Forum Thread

2-in-1 Laptops or Laptop + Tablet For College?

roninmedia 110 26 August 13, 2015 at 07:49 AM
This is the time of year when high school students are becoming college students and many are heading to their respective campuses with new laptops.

A family member is wanting me to purchase a 2-in-1 laptop with touchscreen functionality but I've never owned/used a 2-in-1 laptop. She is going to be a nursing student and does absolutely zero gaming. I am trying to weigh if a cheaper laptop + tablet is a better route to go (<$700).

Any first-hand experience or advice? Thanks for any input

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#2
I wrote a reply, IDK if it went through so I'm rewritting.
I'm a college student too and I've been wanting to get a 2in1 so I've been researching for quite a while.
There's not reason to be a $700 2-in1 device especially if that person is not going to do any games. Also IMO 2-in1 are not good for heavy gaming because the tablet part will just overheat.
I'd reccomend getting 2 devices. You can get a good decent 2in1 for $200-300 (hint asus chi t100 or asus t100
http://slickdeals.net/f/7983543-asus-transformer-book-t100-chi-10-1-display-intel-atom-2gb-ram-64gb-emmc-300-free-shipping-ebay-daily-deal?&src=SiteSearch and a good decent laptop for $300-600.
However if just one 2in1 is a must I'd recommend the brand name microsoft surface 3 (other surfaces have RT, you NEED windows 8/10) but that's if you're willing to throw money.
I'd recommend getting the asus chi t300
http://slickdeals.net/f/8035469-price-drop-asus-transformer-book-t300-chi-2-in-1-touchscreen-laptop-12-5-wqhd-2560-x-1440-intel-core-m-5y10-8gb-ddr3-128gb-ssd-windows-8-1-new-525-free-shipping?src=SiteSearch
http://slickdeals.net/f/8040315-asus-transformer-book-t300-chi-signature-edition-2-in-1-pc-499-after-coupon?&src=SiteSearch
This is gone: http://slickdeals.net/f/7979985-microsoftstore-asus-transformer-book-t300-chi-signature-edition-2-in-1-pc-397-ac?&src=SiteSearch
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Last edited by Collext August 13, 2015 at 08:39 AM
#3
I recommend getting 2 devices, in case one breaks likely the 2in1 cause the portability will lead to dangerous situations imo lol. Make sure to get some accident protection if practicle from squaretrade and def not bestbuy geeksquad.
um, if I were you and had a budget of $700 I'd buy a asus chi t100 for $300 and get like a $400 laptop.
if I was trying to be cheap like I am. I'd buy like a $100 used 2in1 of past years or if I had to go new itd be a $200 tablet like asus t100. And the laptop $300.
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#4
I am a college student and the Surface Pro 3 is my only computer.

It been working great.

I bought my Surface Pro 3 prior to the Surface 3 being release, but the Surface 3 would have been sufficient for my needs (with a cheaper price tag).
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#5
Is there a reason they specifically asked for a 2in1?

Imo, 2 separate devices works out better than a single 2in1. The tablet gives you the option of leaving the laptop behind on days you don't actually need the extra weight/power while still being able to do light work/play. I imagine most people will also find they have no use for a gigantic tablet, since their size isn't all that convenient.

2in1s also seem to come at a premium if you want a 1080p touchscreen (just my experience at local B&M stores this past week) which really doesn't seem worth it. A surface pro 3 would probably also work here but those are crazy expensive too, lol.
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#6
I would be concerned about the durability of a 2:1 device over the 4-5 years of school especially if its take around everywhere on a daily basis. I think the surface Pro suggestion is good, but just realize thats a small screen to use for everything and the battery life will suffer somewhat. Nice hardware though, plenty powerful.

For students I have always been a fan of the accidental warranties for 2-3 years. I knew dell used to have a great one, not sure how that program has evolved. Typically business machines are built better than cheaper consumer machines. I wouldn't buy a machine today without an SSD as the boot drive. You can always add it after the fact too.
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#7
tablet is more for watching movies listerning to music

a laptop you can do proper computer work


you pay a lot more for 2 in 1
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#8
Quote from ChpByr View Post :
Is there a reason they specifically asked for a 2in1?

Imo, 2 separate devices works out better than a single 2in1. The tablet gives you the option of leaving the laptop behind on days you don't actually need the extra weight/power while still being able to do light work/play. I imagine most people will also find they have no use for a gigantic tablet, since their size isn't all that convenient.

2in1s also seem to come at a premium if you want a 1080p touchscreen (just my experience at local B&M stores this past week) which really doesn't seem worth it. A surface pro 3 would probably also work here but those are crazy expensive too, lol.
I think my cousin just asked for it because it appears to be trendy now. She wants touch-screen and would prefer if it were a 2-in-1. I have always hated all-in-one or 2-in-1 devices like those all-in-one desktops or televisions with built in vcr/dvd or wireless gateways.

I am likely going to convince her to get an i3 laptop (she's someone who literally spends most of her time on social media with no gaming) and a separate tablet. I am fine buying refurb but since my cousin is in college in another state but I may need to go new for peace of mind.
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Last edited by roninmedia August 14, 2015 at 08:52 PM

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#9
A lot of high school kids have their own computers/laptops/tablets already even if they're a bit dated. If you fall in this category, my advice is to stick with the computer you've got for your freshman year. I think you're more likely to have a device get damaged or stolen your freshman year and your computing needs will typically grow over time.

I think your major also has some relevance. Separate devices can be nice from a battery life perspective.
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Last edited by jkee August 14, 2015 at 10:33 PM
#10
I too would Like to know some opinions. I have a pretty decent laptop with 6gb of ram and a bit older i3 processor, dell inspiron n5110 I believe. But that never fits in my laptop backpack and do not feel like bringing it to college every day. I'm thinking of getting the asus transformer book t100 for every day use such as notetakimg and maybe some word processing and homework while away from my laptop. or should I just deal with my laptop for college and save the important docs and reformat after its extended usage during high school?
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#11
Quote from roninmedia View Post :
I think my cousin just asked for it because it appears to be trendy now.
Retail stores are pushing them pretty hard these days, but unless you want one for a specific reason it more of a gimmick than anything else. I picked up a tablet a year and a half ago for ~$120 that has served me quite well, and still does, but its only purpose really is to provide a lightweight alternative to a laptop for basic internet and reading (I can't imagine carrying multiple hardbook textbooks anymore). A 2in1 sort of defeats the point in that respect.
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#12
My college son (grad student now, in the sciences) has a big, powerful gaming laptop and an original Surface RT that I bought on a clearance deal years ago. He's on his second laptop (6th year of school, the original laptop dropped in his senior undergrad year and was replaced as a graduation present) but this setup works perfectly for him.

He generally keeps his big laptop at his apartment, has a Dell XPS desktop in his office at school (which he owns as well, and was a 16th birthday present, lol), and carries the Surface with him. All his data is stored in the cloud, either in OneDrive or Google Drive depending on the source. He uses the Surface to access and edit data on the road or in class, as well as for reading journals and articles.

He watches some Netflix on the Surface when traveling, but mostly watches video on his bigger laptop as he prefers the bigger screen. Like many young adults these days he has no need for a TV any more.

I agree that two devices are a better way to go. Bigger is often better when it comes to knuckling down and working on long papers or projects, but portable is important. Over the course of 4 years even the best device can break or be stolen, so redundancy is better, and keeping your schoolwork in the cloud means you can even do your work with the school's computers. Actually, until my son got his Surface he did much of his paper writing in his school's library using their computers and Google Drive.
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