Microsoft Surface Pro, week 1

There have been a gazillion reviews on the new Microsoft Surface Pro and a good one I related to is from @piercedavid at The Verge. But thought I would give a few of my own personal observations as it relates to what I think is a good digital life experience.

  • Not a good tablet or a good ultrabook.  In its own right, the Surface isn’t a good replacement for a tablet or a good replacement for an ultrabook.  But in my pursuit of a low possession diet, it does fill the need of both of my devices because it allows me to reduce those two devices into one manageable unit.  So the compromise of carrying the one device all the time gives me permission to overlook the shortcomings of each device individually.
  • Battery life sucks.  I have gotten about 4 or 5 hours of use which pales to the time I got on my previous ultrabook and is painfully short compared to my past Android tablet.  But I found that its only a problem when I forget to charge it when I am not using it.
  • Limited storage isn’t a problem.  There has been a lot of chatter about the limited storage in the device but I haven’t found a problem  I don’t seem to carry tens of gigabytes of stuff around with me since I keep most of it in cloud services or Evernote.  So right now, disk space is hovering around 60%.
  • Type keyboard.  I thought I would use the type keyboard since it was more like a laptop.  But I am find that the only time I use a real keyboard is when I am sitting at my desk and hooked up to a real keyboard, real mouse, and 22″ monitor to get some real work done.  So I am returning the type keyboard in favor or the touch one which seems less obtrusive and sexier.
  • Lack of a docking station.  As I mentioned, if I want to get real work done I use a desktop set up with a big monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  The killer setup would include a dock that I could walk up to and slide it in lighting up my workspace ready to kick but.  But so far, no dock so I am reduced to plugging in video, power, and usb manually each time I go to my desk.  But to add insult to injury, the USB port is on the opposite side of the device from the video and power so there isn’t even an easy way to manage the octopus of cables.  I am considering a USB docking station to help as long as DisplayLink doesn’t screw me.

So overall, a good device.  It meets most of my needs in a smaller package.  But, as new accessories are introduced, maybe this device will become the ultimate replacement.


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