After been given some time with the Surface, I have got a chance to know it a bit. First off I would like to say thank you to those of you that convinced me that I should migrate to the Surface world. This thing is great. It’s a perfect format for what most people need. Do you need a big 15 laptop monitor, no not really! One thing I miss from a 15 in laptop is the 10 key. But I can manage and I am sure I will learn to deal with out it just fine.
I managed to go out and get myself a i7 Surface with 16GB of Ram, and 256GB SSD, with type cover and a Docking station. The reason I get the extra ram was to run VM’s from it. I figured it would be a missed option if I could not just spin up a Test VM in workstation. For this option I did buy a WD external 1TB hard drive to store the VM’s on. There was no reason to spend the astronomical amount they want for the 1TB internal SSD. The External spinning disk works great for this. This way it gives me some flexibility to do what I want with it. The goal of buying a surface for me was twofold. The big one was to replace a 15in Laptop, and an IPad Air. And the next was to act as a desktop for my house. I wanted to replace an older desktop that I had and give me some mobility. I already have a 1TB OneDrive account (Not so unlimited anymore) so I can use that to store some docs, but I also have a Synology NAS at the house.
I guess the first and biggest dislikes I have is the Pen needs to have a locater beacon in it. Kind of like what Tile did with their product they need to do the same thing to the Pen. I seem to leave mine everywhere, not because I mean to, but because it falls off. The magnet concept is a good idea but did anyone test this. Mine seems to fall off during transit, in my backpack, when I bump the Surface, even if you seem to stare at it pretending you can use the force to knock off the Pen it just falls off.
The second biggest one is the fan and heat. I went with the i7 version and I have to say that this thing is anything but quiet. It seems like every time it comes on the fan is running, and seems to have some warmth to the back of the Surface. I don’t mind so much if the fan would come on from time to time but it seems to run non-stop. I have not put much research into it to see if there is a bug issue, but it’s really annoying to say the least.
The third one is the Docking station “Thing”. It’s a nice option and I was glad to get one. I was looking forward to taking it home and hooking up my dual 29in monitors to it and hooking up my surface and be all happy. Well that did not work out so well. I hooked up the doc station and nothing happened, and then after a pause all 3 screens went black. I am thinking “Well I broke it”, but after a few minutes the surface display came back on and I could set up the other two monitors and move them around. I was happy for the time being. It was kind of nice but clunky to get working just right. I unhook the surface go work the next day and come back home and hook it up again and black screens, you don’t even see the Windows Hello working to sign you in, and you just hear the sound. After about 2 to 3 minutes all 3 screens come to life. And it is like that every time you plug it into the dock. I have not tried just one external screen yet, but plan on it now that I thought of it. I want to replace my dual screens with one Ultra-wide anyways so if one screen works well I am good with that.
Flexibility and mobility are the two biggest things I have seen. The surface is so much lighter and portable than my 15 Laptop. Not to mention the battery seems to last.
The Pen, okay the first day the pen was a novelty. I mean for any of you that have has ever had the torture of reading my handwriting you would understand. I really am one of the people that missed my calling and went into IT instead of the medical field. So writing in onenote without my decoder ring is kind of an issue. It was fun and was a great idea for people with neat handwriting, But not for me. Day two is when I figured there were other uses for the Pen. I was trying to explain something to someone and I had no real paper to draw a diagram on, and use the surface to draw on. And that is where I found my use for the pen. When you are making note for projects or network diagrams you can just draw them into OneNote with the pen and you will always have them. Now the pen had moved from a novelty to a useful tool. I was hooked at this point.
The new touchpad and keys on the type cover are nice. The touchpad is smooth to operate, and the keys feel great. One downfall is if you have the Type cover propped up there is the odd thud sound when you type on it. And it’s a little bouncy, but that I can deal with. I would say that buying an external mouse was a good idea when using it for long periods. I decided to go with a Logitech MX Anywhere 2. I had such a great life with the original, that I thought why not upgrade to the newest version and give it a whirl.
I guess the overall Surface itself. So far the design is great, the feel is great. It’s been a great tool to add and will be looking forward to the next version and see how this market grows.