Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

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mw1739
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Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by mw1739 » Wed May 15, 2019 1:32 pm

My company is rolling out new laptops this year and one of the choices is a Dell 2 in 1 convertible laptop that converts to a tablet and comes with a stylus pen you can use to take notes. I’m wondering how useful the 2 in 1 feature is, and how well the system is able to read handwriting?

My typical day involves reviewing a lot of material, taking notes on a notepad and taking notes during meetings. Occasionally (say 25% of the time) I need to return from meetings and type up my notes. Would the 2 in 1 simplify my day, or is it not very useful and should I stick with a traditional laptop?

bloom2708
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by bloom2708 » Wed May 15, 2019 1:53 pm

My primary work laptop is an HP Elite X2 1012 G2.

It is a 2 in 1. Fantastic, powerful laptop/tablet. When sitting at my desk I have it hooked up to a USB 3 Docking station (Anker). I get 2 monitors, mouse, keyboard, network, headphones, USB headset by plugging in 1 USB cable. I can use the laptop itself as a third monitor or just close the cover (the keyboard is the cover).

I have the same HP 2 in 1 at home. My wife uses it. The keyboard is great. Both are i7, 1TB SSD, 16gb RAM. Powerful, fast, great battery life.

The pen works pretty good. Youngest daughter uses the included drawing apps for some creative time. Note taking is also decent. I use the pen with Sticky Notes when in a meeting. I can also take notes in OneNote. Use the Ink to Text feature. You write with the pen and it changes to text.

I chose the HP because the reviews were great. It is very portable and yet when hooked to my dock is as powerful as a desktop.

I have no direct experience with the Dell. If the HP Elite is an option, look into it.
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mw1739
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by mw1739 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:43 pm

Thanks for the input. Glad to hear that the 2 in 1 is useful and the note-taking is at least decent.

bloom2708
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by bloom2708 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:58 pm

mw1739 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 2:43 pm
Thanks for the input. Glad to hear that the 2 in 1 is useful and the note-taking is at least decent.
The free hand capabilities of note taken are kind of interesting.

I find I can type (way) faster than I can write. If it is short notes or drawings or symbols, the pen makes sense.

For notes, I still find myself typing (for the most part). If you have to sit down and hand write a letter or long note with a pen or pencil, you will know what I'm talking about. Writing is sooooo slow..ha ha.

I bike to work most days and I love the light/compact form factor of the HP Elite. The Surface Pro and the Dell 2 in 1s would be very similar. The under $50 Anker USB 3.0 dock is what makes it work. Great little devices.
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

fru-gal
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by fru-gal » Wed May 15, 2019 3:04 pm

Over the years, I have owned several hp laptops. Every single one has had one of the hinges break and a couple have had a USB port stop working. I switched to Lenovos and couldn't believe how much more long lasting they are.

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prudent
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by prudent » Wed May 15, 2019 3:10 pm

Some years back I was involved in a pilot program with Windows Tablet PC software. The conversion of pen writing to text was outstanding. I demonstrated some examples to co-workers and they couldn't believe it. But the issue was that taking notes in a meeting involves so many shortcuts it wasn't a substitute for typed notes if anyone else needed to review them. So even though my notes got converted to text very well, I couldn't give them to anyone else without more re-typing.

My notes that said
Next Q +3 dev on P55/ +2 revs
needed to be in the typed notes
In the next quarter, 3 developers and 2 reviewers will be added to the staffing for the P55 project.

I still loved using the "ink" feature on docs I reviewed. I could mark them up on the screen and email the marked up file and be done.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by sunny_socal » Thu May 16, 2019 6:07 am

I'd much rather have a Lenovo Thinkpad than anything else. I'd avoid 2-in-1 like the plague, more chance of breakage and gimmicky features.

steadyhand
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by steadyhand » Thu May 16, 2019 6:33 am

Lenovo Thinkpads aren’t what they used to be. Late model ones have motherboard and other hardware issues. Not sure I will buy again.

michaeljc70
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu May 16, 2019 9:20 am

I can type faster than I can write so I wouldn't use it for writing notes unless there were a lot of drawing (flowcharts, etc). The thing I use my 2 in 1 for is reading magazines. There isn't a good/easy way to turn a regular laptop on its side and hold it. For a work computer I wouldn't need that but I don't know what other option you have so it is hard to comment.

