Surface Pro, MBA or Nexus 7

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by AdrainSingapore, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. AdrainSingapore, Jun 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013

    AdrainSingapore macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    So I am stuck with whether to choose the Surface Pro, MBA or Nexus 7. I am kind of leaning to the Surface side. First I will explain my needs. I would use these devices for media consumption, like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Netflix. I might do some minor gaming but I have my giant gaming desktop at home to handle it. Basically I have an iPhone 5 and everytime I watch a video on it on my sofa or bed, the screen is just to small for my liking. I would like to have another device to watch videos on. I am well aware of the weight differences but I wouldn't mind because I can manage 2 pounds. Pricing is also a factor of my decision too, the base 128GB model of the MacBook Air 11 inch is $1348 in my place while the 128GB version of the Surface Pro costs $1328. I know I am comparing 3 different things now so this will be more like a "What device should be suitable?" question. So guys help me decide.

    Well I have a 2012 21" iMac and have Windows installed through bootcamp. I can say that my experience with MacOS X was fun but I didn't like it on a desktop. Can anyone of you share your OS X experience on a laptop? Is it wroth buying a MBA when I already have an iMac at home?

    Now I am basically talking about the Modern Windows 8 UI vs the Mac OS X software experience.
  2. sick z33 macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2008
    I think most people will be biased and say MBA on a Mac forum :)
  3. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you
    Personally I like a laptop more than a desktop, but I can't say that OSX is different from one to the other. If you don't like the software, I guess you have to roll with that. It takes all kinds... ;)

    No doubt... I'd vote MBA. Never heard of those two other things. :D
  4. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Get the MBA, of course. Typing is cumbersome on my iPad and I would gain the option of productivity with one of those keyboard cases. What did you expect us to say....?
  5. osofast240sx macrumors 68030


    Mar 25, 2011
    Do google search on buyers remorse and return rate on the surface. I think you will enjoy syncing your MBA and your current iPhone 5.
  6. XoFu macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2013
    But of course!:rolleyes:
  7. kis macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2007
    Honestly, if you're only going to do social media on it + Netflix, get a 10" iPad.

    I bought a Surface Pro when it became available last month and I'm currently trying to get rid of it again. It's a nice device, no doubt about it - great screen, digitizer input etc. However, as a tablet it sucks due to the lousy batter life and it's too small as a laptop.

    In your case, I'd say go for the iPad because what you need is a tablet and not another office computer.

    The Nexus 7 is basically a glorified eReader (a good one, but it's not great for Netflix etc.)
  8. barrk macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2012
    $1328 for a tablet sounds like a waste of money, I'd go with the Macbook Air
  9. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    The Surface Pro is essentially a Macbook Air in a hybrid tablet form factor. It's certainly interesting.
    I'm not sure why the Nexus 7 is a consideration in these 3 systems as it's not even as capable as an iPad in some respects.
  10. barrk macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2012
    I believe he would also have to take a $150 dive for the keyboard and from what I am reading it seems like it will get worse battery life than the new air, and a slower ssd

    After reading the OP again he would probably be better off with a cheaper Ipad or android tablet if he wants to go the tablet route.
  11. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    OS X on MBA will be no different than on iMac. Why would it? If all you're doing is media consumption, then why not get a tablet like the nexus or an ipad? I can't see anyone spending $1.3k just to watch movies, video and netflix. I would personally just choose between a nexus and an ipad.


    why wouldn't a nexus 7 be similar to an ipad? what isn't it capable of that the ipad other than OS specific apps?
  12. cas85 macrumors regular

    May 4, 2010
    I'm on mobile so I won't type a lot, but as someone who owned the surface pro and a MBA with a new one incoming, I'll give you my $.02

    The surface tries to do too much and isn't great at anything. Terrible battery life, avg performance, and windows 8 identity crisis.

    The only thing the surface pro has over any device is its digitizer pen input. That feature is money and best in class. However, the form factor of the tablet makes it hard to write on comfortably.

    The surface pro costs way too much for what it is IMO.

