Saturday, April 20, 2024

Review: My Year With Microsoft Surface Pro

I was shy of twelve months ago; I transitioned from a Macbook Pro and iPad combo to a Microsoft Surface Pro 128GB. In light of this week’s declaration of Surface Pro three and my acquisition of a Surface Pro 2, I assume it’s time to mirror what that revels in becoming like. Like most oldsters, I became skeptical about mixing a PC and tablet into an unmarried unit. Would not it be too heavy?

Would the performance be too low? Would the battery life be awful? And what approximately has the new Windows 8 OS been the concern of a lot of teeth-gnashing? I’ll try to solve these questions and answer them as quickly as possible. Hit the soar, and let’s get into the query: what is it like to stay with Microsoft’s imagination and prescient for computing in the future?

Review: My Year With Microsoft Surface Pro 1

1. The Operating System, starring Windows 8/8.1:

Windows 8.1 Update 1 had an amazing head begin with Windows 8. I started its usage for the first publicly available betas approximately nine months before release, twin booting on my Macbook Pro. That revel gave me lots of time to figure out how to navigate the OS properly before launch, so I did not have the conflict that many human beings did. Of path, it probably facilitates that I experience exploring and coming across new matters. The early Windows 8 experience did have its struggles, although. I’d emerge as aware of the iPad or even my Windows Phone 7 tool, which had plenty of apps available in their stores. Windows 8’s store became notoriously barren through assessment, and that caused some early frustration when trying to use Surface Pro as only a pill. Too many apps and functions were missing to make for a satisfying experience.

Nevertheless, the device’s potential to deal with legacy Windows computer apps with aplomb kept me happy enough to preserve. The app save predicament has become less vital with the aid of the day. Suppose there may be one factor Windows truly wishes to repair, although it is its manner of offering the laptop. The computer remains wrapped inside the trappings of an archaic gadget whose time has surpassed, and it is time for Microsoft to replace it with an extra modern-day presentation with fonts massive enough to read on high DPI screens and huge sufficient to operate with a finger.

With 8.1 and the brand new eight.1 Spring Update (clearly? We could not simply name it 8.2?), all my lawsuits, approximately Windows 8, evaporated. While some dislike the new aesthetic, I’ve found myself loving the flat colors, active tiles, and removal of extraneous effects. My sincere desire is that as Windows evolves, it gets even more balanced, and the metro aesthetic becomes more pervasive.

Suggestion: Use a Microsoft account and OneDrive! I can’t stress these sufficiently. If you’re using Windows eight–and on a Surface Pro, you will be–you should not create an old-style local account. Doing so cuts you off from several of Windows 8’s nice capabilities. Among these is the capacity to have nearly your whole PC configuration, right down to tile sizes, places, and apps installed, backed up in your OneDrive account within the occasion you both want to repair your PC; otherwise, you signal right into an exclusive Windows 8.1 PC.

The best, even though, is that with OneDrive, you get 7GB storage without spending a dime, which, at the same time, is no longer sufficient to cover, say, your tune and photos collection, which might be massed to ensure your vital files are all correctly subsidized up inside moments of you making any change. It’s smooth to learn how to keep on your OneDrive folder, and once you have become conversant in having that safe internet, you may be surprised how you ever lived without it.

Review: My Year With Microsoft Surface Pro 2

2. The Hardware: Build Quality, Heft, and Capability.

Surface Pro Docking Station

I used to lug around a 2010 Macbook Pro 13. Three” weighed four 5 kilos, and an iPad 1 weighed 1.5 pounds for a total of 6 kilos. So after I say that, the two five-pound Surface Pro and Type Cover general changed into a huge weight off me again; I’m not kidding. The sacrifice turned into a smaller display, but the gain became a far more effective processor, advanced screen resolution, and pixel density.

The construct exceptional is extraordinary: there’s 0 flex to this device. Its magnesium shell is hard and sturdy enough to resist probable greater abuse than you must sense comfy making your PC undergo. As a tablet, it is half a pound heavier than the original iPad; however, as a computer, it has a massive gain over anything Apple offers. But you are probably surprised what I use my Surface Pro for.


