Ideal LapTop for Academics/Professors in socio-economic sciences

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by viktit88, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. viktit88 macrumors member

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    Russian Federation
    #1
    Dear friends!

    My thread was https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...rs-academics-instead-of-pc-or-laptop.2043676/

    But after, I have bought iPad 10.5, and I'm not completely satisfied with the purchase.

    Many common things for me it turns out to do twice as long as usual.
    Therefore I am selling iPad and return to the choice of the ideal laptop for everyday working life.

    Typing (10 hours a day), so I need ideal keyboard experience, Mail (hundreds of them every day, because I do a lot of Admin work too), so I have to respond on them quickly, that is why integrated Lte modem will be more efficient. (Maybe, if it will be MB or MBP, I can use iPhone like a modem or external Lte modem, but I think, that it is less comfortable).

    Programs - MS Office 16 + extra add-ins like PowerPivot, PowerMap, then SPSS, Stata, R, Statistica, Acrobat DC, Finereader, SmartDraw, Adone pr-ms, etc.

    What do You think - to buy MB or MBP and also to download Windows on it, or to buy Windows laptop (f.e. thinkpad, vaio or panasonic)? Which model? I need Your experience, dear proffessionals. Many thanks!
     
  2. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 65816

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #2
    If you're planning on running Windows on it as the main OS then you'd be best to buy a Windows laptop, as you're paying a little premium for a Mac and it's not optimised for it. Also and it's been a while, but last time I used SPSS on a Mac I remember it wasn't well optimised for the OS and ran better on Windows (Although I swear they hadn't actually updated that software since it was brought out).

    You can tether your iPhone to any Apple computer (iPad/Mac) and use its mobile data, it's very simple and just 1 click under WiFi for personal hotspot. I don't know how well that works in Windows as you'll need some kind of App for it, but there's likely an Android solution.

    If you're determined to get a Mac then any will do the job for you, you may find the 12" a little restrictive on size. The 13" no-touchbar model (Base) would be a good choice, or the 2015 15" if you disliked the keyboard. I'd recommend an external numberpad for data entry on anything though. You may want to just go to an Apple Store and check some out, you need the 12" but if you can afford and like the 15" then it's all good.

    As for Windows computers, there's plenty of reasonably priced high end models. Dell XPS (Get 16GB RAM and 1080p display if you care about battery life), a lot of people suggest Lenovo Yoga things (I personally won't touch Lenovo, they may have changed but used to be very cheap construction - they brought out ThinkPad a while ago to try build some reputation). Panasonic make those tough book things still I think, if you need a bomb proof, might have particually revolutionary students or something.

    Anyway, you may be best to go with Windows, my experience is a little outdated but I found a lot of statistical programmes were legacy and only really available on Windows. You can put Windows on the Mac but it's a very expensive solution.
     
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #3
    I have the low end 2016 Macbook, and is quite satisfied with it. Extremely portable, long lasting battery, and it hasn't choked on anything I've used on it so far.

    MS Office '16, "iWork '15", Photoshop CS5, Illustrator CS5, Pixelmator, RStudio, Scrivener, Evernote, Papers 2, CLC Main Workbench 7, Filemaker Pro 11, TextWrangler, is what I usually use on it. So far I have used it for one manuscript, and been very satisfied with the keyboard.
     
  4. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #4
    Surface Book, 2 in 1 functionality, better to be running W10 for your MS Office & statistical needs, very least in a VM. 3:2 aspect ratio display is a bonus for productivity as is the 2 in 1 feature, albeit best aimed at those who are 85% notebook 15% tablet. Keyboard is one of the very best, if not the best on portable of this class, with stellar battery life. If onboard LTE is highly desirable look to the Lenovo X1 Carbon or a Huawei MiFi, the latter being my preferred solution as it allows more freedom for choice of the notebook.

    Downsides to the Surface Book are; expense, more complex to manage and troubleshoot in the event of issue.

    n.b. Owning a Surface Book employed professionally alongside multiple Mac's in various engineering roles...

    Q-6
     
  5. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    #5
    For the LTE, can your phone act as hotspot? I use that with my iPad Pro rather than have a dedicated LTE connection. It works great, but I only use it occassionally
     
  6. viktit88 thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Thank You! Amazing programs. All of these Apps work on Windows platform?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 26, 2017 ---
    Thank You for Your suggestion.
    MS Office is not as full on Mac as on Windows. I mean, that I use add-ins and plus writing features, that are not exciting on Mac version. That is why it's better to buy Windows laptop.
    Surface Book - I don't really understand what You mean about 3:2 aspect ratio display. Is it really comfortable for writers and the work?
    Is the keyboard more comfortable on Surface Book, than on new MPB 2017?
    What do You think about thinkpad X1 carbon?
    And what about Surface Laptop and Surface Pro?
     
