(MSUCHM or UoMN) Help me choose a tablet/laptop/ultrabook

Pacna

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Jun 2, 2013
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So I'm aware there are a million of these threads, but I would like specific input on devices typically used in M1&2 years of the above schools. Beyond that, I would appreciate more general input on which devices you think I should consider.

My situation: I have a very robust desktop which should last me for 5 years in my estimation. I'm going to use it for dual-screen studying at home. I also have a 6 year old laptop which is also fairly strong speed-wise, but quite large, has no touch screen, and its battery slot doesn't register anymore (requires plug all the time).

What I'm looking for: Exceptionally good touch screen with regards to note taking as well as satisfying processing power (lag makes me sad). I also like tactile keyboards (which, as I understand, almost all machines I can buy now can at least get an attachment). I'm leaning away from an iPad as I have had some minor experience with this and was unimpressed with the UI and other minor things. Definitely not ruled out.

My problem is that I just don't know where to start looking. It's a big purchase for me, and I would appreciate all the help I can get. I doubt that any one person is going to be able to comment on personal experience for both schools, so I would appreciate whatever feedback you're able to give.

Asked another way: If you're an M1-2 now, what machine do you wish you had purchased in retrospect?
 

PreMedOrDead

I'm sure you'll get in...
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May 19, 2012
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If you're accepted to one of these programs (I'm assuming you are), get in touch with an MS3. You can do this through the school itself, or go into the school specific thread and ask for input. The general populace of SDN pre-allo isn't going to do you much good.

As for what they will likely say, tablets aren't necessary but they are convenient. Nearly everyone I see has an iPad, if they have a tablet. If they attend lectures (big if here), they use their iPads to record notes using notetaking software and the lecture ppts.

Schools also generally have computers to use on campus, and you have a desktop/tethered laptop, so that's essentially covered.
 
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Pacna

Pacna

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I appreciate the helpful reply!

I have sent a couple of emails and will reply to this thread with any information I obtain.
 

TheThirdLevel

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Feb 12, 2010
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Rik, what's your budget?

I'm personally not much of a Mac person so i'd recommend a Windows laptop but if you have a price range then I can give you a little more accurate answer. Considering you have a desktop what you'd be looking for is some sort of ultrabook.

CPU - Aim for a Haswell version (Core i3/5/7 - 4xxx). There were some significant battery life improvements with this microarchitecture and they're quite noticeable. Also the integrated graphics (HD4400) are quite a lot better than the previous versions too.

Storage - Aim for at least 4gb RAM (generally easily upgradeable if necessary) and a solid state drive if you can wing it. SSDs are ridiculously fast, but kind of expensive. Also draw less power than HDDs so you will notice battery life improvements as well.

Graphics - Integrated is fine. If you have a desktop don't waste money on a good gfx card in an ultrabook, it'll run hotter and eat more battery.

Screen size/resolution - For portability you'd probably want something in the 12-14" range. Try to get an IPS display if you can. Avoid a 1366x768 screen, they look like crap and will look even worse in 3-4 years.

Lenovo, Asus, higher Toshiba are all good options. Some of the newer Acers have actually been getting some nice reviews too, and are generally less expensive.
 
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Pacna

Pacna

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Jun 2, 2013
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Got a Duo 13 and I believe it will fill my needs fabulously. :)
 
May 4, 2012
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Pre-Medical
So I'm aware there are a million of these threads, but I would like specific input on devices typically used in M1&2 years of the above schools. Beyond that, I would appreciate more general input on which devices you think I should consider.

My situation: I have a very robust desktop which should last me for 5 years in my estimation. I'm going to use it for dual-screen studying at home. I also have a 6 year old laptop which is also fairly strong speed-wise, but quite large, has no touch screen, and its battery slot doesn't register anymore (requires plug all the time).

What I'm looking for: Exceptionally good touch screen with regards to note taking as well as satisfying processing power (lag makes me sad). I also like tactile keyboards (which, as I understand, almost all machines I can buy now can at least get an attachment). I'm leaning away from an iPad as I have had some minor experience with this and was unimpressed with the UI and other minor things. Definitely not ruled out.

My problem is that I just don't know where to start looking. It's a big purchase for me, and I would appreciate all the help I can get. I doubt that any one person is going to be able to comment on personal experience for both schools, so I would appreciate whatever feedback you're able to give.

Asked another way: If you're an M1-2 now, what machine do you wish you had purchased in retrospect?
I know I'm not in med school...but...an iPad mini or ipad is great if you annotate PDFs while notetaking. In med school, annotating PDFs is usually the way to go. Ipad minis run at 399. I use mine to note take for all my classes with notability synced to Dropbox. It's been really effective. You can also get anki for ipad which is a flashcard system a lot of people use. A decent stylus runs at 8 dollars on amazon. (Ampen). I've also heard an ipad is a great tool during rotations. I personally prefer the small, portable size of the mini but...that's me.

Edit: ohp, nvm, looks like I was too late to the advice bandwagon