    Highly recommend the MBA.
  13. prophetx2 macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    I was in a similar situation before and I'll pull together what I came up with.

    Surface Pro:
    The surface pro is a GREAT idea. The problem is it tries to be a jack of all trades and it's a master of none. It's not a good tablet and it's not a good laptop. It can do both, but you'll always be left disappointed.

    The main issue issue, for me at least, is that Windows 8 in tablet mode still requires the keyboard occasionally. So you never really want to use it as a tablet without the keyboard. Also as a tablet it is just too heavy. I know you say 2lbs is OK, but think about the fact that a full fledge laptop (Air 11) is LIGHTER than the tablet and has a much better battery life! Tablets are really appliances and you shouldn't be forced to always have it tethered to the wall.

    The surface pro in laptop mode is only adequate. The main concerns are the battery life AND the fact that you can't adjust the "screen" lean. That means it won't sit on your lap, and if your desk is not the right height then you better start either hunching over or put some books under it to get it in the perfect viewing angle.

    Nexus 7
    I have the nexus 7 and I find it to be a decent consumption device. It doesn't get as great of a battery life as my gf's ipad mini, but it serves it's job. The only complaint I have is ASUS uses crappy flash on it so anything I/O intensive will make the tablet feel like it's crawling. This can't be stressed how sucky it is because of the way Android auto-updates. If I'm watching a movie and the tablet auto-updates, I litterally will have to pause the what I'm watching and let the darn thing finish before continuing. You won't be able to do ANYTHING while this is happening.

    Other than that, I love the fact that I can hook an external USB stick to it and never have to transcode my movies when I'm on travel.

    It's also pretty nice to be able to use the nexus 7 with my external mouse so that I can do things like RDP/VNC to my computers at home and use the nexus 7 as a mini laptop where appropriate.

    I won't get into the Macbook Air as you'll find more than enough reasons for it on this forum. You're kinda of all over the place and not comparing apples to apples here. The nexus 10/ipad is more inline with Surface Pro and Macbook air in terms of screen size and the price range you're looking at, but at this point I don't ever want a tablet that big again. I really think the Nexus 7 and the iPad mini are the perfect size. If I had to do it all over again I'd get the iPad mini because of apps like oPlayer and the fact that all the streaming apps are more polished on IOS. The 16gb in the iPad mini would satisfy my needs now since I do not play many games on my tablet. Also the active and stand by battery life is nothing to sneeze at since it makes a HUGE difference in terms of charging and having to keep it plugged in.

    Things like twitter and facebook usually work better on the phone anyways since it'll be easier to type on. For viewing any of the devices you mentioned will do.
  14. Grove86 macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2013
    Save yourself some money get a tablet. Ipad (10inch/mini) and Nexus 7/10 receive my votes. However, if you're thinking about getting an Ipad, it might be a good idea to look into the next upgrade as well.
  15. appleisking macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2013
    My 2 cents

    Hello, for your needs I wouldn't put down all that money on a laptop. For what you're doing, the iPad is perfect for you and I would go for the 10 inch model, which would give you the best viewing experience. Now as to whether you should get the one that exists now or wait for an upgrade that's totally up to you. If you want the latest and the best wait the 3-4 months but the iPad currently out now is more than capable for what you want to do.
  16. PhoneI macrumors 68000

    Mar 7, 2008
    I have a Surface Pro for a few months now. Its "ok" at best. Random observations...

    1. If you going to use it for serious work do NOT buy the touch or type cover. Get a seperate wireless keyboard and mouse.

    2. I guess its probably the high resolution and screen dimensions, but desktop applications look bad. The text is fuzzy and just doesn't look right.