  7. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #7
    Microsoft Office on the Mac and Windows the functionality varies with Windows being the superior and more likely present less issue with 3rd party plugins, especially Excel. 3:2 aspect ratio offers you more vertical workspace which is desirable for those who are working with large documents.

    Surface Book keyboard is one of the very best keyboards in the 13" notebook class, having good travel, feedback and weighted correctly. The Surface Book keyboard is designed with extended use in mind. The new MBP keyboard is a function of design and engineering prowess to help reduce the overall thickness of the notebook not improve the typing experience. So in short the Surface Book keyboard is magnitudes better.

    Yes you can adapt to the new Mac keyboard as I have owned and used a 12" Retina MacBook for over 2 years now, however the typing experience remains to be vastly inferior to the likes of the Surface Book. I create significant technical documents in my role as a senior quality engineer for major multinational clients, therefore the display & keyboard is a significant factor for me in the purchasing process.

    Surface Pro, little new equally an improvement on the Surface Pro 4 more focused on portability, again the removable keyboard may be the weak link depending on your typing style, equally it remains to be best in class for a removable keyboard. Like the 12" Retina MacBook the Surface Pro is ideally suited for those who value portability over other factors.

    Surface Laptop I don't recommend as although it has both Pen & Touch support the display is limited to conventional Laptop use (display opening angle) therefore you are paying more for very limited usage of these features. I also have concerns regarding the fabric covering as it will be difficult to keep in good condition.

    X1 Carbon another excellent choice for serious use, X1 Carbon also has a superb keyboard very similar to the Surface Books. Although the X1 Carbon has a 16:9 display it makes up by having a 14" panel and is surprisingly light for it's footprint. In general the upper range of Thinkpad's are excellent choices as they designed with usability and durability in mind first.

    The X1 Carbon can also be user upgradable for storage etc. this may be an aspect that interests you. Both the Microsoft Surface's and Apple MBP's you must choose and pay upfront for the amount of storage/RAM you need as there is no possible upgrade for these notebooks.

    Bottom line is if your going to be working in Windows, it's better to purchase a quality Windows notebook, unless there is a driving factor or a specific need for macOS. Personally I was initially sceptical of touch screens and their usefulness, however as software has matured I am very much impressed with their capabilities. Full Pen & Touch functionally combined with a good 2 in 1 design help to bring out the best in Windows 10, adding features and usability as long as the user take advantage.

    Apple with the Mac offers a simpler approach generally in a very polished package, however rather overpriced for the current features offered, and the OS now a little dated.

    Q-6
     
  8. manmit macrumors member

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    Toronto, Canada
    #8
    I am a data scientist and I use r, python, Spss and sas entry single day. I was using windows for several years but since 2015 I switched to MacBook Pro and it has been the best decision ever. Everything runs so fast - even same app runs faster in mac than windows. For spas you will need to add few extension but that should be easy. Go fir MacBook Pro without touch bar but upgraded ram. You will be very happy.
     
  9. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    #9
    Which version of Stata do you have and how big are the datasets you are working with? Depending upon the version, a quad core CPU (all the way up to 18-core CPUs) can make a huge difference over dual core with larger sets IMO.
     
  10. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    #10
    My problem with the MacBook Pro for data science is the lack of an NVidia GPU so no CUDA support.
     
  11. Sterkenburg macrumors regular

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    Oct 27, 2016
    #11
    Same boat here (machine learning scientist), my MBP is an absolutely fantastic machine for everything else, but 32GB RAM + CUDA support would be a godsend. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Apple will go back to Nvidia anytime soon, so eGPU support in High Sierra could be the only viable solution (hoping driver support for Nvidia cards is not too shoddy...).

    Back on topic, though, it looks like the OP might be well served by a high-end Windows laptop, but the non-TB MBP would be a great solution too.
     
  12. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #12
    If you need Windows, get a surface. If you need a Mac, get a 13" MBP. As an academic with fairly heavy computation needs, I don't think there is any other laptop currently on the market that satisfies my needs better than the 15" MBP — amazing performance, incredible keyboard (best on the market for prolonged typing, in my experience), incredible display, best in-class battery life and portability, and best connectivity of all laptops currently on the market.
     
