Tech Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablet/computer with Windows 8.1

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  1. I thought I'd start a thread to see if anyone here wanted to talk about the Microsoft Surface Pro 2.

    It was the smallest full-blown Windows laptop tablet computer I could find. It fits inside a medium-sized bag like my Coach Borough Bag (medium), and weighs 2 pounds plus another .5 pounds for the type 2 backlit keyboard.

    I just picked mine up at Best Buy the other day, and I'll be installing software, customizing and learning it this weekend (with my iPad by its side to look up info and take notes :P). I got the 128GB version - hopefully it will have enough RAM for what I want to do. It has 4GB. The 8GB tablet was an extra $300 and that put the price well into premier designer bag range.

    I needed Windows to run software for work. I plan to continue to use the iPad and android phone for personal use - I don't want to put anything too personal on the surface tablet, at least for as long as I can hold out. I plan to use it for client calls, presentations, and to get more work done at home. The ergonomics pulled me in since I was so addicted to the iPad.

    Does anyone else have this tablet/laptop?

    If you are considering it, it has a lot of positive reviews however most of the reviewers are using it as a substitute for a Windows laptop, not as a substitute for iPad. There is no way I am replacing iPad! The extra screen real estate alone is enough to keep it handy, but I am so bonded to it - it's my answer machine and social media outlet.
  2. I don't have the Pro 2, but I do have the Pro! I love it :heart:

    I think for its portability and power it's well worth the price. Such a shame you didn't get the 4GB more of RAM for just $300. It would help a lot since this is full fledged Windows :amazed:

    Looking forward to see what Microsoft can offer for the 3rd generation of this tablet pc. The only bad thing is battery life, but I think that has improved a lot on the Pro 2. I think if Surface Pro 3 comes with LTE, it could definitely replace the iPad entirely. But then again, I don't use an iPad at all and I'm happy with all my apps on my android phone, so there's that :P

    How are you doing with it?
  3. So far, so good. I'm pleasantly surprised with the user interface. I like the tiles. I thought they would annoy me, but once I customized them, I liked them. It's no iPad, but I'm not as thrilled with the iPad UI since I upgraded to ios 7. :sad: Oh well, everything takes getting used to.

    RAM hasn't been an issue yet. I definitely needed the 128GB hard drive, though. 64GB would have left very little room left after I installed a bunch of software. I still have more software to install for work. I don't do video editing or much image processing or gaming on the surface, which I assume would need a lot more RAM.

    The screen is a little small because it is further away with the keyboard attached, especially when using the control panel. I think it will be OK after I customize my software and don't have to use control panel much. I think I would like to use the screen in portrait mode but I need to put it in a stand for that, and that would make it further away, and I would have to use my bluetooth keyboard (which does not have a tracking pad, hmmmm....). Most stands would not support the surface in portrait mode safely since it is 11" tall and weighs 2 pounds. I may buy a large document stand or something if I decide to use it that way.

    It helps to have the iPad nearby. That is where is keep my notes, google questions, and read user guides. When you are learning a new UI, it's easy to get distracted, and having the To Do list on the iPad keeps me on track. I will keep an extra tablet with me to use as my "paper pad" because the extra screen helps. Although if I master split screen on the surface, I could wean myself off the extra tablet.

    Mail is an issue as the mail app does not accept pop. I have not gotten thunderbird to get my pop mail yet. Need to spend more time on that.

    For calendar, they want you to use Outlook instead of gmail. I will probably keep my calendars separate anyway.

    Then there are the journalists that say when Microsoft Office is available for iPad, Surface will go away. I don't care. I have mine, it works, and in a few years I'll replace it with whatever is available because then it will be slow. Technology never lasts that long anyway. I didn't even buy Microsoft Office. I installed the free Apache OpenOffice and we'll see if that will do what I need.

    So, I would only get this if you really need a windows computer. For a tablet, I would get iPad or Android. Although network printing and file sharing seemed easier on the surface if you are not using the cloud. Lots of solutions for that, but file and print sharing across platfoms was pretty irritating on the iPad.