I’ve spent a maximum of the pastor as a film faculty-student at UCLA, which means that much of my workload involves editing and transcoding video, compositing after-consequences compositions, transferring footage throughout special media, etc. I use Adobe Premiere for most of those duties, and my Surface Pro has gracefully treated them all. I’ve had no issues editing and rendering 1080p video in real time. And as you’ll expect from a Windows machine with a complete-length USB port, working with external difficult drives and optical drives is a breeze.

Suffice it to say, I additionally do the fundamentals, including running in Microsoft Office, writing in Final Draft, checking e-mail, browsing the web, yadda yadda. Overall, I’ve had no complaints save one. Early on, my first Surface Pro had severe issues with the Marvell Avastar wifi chip and needed to be exchanged, a problem it is now, not unusual with this device. More on that later.


Let’s be honest: the webcams in this device suck. They’re flat-out terrible, and there may be no getting around that fact. They’re high-quality for fundamental Skype video calls, but it is pretty much it. If you need to document a video, use something else. Anything else.


I frequently take notes in OneNote MX (this is the metro model), mainly these days. Like most students, I have tended over the last few years to find my notes; however, current research shows that students who take notes with the aid of hand generally tend to do better on assessments. I’m fascinated by proof-based research, so I took this to heart. However, I’m also lazy, so I don’t want to find things once I’ve written them down. Enter Surface Pro’s stylus and voila:

I can handwrite my notes and feature them in a virtual layout all at the same time. Hell, sure. Notwithstanding its reasonably-priced plastic experience, the stylus works properly as a digital inking tool. I have some complaints about the absence of a dock for the stylus, but I genuinely have no problems with that. I’ve been using it for 12 months and have not begun to lose the component.

Art-Related Work

Last notice on usability: my fiancée, artist Kelley Frisby, got her Surface Pro on release day precisely because of the incorporated Wacom digitizer with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity. The utilization here became contentious because Surface Pro shipped without a pressure touchy driving force that Photoshop should understand. However, as soon as that driving force materialized, she always used the stylus. When we discovered Manga Studio Pro from artist Jonathan Case’s website, things went off the hook as she found it far more advanced than Photoshop for creating hand-drawn illustrations.

She can have her Surface Pro on her lap with pressure sensitivity while she attracts, and her keyboard available for keyboard shortcuts is a big benefit that other pills do not provide. Truly, if you’re an artist who draws and paints digitally, Surface Pro is the device for you. Nothing else combines so many hardware capabilities and extensive software program availability.

3. Battery Life

Surface Pro Kickstand

Review: My Year With Microsoft Surface Pro 3

This is the one severe trouble that has dogged the Surface Pro given its original release, no matter the reality that it was in no way as awful as human beings claimed or the fact that Surface Pro 2 completely mitigated the problem (and by using all reports, Surface Pro 3 does even better). Early claims had been that Surface Pro was given approximately 3.Five hours of battery lifestyles. And beneath certain situations, this is genuine:

Looking at 1080p movies with the brightness up, even as downloading stuff in the heritage will consume battery existence plenty greater than average utilization, like another device. But that is the handiest part of the check. Under normal usage, which I’ll outline as internet, e-mail, and phrase processing, Surface Pro 1 gets 5 hours of battery life out of the field properly. With some slight tweaks to the power profile, which I’ve specified in one of our most famous poets, it’s feasible to get 6-7 hours of battery existence.

However, my high-quality time became simply over 8 hours total, with a caveat: I changed into working with the wifi turned off, writing in Word in a low light state of affairs wherein I should effectively turn down the screen brightness to a minimum. Most human beings, I realize, get in the range of five hours.

Jenna D. Norton
Jenna D. Norton
Creator. Amateur thinker. Hipster-friendly reader. Award-winning internet fanatic. Zombie practitioner. Web ninja. Coffee aficionado. Spent childhood investing in frisbees for the government. Gifted in exporting race cars in Orlando, FL. Had a brief career short selling psoriasis in Ohio. Earned praise for getting my feet wet with human growth hormone in Minneapolis, MN. Spent several years creating marketing channels for banjos for farmers. Spent 2002-2010 merchandising karma for no pay.

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