Which is better for an engineer student, a Microsoft surface pro 3 or a lenova yoga 2?

CiggyP

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Nov 9, 2014
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I am a high school student who is going to go to college for engineering. I want to know which tablet/laptop is better for running programs like Maya, autocadd, etc. I also want a laptop/tablet that I can use for my other more boring classes, English, math, history, and science.
 

cbrunnem

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Dec 19, 2010
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you dont need a laptop for engineering. you need a laptop for college. if you want something to bring to class get a tablet not a laptop. tablets will get better battery life and you can take notes on them.

Also Maya isnt an engineering program and autocad hardly is too. Plus any program you would be using you wont be able to afford in the first place and i wouldnt want to be the kid who gets caught torrenting the 10k+ dollar program.

For the most part though you will not be running anything that will stress a computer. depending on what type of engineering you are going for(which is?) the most intense you might have to run is simulations in Creo/Catia/Nx. Either way your school should have labs with all the programs you will be running on them. save your money. you dont need a crazy good laptop.

source:
Graduating senior from a top 10 engineering school.
 

drewnissan1

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Jul 16, 2008
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They have basically the same internals so performance should be very similar if not exactly the same. I use my Pro 3 for school and the pen and handwriting your notes in OneNote is fantastic. I take pictures of handouts with my Lumia icon using the office lens app and it auto uploads to the OneNote file of my choice....then I immediately wad up the handout and throw it away which freaks out all the older teachers.
 

jimizzle

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Nov 10, 2014
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I'm an engineering student at Cambridge in the UK. My surface pro 3 is great for lectures because all the notes are in PDF form so I use the pen for annotations. You wouldn't be able to do this with the Yoga.
 

rtsengMIT

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Nov 10, 2014
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There are many engineering programs that stress a computer and being stuck with a slow computer can be a burden. It sounds like this "graduating senior" doesn't have experience with such programs but they exist. Many circuit simulators, EM simulators, thermal simulators, and basically any FEM tool is going to tax your computer. Once you start layering parametric analysis, run times can be significant - many hours or even days. These tools are used in college, industry, and if you ever want to design something for fun on the side.

On the point about expensive software, most colleges provide free or very low cost access to the necessary engineering programs.

I do not know what computer is better, I just don't want you to make a decision based on the faulty information provided by this "graduating senior from a top-ten program".

I am an electrical engineer, MIT graduate, and I ran a large engineering group at Qualcomm.
 

Tek Warrior

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Nov 11, 2014
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I'm an IT engineer, and I use a Surface Pro 3 (i7, 8 GB Ram, 512 GB HD) before you decide there are several factors you should consider. But do not limit your choices to just those two.

1) First and formost is WHAT does the grad program at your intended college require.

2) Do you want the versatilty of an easy to take notes features, and DON'T need an engineering workstation (if so my opinion the Surface Pro 3 is better).

3) Niether will meet your needs if you have to use any "high end" engineering programs. And looking for a "tablet" like laptop (ie a 2 in 1) is not what you need. Although they have the "cool factor" and a lot of horse power, it is not enough for the afore mentioned engineering programs, but some higher end notebooks do.
 

RBT_Engineer

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Nov 11, 2014
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I am a mechanical engineer and have been working in the field for about ten years. My company recently bought me a Surface Pro 3 (i7 processor, 8GB ram, 512 GB memory; about $2000) to test out functionality with SolidWorks (a highly resource intensive program) and it works great! I ran a benchmark test against my work desktop (a 3 year old Dell Inspiron TM3500, 12 GB of ram) and not only did the pro 3 out-perform it, my benchmark test was far better than all but 1 computer in the company (about 10 computers; small company).

I don't know what type of engineering you're looking into, but I definitely recommend the pro 3 for mechanical.

Also the shared computer lab computers are usually super old and extremely slow. I didn't have a laptop in college and it was a struggle to get homework finished in a timely manner due to resources and availability.

Hope this helps!
 

Mattcny

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Nov 11, 2014
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This is a horrible answer. Get a surface pro 3. It has windows so you can use onenote, and it has an active digitizer so your pen can take legible notes. The battery on a surface will get you through all of your classes for the day unplugged. 4gb of ram will be good for 3D cad packages, and 8gb is good for future proofing. You will have access to the educational versions of these $10,000 software packages for less than $200. If this poster didn't know this then he is probably a freshman that hasn't taken a 3D cad class yet. I am a recent graduate, I used a windows tablet and onenote throughout most of college, and it worked out really well.



 

ArynChris

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Nov 24, 2014
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Definitely depends what you need for school, and I recommend asking your future school... or if you're undecided where to go, all your potential schools. I briefly attended one that GAVE hybrid laptops to all the students, with the necessary programs pre-installed, trading all the laptops for new ones every 3 years. Getting one of my own would have been redundant, and potentially outdated by the time I graduated anyway... if your future school does that, it would be better to save your money and figure out what to get during your senior year. But it depends on the school.

Otherwise, listen to the real engineers, not students or posers. No real engineer will steer you wrong, and unlike creative career fields, there are definitely right and wrong answers when it comes to which tools work and which don't.

--ex-civil/enviro engineering major
 

cbrunnem

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Dec 19, 2010
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man sounds like a lot of you went to shitty schools. in the years ive went where i did they have upgraded the lab computers twice(ones freshman year, once before my senior year in the summer/spring) to higher end desktops(i5, low/mid range workstation gpus). Oh the benefits of going to a great engineering school.
 
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