    3. Very few high quality apps in the Metro app store.

    4. Makes a very good Netflix device due to the screen dimensions.

    5. I find myself reaching for my iPad if I want to use a tablet, and my Macbook when I want to use a laptop. Unsure where the Surface fits in.
  17. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    So from all of your replies I think what I need is a MacBook Air as I already own an iPad 4th Gen
  18. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    For some reason it would not let me edit my post on my iPad. So I shall post another "reply"

    So from all of your replies I think what I need is a MacBook Air as I already own an iPad 4th Gen.. I kind of like the smooth scrolling with the trackpad or the mouse on MacOS X and the web browsing experience is fun on Safari. What I am looking for is an Ultrabook for gaming(for example Minecraft) and media consumption on the go. I do know the weight differences and the difference in battery lifes. I do not mind the 4-5 hour battery life of the Surface Pro as I dont see myself using a laptop for more then 4 hours unplugged. I can also carry 2 pounds with ease. The factors are more like, MacOS X with Windows 7 booted through bootcamp VS modern windows 8 UI experience; and how "cool" it looks when I carry it into the public. Well I know for something unique I should choose the Surface Pro as there aren't many people carrying it aroun at my place.
  19. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I know what the other 2 are and I definitely say get the MacBook Air.
  20. Mrbobb, Jun 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013

    Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Win8 and Surface Pro want to do both, a tablet and a laptop. The things am hearing, such combos so far don't do either task very well.

    Win8 you want a touch screen, so I don't know how satisfactory Win8 on an iMac is.

    Nope sorry I just don't like the Win8 + Surface and am a long time Windows user. If am forced to run Windows now, I run Win7.

    Win8 reminds of of Windows 3.1 + 1-2-3 and WordPerfect. Win3.1 desktop was GUI, while the Apps had not caught up and were still character/keyboard based. Maybe in a couple of years, the whole Win8 Apps will have caught up.
  21. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011

    I don't understand your use case. You have a gaming computer. You have an iPhone. You have an iPad. What do you need?

    Well, the Nexus 7 is great (I have one) but unless you are looking for super portability or the Android experience, I have no idea why you would go somewhere with that instead of the iPad.

    So, that leaves the Surface and the MBA. Personally, I would be thrilled to buy the Surface instead of the MBA based on its specs and potential (a tablet and computer in one), but have you tried it? I'm no fan of the washed out and blurry MBA screen myself (I've got rather good eyes, so it is annoying), but after spending some time with the Surface Pro, I thought the resolution was atrocious. Not only that, but the screen aspect ratio is bizarre. I am not clear what the use case is there -- definitely not portrait mode. I think it is an exciting product on paper, but in my hands, no way. That's just me, though. I'd go to the store and give yourself 15 or 30 minutes with it (don't worry, hardly anyone stops by to look at it, so they won't mind).

    As for your use case, I still don't get it. There may be a few hours a month (when you are traveling) that you just have to "get by" with an iPad :)
  22. kis macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2007
    Are you sure you've looked at the Surface Pro and not at the Surface? The Pro has an absolutely gorgeous FullHD IPS screen
  23. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    If you just want to do videos and email, i'm surprised an ipad isn't on your list? or a cheaper android tablet?

    the surface to me would maybe be a preferable choice over the iPad when it came to productivity - but in terms of just "fun" the iPad definitely wins hands down.

    all 3 are fine devices. if all 3 would serve your needs fine, why not go with the cheapest one?

    that being said, i can tell you that i have never had an Apple product that didn't last me for years. computers, laptops, iTV, ipods and an ipad - ALL of them have lived well past their prime and are still working today. I have not been so lucky with other tech:

    1 failed PS3
    2 failed panasonic HDTVs
    3 useless dell laptops
    1 useless dell tower
    toshiba thrive tablet that is about to die after 18 months

    etc etc.

    the point is, while obviously everything can fail and will fail eventually, in my experience the longevity of Apple products is second to none.


    wait, what? you already own an iPad? so in other words, basically you are just looking for an excuse to buy a new toy... in that case, get whatever you want, or get all 3:p


    oh geez. why not get one of these?

  24. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Being cool doesn't necessarily mean being unique. It also depends on what you want to use it for.

    At this point being cool might be being the one person who isn't trying to show off electronics.
  25. barrk macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2012
    I'd say go with the Air then, it costs only a little more in your case and will most likely be better for light gaming, you can run minecraft in OSX.

    I own a windows rt tablet (dell) and it hasn't been used in months because it is stuck in the middle and has no real use for me.

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