Microsoft recently announced the release of the Surface 3 device, (pre-orders began May 21, shipping on June 20 in the U.S. and Canada) and they are marketing it as a tablet that can replace your laptop. Over the last year, more and more of our business partners have asked our opinion on using tablets versus light weight laptops. There’s no right or wrong answer, but we’ve been evaluating the merits of each and today I’d like to share our thoughts.
Productivity still important
There has always been a conundrum for business travelers who want a high powered computer when they are working in the office, but prefer an ultra-lightweight device for travel. The invention of tablets has been a step in the right direction in solving this issue, however; tablets still lack the rich suite of applications that would provide the same level of productivity as a laptop. They do provide just enough tools to work in a limited fashion and advancements in technology have led the way to lighter and faster components for travelers.
On the market today are several quality machines that stand up to a good quality lightweight laptop. For Mac enthusiasts the MacBook Air is a solid option. The MacBook has the full list of features that Mac users are familiar with and are very powerful machines.
For Window’s users, Lenovo’s X1 carbon has received rave reviews as a powerful and lightweight device. It also boasts the largest screen size of all the options mentioned in this discussion. The latest model of the X1 has a touchscreen, but does not have a removable keyboard.
In looking at the convertible laptop market, both the Lenovo ThinkPad 10 and the Dell Venue Pro have the ability to function as both a tablet and a laptop and are priced to be very budget friendly. The hardware in each of these convertibles is not very powerful and may not be enough for all of your business needs.
The Surface 3 that was recently released has the hardware specifications to rival the laptops and the convertible features to fully function as a tablet. However, purchasers should be aware that the keyboard is not included and the design still does not sit perfectly in the lap, although it is much better than the previous release.
As a reference, listed below are specifications for each of the devices discussed in this blog. My recommendation is that if you want to have the productivity in and out of the office on a single machine. The MacBook Air, the X1 Carbon or the Surface 3 are all devices worthy of consideration. To make it easier, check out the devices and specifications listed to make sure whatever machine you go with best suits your environment.
|Device||Surface 3||MacBook Air||X1 Carbon||ThinkPad 10||Dell Venue Pro|
|Processor||Core i3-i7||Core i5-i7||Core i3-i7||Atom Z3795||Atom Z3795|
|Display||12"; 2160×1440||13.3"; 1440×900||14"; 2560×1440||10.1"; 1920×1200||10.8"; 1366×768|
|Storage||64-512GB SSD||128-512 flash||128-512 SSD||51-128GB||32-256GB|
|Battery||9 hrs||12 hrs||6 hrs||10 hrs||9.9 hrs|
|Price||$799-$1949||$999-$1998||$1186-$2167||$599 & up||$429.99|