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Old 11-09-2012, 03:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ultrabook vs. Tablet + Desktop

Hey guys,

I'm trying to find a mobile solution for several purposes and at the same time, I really really want to replace my desktop, an old Dell dimension bought in o5.

For some reason, I'm really indecisive about what kind of machines I should get, a tablet / hybrid and a new desktop or simply an ultrabook. There's lots I don't know about mobile devices and I completely missed the smartphone / tablet "revolution" of the last couple of years. I also never owned a notebook, so I'm not sure about the comfort of one.

Mobile applications:

- reading, listening to music and watching stuff in public transportation, mainly busses, 90 minutes each day
- taking notes in class
- reading PDFs and listening to mp3s for guitar lessons
- displaying sheet music (.pdf files) on the note-stand of my piano
- watching Starcraft streams via Twitch.tv and gomtv player

Stationary applications:

- light gaming, mainly Starcraft II and maybe some of the more recent games (would love to play the upcoming Bioshock and Borderlands!)
- tons of research and office-applications for class
- watching movies on 2nd monitor
- music recording, editing and digital effects / drums

Especially regarding the office-applications and notes for class, I'd LOVE some sort of automatic synchronization.

I have a massive digital library of mainly Mp3s and if I understood it correctly, Apple-devices can only play videos and music you bought on itunes, so the iPad is out of the question. I've had the Surface for about a week now, and I love the hardware and general design, but the software leaves me wanting in a million instances, so I'll prolly return that to Microsoft. The Ultrabook-solution wouldn't work on the Note-stand I assume, but would cover most of the stuff I want. Convertibles would work even better, but would preclude me from any gaming.

I have about 1400 to spare I'd like to invest, so here are the options I considered:

1. Getting a convertible sporting an i5 / HD 4000.

That would cover all the tasks, but cover all of them badly. More recent games wouldn't really work, I'd have to view .pdf-files in 16:9 and I'd always have to carry about a bag.

2. Getting a 7 Inch Tablet alongside an Ultrabook.
Here I'd miss out on a solution for the piano-stand and gaming wouldn't be ideal, but otherwise I'd be perfectly covered with some money to spare.

3. Getting a Desktop and a tablet
Neat, perfect gaming options but limited on note-taking for class, unless I'd stick to the awesome Surface. Still the 16:9 aspect-ratio sucks for .pdf, I'd still have rather limited mobility, would still have to rely on that bag and so on.

I'd really appreciate any and all imput on which solution might be better for my purposes. I've given this a lot of consideration, so please don't just reply with a wikipedia-article or an Amazon link.

Thanks so much guys,


Ps.: I currently reside in Germany, so prices are quite a bit steeper than in the US. Take the USD-price, convert it to EUR 1:1 and add 10%. Absolutely crazy.

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Old 11-09-2012, 06:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ultrabook vs. Tablet + Desktop

you could get an ultrabook that works as a tablet as well. A desktop and tablet is good i have a nexus 7 and a i5 3570k, I would get a galaxy note 10.1 or microsoft surface then a good desktop

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Old 11-10-2012, 10:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ultrabook vs. Tablet + Desktop

I'd buy an desktop and a tablet.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ultrabook vs. Tablet + Desktop

Desktop plus tablet seems like the most versatile option given the usage you listed. However when it comes to the tablet I would suggest picking up one with a active digitizer for writing notes like the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 or Samsung Ativ Smart PC. Additionally both of those have Windows 8 and Intel processors so unlike Windows RT tablets they can do anything a normal laptop could, the Samsung even has a keyboard dock.

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Old 11-11-2012, 07:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ultrabook vs. Tablet + Desktop

I would recommend the tablet/desktop one. For one, you probably do not need 2 portable computers. Next, you will always be able to mod and tweak the desktop to keep it a healthy and powerful machine, while for the laptop, you will not be able to do that. Desktops are also cheaper than laptops, especially if you're willing to assemble it yourself.

The tablet will also be far superior to the laptop for portability, since you don't need a terribly great processor for the portable work you plan to do.

For the tablet, though, I would recommend a 10-incher. Go to a store and compare them in person to 7" tablets. It's worth getting the 10-inch one for watching videos and reading. If you're going to return your Surface, you could probably use that money to pay for a Galaxy Tab 10.1, HP TouchPad or Nexus 10 or something.
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