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Customer Review

330 of 353 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its becoming my daily computing device for everything, March 5, 2013
This review is from: Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet 128 GB Hard Drive, 4 GB RAM, Windows 8 Pro - ENGLISH (Personal Computers)
My wife bought me the MS Surface Pro 128G from Microsoft online store as a gift and I received it on 3/1. It took me a long time to decide whether I wanted this or not. Practically speaking, I could have gone through tech life without a Surface Pro but something lured me to it. Now that I have it, I have to say that this is the best computing device I've ever had. It is becoming my computing device for everything (and then some). It is becoming my daily driver.

When I say everything I mean that...

1. It can be used as a Desktop replacement

I just connect the Surface Pro to a large monitor via a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter. Since I don't have a Bluetooth keyboard and Bluetooth mouse, I connect the keyboard to the Surface Pro's USB port and the mouse to the USB port on my keyboard. The Surface Pro drives 1920x1080 resolution. Since it uses Windows 8, it runs all the programs that I use on a day-to-day basis.

The CPU, RAM, and storage are great for most of my needs. I've already loaded Quicken, MS Office Suite, VPN, StarCraft 2, NXClient, etc. and have a lot of room to spare. RAM usage is usually sitting at 2 GB or below running 11 software applications at once because Windows 8 Memory Management has been improved significantly. Don't believe me on the Memory Management stuff? Then, check it out on Developing Windows 8 blogs.

2. It can be used as a Laptop

It is small and light. At first I thought the 10.6" screen is too small (since I do a lot of programming). But now, I've gotten used to it and realize that size is just right. (Ofcourse, if I really want to do programming work with a big screen I hook the Surface Pro up to a large monitor - the one I have at the office or the one I have at home (see #1 above)). As a laptop replacement, this is when I use the Type keyboard/cover the most. When I just want to be computing somewhere other than at my desk (home or office). If I need to go to a conference room, in my breakfast nook, in front of the TV, etc..

Don't believe some of the reviews, it doesn't get hot at all and its fine on my lap. If I'm sitting on a couch and I want the view the screen at a different angle, I just fold back the kickstand and put a pillow behind it or I just put the Surface Pro farther back down my legs.

In addition, Window 8 provides many options to lower the Surface Pro's power consumption. A lot of early reviewers never touched on this. I created a custom power saving profile and I can get many hours of use without having to look for a power outlet.

3. It can be used as a Tablet

If I want to read my Kindle books, PDFs, word docs,.. it is just as easy and enjoyable. I can also watch Netflix on this thing as the display is very high quality. Touch navigation is really great especially running with Windows 8 with Metro/Modern UI applications - Mail, IE10, OneNote, Office 365, etc.. all have touch capabilities. And, again, with custom power profile, battery usage lasts a lot longer.

When I say "More", I mean that:

1. I can use a stylus to jot down notes, draw diagrams, solve problems, without having scribbles of notes and paper everywhere. Its all in OneNote. I can also jot notes or questions on Office365 PowerPoint slides. Let me say that again if it wasn't clear. I can highlight, jot notes or write questions directly on the PowerPoint slides using the stylus!

2. It can do handwriting recognition. Basically, you write something on the pop-up writer thing (don't really know what it is called), you write something with your stylus, then Surface Pro will convert it to typed text. This is useful if you want your written words to be searchable.

3. The pen can be used as a mouse, but I prefer to use my fingers most of the time.

4. Then there is SkyDrive... your data accessible from anywhere.. but all Windows 8 computers provide that.. so that isn't unique to Surface Pro..

All in all, it has the power to run desktop applications, portable as a laptop, and great for tablet use. As I said, this is fast becoming my daily driver.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 10, 2013 8:34:10 AM PST
Carolan Ivey says:
Thank you for your review. I was wondering if I could replace my "workhorse" HP laptop with a Surface. I'm on my laptop five days a week, 8 hours a day, so the keyboard especially would have to stand up to some punishment. How are you doing with your device since you wrote your review?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2013 10:29:55 AM PST
bronzefury says:
I'm still using the device for pretty much everything except for gaming where I need a better graphics experience and want to have the game set to "Ultra" settings.

Now that I've installed 8.1, the experience and use is much better. What's really cool now is the MS Food & Drink app - you can turn pages without touching the computer since it uses the camera to detect your hand waves.

Also, I think its better to use the latest Office software since they've been optimized for touch. If you have any specific questions, let me know..

Posted on Mar 20, 2014 12:24:54 PM PDT
S. Nelson says:
I have the original Surface RT (running 8.1). I'd love to have the pro just so I could do software development on (laptop replacement), but other than that, I love this thing. There's so much more than you even mentioned - it's hard to remember all of it. I start to feel like a salesman. One think I love is the connectivity. I turned it on, upgraded to 8.1, and without me having to do I could print to all my printers and scan. No setup at all. Full sized USB. Bluetooth, so that I can hook up a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard and type they way I like if I want to. Lot of great things. The app market isn't what the others are but if people get wind of how nice these things are, it will take off.

Posted on Jul 9, 2014 8:45:39 PM PDT
How good is the accuracy of the stylus; how close to pen-to-paper does handwriting on a OneNote page feel ?
I plan to use this for schoolwork, involving lots of math. Is it possible to give the OneNote pen a thickness so that it looks as if you physically wrote something with pen and paper?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2014 7:18:00 AM PDT
bronzefury says:
I would say that the accuracy is very good. I don't think it would ever be possible to replicate the "feel" of paper/pen with pen/onenote exactly as they are very different mediums. However, I do believe that it is possible to completely replace using paper/pen with pen/OneNote.

In my use case, I used to use notebooks, pen & paper, to take notes, draw, do sketches of designs, etc. Now, I have completely replaced all note taking using OneNote, I write/highlight on PDF documents using Windows 8.1 built-in PDF reader, take notes directly on PowerPoint slides/MS Word docs with my stylus. So, everything is on OneDrive, accessible from any Windows Phone, Surface, or desktop, or Internet Explorer browser (pretty much any computer). I don't lose my work and they can be sorted, searched, etc..

Yes, you can adjust the thickness of the pen. The device + software is pressure sensitive, so the pen lines get thinner or thicker depending on how much you press the pen. You can also adjust the "base" thickness of the pen using the OneNote software.

Btw, I have traded in my Surface Pro and upgraded to Surface Pro 3. I like all the improvements found on the Surface Pro 3. If you can swing it, I'd recommend the Surface Pro 3. I also purchased Sketchbook Pro since I like drawing every now and then.
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