… but I have had to do it twice. It is NOT fun. I think my laptop just got nervous though… because it was fine during practice… but when it came time to actually perform, the laptop folded under the stress and left me hanging. My concern with the Surface RT is that I have heard there is a learning curve with the new Windows 8. I think the learning curve is what brings the Apple Ipad into the picture… because no matter which one I get, it appears there will be a learning curve. Thoughts?
  3. I want a computer that does not freeze up. One of the reasons I have not been blogging as much is because sometimes my computer has just had enough. I do not think it is overheating… I just think it was an out-of-shape computer to begin with, and keeping up with the demands I need at graduate school level was a little much for this thing. So… when I lose an hour or more a day because of my glitchy laptop, it does cut into blogging time. NOTE: Our wireless has also been cutting out. I think the laptop freezing and the wireless cutting out are two unrelated problems, because my laptop does not need to be at home to have a freezing issue.
  4. I want something lighter. Hiking across campus to teach a class, and then hiking across campus to attend a different class, with a medium size laptop is not fun. I am hoping the Microsoft Surface will be the answer to my grad school needs… but I am still in the decision making process.
  5. FINANCIAL ISSUES: This is where it gets confusing, and if you have a tax answer, I would love to hear it. I read, somewhere, that for a computer to be tax deductible it needs to be purchased during the school year. Okay… I feel like my laptop will last through the summer… maybe, and give me time to get the new Surface in the fall. However, if there is a learning curve (see #2), then I don’t want to walk into class with a brand new gadget and look incompetent in front of students while I try to learn. If I buy the tablet over the summer, even if I want to use it for school, it might not be tax deductible for education related expenses. I hate tax laws.
  6. The other financial issue… the Surface is currently running a special that ends June 30th, to buy the tablet and get the keyboard with it for free ($119 value). I’m not sure if that matters as much… because if I waited until the fall to buy it, the price for the tablet itself may drop anyway. It would be nice if I just had $900 laying around the house that I could just spend without worry… but I am a graduate student, so going out to eat anywhere is a big deal.

Anyway debate is between the Microsoft Surface and the Apple Ipad 4 (or a new laptop). I want something that will last until the end of my dissertation. Should I get a laptop? Should I get a tablet with a keyboard? It’s not like I don’t have enough to think about while in graduate school. What would you recommend? Thanks!! :-)

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About ish ism

Love. Explore. Advocate. Rejoice. Note. http://www.ishism.com
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5 Responses to Do you own a Microsoft Surface tablet? — Buying Advice / Shopping Help

  1. Jackie says:

    I’ve never used a Microsoft Surface so I can’t speak about that but I do have an iPad and a laptop. If it were me I would get the laptop. I love my iPad but there are some things that I can’t do on it as efficiently as I can on my laptop. If I was forced to give up one of them – the iPad would go. I guess it boils down to what do you need your computer/tablet to do. Then compare the choices and see which is the better fit. Anyway, not sure if this helped but I hope it did. Best of luck to you!

  2. I second the prior commenters lack of Surface experience and laptop recommendation.

    Think of any of the fancy stuff you did for grad school. A presentation? Graphics? Numerical stuff? I’m guessing that the Surface would work well for actually presenting the work, but how would it do for creating it? I don’t know, but that’s where I’d be concerned.

    • drishism says:

      I have thought of that. The Surface comes with Microsoft Office… so I could do all the same stuff on it that I do with a laptop (I think). Could I type on a screen that small? Probably. I began on computers years ago with the Apple, when it was the small white box with a small screen.

      Will I get a tablet, or a laptop? I am still unsure. But by the time fall term arrives, I will have a new *something*

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