New iPad versus Surface device for writing/gaming/etc

I managed to lose my 4.5 year old iPad mini 3. So it was time for a new mobile computer anyway. I’m thinking of a larger iPad or a Surface device for writing on the train. The bluetooth keyboard options for the mini were too small and not great.

Priority is writing with a comfortable keyboard built into the travel case. I own Scrivener software for both PC and iOS, so I would be using that on either an iPad or the Surface.

Secondly, I do work on the train using OWA linked to my work account. I can use either the PC or iOS version.

Thirdly is gaming. This is where the Surface would win, as my Steam library of non-high-end games is very extensive, and most of my iOS games can be played on my phone.

Thoughts on iPad (larger than a mini) with a bluetooth keyboard case or going with a Surface (don’t know the various options here, and whether they include a keyboard)? Ideal budget would be $700-900. I have enough accumulated American Express points to make cover an entire purchase of that size. Thanks!

EDIT: To confuse this further, I’m not opposed to the Lenovo Yoga table thingie either.

IPad Pro with Apple keyboard and pencil is the premier consumer computer experience today - by a huge margin, IMO. Even the sound of the Apple Pencil on glass is first class.But it’s still (as of now) just an iPad. Only you can put out forest fires, and only you know if you want/need Windows vs iOS.

Remember that paradoxically the newest iPads are significantly more powerful than Surface tablets for gaming… but you’re playing iOS games of course.

There’s supposed to be iPad OS in the fall to make it more computer like, and there’s that game subscription service for Apple devices released then as well. There’s even rumor of No Man’s Sky on iOS, but who knows.

Scrivener 2 sucks on Windows imo. If Scrivener is your main thing I’d get the iPad Cellular.

I had a mid level Surface 3 for the purpose of school work and games, but it kind of sucked for gaming. Really slow to load things, the fans went full blast for even low requirement games (it got very warm to hold), and games usually don’t support touch controls so you had to have a mouse. It was basically an oddly shaped mediocre laptop. I just gave up trying. Of course they are probably a lot better now, it’s been a few years since I used a Surface.

If you like iOS, and it looks like iOS on iPad is getting a big boost this fall, it’s a no brainer for me. If you prefer Windows, get a Surface, but I don’t think either is great for games.

I tried gaming on the Surface Go. Not even considering speed and performance, playing games on the Windows Tablet is a huge chore.

The input mechanism is horrible for all PC games on the tablet. I need to plug-in a m+k to have decent input, which kind of totally defeat the point of gaming on the tablet.

It’ll be the last Windows tablet I am getting. Unless PC game designers start designing with touch in mind, Windows tablet gaming will just be a horrible experience.

I thought Scrivener was going to be updated this year to match the features in the Apple version?

Thanks everyone; all of that is very helpful. I’m likely to go for the new iPad at this point.

I already own a Lenovo Ideapad that I use regularly. The main reason I don’t want to schlep the Ideapad on the train every day is its weight – 3.75 pounds. Not a huge amount, but I have 15 minute walks getting to and from the station, and that Ideapad seems to get heavier. In thinking about this further, a Surface seems like redundancy, albeit at a lighter weight. The iPad, on the other hand, overlaps less with the Ideapad and still meets my needs for functionality (including writing) and light weight.

Yes, I’m pretty happy with the Scrivener for iOS. It does what I need, and syncs pretty well once you get the hang of it. (I don’t need a cellular iPad as work supplies me with a WiFi dongle thing).

I think it is. Though I am very happy with the current version, wrote a whole 400 page novel on it, so I’m in no hurry to upgrade.

I basically went what you’re going through late last year. I wanted a Surface Go badly, especially since there was a pretty good bundle at Costco. After weighing everything for weeks, I walked out with a 2018 11-inch iPad Pro. And then I returned that one for the 12.9-inch model weeks later.

My main reasoning was I wanted a tablet, then I should get a tablet. And MS actually made a decent start at a tablet OS with Windows 8, but they got so stung by the criticism that in Windows 10 they ripped out virtually all of that UI, which was stupid, because they make Surface devices that they tout as laptops and tablets.

That and the Surface Go’s CPU and graphics are wanting, to say the least.

They should have made a toggle for “tablet mode” and “m&k mode” instead of one half-assed interface for everything. Oh well.

You mean like the toggle that actually exists is Win10? Heh.

But yeah, I, too, was super disappointed by the steps-backward they took in the tablet interface from 8->10. But then again, I’m still angry about the changes in the TIP (tablet input panel) from WinXP Tablet Edition->Win8 (and 10).

I really like my bottom-end Surface 5- plenty of power for apps (including my ancient Adobe CS6), no fan, and the battery lasts forever. But I don’t game on it- that’s why I have an Xbox. I guess I did try Cultist Simulator, but the pen-as-mouse input was a drag, and touch don’t work. It was far superior on Android.

Speaking of Scrivener, there’s a free writing app called Wavemaker that’s Scrivener-like and free. It’s cross platform and cloud based. I use it on a Chromebook but it works on Windows and Android too. It does work with Google Docs on iOS.

I bring it up because not only do I think it’s a nifty piece of software that gives Scrivener a run for its money (not only is it free but it’s web based like Google Docs so it’s not device-specific) but you can get a nice Chromebook for a very competitive price.

I’ve used it to work on the same document on my PC, Chromebook, and iPhone. On the phone I use Google’s voice-to-text dictation mode to write. It works very well that way but composing by dictation isn’t natural to me yet.

Anyway, just another possibility to confuse you!

Not confused, but intrigued. Thanks so much! Going to explore this option as well. Though I love my Scrivener.

I wouldn’t buy another iPad if it came with dick sucking technology.

I just hate Apple’s completely closed architecture and their handling of photos/music/everything else. It’s just terrible.

Thanks. Very helpful.

You can use Amazon, Google, etc to handle photos/music/everything else, just so you know.

Yes, I do that now. For my Android devices.

Good for you.

Do you… use an Android tablet?

Scrivener is great, but this is a Scrivener fan who was also a software dev and writer who liked the idea of something more open. He doesn’t seem like a guy looking to make a lot of bank but a fellow enthusiast who thought, why not make a writing app like this?

I have not used either enough to fully judge but I think Waveriter may be close enough to Scriv in functionality to make it a viable option.