    Ergonomically, I do enjoy using it, which was the whole idea behind buying it (besides that it fits in my purse and is fairly lightweight). I should get a lot more work done. I can put the surface with keyboard on my lap comfortably, especially if my legs are straight out in front of me. Some people may not find this comfortable. The extra kickstand position is important on the surface pro 2. If my feet were on the floor, the keyboard would be a little too close for comfort, but could be used in a pinch, or the keyboard could just be detached or folded back. The SA said you really need to put it on a deeper hard surface to use it comfortably on your lap. I am fine with it on my lap as long as my legs are up, because the kickstand lands just below my knees.
  4. Wow, you could be a pretty good reviewer :graucho:

    64 GB is definitely not enough, don't even know why Microsoft bothered to give that option. Are you replacing a desktop/laptop with this? You said it would help you get more work done at home. Perhaps, if you find the screen too small, you could plug it into an external monitor. I'm not sure why you need to use the control panel so much, but you can enlarge the icons by selecting Large icons on the top right corner where it says View by:. It was set to small icons for me by default until I looked around after reading your post :lol:

    Why do you want to use the Surface in portrait mode? Information on the screen looks quite compressed that way since it's not very wide in portrait. You can't use the keyboard cover, and you can't multitask. :huh: Maybe you could prop it up against your leg(s) when sitting, it's what I do although that probably makes the screen too close to be good for my eyes.

    There is a free OneNote app by Microsoft in the app store, it could come in handy for you even though it's not Word. It's great with the stylus, you can jot down things and leave it open on the side. I'm not sure if you know, but Microsoft Office is already available for free on the iPad I think. I've seen some articles about it.

    I am actually glad there is someone else who finds it comfortable to use their Surface on their lap, I seemed to be the only one! :wondering: My 1 position kickstand doesn't bother me much. Once again, I love being able to put this baby anywhere and take it along with me. I used to have a 13 inch ultrabook, it was very slim, MacBook Air style, and very light, but even then carrying it around in my bag made my shoulder hurt after a while. Now the problem is a lot better with the Surface since it's smaller, lighter, more portable and actually more powerful :biggrin: I can't imagine how you can carry around pretty much 2 tablets and daily necessities :shocked:

    I agree with you though, that this is a laptop replacement and in no way a tablet replacement. It just doesn't have the apps, or the LTE coverage to be decent as a tablet. Even the Surface/Surface 2 with Windows RT isn't really that great, the app ecosystem means a lot to me.
  5. Not really. I purchased it to take to client meetings and to get more work done on evenings and weekends. A bonus is to get experience with the technology. I have a ginormous laptop which I never wanted to use except at a desk. It still has some life in it. I can use it or my desktop machine when I need to sit down and do some serious work.

    I used control panel/file explorer/task manager to optimize my updates, turn off cameras, check to see how much room the software took up, learn machine specs, play with themes and display settings, etc. The submenus did not get larger no matter what I did. I'm trying not to change the screen resolution because it gives a warning that I may not be able to see everything.

    I look at a lot of text and data. Sometimes I need the height more than the width to minimize scrolling up and down repeatedly.

    I saw that. It looks interesting. I'm used to using a text editor - not sure I need all the freedom that comes with OneNote.

    No, my phone can be my other mobile tablet for now and I don't have many daily necessities. At home I can just prop up my ipad nearby.

    I guess everybody has different needs for a laptop. A lot of people seem to assume you just need Microsoft Office. I would think for work, you would need whatever specialized software your company uses.
  6. I purchased the Pro First Generation, OneNote won me over. I planned on using it strictly for professional use but the weight of it and the battery life was annoying. The 2 came out soon after and I sold it, decided to stick with the iPad.

    If you save your recovery files to an external drive you will have more room.
  7. Do you use OneNote on iPad?

  8. No, I haven't subscribed to 365 yet and many of the features are only available on the Surface.
  9. Surface Pro 3 was just revealed today, with an all new kickstand! Ah, Microsoft and their kickstand... :lol:
  10. Well, it's bigger, so I'm glad I got the Surface Pro 2. It's lighter in weight though. If I still needed one, I would be looking at the all-in-one tablet/laptop combos. I ruled those out before because of the dimensions.
  11. The pro2 and 3 are essentially the same device except for a couple new things. Obv the bigger screen, better screen resolution and more choices for the processor and memory. I returned the 2 and got the 3 because it came out 2 weeks after I bought the 2. With that being said I loved the 2 and miss it but only 11 more days until the 3! It will also still fit in my George Gina & Lucy bag :smile:
  12. I picked up the Pro 3 a week ago and love it.
    I wanted something smaller than my 15" laptop, which can be too heavy at times, but at the same time with Windows, and a larger screen than my Ipad has, and the Surface fits that niche.

    I'm still getting used to it, and still loading some software little by little. I bought the 256 GB, which should be more than I need, as I use my desktop computer for any real work. I also use the desktop to download email, and I like to have my email all in one place, so I haven't done anything with an email program on this.

    I would recommend this to anyone who wants a truly portable laptop and still needs Windows. Would be great for travel, but may be limited without the LTE. I have a portable wireless device that I use for travel, so I'm set to go.