What Is Best - Technology Debate

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by gensurghopeful, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. gensurghopeful

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    Incoming OMS1 here...

    Currently have an older MacBook Air, which I love. But thinking about making the move to a cheaper PC with more ability to be interactive (draw, outline, highlight, etc. directly on the ppts for ex)

    What type of computer/pad do you guys use for medical school?

    Current front runnner is microsoft surface pro at $700 - looks like quality and relatively inexpensive.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. DrRedstone

    DrRedstone MS-2

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    Alternatively, purchase a graphics tablet. They are usually under $100 and they have much better digitizers than most touch screen computers.
     
  4. RamsFan&FutureDO

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    Get a surface book pro if you have the funding


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  5. sab3156

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    XPS 15 2-in-1
    HP Spectre x360

    These have outstanding displays and the pens are very good (may have to buy them separately).

    Stay away from Apple products. They are garbage and marked up heavily in price.
     
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  6. popopopop

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    I have a 2015 Macbook Pro and then purchased a new Surface 2017 with an Intel Core m3 for the reason you listed. I'm assuming that's the model you're looking at for $700. I think for a main device, I would get at least a core i5 8gb ram surface pro model. I have occasional lag with youtube(chrome, x1 tab) + office apps opened and it's so noticeable when I switch back and forth from my Macbook Pro. I have realistic expectations for the core m3, but really wish I upgraded to something faster.

    I did annotate digital notes heavily for a few months, but as I shifted to board materials the amount of handwritten notes I have became very scant. I have a few sheets of diagrams or outlines at most for tests and the rest of my notes are embedded in anki or board stuff. Paper notes ended up being a godsend because now I have some good outlines for board reviews. Just something to think about as you figure out what's good for you.
     
  7. Drrrrrr. Celty

    Drrrrrr. Celty Osteo Dullahan

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    I wouldn't purchase anything with less than 8gb of ram and an i5 or r5.
     
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  8. FourniersGreenGang

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    Love my surface pro and it has been amazing for school .That being said if you are a mac guy you might consider staying with it. A lot of mac uders I know end up not enjoying their PCs or having problems with them because they are different than Mac. A lot end up returning the PC and just buying a Mac. That said it's up to you. I think the surface is a superior machine but Mac fanatics usually can't be pleased by much else. Hard to beat the simplicity and reliability of mac
     
  9. DrWhozits

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    As an Apple fanboy, I have to plug for the iPad Pro + Apple Pencil. The pencil alone is worth it IMO
     
  10. AnatomyGrey12

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    I absolutely love my MacBook Pro. I would buy it again 10/10
     
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  11. RamsFan&FutureDO

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    Such a millennial


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  12. Hippocrates II

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    I just picked this up from bestbuy:

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-2-in-1-13-3-touch-screen-laptop-intel-core-i7-16gb-memory-512gb-solid-state-drive-smoke-gray/6077502.p?skuId=6077502

    I'm super impressed with it for the price. Tons of space, good amount of ram, very thin/light, battery life is decent (my only complaint), and most importantly, it's the first non-macbook computer I've had with both a great keyboard and touchpad. Super happy with it, and that's coming from the perspective of using a macbook air for the last few years at work.
     
  13. Drrrrrr. Celty

    Drrrrrr. Celty Osteo Dullahan

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    My only issue is that at this price you really could have gotten something with a discrete gpu and just had a real home-base type experience.

    I think everyone should be aware of what they're using their computer for. If you're doing tons of CPU intensive operations, ex adobe then an i7 is a great thing. Otherwise an i5 and 8gbs is probably more than enough for school work and otherwise.

    But likewise this also goes to show the enormous cost difference between macs and comparable 'luxury' brand computers. At 1k you'd get a dry fart base model from apple.
     
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  14. RamsFan&FutureDO

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    Sorry, but for the money a MacBook Air is hardly "fire". It's overpriced and hyped up by the apple homers. You get A LOT more computer on the PC side for $999 or less
     
  15. Drrrrrr. Celty

    Drrrrrr. Celty Osteo Dullahan

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    A power efficient dual core 3 generation old i5 (5250u) with last generation ram ddr3, a 900p display, and 128gbs of fast pci-e flash ssd.

    The fact that apple sells this full price in many respects is dependent on people being entirely unaware of its outdatedness. I mean, sure sell it with a discount or something, but at 1k you'll be able to get this generation hardware. Or just go up to the macbook pro line and pay a mild premium and get this generation hardware since they update it frequently.
     
