Reviews: Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70F, Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and Apple Macbook Pro 2010

by steve on March 9, 2017

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time working with these three devices, and I just can’t help myself.  I have to speak to the world and share my thoughts, fortunately in a brief format.

Lenovo tablet

This is the Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70F Android tablet. I have to give this device a strong one-thumb up. While it’s simply not as slick as an Apple product, the one I bought for $180 with bluetooth keyboard and cover is simply good value for the money. I use it mostly 1) so Chloe can watch youtube videos 2) web browsing on the go and 3) Gmail, games, etc… The screen is sharp and bright. The audio crisp and loud. It’s light, easy to carry around, and pretty much does almost everything I need to do with a computing device. It was a great choice when we were in Costa Rica and I didn’t want to risk the *actual* laptop getting damaged or stolen. I’m happy with it, you may be to.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

This is a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with Windows 8. I wish I could say I liked this device more than I do. I’m afraid I’m going to have to rate it a solid “Meh.”

The good parts:

  • Super light.  Feels good to carry around
  • Excellent screen.  Very sharp, great colors

The not-so-good parts:

  • Poor keyboard
  • Terrible trackpad

Whether you’ll like this device I think comes down to how useful the small form factor is to you, and if you’ll get any use out of the touch screen.  This machine’s on loan from Tesla Solar while I do some sales work for them.  Most of my use of this device is typing, mousing and reading web pages.  A bluetooth mouse has been instrumental in making working on this tolerable.  I can survive the keyboard, I guess I’m just used to better.  You’d think the touch screen would be useful, but more often than not it’s a hassle.  It’s great for PBS Kids, but in Outlook the UI buttons are too small for my meaty Man-fingers and when I’m typing numbers I keep tapping the screen by accident, which changes the input focus.  Argh!

Also, this is a laptop you can’t use on your lap.  The hinge thing is kinda cool but you have to have it setting on a solid surface. I think this device would be more handy if I was often working on a plane or in another confined space.    Devices like these aren’t really for the end user, they’re for the corporate IT department, which does a great job maintaining it remotely.  I wouldn’t buy one for my own use, your use may be different, so give it a try.

macbook pro 2010

This is a 13″ Apple Macbook Pro from 2010. Why am I reviewing a 2010 laptop in 2017? Because I use it all the time. I’ve upgraded it with an SSD and 16gb of RAM and for the kind of work I do it’s basically as fast as the Surface Pro 3. Here’s why it’s still in use: it’s a pleasure to use. The screen’s not as sharp as anything you’d buy today, and it’s a brick compared to lighter devices, but I find I can power my way through the day on it as well as the day it was new. The only real catch is it takes a long time to connect to the wifi network. This was a refurbished unit I bought in 2010 for I think $1500(?). Seven years, still going strong. That’s value for your money, baby!

I’m not suggesting that yinz out there should run out and blow your allowance on seven year old computers. However, I am suggesting you don’t discount the value you can get out of an older piece of equipment you have around, or stumble upon.

There you have it, three quick reviews. As always, your needs may be different than mine. Try things out for yourself!

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