Gadgets Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Pro

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 borrow one only for any presentations (even that I try to avoid by carrying my slides in a thumb drive or email to organizers in advance). But I certainly need a tablet for casual browsing, to work while I am travelling, consuming content (Flipboard, YouTube, RSS, FaceBook) while at home. I was using my iPad 3 for getting these done, but it was difficult for myself and 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 USA and I got him to bring back a Microsoft Surface Pro for me.

Online ordering 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 sometime now and I love the device. The convenience of a tablet and productivity of Windows using a Keyboard and Mouse is really best of both worlds. There are rough edges of 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 in my Desktop PC for few months now. Do yourself a favour and buy a Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse (US$69.95) which works without additional bluetooth adapter, the track-pad in 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.

Microsoft Surface Pro with Hush Puppies carry bag

29/June/2013 Update: The orange bag you see above is a product of Hush Puppies that I bought for ~SG$70 from Mustafa, Singapore.

03/August/2013: Most of the projectors & LCD Televisions now support HDMI against VGA. When I am travelling I need 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 Rs.1899 from Ebay India. this is the same that Macbook Pro uses.

Belkin-mini-displayport-hdmi

26/August/2013 Update: 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 following (change en-in in URLs I have linked to en-us if you need to go to USA Store)

  1. Microsoft Solitaire – Every Windows PC needs to have this
  2. Microsoft OneNote – Free Metro App that sync seamlessly with your other devices using Skydrive
  3. Skype – Free Metro App looks and works great
  4. MetroPass – Keepass clone for US$1.99, Paid App
  5. Amazon Kindle – needs no introduction
  6. Twitter official app
  7. Adobe Reader Touch – Free, the official Acrobat Reader for Metro UI
  8. Adobe Photoshop Express – Free, the official Acrobat Reader for Metro UI
  9. Wikipedia – Free, the official App from Wikimedia Foundation
  10. WordPress  – Free, the official App from Automattic Inc
  11. Nextgen Reader – The best RSS Reader supporting Feedly now, US$2.99 Paid App
  12. Advanced English Dictionary – Free Metro app
  13. Maalaimalar – Free App for Tamil Evening NewsPaper, App developed by my firm Vishwak Solutions