Help Deciding, Surface vs iPad w/retina

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by MattyS, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. MattyS macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2013
    Ok so I'm a student and I want a device to TYPE notes with. I have a laptop that is decent but the darn thing is to heavy I don't wanna lug it around anymore. The reason I considered surface is because I use one note on my laptop and surface has that included and has that snazzy little keyboard and I want to be able to type my notes and sync it to my skydrive.

    The opposing side here is that I have read reviews on surface and it seems to be a buggy, slow and mediocre device according to the press. My question is does ipad have any good keyboard attachments and any good note taking apps that might be similar to one note that would basically match the functionality of surface.

    Appreciate any advice
  2. ihakim macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2012
    Stanford, CA
    I own an ipad because my school requires that I do. I tried out the surface Pro at a Microsoft store and was extremely impressed with the user experience in one note. The Wacom digitizer on the surface is wonderful. I'd say go for it, but wait until they release the second gen surface. It'll suit your usage better than an iPad if you want it strictly for annotations and typing notes.
  3. scottw324 macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    There is a OneNote app for the iPad that you can use as well that syncs with skydrive so you do not need the surface for that.

    The Surface does not come with the keyboard cover, it is an additional accessory that you have to purchase. There are blutooth keyboards out there for the ipad and ipad mini that can be used if you do not want to type on the screen.

    I am using a Logitech version right now to type this on my mini. I have it left over from when I had an iPad 3. I find the ipad mini keyboards too small and cramped so I will probably keep this one for use with my ipad mini. The alternative is to buy or use the apple blutooth keyboard and pair it with my mini for use.

    I played around with the surface at a MS store and I have a laptop at home with Win8 on it and overall I am just not really impressed with it. I like the Win7 environment and that is the laptop that I use at home, with Win7 on it. The Win8 laptop is there for when my dad calls asking me to figure something out for him since his desktop is Win8.

    Either way it comes down to personal preference. Chose what is best for you and meet your needs.
  4. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Everything he said.

    Go iPad.
  5. sanook997 macrumors regular

    May 29, 2012
    Another thing you may want to consider is whether or not you will be using MS Office products as well as one note, if so go for the surface if not then for me its hands down iPad.
  6. madgibbon macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2013
    You haven't said which Surface RT or Pro. The Pro with the keyboard will do everything the average Windows 8 notebook can do. If you want one device which does everything but don't mind paying a premium the Pro might be the answer.

    The RT however is much more restricted as it cannot run standard Windows applications, only those from the Windows Store compiled for ARM processors. With the recent price drop the RT is quite good value for the money. I have in fact just purchased one..... and now sending it back!!!

    I was impressed by the build quality, the OS was stable and responsive most of the time. However while the screen is good, its not a patch on my iPad 4. The text on the iPad is noticeably better and easier to read, the color reproduction is in a different league. The 16x9 aspect is only good for watching movies and leaves webpage and PDFs either tall and narrow or squashed and wide. There are lots of quality apps for Windows RT but most are lacking compared to iOS. Finally iOS while looking a little dated still works much better on a tablet than Windows.

    I have a Windows phone (Lumia 820) and love it just as much as my iPhone 5. However there is no other tablet I would trade my iPad for and I've used a lot.
  7. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    The surface keyboard cover does not let you easily use it on your lap, it balances precariously, whereas there are many keyboard cases for the iPad that do.
  8. MattyS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2013
    Ok I didn't know that ipad had a one note app that helps ALOT. I was talking about the surface rt because the pro is a full laptop and like I mentioned I'm not looking for a laptop replacement.

    I want to go checkout the one note app and see if it's good because I know microsoft wants to sell surface and I'm worried the app will be ******. Im excited though because I wanted an ipad but I can't justify it unless it performs what I'm buying it for. Right now I'm leaning toward the ipad with a Logitech keyboard.
  9. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    I you're a student and want something good to type on but light and portable... Definitely the 11" MacBook Air.
  10. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    He already have a decent laptop he does not want to replace so iPad is fine for him. :apple:
  11. irDigital0l Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    I'm not sure an iPad/Surface can replace efficiency of typing notes compared to a laptop.

    Tried the surface, their keyboard cover things suck, its really thin but you there's no sense of 'typing' and pressing down the keys.
  12. scottw324 macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    There are two types of keyboard covers for the surface. First there is the Smart Cover style version. No physical moving buttons on it, just sensors under the material to detect key strikes. I tried this one and it is extremely painful to use. you have to really kind of hit the key/button/whatever hard to ensure it registers. Definitely not ideal. The second cover is like a logitech cover that does have actual moving keys on it which is pretty cool. I did not try that one out though unfortunatly so i can't speak on feel and quality.

    As for the ipad, I use the logitech keyboard regularly with it and it works great. Has function buttons at the top for play, pause, next, copy, paste, home, etc... that work with the ipad as if you were using the controls on the screen. For me the feel is just fine and the versions that have come out since I bought mine look even more confortable to use. I am not a fan of the mini versions since they feel too small and cramped but the versions for the full size ipad, one of the versions I am using now, work just fine for me.

