Help choosing a device for use with Logos 8 and seminary assignments

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Posts 17
Ilya Donskikh | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jul 6 2020 7:38 PM

Hello all,

Made an account just to post this. Lord willing, I am going to be starting study at seminary in September and one of the resource requirements is Logos 8 Gold or equivalent (downloaded to device for offline reading). To that end, I'm looking for a new device to run the program as my current laptop, while capable in terms of its specifications, has far too low a battery life.

I am looking to get the device exclusively to use for seminary assignments and Logos, and possibly small scale moderated debates. To that end, I would highly prefer it be portable, and have a large screen to be able to read off. After some research, and reading all the "tablet"-related posts on this forum I could find using the Google search engine, I'm stuck entirely. Some people recommend Surface, others recommend iPad, but iPad is running the Logos Bible App and not the Desktop Program with full functionality. Additionally, some people report that the Surface functionality is very slow and/or unwieldy due to a lack of touch support in 'Desktop mode', scrolling being very difficult in 'Tablet mode', and dissatisfaction with the speed of indexing etc. even on the i7, 16GB RAM models.

Given that the last of the like posts is dated to November and the world of technology (and Logos updates) moves so fast, I wanted to raise the question again. Am I restricted to a Windows tablet to gain full functionality, and if so, what would be the Surface specifications recommended? While I do not have a budget and the Lord has provided such that I could theoretically afford the top of the line Surface Pro 7, I don't believe having 16GB of RAM is $1000 better than having 8GB of RAM, nor that being a Godly stewardship of my money at least at this stage in life. However, I've never used Logos, so I would like comment as to whether the additional RAM really makes the program that much faster (the reason that I ask Surface specific is because of all Windows tablets available in Australia, Surface is ironically the cheapest for comparable specs all throughout the range). The same goes for the space requirement of a full offline download of Logos 8 Gold (Reformed) and what difference the processor (i5 vs i7) makes.

Thank you for reading the lengthy post, I would appreciate any help I could get as to the best device possible for the task.

Deo Volenti,

Ilya

Posts 1489
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 6 2020 8:22 PM

Have you considered using the tablet for doing the reading and your laptop for the heavy work in your home or dorm? There are also a number of Windows machines from different companies billed as 2 in 1. As I’ve never used them, so I don’t know if it has the strength for desktop Logos.

WIN 11 i7 9750H, RTX 2060, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD | iPad Air 3
Verbum 9 Ultimate

Posts 17
Ilya Donskikh | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 6 2020 8:45 PM

Hey David,

Thank you for your prompt reply! I definitely will be doing 'heavy lifting' on my main machine at home (the good specced laptop with a bad battery life), my problem is that I don't know what 'heavy lifting' is and what processing power it takes (having never used Logos before), to gauge whether a Surface will be up to the task and what it will require. Additionally, most of the time I'll be needing the heavier use of Logos, I'll be either in bed or on the move (hence the great preference for a detachable keyboard), and Lord willing on stage during debates (with no or unwieldy access to power points). Here in Australia, Surfaces are actually priced 'fairly' when compared with the non-detachable 2-in-1s, and in fact for comparable specs, a Pro 7 is cheaper with the backlit keyboard than other 2-in-1s. 

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 6 2020 9:54 PM

Ilya Donskikh:
Given that the last of the like posts is dated to November and the world of technology (and Logos updates) moves so fast, I wanted to raise the question again. Am I restricted to a Windows tablet to gain full functionality, and if so, what would be the Surface specifications recommended?

Welcome Big Smile

After looking at Apple refurbished prices in Australia, appears Windows tablet (having an Intel x86 processor) or a 2 in 1 laptop fits budget. A$1,999 for 2017 MacBook with 8 GB RAM & 512 GB SSD => https://www.apple.com/au/shop/product/FNYL2X/A/Refurbished-12-inch-MacBook-13GHz-dual-core-Intel-Core-i5-Gold

Desktop application (Logos/Verbum) is resource intensive with storage being primary constraint so highly recommend internal SSD (Solid State Disk) with enough capacity for Operating System, Logos/Verbum resources, and indexing. My purchased Logos library uses 139 GB of SSD storage while my demonstration account (order total of $ 0.00 that includes Logos 8 Fundamentals) uses 19 GB.  Logos & Verbum have the option for subset of resources to be downloaded for offline use.

