One month passed after I received my Surface P3. As all new devices I was very enthusiastic at first. I didn’t meant the Surface to be either a notebook replacement or a primary working machine. I’m happy to say that I was wrong.
Now after having used the Surface for a month I must say I’m very happy with this device. I use it every day and I love it every time a little more. I have the i7 model with 8GB Ram and 512GB HDD. The day I received the Surface I started directly installing the software I needed to work. After having installed all the Windows updates I installed the following list of software:
- Office Professional 2013
- Visual Studio 2013 with update 3
- MS SQL Server Express 2014 with MS SQL Server Management Studio
- JetBrains WebStorm 9.0.1
- Skype for Desktop
- Google Chrome
- drivers and printer software and some office software for my daily job
The first days I tried to get familiar with the surface pen. While it was a nice toy I wouldn’t say it’s the killing feature like some of colleagues do. Connecting the pen with the Surface was easy so I won’t go into detal of how-to or how-not-to. I was more impressed how well the type cover worked. The keyboard felt really good, the pressure points are great and dimensions are totally sufficient to work long time without having the feeling you are working on a small tablet. Especially when working for hours with Visual Studio you still feel comfortable.
Some days after my Surface the mouse arrived. I decided to get the Microsoft Arch Touch mouse for Surface. The mouse looked very good and so I thought to give it a try. It’s a Bluetooth 4.x mouse which supports the low battery technology. In fact I use the mouse on a daily basis for many hours and the batteries are still good.
The most important thing is to talk about the Surface as a notebook replacement. I must admit like I said above that I never thought that the Surface could be notebook replacement. Until now, I used a notebook for private research, for daily work, for heavy coding and for some gaming when not in home. Well. How could we describe the Surface in those categories? Absolutely competitive. From some lines of code the first days I started serious work the following weeks and since the last week I didn’t even miss my notebook. At work I connect a desktop keyboard and a 21″ display to my Surface. At home I work comfortable enough with the type cover and the Arch Mouse and if it’s about some surfing through the web I use it like a tablet.
I won’t loose any word on how Visual Studio performs or how SQL Management Studio performs on the Surface Pro. It’s a god damn pro. I have the i7 version with 8GB so it makes you forget about a notebook. I mainly develop with C#, ASP.NET and often with C++ for some gamedev. There was no point until now where I though “damn is it slow”. Here are the benchmark results I received with 3DMark: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/5568496
The best experience that far was a business meeting at a customer yesterday. 5 developers and a project manager connecting their notebooks through cables to a display for their presentations. Sometimes the cable was too short, sometimes the notebook was too old to support a good resolution, on one device the connection was not possible and my partner needed some minutes to get the appropriate settings for the hub to work. I simply connected via Bluetooth and could directly start to show my slides. Best thing was that I came only with my Surface to this meeting. All others had a Lenovo notebook and an Apple iPad. Best day of my life that far 🙂
I’ll continue to use my Surface like I did until now, although I’m thinking of getting the docking station which could make life even more comfortable.
This was just a first impression after a month. A more detailed “review” will follow some time later, as soon as I’ll have some more experience with this great device.