Since my laptop was stolen, it’s time for me to think about getting a replacement. My last laptop was a tablet PC, a Toshiba M400 Portege, which was “Vista capable,” which I’m pretty sure means that it was “just barely Vista capable.” I loved having a tablet PC, but the Toshiba wasn’t exactly behaving great under Vista (slow, slow, slow.) So now the question is what should my next laptop be. In particular I am almost tempted to (close you ears Seattlites)….buy a Mac.
Tablet PC benefits:
- All my notes are on my tablet for the last few years. This is very convenient. Unfortunately the software isn’t yet as awesome as it should be for a tablet as used by a theoretical scientist. I.e. there is no automatic conversion of equations to LaTeX, no good searching for equations, etc.
- Teaching with tablets, especially when using Classroom Presenter where the students also have tablets, feels like an improvement over teaching (bludgeoning) by Powerpoint. On the other hand, blackboard teaching still feels more natural to me.
- Momentum: I’ve been using a PC now since 1993 (prior to that I was an Apple diehard), so all of my files and junk is native to the platform. On the other hand, for the things I care most about: Powerpoint, LaTeX, etc it should be easy to transfer some of these over (is there an easy way that reliably converts powerpoint to keynote?)
- Mac OS X. I’m not a Unix-head, but having command lines around would make me feel like a kid again.
- Ability to run Windows software. This lessens my worry about the momentum problem listed above. I worry about any speed hit.
- I can program my iPhone.
- It’s pretty. I like pretty.
So any recommendations? Anyone buy a new tablet recently that they love? Recommendations between a standard MacBook and a MacBook Pro (I’m less tempted by the MacBook Air right now…trying to avoid early adopter remorse!) For the record I spend most of my time doing the basics (email, internet), writing presentations (powerpoint), writing papers (LaTeX: currently using WinEdt and MikTeX), and programming simple scientific applications (speed isn’t a huge concern as if I write something really complicated it won’t be running exclusively on the laptop.)