Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 VS Dell Venue 11 Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Dell Venue 11 Pro
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 4650U 1.70 GHz
Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 4300Y processor (3MB Cache, 1.6 GHz Dual Core) vPro enabled
256 GB flash storage
256 GB flash storage
12’’ display (2160 x 1440 Resolution)
 Intel HD Graphics 5000
10.8” display (1920 x 1080 Resolution)
Intel® GT2 Graphics
1 USB 3.0 port
1 USB 3.0 port
1 mini display port
1 mini hdmi port
Micro SD card reader
Micro SD card reader
Magnetic power adapter
Plug-in power adapter (micro usb)
Dock port
Dock port
Typecover (keyboard and screen cover all-in-one)
2 keyboard options:  Dell table keyboard-mobile w/internal battery and dell tablet keyboard-slim
2.5lbs including typecover
3lbs including Dell Tablet Keyboard-mobile
Pros of the dock:
The keyboard can be left connected when docking the surface pro 3.
2 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 ports
Pros of the dock:
The dock is smaller and is slightly easier to use(in my opinion) Dual display output from dock(hdmi and full display port)
2 USB 3.0 ports
Cons of the docking station:
The dock is a little larger and only features one mini display port. To connect second monitor, you’ll need to run another mini-display cable off of the tablet itself.
Cons of the docking station:
Display profiles; I’ve noticed after using for a while, when the tablet is put to sleep for a period of time, the display profile will reset and may not find one of the monitors. The fix; create and name a profile using the Intel graphics preferences, then you can open the preferences and select that profile when it resets on you upon waking the computer.


            This is my opinion about the Dell Venue 11 Pro and the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. These are my observations whilst using both systems for roughly a 2 week period each in an enterprise environment. I’m very big on the typing experience of computers. If it’s something you’ll be using quite a bit, it has to be comfortable to use right?
Surface Pro 3’s typecover: The typing experience is surprisingly comfortable for how thin the cover is. You can lay the keyboard flat or it can tilt up magnetically on the tablet. The tilted position is a little more comfortable for me. It’s also backlit, which I found really nice.
Dell Venue 11 Pro’s keyboards (remember there are two options from Dell): First, the Dell tablet keyboard-slim, about the same thinness of the surface pro 3’s typecover, but it’s not as comfortable to type on as the surface’s keyboard. I also noticed the space bar is actually kind of hard to press when typing a document. I found myself having to delete words to go back and make sure I depressed the space bar all the way.  The keys have a very short travel distance.
Dell tablet keyboard-mobile: first thing you’ll notice, it looks like a full laptop sized chicklet keyboard.  It’s a comfortable typing experience, much better than the slim keyboard. The keyboard does add some weight because the keyboard features a built in battery that will increase the Venue’s battery life around 50%. When the Venue is connected to the mobile keyboard and you have the Venue plugged in to charge, it’ll actually charge the keyboard not the Venue, but the Venue does draw a charge from the keyboard.
For both the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and the Dell Venue 11 Pro, they support Bluetooth devices, so the keyboard options are pretty well open to personal preference. We only tested the keyboards that were available from the manufacturer of the devices.
Overall Conclusion:
                After using both of these devices for two weeks a piece, I agree that you can replace your current laptop with one of these devices. I’ve used them in an enterprise environment and mostly used them with their docking stations and having this capability makes them a great computer for that purpose.  I will also state that it would be best if you’re planning on replacing your current system with one of these devices to get the extended warranty. The devices work great, when they work.  Out of 4 Surface Pro 3's we had purchased, we had to send back one to have it replaced, and then that replacement has been replaced again because it wasn’t communicating with the dock properly. Also, with that in mind, it's good to constantly back up your data and keep a system image just in case you have to reload windows. 
                The real question is, would I buy one to replace my current system. If I were looking to buy a windows computer, I would definitely purchase one of these devices. I would probably lean more towards the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 because of the larger screen and having the kickstand in the back for multiple viewing angles, which is a great feature, something that the Dell Venue 11 Pro doesn’t have. With the Venue you get one viewing position with the slim keyboard cover and the mobile keyboard gives you more of a laptop range of motion but it’s still limited on how far back it can adjust, much less than the Surface.
                Using both of these devices as a tablet is really nice. I like that you can use them as desktop workstations with the “desktop” environment and then using as a tablet you can either use desktop environment or use the mobile tiles (apps) to navigate the tablet. I didn't use them as a tablet very often but for the few times I did, it was a decent experience.

                Feel free to leave any questions or concerns regarding these two devices and I will do my best to get back to you and answer them to the best of my ability.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ultralite Laptop Comparison

         I decided my first post would be something that I’ve been wondering about: ultralight laptops. I compared ASUS, Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell to get a nice comprehensive list of what’s out there. What I found surprised me, especially the costs. I’m not here to persuade you one way or the other, or to get in the debate on what operating system is better, only to give you my findings so you don’t have to search for this information yourself.    


            I found all my information about these laptops on the manufacturer’s websites, except for the ASUS Zenbook’s price; I had to find that price on Amazon. I unfortunately couldn’t buy each of them to try them out for some time to give my own review, but they all seem comparable on paper. 

           The ASUS laptop is a little more expensive, but it also features gorilla glass, 8Gb of RAM, and the dual hard drives have been put into a RAID 0 to create a faster experience. I have used the HP Elitebook, and as the heaviest in this list, it was still super light and fast running. I’ve also had time to use the MacBook Air, and they are very nice as well, have better graphics, and to my surprise, is the cheaper route. 

         All in this list have 8GBs of RAM except for the HP Elitebook, but I can say from experience that the Elitebook runs really well. The apple and the HP are the cheapest in my table, but the MacBook Air has more storage and more RAM, which brings me to conclude that it's the best choice for the money, surprisingly. 

       The other three, however, have touchscreens, so that is something that requires a bit of thought. Touchscreen or non touchscreen? What's important to you? What operating system do you prefer? These are some of the questions to ask yourself when you're looking for that new light laptop.  

       I hope this information was helpful, and stay tuned for future posts. If you have any suggestions for posts on anything you’d like to know more about, please let me know and I’ll put it in the queue. 

      As this is my first post, please be kind.