Last year Microsoft announced their own line of Hardware with Microsoft Surface. Nowadays I don’t carry a Laptop regularly, as both my Home PC & Office PC have files synced with SugarSync. I have given back my official laptop about 2 years back and borrowed one only for any presentations (even though I try to avoid it by carrying my slides in a thumb drive or emailing to organizers in advance). But I certainly need a tablet for casual browsing, to work while I am travelling, and consuming content (Flipboard, YouTube, RSS, FaceBook) while at home. I was using my iPad 3 for getting these done, but it was difficult for my wife to share the same device. iOS doesn’t support multiple profiles so sharing FaceBook or YouTube app was nearly impossible. Last month a colleague of mine travelled to the USA and I got him to bring back a Microsoft Surface Pro for me.
Online ordering of the Surface Pro costs $1274.19 inclusive of CA taxes (128GB Surface Pro at $999, Surface VGA Adapter at $39.99, Surface Type Cover at $129.99). I have been using the device for some time now and I love the device. The convenience of a tablet and productivity of Windows using a Keyboard and Mouse is really the best of both worlds. There are rough edges of the Windows 8 Dual UI model (Desktop and Metro) showing its head in many places but I got used to it, especially since I have been using Windows 8 on my Desktop PC for a few months now. Do yourself a favour and buy a Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse (US$69.95) which works without an additional Bluetooth adapter, the track-pad in the Type cover is not that great. The device is fast and does all regular tasks quite well. Compared to an iPad it is heavier and longer which are minor irritants.
The orange messenger bag (a large sling bag) you see above is a product of Hush Puppies that I bought for ~SG$70 from Mustafa, Singapore.
Most of the projectors & LCD Televisions now support HDMI against VGA. When I am travelling I need an HDMI interface to connect Surface Pro to Hotel TVs and enjoy videos from Thumb drive (use XBOX Video or VLC Player). So I purchased Belkin Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter for INR 1899 from eBay India. this is the same that Macbook Pro uses.
After the recent firmware update from Windows Update, I am able to get slightly over 5 hours of battery life, pretty neat.
Windows 8 Apps that I am using in my Surface Pro are the following (change en-in in URLs I have linked to en-us if you need to go to USA Store)
- Microsoft Solitaire – Every Windows PC needs to have this
- Microsoft OneNote – Free Metro App that syncs seamlessly with your other devices using Skydrive
- Skype – Free Metro App looks and works great
- MetroPass – Keepass clone for US$1.99, Paid App
- Amazon Kindle – needs no introduction
- Twitter official app
- Adobe Reader Touch – Free, the official Acrobat Reader for Metro UI
- Adobe Photoshop Express – Free, the official Acrobat Reader for Metro UI
- Wikipedia – Free, the official App from Wikimedia Foundation
- WordPress – Free, the official App from Automattic Inc
- Nextgen Reader – The best RSS Reader supporting Feedly now, US$2.99 Paid App
- Advanced English Dictionary – Free Metro app
- Maalaimalar – Free App for Tamil Evening NewsPaper, App developed by my firm Vishwak Solutions