    Also, what I like about the blutooth keyboards for the ipads is the battery last forever. I can't remember the last time I charged this thing. A few months ago probably. To this day I have not actually run the battery down to nothing before charging it. I periodically plug it in but it just keeps on ticking.

    Hopefully this all helps the OP to make a decision on which direction to go.

    Oh, and this was all typed while my ipad mini is sitting in the groove of the keyboard which is on my lap.
  13. appleisking macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2013
    OP, if you can reasonably make a trip to an Apple Store or have a friend that has an iPad you can try out onenote there to see if it works for you. That being said there's also pages as a good word processor on the ipad.
  14. MattyS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2013
    Yes I am making the trip this weekend to the apple store, I'm going to try it out. I do understand that it won't be a laptop keyboard but that's ok I'm not looking to write essays on it, but just use one note so I want a good keyboard experience but I'm looking for it to be as light as possible and still get all my notes in one place digitally.

    Btw everyone, thank you for your honest opinions and help I really appreciate it. I'm reading reviews and stuff but I am always more comfortable with real owners advise.
  15. pogoyoyo macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2010
    Toronto, Canada
    ****you don't want a tablet****
    The smart cover thing with the keyboard on surfaces sucks pretty bad. It's pretty much flat and you dont know what keys you're hitting unless you're looking at the keyboard and if you're like most people, you don't look at the keyboard when you type.
    So that "nifty" feature isn't so nifty. iPads have some really nice keyboards out there.
    But honestly, the money you'll shell out for an ipad + keyboard or surface with a different keyboard, you may aswell get a base model macbook air, maybe a used one even if you don't mind that.
    11.6" screen will be a bit larger, and its a full fledged computer that's only 0.94lb heavier than an iPad with retina display.
    It'll probably replace your hefty laptop too, so its a plus plus. Battery life will probably kill the iPad and your laptop combined, lol
  16. MattyS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2013

    This is tempting and you make sense, but my issue with a macbook air is that ive never had mac before, and I use office. I am a finance student and use power point and excel a lot for projects so Idk if getting a macbook air as the all in one replacement would be wise. I use skydrive and one note for notes and i'm not sure if I want to switch to the mac equivalent.

    When I go to the apple store I will check one out. It really is a beautiful piece of hardware and that new battery life looks awesome
  17. 960design, Jul 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013

    960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    I have two Surface Pro's sitting in my office. They were returned after we sent them out for testing. When I ran the surface through our testing just to make sure it would work for us, it passed everything. It is pretty snappy, quicker than the reviews I read and functioned perfectly.

    Having said all that, the testers returned them after 4 months and 6 months. They wanted their iPads back.

    I currently use an iPad 4 for work and play, if that means anything at all ( my job is to play with new tech sent out by companies ).

    I don't think the Surface is bad, I just prefer an iPad.

    PS.. I agree with the above. Grab a mac air for $999, get your $50 educational discount and the $100 for Pages, Numbers and Keynote and still have $40 left over for whatever else you may need. The battery life really is amazing. Our tech uses it all day with no problems. My mac book pro only lasts about 5 - 7 hours. The switch is a little bit of a learning curve, but thousands have switched before you and any issues you have can easily be googled and solved. I do not recommend Office for Mac, just go with the Apple equals. Once you play a bit with the cloud and airdropping files, you'll wonder how you ever got along without them.
  18. oldhifi macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2013

    what he said..
  19. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Use Bootcamp to install Windows on a Mac, and you can forget that it isn't a Windows machine. I'm doing this on a MacBook Air and an iMac, and they are the best Windows notebook and desktop I've ever used.
  20. Zerilos macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2012
    Forget the Surface RT, I've heard a lot of bad things about the problems it has (though I'd kill for a Surface Pro). As far as tablets are concerned it's the iPad or the Note 10.1 that you need to be looking at.
  21. rowspaxe macrumors 68020


    Jan 29, 2010
    Agreed, until windows 8. I never liked mac os--i find it ugly and gimmicky--but it seems windows is going on a bad path and i need to reconsider
  22. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Since we don't know if the OP touchtypes, your assertation that the nifty feature isn't nifty is baseless. I've been typing a long time and I do a combination of both.

    The iPad may have nice keyboards options, but they are either cases or separate devices which means they are more of a hassle to carry around by virture of the extra weight or bulk. I would love to have a smart cover with a keyboard built in.

    As always, the OP should try both options.
  23. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Another thing worth mentioning...

    Surface rt is a dead ecosystem and I wouldn't be surprised if MS quietly dropped support sometime soon.

    Also... The surface pro with Type keyboard is actually thicker and heavier than the 11" MacBook Air. The new haswell MBA really is awesome in terms of speed and battery life.
  24. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    I can't believe anyone didn't mention this earlier. There are only four OS's you can currently rely on for the medium term: Windows, OSX, iOS, and Android (although the last only really has apps for phones). Windows RT is already a dead duck.

    And do try the keyboards before you plump for a Surface Pro -- the flat one is awful and the real keyboard one is only not-quite-so-awful. No comparison with the 11" Air for typing on. At least with an iPad you can try out a range of keyboard/mount things and choose the one you like most.
  25. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    I still use my Zune, to prop up my iPad. Hope that helps.

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