Decisions, Decisions… Laptop, Tablet, Phone?

I am in a bit of a tricky situation at the moment. Unsure of where (of if) I will be going to university next year, I need to think ahead in terms of electronic devices as well as accommodation (which was not yet been organised). My current laptop is 4 years old and in a bad state of disrepair (although currently running better with Windows 8 Release Preview). If I get into my firm university choice, UCL, I will be staying at home and so would have a powerful desktop available there and need something more portable that I could take every day on the tube, preferably without huge fear of having is stolen, or at least if it was it wouldn’t cost too much to replace. If I get into my insurance choice, Southampton, which is looking more likely, I will need a more powerful laptop to replace the desktop, and so have been looking into laptops with i5 processors, 6gb of RAM and about 750gb of HDD (despite already having a terrabyte portable hard drive…) running Windows 7 with the expectation of receiving a Windows 8 upgrade for £15. This would frustratingly occur just when I’d be settling in at the uni though (in October), and so I’d have to start again from scratch. Anyway, I think this sort of PC is as powerful as I would need, as I do not have enough money to afford a game playing PC. If you disagree, you’re welcome to leave a comment below. But wait, I badly want to own a Windows 8 tablet and I want a Windows Phone 8 (mid-range) phone when they come out. Do I have enough cash to buy all three, and are they different enough to warrant the purchase of all three? I must admit, I don’t think I should be getting two Windows 8 devices, but I really really want a tablet, so would I have to give that a miss if I go to Southampton? I hope not. I had hoped that a tablet like Microsoft’s Surface would get rid of this fear, because it’s got the attachable cover/keyboard, but it lacks a few things I use a lot, including multiple USB ports (it only has one) and a DVD/CD drive. It looks to be the best tablet I’ve ever seen, but not quite a laptop just yet, so I don’t think it will do. Perhaps I could keep my old laptop for those things and use a Surface for everything else? That’s a possibility, but the Surface won’t be available in time for the start of the course, so I’m not sure it’s going to work.

Of course, many questions still remain about the specifics of the Surface and indeed other Windows 8 tablets, but the basics have been lain out on the table, and I don’t think it’s enough.

There is also a third possibility, that I don’t go to university at all. In that case, I would seek a job up in London and possibly carry a tablet around with me, similar to if I went to UCL I suppose.

What do you think? Should I wait until I know where I will be going, and then, what is it worth me getting? I have ruled Android tablets out of the equation after owning one in the past and seeing they really aren’t worth the trouble.

Oli

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