02nz
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by 02nz » Thu May 16, 2019 9:27 am

I agree that 2-in-1s add more value if you draw, for text it's much faster to just type.

I have used HP, Lenovo, and Dell 2-in-1s. With any brand you'll get people who say "this brand is crap, never buy it." The truth is at any price point they're pretty comparable. The corporate lines are what your employer is likely to buy, and those are generally better-built and designed for serviceability. If they're going with Dell, it's probably a Latitude, which is pretty solid.

iamlucky13
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu May 16, 2019 11:41 pm

I have given my 2-in-1 laptop a couple tries in the tablet configuration, and never found any appeal to it. I don't use tablets much in general, and the weight makes it less favorable than a dedicated tablet for that sort of use. I also didn't bother to buy the pen accessory, so I can't comment on that functionality.

Some people like "tenting" their 2-in-1's for watching videos or video chatting. Also not my thing, but I understand the appeal.

Regardless, it appears to be a harmless feature. The double hinge on mine is well made, so I have little concern about it introducing extra weakness.

On the other hand, if the company is offering a specific configuration of 2-in-1, versus a standard style with higher specs, I'd likely go for the latter.

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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by G3VALD1G » Thu May 16, 2019 11:53 pm

Using the surface pro lately. It's a 2 in 1. Serves as a laptop and desktop. When I'm in the office is connected to the dock, do I get the full desktop experience like dual monitors, wired network, printers, desk speakers.... Works like the real thing. And when I leave it comes along, so whenever I travel for work I have it all in my laptop. It's amazing. As a tablet though it's too heavy and bulky, just didn't work for me. It's too big to be considered a tablet.
When I need a tablet I resort to one of my many iPad's.

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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by Starfish » Fri May 17, 2019 2:05 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 6:07 am
I'd much rather have a Lenovo Thinkpad than anything else. I'd avoid 2-in-1 like the plague, more chance of breakage and gimmicky features.
I have about 10 Lenovo computers and I had maybe 3-4 thinkpads.
I cannot stand them. Only the last one seems decent.
So many issues. Both HW and SW. On my dime I will never buy lenovo again.

international001
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by international001 » Fri May 17, 2019 3:15 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 6:07 am
I'd much rather have a Lenovo Thinkpad than anything else. I'd avoid 2-in-1 like the plague, more chance of breakage and gimmicky features.
yoga?

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri May 17, 2019 5:07 am

I have a Yoga. Never used it as a tablet, not once.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

Topic Author
mw1739
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by mw1739 » Fri May 17, 2019 6:49 am

Thanks for the feedback. My choice is between a Dell and a Dell, so the "go get a Thinkpad" comments are entirely relevant. I think I'll give the 2 in 1 a try.

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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by SimonJester » Fri May 17, 2019 7:34 am

I got my oldest a 2 in 1 for college. He reported back after a year of use, he did not use the stylus to take notes nor did he type his notes. He is in the camp that writing down notes commits the information better to his memory. He found the stylus to be slower then traditional pen and paper.

The 2 in 1 can also be folded up like a tent to watch movies, which he did at times. For the most part he used is like a traditional laptop.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

acegolfer
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Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

Post by acegolfer » Fri May 17, 2019 7:53 am

Surface Pro w/ pen

I use it for:
1. Taking notes/pictures in meetings (Onenote)
2. Annotating PDF (Drawboard)
3. Annotating screenshots (Snip)
4. Record PPT with annotation (PPT built-in function)

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