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  17. Hippocrates II

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    Most people do not need a discrete GPU and will never notice the difference IMO, particularly for a laptop specifically for med school. Also worth noting that this laptop is very thin/compact, which was important to me for carrying around between classes, and laptops with discrete GPUs are almost always bulky to accommodate them. I'm not super up and up on laptops since I don't pay much attention to them, but if you can show me a comparable laptop with 500+ gb SSD, comparable CPU, 16 gigs of ram, and in a similar form-factor, for the same price with a discrete/worthwhile GPU, I would be very interested in seeing it. Not saying it doesn't exist since I don't follow these things closely, but I would be surprised if it did. As for the CPU, I would argue a faster CPU is a better investment than a discrete GPU for this type of computer work, but that's just my opinion.
     
  18. Drrrrrr. Celty

    Drrrrrr. Celty Osteo Dullahan

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    I would say that neither are necessary for school work. Hell, a i3 is good enough for running uworld with youtube in the background too, 8gbs is good enough too.

    I was more saying that once you start to break the >1k price I start feeling like a laptop should be more than just an elegant web browser and should be more of desktop replacement. Obviously I focused on the GPU mostly because I play video games and I value that. Not specifically saying that it's applicable to you.
     
  19. Hippocrates II

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    Agree to disagree. Laptops at the >1k price point are at that price either for the high specs or the thin/compact form-factor, which is why just about every PC that falls into that category (the one I posted, MS surface, Dell XPS, etc.) are all $$$. I wouldn't consider the laptop I posted to be just a web browser, but to each their own. I can agree that it's probably overkill for just medical school in terms of specs, but I more suggested it due to its form factor and fantastic keyboard/trackpad, both of which I have found to be unusual in a windows PC, and something OP would probably like coming from a macbook. The hardware specs are a nice bonus for me. My $0.02, for whatever they're worth.
     
  20. Medic741

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    MacBook + iPad Pro w notability + iPhone Plus.

    Cloud sync all notes between devices. PDF to Dropbox, drive that air into the ground. Unless you’re doing data research, there is *no reason* to buy a fancy computer imo
     
  21. Jesus1

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    Here's my take from the perspective of someone who has used the iPad Pro and multiple windows note taking devices (surface pro, surface book, lenovo thinkpad devices);

    a)The iPad Pro definitely works and the pen works great. Only problem is that you have to jump through lots of hoops in my opinion to get the same stuff done that can ordinarily be zoomed through with ease on a full fledged laptop. The file management system is garbage. The lack of a mouse also makes things really difficult and the issue of having to upload things to a cloud storage service also complicates matters. CANNOT fully replace a laptop. The battery life is clutch though. Not all apps support split screen.

    b)Surface devices are excellent although the battery life of the surface pro is 2-3 hrs below that of the Ipad Pro (about 7-8 hrs which is not terrible). The pen of the surface pro (NTrig) is probably about as good as the ipad pro's pencil but I do prefer the pencil on the ipad if the body was not "so slimy" along with the weird charging mechanism. This is a full fledged computer with enough ports, an excellent/native file management system, and the ability to use a mouse. You do not need cloud storage here. The surface book works just like the surface pro albeit with a better screen and ridiculously good battery life (about 13-15 hrs when I actually used it).

    c)Other devices to consider include other Ntrig devices, WACOM AES devices like the Thinkpad Yoga 720 (do a google search, there's more AES devices), and then Wacom EMR devices (these exist but they are fewer than most other types of device enabled pens).

    IMO pen ratings (and trust me, I have used all) go as follows from best to worst;

    Wacom EMR (gold standard, first line, uses no battery, writes like butter, it is the one pen type that I have used for about 7 years and still love it, closest to a natural pen experience).
    Ipad Pro Pencil
    Wacom AES with a very slight almost imperceptible advantage over Ntrig.
    Others (Atmel, Synaptics). These are generally garbage.

    The WACOM EMR technology is what is employed in some (not all) of the Samsung S Pens and the old Lenovo's (x230 which can be found for peanuts/$200 or so on ebay and form excellent note taking machines, early thinkpad yogas, etc). They are also used in the Wacom Bamboo graphics tablets. Newer devices that use this technology include the HP Zbook X2 (super expensive but the screen is one of the best you'll ever see on a laptop, including the 4K XPS 15 screen), the Fujitsu T90xx series, Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, and the Samsung galaxy book 12. There's more but these are the ones that immediately come to mind.

    My recommendation will be to keep your current laptop if you have one and just buy a used x230 (which are reasonably powerful laptops) on ebay with SSDs for < $350 and use this as your note taking machine instead of the fancy but less useful ipad pro. Make sure you set up everything to sync perfectly to the cloud in Onenote. You can then buy another laptop or just use the x230 as your primary machine (which I did for years). The keyboard on the x230 is the best I have ever used on a laptop with the exception of the old IBM thinkpad keyboards. You will definitely get a lot more use from this compared to an iPad pro keyboard which is just not smart to say the least. People for some reason seem to be forgetting the joys of being able to use SD cards and USB drives with ease without having to rely solely on having some "cloud based" storage system.
     
