Should I buy a Chromebook or Surface Pro?

Gobbling_Monkey

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Jan 13, 2014
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I need a small portable laptop for taking to college with me. I already have a HP Envy 17t-j100 that I can even do some gaming on, but the battery life is terrible, and it is too big to bring with me. I am on a budget. I would be using it for taking notes in class and also coding applications like BlueJ. I bought and am currently waiting on shipping for this refurbished Acer R11 Chromebook. It is manufacturer refurbished and sold by Acer themselves. I can return it. It comes with a 90 day warranty. I recently sold my Nvidia Shield tablet, so I decided on this one since it has a touchscreen and can run android apps, so it would somewhat replace the tablet too. I also wanted 4 GB RAM and a 32GB SSD since I know I can run Ubuntu on it to run a few applications I wouldn't be able like BlueJ to use on just Chrome OS. I will be able to run programs as long as they are supported on linux and I don't install too many.

Though I hear how the Surface is so good. I really want one, but can't afford a full price one.I would need the Pro version to run BlueJ. I think I would love being able to write on it with the pen and how it will be able to run everything just fine. I searched for a old Surface Pro 2. I found some "seller refurbished" ones on Ebay like this one. They are Grade B and have no warranty. There are also a Surface Pro 3 on Swappa for around $320 ish. I would be spending $100 more. Though they are used and the 4GB RAM version only. I see some certified refurbished ones on Amazon, but they seem to have bad reviews that they are in bad shape. Other similarly priced Windows laptops seem to have similar specs as the Chromebook. Windows being heavier, I think it will run slow. I also read reviews on how their SSD or HDD is so small, that they can't even install Chrome on them because of the extra bloatware. I don't want to spend more money upgrading the SSD. I have a 300 GB HDD laying around, but it will make it even slower than it already is. My mom has a low end laptop that I would not want to use because it is so slow even with only a few small programs. Plus, they wouldn't be somewhat replacing my Shield tablet.

What do you think is my best choice here? Do you think it is worth the risk and ~$150 more to get a Surface? Should I just save up more money for a Surface to have peace of mind that it won't break? Or should I just stick with the chromebook since in the alternative, I would either be spending a lot more, or would be risking getting a bad product? Should I be fine with just Chrome OS and Ubuntu? Are there any other simalarly priced around the chromebook ( A little more is fine) Windows laptops/tablets that are somewhat similar to a surface and will work well? I am open to any suggestion. They would need to be either new or manufacturer refurbished. Thank you.
 

velo3100

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Moderator
I would stick with a chromebook for using in class. and do all the programming things at home and use the envy. If the surface products have had bad reviews, I would stay away from them. You could look at the asus transformer book series as these are cheap 2 in 1 that run windows. The other reason I say to get the chromebook is size, as most windows laptops will be small at this price range or will be too weak to run the things you have said. Finally in my opinion chrome os is more reliable as you can't do much on it.
 

velo3100

Distinguished
Moderator
I would stick with a chromebook for using in class. and do all the programming things at home and use the envy. If the surface products have had bad reviews, I would stay away from them. You could look at the asus transformer book series as these are cheap 2 in 1 that run windows. The other reason I say to get the chromebook is size, as most windows laptops will be small at this price range or will be too weak to run the things you have said. Finally in my opinion chrome os is more reliable as you can't do much on it.
 
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