Yes I am gloating since I actually got my hands on a 128 GB version the day it was released. Actually, I’ll be honest – hubby and I were greedy and got two. In today’s world of technology sharing has nothing to do with caring. And no I am not at all guilty knowing there is a shortage.
To reiterate, the main reason I wanted a Surface is to have a full powerhouse PC in the portability of a tablet. Of course I wanted to keep an open mind and worried I only wanted the Surface Pro because it was the next “new” gadget. So I looked at some of the UltraBooks currently on the market as the issues of battery life were concerning. Realistically though I’m never out working somewhere totally unplugged for more than 4-5 hours (sorry kids, I’m not studying in a library fighting everyone else for a seat with a plug). And with almost any portable device, always buy a spare charger.
It really is so much sleeker and lighter than the UltraBooks and really the difference in weight and “sleekness” between the RT and the Pro are almost forgettable. Since I still have both, I do compare the two, often, but if I didn’t have the RT around, I would surely by now have forgotten.
The first feature I wanted to play with of course was the stylo. I am by nature a pen and paper type of gal. I have used it much more than I realized I would and it is much better than actually sketching on paper and scanning it. I have been better able to express my ideas or draw out little diagrams.
The specs say it all – it’s got more power than my laptop with an i5 Intel Core Processor and 4GB RAM. I’m gonna sound like a broken record, but it’s no iPad and yes the Apps available are still limited, but you don’t get an i5 processor with 4GB of RAM to play Words With Friends!! (Although if anyone out there is listening, this would be nice along with Instagram & Draw Something so I can really whoop some ass with this stylo).
So far I actually haven’t experienced issues with the battery life. I plug it into the charger overnight and bring it to “work” with me every day, granted that simply means going downstairs. Yeah I know I love my commute, too.
Actually “work” begins as soon as I’m awake and the Surface is a great way to read the news while I get ready in the morning. It really does eliminate a lot of the morning BS I used to do at my desk – what no one else likes to read the morning news while having breakfast at their desk? I’m even able to quickly shoot off a few emails or have my morning meetings before I’ve even made it down the stairs since my notes are easily accessible (ahh, the beauty of cloud computing). iPhones are great but really, nothing is faster than a REAL keyboard.
I bring it to my desk since I occasionally do need to sketch on plans or doodle on graphics to get my point across. Or if I want to work through lunch, I take my Surface out to the kitchen so I don’t spill soup all over my desktop keyboard. Or beer, like my husband did on his.
Personally I feel my productivity has increased, since I am starting my day off a little earlier and able to quickly accomplish tasks without having to go to my desk and start up my computer (if it’s already been shut down). However, I have also been on “hyper-production” mode and staying on top of my work like crazy so I can’t attribute it 100% to a new device!
And this is just how I’ve integrated the Surface Pro into my daily at-home work routine. It’s been amazing when I’m out and about. My number one pet peeve is trying to quickly view a spreadsheet on an iPhone. I just can’t. Maybe everyone else can, but for some reason I find it highly challenging to navigate.
I have used it for brainstorming and meetings for a good 6 hours straight. Ergonomically it wasn’t an issue since I wasn’t typing constantly - it was a mix of discussion, sketching and note-taking.
Again, these are my experiences and my work needs so it may not be everyone else’s. For me an iPad doesn’t cut it. Non-formatted emails that might come out in Times New Roman give me panic attacks. And I can’t type on a touch screen. Ever. I’m also sick and tired of keeping my nails “iPhone friendly” - seriously that’s no fun. Who cares if it has kazillion apps. I don’t use them!! And I may come off sounding like a workaholic, but I’m not.
The Surface has rekindled an old hobby: blogging. Something I don’t do at my desk since I feel like I should be working when I’m there, but the Surface allows me this work/play balance where if I blog I don’t feel guilty, but if I need to work, I can. It might be a mommy guilt thing: if I can make it to my desk in my “office” for some peace and quiet, then I better be answering emails or getting work done, but because my Surface travels so easily, I feel like I have the option to work OR play.
Some advice though to maximize your experience:
Check for updates and restart often – it’s a PC not an iPad. And for those who don’t do this on your PC, shame shame!
Set it up like you would any other desktop/laptop – my Pro has almost every program my desktop has EXCEPT for Photoshop (let’s be realistic, I’m not Photoshopping anything on the go. Ever.)
Get familiar with the new O/S environment (ie how to swipe and where)
Store ALL your files on a USB drive or in the “cloud” – then you really can just pick up and go. Regardless if you don’t have a Surface, this is just another good habit to get into.
Get a Bluetooth mouse. Wireless USB mice are like so 2012 anyway… Bonus points if it’s got bling.
Another great option to consider: for some the PRO is a powerhouse compared to the desktop they have at home. Plug it into your monitor at home, get a wireless keyboard and/or mouse as peripherals and voila – you have yourself a desktop, too! Provided you’re not planning to game on your Pro, why not? And when you need to work elsewhere, just unplug everything, pick it up and go!