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I got a Surface Pro 3! What was I thinking?

By fraser, January 20, 2015

I seem to have a few dozen articles stacking up trying to get a look-in amongst life and work ‘stuff’. It is incredibly time consuming to write something that is hopefully informative and not out-of-date before I get around to finishing it. So… in the meantime, I am going to do a short post about a new gadget that just dropped on my doorstep.

my-surface-photo

Now why would I bother taking the time to post about a windows machine?

I have used the same Macbook for the last 6 years. It has been faultless until the end retirement and has been used so much that the spacebar’s become concaved in the middle.

I upgraded the internals, dropped the optical drive for a 500gb second drive, updated the operating drive SSD and stuffed as much RAM as future OS X updates allowed. The only issue I had with it in the end was the battery life (multiples of) and the screen resolution. On the whole it is the best purchase I ever made and kept me rocking up to client offices charging me 45 English pence per day!

So why would I not go for another Macbook and get a WINDOWS 8 tablet/pc/hybrid thingy?

Although the Mac was great I was still having to work on Windows. Running VMware Fusion or dual booting was just something else that I had to maintain. In the end I have taken the leap and moved to a ‘tablet’ being my sole work machine!

Tech specs

  • Software: Windows 8.1 Pro
  • 256GB SSD (which I have also added 256GB Micro SD giving 512GB solid state)
  • Display: 12″ ClearType Full HD Plus Display • Resolution: 2160 x 1440 • Aspect Ratio: 3:2 • Touch: 10-point multi-touch
  • Intel i7
  • Surface Pen

This is a powerful machine and will hopefully keep going for years to come. I went for a higher spec as the internals are not upgradeable (a possible downside to some).

The features that attracted me to the Pro 3 were:

  • High Resolution (needed for SDR’s and Report Builder)
  • Powerful
  • Weighs nothing (like carrying around a pad of paper)
  • Price (compared to comparable macbook much cheaper)
  • Stylus
  • Touch Screen

The Stylus is extremely useful. Annotating over charts when in meetings, completing quick gap analysis of variables on sites, quickly grabbing refence material off the web.

quick-check

I think this is the first machine that makes the awkward-on-a-laptop Windows 8 feel comfortable. My workspace is less cluttered and I am more productive. I found with Mac OSX I eventually had too many things open. Layers and layers of textpads, images and speadsheets. Many people are more disciplined at maintaining Macs ‘Spaces’ – I could never be bothered, just always had a big dump of forgotten windows in the middle of my screen.

Surface Pro 3 - Windows 8

Thoughts & Summary

I’ve been back in the Windows world since November. I expected the transition back to be a touch rocky. There really has only been a few minor niggles. Office 365 subscription management does not work in Chrome. This left me having to contact customer support as it just told me my account was not setup yet. Alt F4 does not close down windows any more. Certainly not the end of the world.

The Surface Pro 3 I really like. It has enough useful features that make is a good tool for any Web Analyst. I paid £1130 (reminds me, there is no £ on the keyboard, major annoyance) off ebay with the keyboard. As long as it stays stable and Windows 8 does not grind to a halt I think as a work machine the Surface has comfortably taken the crown from my Mac. But ask me again in 6 years.

targetier has specialised in Adobe Omniture implementation for the past 8 years. Please feel free to get in touch if you are in need of consultancy services

What do you think?

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