I’ve been seeing the windows surface pro 3 commercial comparing them to a MacBook a lot saying they are “better” and I’m gonna be straight up when I say this, I don’t see why they are trying to compare themselves to Apple. The commercials are only stating generally they are just powerful as a MacBook and better all around all because they are a touchscreen, have a kickstand, a pen to draw on the screen, have a detachable keyboard, lighter than a MacBook, and throw in they are better than an iPad and how they can run photoshop (something they always could have done since the first surface, but I guess they just noticed that abjd wanted to throw that in >_>).
For starters, all the things they focus on in the commercials are superfluous for a laptop, having a touch screen with a pen is extra, it’s not a “need” and being lighter doesn’t affect performance of a computer, a surplus, and the mentioning of a kickstand and detachable keyboard is not needed because that is a standard for laptops (and I don’t really why they advertise for it so much when you actually have to pay more for that option when they make it seem like it comes with surface as if it'sstandard) to have keyboards and being able to stay up like what the surface does with a kickstand, so again, another surplus that is not going to TRULY affect the performance of a computer. Those things they point out would work against someone who doesn’t know a thing about computers and cares about those things, but if it were someone like me who would see past that, it wouldn’t.
Next thing to bring up is comparison of the iPad, it was completely unnecessary because the surface and the iPad are completely different types of tablets and that was made clear when they made the first surface and showed you could run windows programs and do work on them, aka, a tablet computer, while the iPad, the bigger version of an iPhone/iTouch, is more for entertainment and not necessarily for work so again, not comparable and unless Apple makes iPads like a windows surface with the newest version of OS X for their tablets, it’s not the same and makes it look like they are trying to find more ways to get brownie points.
And last, how they say they are just as powerful as a MacBook, the surface pro 3 can be as powerful as their MacBook so it is sort of true……in certain circumstances. If you want your surface to just as powerful as a starting price MacBook Air, you would have to pay for the next options up which is making you pay MORE than the current MacBook Air model which is Apples cheaper option for their computer versus windows current most expensive, top of the line option of their tablets (surprising right?? It’s usually the other way around and why I feel they stopped saying they’re cheaper lol) and to add, it actually has a better processor, graphics card, and RAM than the surface, all standard in their MacBook Air models. Overall, they are sort of right, but depending on how much you want to spend that can easily change and if you wanted to compare to their MacBook Pro, you still would be paying more and be having a not as powerful computer (if you don’t go to their 15 inch Macs with retina display).
In my opinion, the surface pro 3 surpassed the iPad (not really a victory imho) and some options when it comes to price IF compared to the MacBook Pro with retina display, but if you were comparing everything side by side, Apple is pretty much your best bet if you want a better performing laptop, however with the Windows surface pro you can have a just as sort of powerful laptop that is easier to carry around, a plus for people like me who want to work on the go, the main seller for me to buy one since I have a huge ass laptop that’s slow as fuck so their motto saying the surface can replace your laptop is without a doubt can be true.
Overall, windows shouldn’t really be boasting and doing this commercial gimmick they are better by only saying that they have a touchscreen, pen, kickstand, being somewhat just as powerful, and not going into depth when that can be easily be proven wrong when they compare it to MacBooks specs more than just the “surface” (no pun intended), I do admit they have a few edges that might sell for other people, but when the odds stack up, Apple beat them again as usual and comes out on top, however the competition is getting closer each time windows releases a computer so who knows, they just might be able to compare to them.
A quick doodle done in Manga Studio Debut 4 on Nissie’s new Windows Surface Pro.
Drawing on that tiny thing takes some adjusting…Oh yeah, these are characters from a dream I had the other night. The two twins are mad at the spikey haired guy because he used the wrong nick name for himself, confusing everyone.
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!
I imagine my Windows Surface Pro would be a brainy schoolgirl because it works very hard but is pretty rough around the edges - considering if I try to do anything too strenuous on it, it decides to overheat and all I get is a picture of a thermometer on the screen for twenty minutes as it cools.
