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Laptop or Tablet for Computer Science Major - Already Have A Gaming Computer

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January 14, 2014 7:42:19 PM

Greetings guys and gals, I am a current senior in high school, and will be majoring in Computer Science this coming fall. I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction on what I should buy for the coming year. I currently have a pretty high-end gaming computer with all the programs and software I would ever need, and would be bringing it to the dorms with me.

I'm currently looking at 3 possible options on what I could buy, and numerous products with those options. A laptop, ultrabook, or a tablet/laptop hybrid. It would mainly be used for leisure time with mobile apps, and note taking / basic programs like Word or Powerpoint. My budget for it would be below 1K if possible. I really do not want to spend more than necessary. Would not mind waiting on a new release if any are announced for around that time (June-August 2014). Strongly considering the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 or an iPad Air/Macbook Air.

Thanks for your time.

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January 15, 2014 9:50:32 PM

Assuming that you run windows on your gaming computer, I would go with the surface pro 2 for better compatibility/familiarity. The surface pro 2 and macbook air are roughly comparable in power. One benefit to the surface though is that you can use it as a laptop where it would be almost identical to the 11" macbook air, or you can use it as a tablet for taking notes and pen input. I seriously considered the surface pro 2, I only backed out because I wasn't sure it would have enough power for serious hd video editing, so I got an older mac pro and just ordered a tegra note (to clarify the surface would've been my only device).

Just remembered this as I was typing, but if you use cloud storage/services, then the surface is the no brainer. Most universities have wifi everywhere, so you will be able to access all you stuff from either device, which is really cool. You don't need to carry around a heavy laptop, but you can still have all of your files on either device. Even if I wasn't at school, this would be enough to sell me on it. Don't get me wrong, I love iOS/os x, and while I do think they still have better apps, I think the surface pro 2 will give you the most compatibility and usability, even better than having something like an iMac and an iPad air because you will have the exact same experience on both with the former vs the latter.
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January 21, 2014 6:49:51 PM

Ah, alrighty, thanks. I've also been looking at the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, and I would also be up for any recommendations you could give.
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