What would be smart in my position?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Arachas, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Arachas macrumors newbie

    Arachas

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm in the market for a new computer and a tablet. However, I'm completely torn on what to get and I was hoping to get some advice from the more savvy members of this forum.

    My situation is as follows: I'm a marketing consultant and I spend my days split between on-site work with clients on my own computer as well as days at the home office or at a cafe/remote location working. My work is almost all browser-based (I work with Salesforce and other marketing platforms), supported by a local email client (Airmail) and light office work (I use Libre Office at the moment). The heaviest graphic editing I do is in Canva or Pixlr and is negligible.

    My 13" Macbook Pro is from 2012 and still operates perfectly. I took the leap from Windows back then and haven't looked back since, with one notable exception: I really, really still miss Outlook on Windows. Outlook on Mac doesn't even come close to the functionality on Windows (simple example: copying an email to a task list doesn't work on Mac, and it's a feature I used to use daily on my Windows laptop).

    Though it's still good, I've been eyeing a newer laptop, as the weight as decreased tremendously since I got this bulky Macbook back in '12. In addition, I've never owned a tablet, but I would like to: I now lug my Macbook around the house and I'm kind of sick of that. I also play in a band and all my buddies use an iPad with OnSong to manage their chord charts and lyrics. Jealous, as I'm still using paper!

    To top it all off I'm also in the market for a new smartphone. I've been using a Luma 635 for last 1,5 years and I've been impressed by its stability, though the lack of proper apps is annoying (that being said, I've managed to get by pretty well with the stock mail, news and browser apps - I don't use much else, really). The reason I mention it, is because I'm a position where a new phone is also a factor in the "ecosystem" decision.

    Now to be completely honest, my use case has made me look around the rather new 2-in-1 computer niche. Considering I don't need a powerhouse for a laptop and I'm in the market for a solid tablet, a Surface Pro 4 seems like it could be a good choice. Especially since I could go back to proper Outlook for email and task management (I have yet to find an email tool that matches Outlook in terms of productivity).

    I even had a friend switch from Mac to Windows 10 (since it's supposedly on par with OSX now in terms of performance and stability?), even though this guy was the one who "converted" me to Mac in the first place.

    So considering my use case, what would you advise? Shell out for a Macbook Air and an iPad? Or admit that Windows 10 is actually pretty awesome and look into a hybrid?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.
     
  2. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #2
    Well the posts on "here" are all going to be one way and not very objective i'd wager..
    Given your requirement is two devices, laptop and tablet - and the above comment, i'll stick my neck out and I'd say the only solution on the market is by MS; the all in one surface pro..

    W10, I've found more stable than OS X too.
    I replaced a Mini with an old HP desktop i had around and upgraded that to W10 and its certainly been a surprise. Very impressed not a single hiccup..

    Personally id change the requirement, i really don't see the need for a laptop and a tablet anymore.
    So that would leave the rMB and MS Surface book firmly on the list..
     
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    Well if it was me I'd get a retina MacBook and an iPhone 6s best of all worlds and so thin and light you won't care about a tablet, but I couldn't care less about Windows or outlook they are both awful (and no I don't like Windows 10 any better).

    However in your situation an sp4 and a new Windows phone sounds pretty perfect for you.
     
  4. Arachas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Arachas

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #4
    To compensate for the fact that I'm posting on a Mac forum, I've asked the same question on the MS Surface forums. ;)

    Could you explain to me how you find Windows 10 more stable than OSX? Because my experience is that in 4 years, my Macbook has maybe frozen up once and generally doesn't have any hiccups. As for Windows 10, my wife uses a mid-range Acer laptop which froze completely the other day and now won't recognise the harddisk. Admittedly this may be crappy hardware and not Windows 10 and yet this stuff never happens to Macs (at least, not in my experience).

    If it's just the hardware, however, a high-end Windows model might be worth considering.

    The only thing I really don't like about the Surface series is the bad battery life. If it's dead after 4 hours, that's horrible for a tablet.

    The reason I want a tablet is that I find a phone screen to be too small for music reading as well as browsing or reading comics. I want more screen real-estate, really.

    Why do you think Windows is awful?
     
  5. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #5
    Well the mini i replaced with the HP desktop was or is used for HTPC, i would have issues with the mac waking up when you needed to use it, when it did it on occasion would make a massive mess of the iTunes library missing thumb nails and would refuse to content to the NFS shared volume where the data lives without a restart, it would have issues coming out of sleep and kernel panic maybe once a month. Contrast that with the W10 box thats sat without a reboot for 6months and has never had an issue, it simply works.

    I have a 3 rMBP it's not uncommon to get a kernel panic again on wake up or even a complete lock up which I've had maybe 5 in 2 years. Then i had the whole wifi issue with Yosemite, which wasn't fun. So my conclusion as a consumer of the technology is despite the noise and marketing; the reality of what was and what is are now different. Do i plan to move my rMBP to windows, no. But i don't need to move due to the age of the devices. When i do want to move will i consider windows? Yes. Would i get cheap hardware, hell no...

    Dont forget, you can always load windows onto a macbook if you got the rMB is the same size as a tablet light and you can you the full fat apps you like.
     
