Surface Pro

So, I got one.

I’d like to finish that last paragraph off with some sort of judgement, in a word, or so, but I can’t.  I don’t know yet.  I’m writing this on it.  They keyboard is quite able to handle fast typing, although I got the movable keys version instead of the touch version because I failed in my attentive efforts to make the touch version do what I wanted at the store.

In so many words, that is my judgement, so far.  A lot of random compromises or outright inexplicables, but subtle touches too, and general superiority in the market.

It’s vastly better than an iPad in terms of the fact that I already installed PhpStorm and played around with code.  However, I failed to get Visual Studio 2010 SP1 working (visual studio itself installed fine, although I can’t open my code until I get SP1 installed), and I don’t feel like tossing Micro$oft another $500 bucks this day for Visual Studio 2012 (although I haven’t given up hope).  And why does this keyboard intermittently skip words while I’m typing?  Is it because I have the whole thing at an incline relative to the position Micro$oft mandated with their single-position-only kickstand?  I literally had to put something under the monitor where they keyboard and monitor attach (I’ll call em by what we know em by) to get the whole thing to sit at a comfortable incline relative an upright, straight-backed seated position.  Otherwise, it’s too aimed at my stomach and not my eyes.

There are other foibles.  It goes to sleep every time, but it doesn’t wake back up every time.  There are three places I know to wake it up.  The button on the case at the top right (when in landscape).  The Windows icon button on the center bottom (gives a vibrational feedback when pressed) and lastly, when the keyboard is magnetically attached, you can seemingly press any key on the keyboard and if it decides to, it may show you the screen you have to swipe away before you can type your password (yes, there is a hidden hint in there for when Microsoft discovers this blog twenty years from now).  However, it is all more complicated than that.  Apparently, it takes time to load up?  Maybe 4 to 5 seconds?  But there is no light nor any indication that anything is happening nor even a way to know if you maybe were too gentle with your new device and you hadn’t actually clicked at all.

Ultimately, I either spent 2 minutes clicking it on and off before the screen could come on or it simply refused to turn on for two minutes.  Ultimately, I don’t know which.  But it surely is not as responsive as an iPad when you try and wake it up.  I don’t really care about that, but if I were microsoft, I wouldn’t try to pretend it wasn’t this way by not showing something, even a simple light that lets you know that something is happening.

I really don’t think modern technology companies appreciate the user interface genius in Knight Rider.  A single visual cue that peaks and troughs along with some logic.  Pure genius all y’all making hardware devices.

kitt-front

It’s on screen keyboard shows up at odd times.

It’s pen attaches by magnet to the side and strongly resists horizontal force, but peels off easily at the first sign of rotational force.  $30

The automatic screen orientation is way too sensitive sometimes and completely insensitive other times.  :*(

But I’ll tell you what, the pen is awesome.  I have learned a new interaction style.  When you hold the pen within a little more than an inch from the screen a new hover cursor appears that can be laser-pointered around.  Effectively, you can use one hand on the touchpad mouse buttons and the other on the stylus to achieve a very efficient method of working with small desktop interfaces on a touch screen.  It will even work with larger touch screens.  Don’t bother touching, much!  But that isn’t a detraction.  I love this way of working with the thing.  Perhaps I’ll tire of it, but it allows great speed with small movement as well as participation of both hands by default.  For a larger screen I would increase the distance the pen projects its cursor.

Battery life under heavy use sucks and if one were to use it for a day long work session, that one (me) would need to charge it once during the day and again at the end of the day.  Charge it on lunch or something.

Windows reported that I had an optional update for my Touch keyboard but fails every time it tries to install it.  I’m guessing that it has to do with movable keys vs. touch.  Apparently Windows doesn’t know its own devices.

Screen is beautiful.

I plugged my Logitech Anywhere receiver and my mouse and keyboard work fine.  Keyboards keyboards everywhere.

Next challenge is Sql Server.  Then there’s a million other minor challenges.

I’ll keep updating this with Pros and Cons.

2 thoughts on “Surface Pro

  1. […] i wonder if there will be more of these little posts now that i have a small device that i can type on nxt to my bed (Surface Pro)? […]

  2. paritycheck says:

    You can control when the Pro goes to sleep. Check out Power Options… This applies to any Windows 8 computer.

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