My older 2013 MBA has 8 GB RAM with 250 GB SSD has 10% subset of resources in my purchases library downloaded for offline use (so uses 39 GB of SSD space). At this point, am dreaming of an Apple Silicon MBA with a touch screen so one device could be used for desktop applications along with iPadOS apps. Thankful 2013 MBA can run macOS Big Sur later this year so can wait for Apple Silicon (my minimum is 512 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM with preference for 16 GB RAM)

For Logos offline use, do change Program Settings for Use Internet from Yes to No, which disables online stuff while improving responsiveness.

For comparing processor performance, Geekbench is helpful => https://browser.geekbench.com/processor-benchmarks

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 17
Ilya Donskikh | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 6 2020 10:03 PM

Hey,

Thank you for replying and doing all that research! I definitely would prefer a Surface to a MacBook, was looking to compare with iPad. But that's a good guide! Would you say an Surface Pro 7 with 256GB, an i5 and 8GB of RAM would be sufficient? Or would you say 16GB RAM with 512GB would be better? What would the difference be?

Posts 1765
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 6 2020 11:42 PM

Ilya Donskikh:
... I definitely would prefer a Surface to a MacBook, was looking to compare with iPad. But that's a good guide! Would you say an Surface Pro 7 with 256GB, an i5 and 8GB of RAM would be sufficient? Or would you say 16GB RAM with 512GB would be better? What would the difference be?

Hi Ilya

The 512 GB would definitely be worth it. 8GB is quite workable, provided you have an SSD (solid state drive, not spinning disk) with plenty of free space. I'm using a Dell with 8GB RAM and two SSDs (256GB system + 1 GB data), currently using Logos about 6 hours/day.

I've never been able to justify the price they ask for the Surface Pro. I prefer a big screen (17"), and I don't mind lugging it around.

"Heavy lifting" includes searching. While the iOS and Android apps have a basic search capability, you need your computer for any serious searches. For example, today I've been researching the use of ekklēsia (church) before Jesus (so LXX + the Hebrew and Aramaic equivalents). I'd go crazy if I tried to do that on a tablet.

FWIW, I'm in Perth, Western Australia. Good to chat with another Aussie. All the best for your studies.

Posts 17
Ilya Donskikh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2020 12:14 AM

Hey Allen,

Thanks so much for the opinion brother, appreciate it. Awesome to see true blue representation on here Big Smile 

I'm gathering then that i5 and 8GB RAM is sufficient. I'm wondering what the size of the library is however, because 512GB seems quite excessive to me - maybe Logos is very unoptimised in terms of size, but even back when I was an avid video gamer I never took that much space on a storage device. What is the size of your library or the Gold package library in GB? I cannot seem to find an answer online. The reason I ask is because with Surfaces in particular, 512GB is the top model (i7 16GB RAM) and is substantially more expensive than the example quoted of i5 8GB. Portability is essentially a must, so unless I can pin down a Lenovo Yoga C670 with i5 8GB of RAM, it'll have to be a Surface.

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2020 12:26 AM

Ilya Donskikh:
What is the size of your library or the Gold package library in GB?

Base package storage requirements are indicated at https://support.logos.com/hc/en-us/articles/360007382192-Logos-Desktop-Support-FAQs#size

Further space is required for indexing.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2020 1:26 AM

Ilya Donskikh:
I'm wondering what the size of the library is however, because 512GB seems quite excessive to me - maybe Logos is very unoptimised in terms of size, but even back when I was an avid video gamer I never took that much space on a storage device. What is the size of your library or the Gold package library in GB?

https://support.logos.com/hc/en-us/articles/360007554992-Recommended-Hardware-and-Software talks about 60 GB free space on SSD - that might be sufficient for running Gold (assuming the library is 30 GB and the index is 30 GB, the installation of this may need another 30 GB temporarily for copying the newly created index into its place). 

My Logos library is larger than Gold (Platinum plus some more) and takes 106 GB diskspace. It also depends on the kind of resources: watching mobile Ed courses will download video data and thus eat up space. 

Note that a "512GB" size may be 500 GiB which may be actually 465 GB. Windows will take space, and Office or whatever you run. 128 GB will clearly be insufficient, 256 GB (which may be net 230 GB) may work if you don't run much else on this machine.