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  22. Yhorm the Giant

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    This is the computer I picked up about 3 weeks ago for school. For about three months I had been eyeballing and planning on a Surface product, no questions asked. I was just deciding between a Surface Pro and the bottom end Surface Book 2. I watched probably 50 hours worth of review videos and read a ton of articles. I was 100% set on getting a surface.

    I still think the services are awesome products and realistically still might be the best for med school. I don't know, I don't start for like another week.

    It was like I had an epiphany though, for $1,000 to get the Surface Pro directly from Best Buy or the Microsoft store, excluding any sales, they're $1,000 best option for Surface Pro had a 7th generation I5, 8 gigs of RAM and 128 gigs of a solid state drive, and this did not include the type pad or pen. This Asus computer, weighs only 2.4 pounds and is 0.4 in thick and because it's a two in one I just flip around and hold it like a tablet, it is so light that is comfortable. I got it on sale for exactly 1K from Best Buy, and you get an 8th generation i7, 16 gigs of RAM and 512 gig solid state drive. I realize you would never need the specs for anything in med school itself. So purchasing a laptop and how much you're willing to spend probably depends on your extracurricular Pursuits a little bit as well. I also hear so many stories, even on This Thread, about people who used handwritten annotations for a while and then stopped. I was getting a Surface Pro primarily because I thought I would do that so much, but then I was worried I would end up wishing I just had a regular laptop. This one seemed to be the best of both worlds. The stylus included works well.

    I almost got the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, which was 1200 bucks, the pain was inserted into the keyboard which I thought was nice and it had a dGPU. I really wanted one that kid do games, but honestly I realize that I wanted it just for the sake of doing games. If I'm ever actually on the go and want to play, I have a switch, and the 8th gen i7 is more than enough for emulators of old games. And the Intel UHD 620 does give a somewhat playable version of low intensity games like fortnite.

    My only other laptop died like 4 months ago and I sold it for parts, so I did need something with a bit of kick and I don't have a desktop, so I figured I wanted something little bit more powerful that could do everything I need for a long time to come, not knowing where the ram consumption of windows will be headed within the next couple of years.
     
    #20 Yhorm the Giant, Jul 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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  23. sab3156

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    That is pure garbage, my friend. Apple is for dogmatic and gullible people (no offense to anyone).
     
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  24. RamsFan&FutureDO

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    Agreed! (Except iPhones )


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  25. Hippocrates II

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    Yep, I agree. I'm surprised someone would say this laptop is not worth 1k because it doesn't have a discrete GPU when it has otherwise very good specs, on top of a ridiculously thin/light layout, great keyboard/touchpad, etc. I have not found something comparable for ~1k, even if it more than you need just for med school. Best alternative I've found yet to a macbook, which for all of its faults truly does offer a very good hardware experience relative to most windows laptops.
     
  26. kelminak

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    Apple is a luxury product. There will always be alternatives to it that work equally well for a lesser price point. It won't have the shiny Apple look though. That's what you pay for with Apple products. I've heard so many dumb, false arguments to justify them when I spent 5 years doing tech support ("they don't get viruses!", "they just last so much longer!", "they run so much faster!", "they just work!").

    None of these things are real or true arguments for Macs.
     
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  27. BorntobeDO?

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    I bought a computer with an active digitizer after my first semester. I enjoy it, but to say its a necessity would be false. And unless your handwriting is both fast and fantastic, I don't think its necessary. Typing was a lot easier to read.
     
  28. Winter2014

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    so my school gives all new students an Ipad pro with the smart keyboard and pen accessory.
    I was still thinking about buying a new laptop and was leaning towards something like a hp or lenova yoga as my primary.
    But now with the school giving me an Ipad, does it make more sense to go with a MAC book?I wanted something that can handle light gaming and don't really know if Macs can play any games.
     
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  29. sab3156

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    ........
    ........
    ........

    that's what she said.
     
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  30. kelminak

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    Never go Mac for gaming. It’s getting better from triple a companies, but there will always be stuff that doesn’t make it over (or at least in the immediate future). Save yourself hundreds of bucks and get a cheaper gaming laptop. I got one for my gf around $650 and it slays anything that isn’t extremely graphics-heavy.
     
  31. t5Nitro

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    I bought an upgraded MBP probably 7 years ago now that still runs like new. Haven't had any trouble with it. With that said I swapped the iPhone for the galaxy S9+ and think it's a much better phone. I also bought and gave away the large iPad Pro thinking I'd use the pen in school. It was more cumbersome than not. I've used apple for a long time but the iPad is certainly not worth it for school (I actually have a hard time finding a use for one in general though). Anyway, my computer is running perfect from 7 years ago or so now without issues. That said if it's like the new phones, switching over was a great decision for me.
     

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