May 11, 2019
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Hi! I am a long time mac user but looking at these new surface books I am stumped. I am not sure if it makes sense to get a 15in or a 13in since I have a few monitors lying around but I do like studying in the library more than studying at home. I like the idea of having a 2in1 to take notes on and not need to carry around a separate tablet but I'm not sure how useful this would actually be once I start school.
Does anyone have any suggestions or advice for picking up a new computer? Does anyone miss their mac after going to windows? A doctor I shadowed said to get a windows computer to get used to windows as that's what most hospitals use. For rotations has anyone found the transition from their mac to hospital computers in M3/M4 to be difficult?

Thanks!
 

Jabru08

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I'm in the same boat as you. I purchased a Surface Book 13" and I'm happy with it, although that's because I prefer Windows.

If you've never used Windows before or you prefer Mac I'd just go with the Macbook. I don't think that the benefit of "learning" Windows to get used to hospital computers outweighs using software at home that you don't like. If you're committed to the whole taking notes on the computer thing, you could always buy an iPad + stylus, although I don't know how well it works compared to Surface.
 
Nov 7, 2017
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Dell XPS lineup.

Never going understand what people like about Mac OS. "All pomp no substance" is the perfect phrase for Macs imo.
Mac=reliability and build quality, but not worth the price for most.

I think the XPS is a good option, but I’d definitely get a 2-in-1 for note taking if it were me.
 
Jun 12, 2014
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I am not good with computers, but as the owner of a 15.6 inch HP Pavillion (which I love), make sure that a 15" will fit in your work bag before going with a 15" over a 13". I made that mistake and had to go out and buy a new purse!
 
Sep 19, 2017
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I have a Surface Book 2 for work and it's pretty flaky. On a good day it takes a couple tries to turn the screen back on after sleep, or it refuses to connect to wifi. On a bad day the whole system locks up and I have to hard reboot - that happens at least once every couple of weeks. A coworker got one around the same time I did, and she sees similar problems.

I'd definitely second (er, third) the Dell XPS recommendation for reliability and ease of use. That's what I have for my personal laptop, which is four years old and still going strong. I've been buying Dells forever and always been happy with them.
 

animalluver101

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I know a lot of schools provide laptops so if you’ve already made sure that yours does not, I’d go for a MacBook, but I’m biased because I’ve had windows in the past and they don’t work nearly as long as a MacBook does. My computer could probably survive a flood. But make sure the software you’ll have to use in school is compatible with whatever computer you buy!
 

aldol16

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Macs are incredibly durable. As someone who's had a lot of experience with both, I can say that I prefer Macs by a long shot. My experience with Windows computers hasn't been that good and their durability is mediocre at best. Haven't had experience with Microsoft Surface specifically but for other Windows PCs, it's really hard to get support for them. Apple is very good about support for Macs and you can just bring them into any Apple Store. Sure, you're paying a premium for Apple but their products do last a long time.
 

frosted2

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FWIW, my MBP is 6 years old and still going strong. I was replacing my Windows laptop every couple years. Not to mention, iCloud keeps all of your stuff in the c l o u d incase you are forgetful!
 

NickNaylor

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Opinions about operating systems aside, the most critical thing, as someone else mentioned, is figuring out if some schools require you to have a specific laptop (some do).

As far as getting a 2-in-1, see if someone you know has such a thing - or even an iPad Pro - and try using it that way. It's a great idea in theory and for some things it's great, but the reality for me was that I preferred writing on paper if I'm going to write rather than type. Especially with PDF scanning apps available on most phones, "digitizing" paper notes is essentially trivial at this point.

I agree that I don't think buying a Windows-based machine just to be comfortable with Windows makes any sense. You could always just install a virtual machine and "learn Windows" on your Mac if you really wanted to do that. Additionally, unless you end up somewhere with a super bizarre EMR implementation, you will almost certainly be able to use the EMR on your Mac without any difficulties.

As far as an overall opinion on the Mac vs. Windows debate, I used Windows exclusively until the third year of medical school and have been using a Mac since. I have no intention of going back to Windows. In the off chance there's some situation that would require me to use Windows, I'd simply dual-boot my Mac. I have a virtual machine constantly running Windows for things that aren't hardware intensive. I much prefer OSX over Windows, and it astounds me that there are still basic things Windows can't seem to do well (window management and multiple monitor setups are two prime examples). If you're someone who just checks e-mail, writes documents, and uses Facebook, I don't think it matters one way or another, and things like window management, multiple monitor setups, etc. may not be that important to you. You also definitely pay a premium for Apple devices, and if you are about squeezing every bit of power out of your machine, then obviously a Mac isn't going to be for you. For me, though, OSX is far superior when it comes to "getting **** done" compared to Windows. So many small things in the interface make it so much easier to use, at least for me.
 
Sep 13, 2018
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This is tangential but somewhat along the same lines: is note-taking with a pen and a spiral notebook ill-advised? That was my go-to in undergrad with success, but maybe there's too much material in med school for that to work?
 

