MechEng/CompSci Major - Tablet PC vs Laptop

<p>I'm an entering freshman at UMass Amherst, looking for a laptop. I'll be majoring in engineering, and as of right now I'm planning on MechE (though that may change once I actually get to college...) and probably a double major in CompSci. Would a tablet PC be of any practical use for me, or should I stick with a regular laptop? </p>

<p>Furthermore, what configuration would you suggest? I know the "recommended" configurations on the website say 2.4 GHz i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD, but do I really need that much power? I don't want to spend more than $1000. Also, I am considering a 17" monitor, but do you think it'll be too much of a hassle to lug around? It might make sense to go with the 15" since I'll probably be doing a considerable bit of walking class to class seeing as the campus is ginormous...</p>

<p>You'll get used to the 15". The 17" is awkward to carry as it'll only fit in large backpacks, and only with a significant amount of effort.</p>

<p>Because of cost, I suggest you stick with a regular laptop and buy a tablet separately for ~$150.</p>

<p>Yea, that's what I was thinking about the 17" too, that's why I was hesitant. I don't actually want to buy both a laptop and a tablet, though. Not only do I not know if I need a tablet at all, but I think having both would be very impractical...</p>

<p>I don't think excelblue means a tablet pc, just a drawing tablet, in which case having both is relatively practical. It's what I'm doing, and the tablet simply connects via usb. My bamboo pen and touch was only $99, and I'm satisfied. It's not bulky, and it's not complicated either.</p>