Running Logos 9 latest (beta) version on Win 10

Posts 1765
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2020 1:42 AM

Ilya Donskikh:
Hey Allen,

Thanks so much for the opinion brother, appreciate it. Awesome to see true blue representation on here Big Smile 

I'm gathering then that i5 and 8GB RAM is sufficient. I'm wondering what the size of the library is however, because 512GB seems quite excessive to me - maybe Logos is very unoptimised in terms of size, but even back when I was an avid video gamer I never took that much space on a storage device. What is the size of your library or the Gold package library in GB? I cannot seem to find an answer online. The reason I ask is because with Surfaces in particular, 512GB is the top model (i7 16GB RAM) and is substantially more expensive than the example quoted of i5 8GB. Portability is essentially a must, so unless I can pin down a Lenovo Yoga C670 with i5 8GB of RAM, it'll have to be a Surface.

My entire Logos installation is 114GB now. That's about 10k resources, built up gradually over 12 years, with very little audio or video content.

Posts 17
Ilya Donskikh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2020 3:07 AM

Hey Mick! Thank you so much for the concrete answer, 256GB storage it is (a full Logos 8 Gold download should leave me with 96GB free). Do you have any experience of comparison between i5/i7 and 8GB/16GB RAM?

Posts 36
Lourens de Jager | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2020 4:30 AM

I have the 256GB 8GB Surface Pro and can highly recommend it. Yes, touch support is not perfect, but it is capable if you use the Pen and a few workarounds. Logos is fast on this machine, even indexing my library (Plat and Gold) takes about 4 minutes max. And because it is fan-less (I have the i5 version) I am able to preach with it without the fans blazing. It is so small that I carry it everywhere, which means I have my entire library and the full version of Logos where ever I go. I wouldn't spend more for the i7 or even more ram.

Posts 17
Ilya Donskikh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2020 5:51 AM

Lourens de Jager:

I have the 256GB 8GB Surface Pro and can highly recommend it. Yes, touch support is not perfect, but it is capable if you use the Pen and a few workarounds. Logos is fast on this machine, even indexing my library (Plat and Gold) takes about 4 minutes max. And because it is fan-less (I have the i5 version) I am able to preach with it without the fans blazing. It is so small that I carry it everywhere, which means I have my entire library and the full version of Logos where ever I go. I wouldn't spend more for the i7 or even more ram.

Hey Lourens,

Thank you very much for replying, it is great to hear from someone using the Surface! I'm glad those specs are suitable to you - they should certainly therefore be suitable to me Stick out tongue How useful has the removable keyboard been as a feature? Ironically I was able to track down the Lenovo I mentioned above - and it turns out 300 buckaroos (AUD) cheaper than a Pro 7 with the Signature type cover (identical specs). Additionally, for another 250, the Lenovo can be configured to have LTE capabilities, meaning no need for Wi-Fi (although I imagine I would be able to hotspot off my phone virtually anywhere, it would just be a precaution if the phone ever ran out of charge or some such). Has a lack of LTE capability ever been an issue in your use if you ever use it 'on the go'?

Posts 2771
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2020 7:58 AM

Ilya Donskikh:
I don't believe having 16GB of RAM is $1000 better than having 8GB of RAM,

I bought a Surface Pro I (4 gb ram/128 SSD) in 2012 to use with Seminary (M.A.) work. It ran any searches I needed until I ran out of storage (even with a Micro SD card for data). In 2016 I upgraded to Surface Pro 4 (8 gb/256) and also upgraded my Micro SD to 128GB and bought a 27" UHD external monitor for desktop use. I am currently doing Seminary Doctoral work and have not encountered any query that the SP could not handle.  After 4 years of use I am looking at the SP 7 and would chose the i7 16GB/512 SSD to increase satisfactory service for the next 4 years.

P.S. The only reason I am looking to replace my SP4 is that there is a minor issue with my touchscreen display with a yellow splotch on one edge. It is a hardware issue because the mark does not appear on my external monitor. right now it is just an eyesore, but I'm concerned about it growing. The web has many reports of Microsoft replacing hardware if it is under warranty, but my yellow splotch did not appear until after 3.5 years of heavy use.

