07-08-2019 04:44 AM
I'm shopping for a very portable 2 in 1 tablet style laptop. I'll be using the tablet weekly as a dungeon master for my dungeons and dragons campaign to take notes and to project battles onto a 60'' screen for my players. I'll be using a pen to keep notes and draw diagrams/figures for my players. I'll be using it during the week to draw out new maps/other artwork for the campaign.
I'll also be using it for travel. I travel 6-8+ times a year, about 3-4 times a year are 8+ hour one way flights. I'm desiring the upmost portability and being able to use it on airplanes. For travel I love to game. I'm getting sick and tired of carrying around a 10-12lb dedicated gaming laptop. It's just becoming too much a hassle.
I'm a software engineer with 10+ years of experience in the video game industry with shipped AAA titles. I do consulting work on the side. Any system will need to run UE4 and Unity editors at acceptable frame rates for onsite consulting work.
I've narrowed it down to three choices:
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (Gen 3)
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Microsoft Surface Book 2
I'm really leaning towards the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet + Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock EGPU (has a gtx 1050.) Will the EGPU increase performance significantly for the internal display? Or are they only for external displays? If it works decently for the internal display then I feel like it's the perfect tablet/laptop and compromise for what I'm seeking in one system.
I'm shying away from the Surfaces for reports of durability/warranty work, while people here seemed to have a more positive experience with Lenovo. I've read some concerning reviews on the Surface Book 2's tablet to pc connection becoming bad over time as well. Then I've read some reviews that the tablet of the SB 2 can be a bit unwieldy.
Then I'm a bit concerned about the pen tracking on the Lenovo, but then I'm not an artist though.
Here are my answers to the questions:
Total budget and country of purchase:
$2k budget, USA.
Do you prefer a 2 in 1 form factor, good battery life or best specifications for the money? Pick or include any that apply.
2 in 1 form factor and good battery life. Specs are high end too for my requirements.
How important is weight and thinness to you?
Very important. I'm looking for portability. Everything needs to fit in a small backpack that can fit under an airline seat.
Which OS do you require? Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Linux.
Do you have a preferred screen size? If indifferent, put N/A.
3:2 display ratio preferred
Are you doing any CAD/video editing/photo editing/gaming? List which programs/games you desire to run.
Yes. Gaming, software engineering, running UE4 and Unity Editors.
If you're gaming, do you have certain games you want to play? At what settings and FPS do you want?
Path of Exile - 60fps on medium+ settings preferred.
Magic The Gathering: Arena - 60fps, don't care about graphics as long as I can play.
Any specific requirements such as good keyboard, reliable build quality, touch-screen, finger-print reader, optical drive or good input devices (keyboard/touchpad)?
Good keyboard, good touchpad, good surface to draw on with a pen.
Leave any finishing thoughts here that you may feel are necessary and beneficial to the discussion.
It's a close tie between all 3. I'm also just tempted to grab the surface pro 6 just get a dedicated laptop for my business travel needs. I'd prefer simplicity and weight of one system though.
07-22-2019 12:36 PM
I'm assuming that you already made your purchase, but just in case you haven't - thought I'd share my thoughts.
First of all, I'd say this should be between the Surfacebook 2 and the Thinkpad X1 Tablet. The Surface Pro, just isn't in the running. The lack of USB-C or Thunderbolt ports, is a major drag down. In addition, there have been numerous reports about quality control. The ThinkPad X1, can actually be serviced (Which is nice.)
I've owned it for the past year, as a Teacher and I absolutely love it. I was trying to choose between the this device and the Surfacebook 2 as well. However, again I heard that there were many weird issues that popped up with the Surfacebook 2.
I've had no issues with this device, and updates have been frequent.
Unfortantly though, I can't talk towards e-gpu performance, as I haven't had the need for that. In that area having that Dedicated GPU from the Surfacebook is definitely an advantage.