  6. pjfan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    #6
    Get a refurbished light tablet. It's hard for me to imagine that a Surface would work i your band situation, but I haven't taken one home before. The iPhone 6+ might serve this purpose, but personally, I would lean towards an iPad mini for the band use case -- I have 6+, Air 2, and rMacbook, and use them all.

    Get a Surface/2-in-1 for your computing from a retailer that has a return period. Everything in your statements suggests that this is what you want -- for me, I've been disappointed every time I've went back to use a Windows device, and suspect I wouldn't make it past 14 days with a surface. To be honest, I'm simply finished with anything that gets in the way of my work, and for me, OS X hasn't yet done that.

    If you decide not to rock the boat with your computer, then try this (you can do this now to test it out). Sign up for Office 365, and try the Online Outlook. Have all your mail linked in with it (might want to chat with MS first to see if this works okay), and see if that tickles your fancy ($6/mo). Truth is, using Outlook online will make you're computing so independent of an OS, you might open your options up a bit more. I'd suggest opening a browser full screen in Mac, and dedicating a desktop for it. I've been impressed with O365 for my business and Exchange availability, but I do not prefer Outlook to Mail. I use Outlook for one of my clients email, and Mail for my own business. It's a nice separation -- I do like how Outlook works with the Calendar and can see why someone would prefer Outlook. I feel for you. A rMB ought to perform great for the use cases you referenced if you elect to stay with OSX. It's worth noting, there are quite a few people on this forum who bought the rMB for W10 exclusive use (if that tells you anything).

    Finally, word of warning, I'd suggest waiting two weeks if you do decide on going to another MacBook or an iPad (new releases coming mid March).
     
  7. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    #7
    I would go 12" Macbook (new one this month), iPad Mini 4, and iPhone (new one this month).

    But aside from running Windows on your Macbook, is there any need for a laptop? I would consider the iPad Pro (new one this month or the bigger original).

    I have a Surface and while it's the best Windows computer, it has lots of problems with the interface being a mix of old and new styles. Also the digitiser is good but not as good as the Wacom original.
     
  8. Arachas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Arachas

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #8
    Thanks guys, I really appreciate the replies. Let me respond to some of the things you've said according to topic:

    Why not an iPad Mini?
    I fear the screen real estate will be too small when trying to read chords and lyrics.

    Also, @pjfan, what exactly do you mean with a refurbished tablet? Which brand, etc?

    Why not an iPad Pro?
    Let's start with the fact that you can't use a mouse with it, which means it's not that good when it comes to productivity. I don't want to have to drag my finger across the screen when selecting text, for example. If the iPad Pro came with OSX (or a dedicated hybrid OS) it would be close to a no-brainer.

    Do I need a laptop?
    Probably not. If I can be productive on a tablet that's really all I need. It needs to be comfortable to work on by itself, but I want also want to be able to hook it up to my monitor and keyboard/mouse in the office.

    Online Outlook
    I tried exactly this and hated it. The reason is that shortcuts don't work the way they work on native Windows, nor is the functionality complete (the "email to task" thing I mentioned earlier serves as a good example of that).

    The truth is that I would still give up Outlook if OSX/iOS meant less hassle and more productivity. But it kind of seems that Windows 10 is ahead in this area.

    I hear there's a fleet of new 2-in-1s out this year, such as a new one from Lenovo and one from Huawei. Maybe I should wait for those and see how they stack up.

    As it stands I keep hearing about the many problems with the Surface products, including limited battery life. When I'm away from the office or using the tablet casually, I really don't want to worry about my power levels all the time.
     
  9. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #9
    You shouldn't ever try using an iPhone then :D
     
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #10
    I intensely dislike Windows because I find it overly complicated and it doesn't suit my workflow or way of doing things. I fully accept that many others don't have these issues with it but I felt that my indication that I would go with a rMB had to be qualified.

    I read on my phone all the time but comics and music would be nightmare.
     
  11. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #11
    Yes moving the mouse is complicated for all of us. Find icon for program, click, boom :D
     
  12. Arachas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Arachas

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #12
    I had an iPhone 4 which performed fine, battery wise. I now have that Lumia 635, easily lasts me two days with normal use (occasional browsing, calling, etc).

    As for my workstation I would expect it to last the day, at least.
     
  13. svendobbelaere macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    Belgium
    #13


    Refurbished = 'new' Apple products sold directly by Apple, for a discount. These can be for instance a computer someone bought, and then returned. They are checked, and sold as refurb.

    The direct link for Apple NL is here:

    http://www.apple.com/nl/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/ipad
     
  14. pjfan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    #14
    Absolutely what svendobbelaere said, is what I meant about refurb. However, if you're more interested in the 10" iPad, you should consider the new one that'll come out soon, or the refurbished Air 2. I use the 10" Air 2 for a lot of reading and consumption in general, and it has got some oomph. I'm very satisfied with it's performance this past year and I think it's a great buy (refurb price). This new one will be the one to get though.

    As for Win10 and Outlook, have you tried bootcamp? Perhaps you should load W10 on your MacBook via bootcamp for a month. I would suggest VM Ware where you can just run the real outlook as an App in OS X, but that would be too much hassle in my opinion. Doing a month as W10 will prove you're ready to move (but with the ability to boot into OS X if you decide to change your mind) and it will buy you time to see what releases occur in the coming weeks (for the 2-in-1s and Apple).
     

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