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

Posts 17
Ilya Donskikh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2020 8:21 AM

Hey David,

Thank you for the suggestion. I would definitely agree if one were on the side of heavier use of Logos given the ease of use and portability, as well as the unity of resources. My issue is that when I have digital resources (I have a few, non-Logos), I grow lazy and do not remember the content, relying on searching for it instead. Given this, and my attitude that I ought to recall the information I consume autonomously to be God honouring in study, I look at Logos as a tool to get the required textbooks on the cheap, plus a tool for lexicons, dictionaries, commentaries, and reference works - the stuff that one could never hope to remember. I'm also adamant on purchasing the most useful of these physically and primarily using that even if software is available, inefficient though it might be (Reformed Dogmatics etc.).

Great to see your Pro 4 pulling you through Doctoral studies. Do you have any comment as per the comparison with the Lenovo above? Given the option of a slightly cheaper ultrabook as opposed to a tablet with identical specifications, would you go for that?

Posts 2771
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2020 10:12 AM

Ilya Donskikh:
I look at Logos as a tool to get the required textbooks on the cheap,

1. If cheap is your goal, there are other options

2. If a searchable research library is your goal - I have found nothing better than Logos. Personal advice: do NOT underestimate the amount of data that you will evaluate during seminary. A good seminary will not expose you to data that can be simply remembered and regurgitated, it will develop a love for lifelong study as you engage with God at ever deeper levels. (recall is the lowest level of learning on Bloom's taxonomy)

3. I have never owned/used a Lenovo device and therefore no experience upon which to form an opinion.

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

Posts 17
Ilya Donskikh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2020 6:18 PM

Thanks for the earnest advice brother! I don't mean remembered mechanically, I mean the ability to interact with the author's thoughts without having the book on hand.

What would you say are the cheaper options out there than the Surface/Lenovo as a tablet or 2in1 capable and suitable for Logos? Definitely want to be the best steward of my money possible.

Posts 743
Scott E. Mahle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 9 2020 3:39 PM

I selected the HP Spectre X360 to replace my desktop and tablet since I didn’t see a reason to have both any longer. These can be on the cheaper side or the slightly expensive side depending on how one builds their machine (I went with the 10th gen I7, 16 GB RAM, 1TB SSD). As someone who travels frequently now, I appreciate the small size of the laptop (I chose the 13” over the 15”) and the large size of the tablet. For me, a 2 in 1 really is the best of both worlds.

Logos Series X Pastor’s Library | Logos 3 Leader’s Library | 4 Portfolio | 5 Platinum | 6 Feature Crossgrade | 7 Essential | 8 M & W Platinum and Academic Professional | 9 Academic Professional and Messianic Jewish Diamond

Posts 17
Ilya Donskikh | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 10 2020 12:18 AM

Scott E. Mahle:

I selected the HP Spectre X360 to replace my desktop and tablet since I didn’t see a reason to have both any longer. These can be on the cheaper side or the slightly expensive side depending on how one builds their machine (I went with the 10th gen I7, 16 GB RAM, 1TB SSD). As someone who travels frequently now, I appreciate the small size of the laptop (I chose the 13” over the 15”) and the large size of the tablet. For me, a 2 in 1 really is the best of both worlds.

Hey Scott,

Why did you go with a 2 in 1 over a tablet form factor?

Posts 547
Jonathan Bradley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 10 2020 9:23 AM

Ilya Donskikh:

Scott E. Mahle:

I selected the HP Spectre X360 to replace my desktop and tablet since I didn’t see a reason to have both any longer. These can be on the cheaper side or the slightly expensive side depending on how one builds their machine (I went with the 10th gen I7, 16 GB RAM, 1TB SSD). As someone who travels frequently now, I appreciate the small size of the laptop (I chose the 13” over the 15”) and the large size of the tablet. For me, a 2 in 1 really is the best of both worlds.

Hey Scott,

Why did you go with a 2 in 1 over a tablet form factor?

While I can't speak for Scott, if I were to choose a 2 in 1 over a laptop or just a tablet, it would be because I like the portability of a laptop, but the tablet for reading. I'm not a big fan of reading a book on a regualrly positioned monitor. I don't have a 2 in 1 right now, but I have been intrigued by the idea of it for Logos for a while now. 

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