  13. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #13
    Reading between the lines here I can only conclude 2 points

    1) IPP was totally inappropriate for your workflow but you seem to err more on the side of portability
    2) The IPP choice infers you major usage and dailies is normal productivity stuff and the more demanding applications are lessor/occasional

    I would tend to agree with Q-6 suggestions on SB,SP and X1 Carbons unless you have an overriding requirement for macOS although W10 via bootcamp is possible but it's not an ideal solution

    My own recent experience with the Surface laptop (W10 Pro) in terms of ease of use with 0 adaption required as it is a well refined and premium laptop. However it is squarely in the similar category of the MBA or rMB except with an extremely nice KB and display ratio but lacks the punch of SB,SP, X1 Carbons and MBP
     
  14. viktit88 thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Okay, friends! I see Your suggestions. Thank You very much!
    I need a portable machine, because I am always "on the Go" and I need a very comfortable keyboard. And I need full MS Office with add-ins (Win version, because Mac version is very cut).
    As I understand best of the best are:
    1) MBP 15 2017 or MBP 13 2017 (best display, but no touch, Windows as the 2nd system, I use iPhone and Apple Watch, maybe will be happy with one eco system)
    2) Surface Book, Surface Laptop, Surface Pro (worser display, than on MPB, but touch and 3:2, no USB-c)
    3) Thinkpad X1 carbon or yoga (matte display, but 16:9, USB-c, LTE)
    Am I right with the pluses I mention in brackets?
    In which is the best keyboard? Is touch display good and useful or matte no touch better for eyes?
     
  15. mountain macrumors 6502

    mountain

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    #15
    You're not going to find that on the new MacBook pro. It has the worst keyboard for a high end notebook IMO.

     
  16. SteveJUAE, Jun 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #16
    I would not put too much weighting in to your device scoring on the display of MBP for your usage. It's slightly better spec on paper if not more aimed at visual arts users and even then some aspects are more bragging rights that actual usage
    (eg whos running 600nits it's going to kill your battery or your eyes and the better colour accuracy is really a concern for proofing and in truth a professional monitor is preferable to those that need high level of accuracy)

    Your IPhone other than some trivial points will still work happily with W10 synching etc via ICloud for windows

    USB-C strengths are still in primitive stages of adoption and for a mobile user certainly lagging. If you have no intention of using the current limited and expensive high speed external connections, USB-C brings little or no advantages.

    MBP KB is not a universal success and you may never fully adapt or enjoy

    A laptop with touch will always have an advantage and depending on usage should be a minimum 5-15% over non touch

    MBP SSD is one of the fastest
     
  17. shyam09 macrumors 68000

    shyam09

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    #17
    In regards to the keyboard - where will you be typing the most? It might be better to use your favorite keyboard at home, and adapt to the laptop keyboard when necessary.
     
  18. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #18
    I wouldn't be overly concerned with USB C as outside of tech forums it has very little traction, I've run USB C only notebooks for over two years and have yet to see any practical use for it. Unless you can take advantage of the bandwith USB C only offers levels of convenience and or inconvenience I would certainly think twice on a USB C only notebook as from my own professional usage it's more a negative than a positive.

    I also strongly recommend that you try the new MBP keyboard as it's extremely polarising with some liking and some hating it. My own opinion is it's the worst keyboard Apple has ever produced and I've been using MBP's from the first design.

    Q-6
     
  19. PhoneI macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Or in my opinion....the best laptop keyboard I have ever used.
     
  20. viktit88 thread starter macrumors member

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    Russian Federation
    #20
    Dear friends!
    In which device is the most comfortable and best for long typing keyboard?
    1) Surface Book
    2) Surface Laptop
    3) Thinkpad X1
    4) MBP 2017
     
  21. leman macrumors 604

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    #21
    The one that you find most comfortable. I very much doubt that you'd find too many people with extended exposure to all these devices.
     
  22. viktit88 thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    I can find only MBP in Russia. Other devices I can get only from EBay. That is why I need help.
     
  23. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    #23
    Then maybe you should get the MBP. Think about how you would get the other systems serviced.
     
  24. psik macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Best thing to do is get a research grant from the unviersity and create a research project on which laptops are best for professors. I am not sure as to the methdology or how the experiement will be run. since as your post implies you are a professor you should know better. make sure a good experiment is run if you run it. although remember any experiment is falsifiable.

    But seriously, if you want my two cents, get te MBP.
     
  25. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    #25
    In my opinion, the Thinkpad X1. However, I like the MBP more overall.
     

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