Surface Pro 3 and Windows 10

My last laptop died, well the screen did anyway. I’ll maybe turn it into a media centre, but for now I need something I don’t have to drag a monitor around with me for.
Enter the Surface Pro 3 with a nifty purple keypad cover (purple being my god-daughter’s colour of choice which makes this a hit with her too). I got the i5 with 128GB sold state drive option.

It came with Windows 8.1 but once I went through the initial setup it offered to upgrade to Windows 10.

So first on the surface. It’s nice. The 12″ screen is a little bigger than an iPad and but when it comes to using it as a laptop this is great. It’s a very clear screen with great resolution and I’m finding working in most applications it is big enough. It is a little prone to fingerprints though.

The keypad, built into a cover comes separately and isn’t that cheap. However it works really well. The keys feel solid enough and the keyboard is large enough that typing is easy. The scroll pad is ok, not great, not bad, just OK. It also comes with a loop that should stick to the cover to hold the pen but this can fall of easily.

Then there is the pen. This is great, one of the best features. It’s pressure sensitive, works on Bluetooth and you can just draw and write on the screen. Windows can read handwriting. My scrawl doesn’t count as handwriting unfortunately. It’s nice for playing with any design, I’ve been using the pen for web design and it works really well. Also Windows 10 comes with a 30 day trial of the New York Times crossword app. Tablet mode with a pen is the way to do a crossword. Even with Cortana I’m having trouble finishing it.

Cortana is the new search assistant in Windows, it will return results from your files, from the web and parse them like Siri in IOS. So a search for word.doc will return word.doc, word1.doc, word2.doc and all my other files. A search for “emperor who committed matricide” will return a web search and probably a link to the answers to todays crossword. A search for “What’s the weather like” will just return the weather. It’s nice but the mic on the surface pro 3 doesn’t work well with it.

Edge is the new browser in Windows 10 and it’s nice. Better than IE ever was and works well in tablet or desktop mode.

One note is a big feature here, double click the pen and one note opens and can copy from the Edge browser, just clip the page or just a part. It works well. Having the pen with One Note may be the thing that gets me to use the software.

Lastly Windows 10. It’s good. It’s as good an improvement over 8 as 7 was over Vista. With 8.1 somewhere in the middle. However it is a new OS. Don’t get it yet. Let idiots like me be the guinea pig while Microsoft sort out the bugs, and it still has bugs. Edge crashes often enough and when closing tabs they have an annoying habit of opening in a new window.

Other than that it seems pretty stable, it’s very fast to boot (about 6 Mississippi when I counted) to get to the logon screen. I’ve installed some software with no issues but have yet to install printers and start the search for drivers.

There are some scares on Facebook about the invasion of privacy of Windows 10 but nothing new to anyone who’s ever owned a Mac or iPhone.

 

Overall I’m loving the Surface Pro 3. It’s the nice combination of laptop and tablet that works well in Windows 10. It’s what Windows 8 promised but never delivered on.

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