500miles

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Check out the HP Spectre. I think that's what I will get after comparing it with the Dell XPS and Lenovo thinkpad. It's a 2-1, with what I think is the best bang for your buck performance wise. And it looks beautiful.
 

doctorcocter

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Check out the HP Spectre. I think that's what I will get after comparing it with the Dell XPS and Lenovo thinkpad. It's a 2-1, with what I think is the best bang for your buck performance wise. And it looks beautiful.
This is a good choice too but I personally like the XPS better because of those thin bezels.
 

Medic741

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MacBook Pro w Touch Bar. Can ‘preset’ a screenshot window, save screenshots to clipboard, set ‘take screenshot’ button on the touchbar & make screenshot anki cards while watching a lecture pretty dang fast.

Having that hack made m2 noticeably easier
 

Medic741

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This is tangential but somewhat along the same lines: is note-taking with a pen and a spiral notebook ill-advised? That was my go-to in undergrad with success, but maybe there's too much material in med school for that to work?
If you’re still using pen / paper in med school you’re missing out!

Tablet + pen + app w handwriting recognition (notability is out of this world for handwriting recognition) and you can download slides to your tablet, write on them and have your text searchable come board time. It’s well worth the extra cost and makes sharing notes w a study group a lot more efficient too
 

Mythoclast

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As a former Mac fanboy. Apple laptops just aren't all that anymore. They're actually kinda bad for the price. OSX is a much better user experience than Windows but that's tripping over a low bar and I like Ubuntu better even if I don't use it on my personal computers.

I don't like 2 in 1's as they're usually more expensive and touch screens are a gimmick. I'd get an Ultrabook somewhere in the 1000-2000 range that has good battery life and ports. Get yourself 2 nice big monitors, a good keyboard, mouse and mousepad. Having dual monitors is great for making flashcards from powerpoints ( and literally everything else) which I imagine you'll be doing a lot of, and big monitors will save your eyes.

I've heard good things about the Dell XPS line, and they're very good for the price. I use a Razer Blade and it's good, but it's very expensive.
 
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fyang0414

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I *fourth?* Dell XPS for price and functionality.

Just a heads up: Dell still has issues with delays in their products. I purchased the XPS 15 2-in-1 (9575) and it's been delayed about a month so far. I believe it has something to do with their new keyboards but I'm not sure since it has already been out for over a year (support is pretty abysmal). I hope it arrives by August :p

That being said, I tried it before and it really is nice. I think I got a pretty decent deal on mine as well with the PN579X Pen (after factoring in cash back). I loved Notability on my iPad in undergrad/grad school but will probably give Evernote a shot this time around.
 

Hawkeye397

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I *fourth?* Dell XPS for price and functionality.

Just a heads up: Dell still has issues with delays in their products. I purchased the XPS 15 2-in-1 (9575) and it's been delayed about a month so far. I believe it has something to do with their new keyboards but I'm not sure since it has already been out for over a year (support is pretty abysmal). I hope it arrives by August :p

That being said, I tried it before and it really is nice. I think I got a pretty decent deal on mine as well with the PN579X Pen (after factoring in cash back). I loved Notability on my iPad in undergrad/grad school but will probably give Evernote a shot this time around.
What did you think about the size of that computer? I think I’m leaning towards getting that exact same one but I’m worried it’ll be too big to use as a tablet
 

fyang0414

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What did you think about the size of that computer? I think I’m leaning towards getting that exact same one but I’m worried it’ll be too big to use as a tablet
It's a bit heavy to use as a tablet and the 15-inch screen is rather large (which I like but could also be an issue for smaller folks). I guess you don't have to zoom/fudge around with the screen too much if you want to jot something down but I would say it's definitely not the most practical if you were going to carry it in one hand and write with the other over long periods of time.
 
Jun 29, 2018
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By far the best implementation of the 2-in-1 concept has been the Surface Book / Surface Book 2 (NOT the Surface tablets). Honestly, I think that they're better for students than traditional laptops, with the downside that they are premium high-end devices and therefore pretty expensive.
 
Apr 30, 2019
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Hey Guys, so I am currently using a mid 2012 MacBook Pro, i7 processor (2.7 GHz) with a 500 GB Samsung 860 EVO. Do you think this would be sufficient for medical school?
 

Hawkeye397

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By far the best implementation of the 2-in-1 concept has been the Surface Book / Surface Book 2 (NOT the Surface tablets). Honestly, I think that they're better for students than traditional laptops, with the downside that they are premium high-end devices and therefore pretty expensive.
My friend had the 15in surface book 2 and taking the screen off felt awkward and gimmicky with such a big screen
 
Jun 29, 2018
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My friend had the 15in surface book 2 and taking the screen off felt awkward and gimmicky with such a big screen
Yeah, I dunno about the 15 inch. I have the 13'' SB and SB2.
 

ciestar

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Hey Guys, so I am currently using a mid 2012 MacBook Pro, i7 processor (2.7 GHz) with a 500 GB Samsung 860 EVO. Do you think this would be sufficient for medical school?
It was for me until mine broke.
 

ciestar

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Okay thanks. What are you currently using, if I may ask? Also, for anyone in this thread, would you recommend that I get a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet, as previously discussed? If so, what is an affordable option(s).
I got the newest MacBook Air.

I ended up with an iPad Pro for my first two years as my school requires iPads and I had no need to replace my MBP. So, my decision making was kinda different, but, I liked having to screens for study purposes. All my notes were taken on the iPad and lectures watched on my MBP