The new Windows Surface RT tablet is Microsoft’s entry to the tablet space. The Surface is completely designed and manufactured by Microsoft rather than one of its manufacturing partners (Samsung, HP, Dell, etc). The hardware has a nice fit and finish with a built in kick stand and a 10.6 inch screen. It runs on a ARM processor that is not x86 based so full apps are limited (only an RT version of Office 2013 is available) so users are limited to the apps available in the Microsoft store. The optional cover keyboard ($119.99) snaps into place easily via magnetic connectors but takes time to get used to. I found myself hitting the wrong keys very often and pressing harder than I needed to because I’m expecting feedback. I would play the extra $10 bucks for the keyboard with feedback.
(Magnetic connectors for keyboard)
(Volume rocker, 3.5mm headphone jack, and left side of wimpy speakers)
(Magnetic power connector, USB port, micro HDMI port, and right side of wimpy speakers located all the way on the left)
It has a 10.6" HD Display that’s clear and bright. I did not have a problem with glare during my time with it. The Surface has a Vapor Magnesium body that is smooth but is prone to accumulate fingerprints. It’s easy to wipe down the entire tablet including the detachable touch keyboard with a wet towel and not worry about things getting trapped in between cracks. At 1.5 lbs it’s heavier than the regular iPad and I found it tiresome to hold for more than a few minutes.
The OS is pretty smooth but initial launch of apps are slightly delayed (about 5 seconds). Like many mobile devices, most apps are useless if you’re not connected to WiFi. The Peopletile which acts as a social hub and automatically combines all your contact lists for your various accounts (Yahoo, Gmail, corporate email, Facebook, Twitter, etc) will display any updated information for someone within your contact list. What’s awkward is you’ll see the same handful of people flash in the live tile randomly and it can be someone you may have no interest on getting random updates about. Apparently with a Windows 8 phone you can set up groups of people to address this problem but not for the Surface RT (not sure about Windows 8 Pro). I find the live tiles in general to be a bit distracting at times but things do catch my eye. Another thing that bothers me is that you need to go to different places to post various things to services like Facebook instead of having the Facebook app. Peoplehub to post status updates, the Photohub to post pictures, and the Videohub to post videos. Again everything needs an Internet connection. So while it’s great to have access to your Facebook and Skydrive photos once you link those accounts the pics are not all cached for offline viewing, only the ones you’ve viewed are. If you wanted to download a pic from your Facebook account to send via email you can’t, there is no menu option for to save as a file locally.
The only app I’ve downloaded from the Microsoft store is Netflix and it worked wonderfully. The streaming video runs smoothly with no delays, the video quality is crisp, however the built in speakers are a bit weak. I watched 2 movies and it didn’t even consume 50% of the battery. Surprisingly, I loaded some AVI files and had some difficulties with with playback (would not play the first 3 minutes of any AVI clip) but had no issues with MP4 files.
Linking your various accounts is a bit convoluted since Microsoft wants you to associate everything with your Live account. So in order to connect my Facebook account, which uses my Yahoo email address, I needed to provide my Facebook user name (my Yahoo email address) and password info to my Live account. After doing so, my default profile pic was of 2 horses and it took me a while figure out how to change it. I needed to log onto my Live account via the web in order to change it, after doing so it took a few minutes to sync with the Surface.
The gestures for the tablet took me 1 evening to get used to but once you do they make navigating through the OS very easy. As a side note, these gestures are very similar to those of the Blackberry Playbook using the bezel of the screen, which at the time I thought was too much to learn (at least during my 5 minutes of playing with it at the store) but it turns out they make a lot of sense. No more constantly clicking a home button.
The browser is running a mobile version of IE 10 and is pretty good. I liked that I was able to use the attached keyboard and have functions like CRTL F to look for keywords on a page. The Bingtile also displays top trending searches which can be interesting at times. The Sportstile is cool but needs some more polish.
The Newstiles aggregates many of the top news stories from sources like the NY Times, USA Today, etc.
All in all the Surface is a decent device and Windows 8 shows a lot of promise. The hardware is nice but I would recommend getting a Pro device with a touchscreen over the RT version so that you’re not limited by the processor. I also found that being unable to have the screen prop itself up on a hinge like a normal laptop was slightly annoying and make it hard to use the keyboard while sitting on a couch or in bed.
(Propping it up requires the kickstand which makes it hard to use with the keyboard if you don’t have a flat surface.)
At $500 it’s not a cheap tablet but if you’re looking for something that can do a bit more than web surfing and mini apps and is a bit different this might be a good option to consider.