It seems with the latest announcement of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, they are claiming a legitimate laptop replacement tablet. The peaked my interest to say the least. I had always written off the Surface as I only ever tried the Windows RT versions. The RT (RunTime) version of windows, doesn’t allow you to install just any program, it can run everything in the Microsoft App Store, but I’ve always had a need to be able to run, test, and experiment with many different windows software packages. They have always had a Pro version of the Surface but I’ve always felt it was too pricey for the specs. I admit I’m still on that fence, but I’ll explain why I continue to evaluate my options.
From the first time I used windows 8 it felt like I should touch it, the Metro interface was completely designed with touch in mind. So when I came to hunt for a new laptop I settle on the budget friendly Asus x202e. It was less than $600 and all I really needed, with the addition of the touch screen I thought this would be a fun compromise. The laptop has served me well for the last year, but I admit I very seldom use the touch screen, really only to access a menu that I can’t seem to access with the mouse. (Haven’t tried to figure out). But ultimately reaching across a keyboard to touch a screen is not comfortable for me, I simply don’t enjoy it.
As the flury of ads and reviews came out on the Surface Pro 3, my excitement was ignited again. I began looking at reviews watching videos. Learning all I can about this new iteration of the Windows Tablet experience. A tablet without a keyboard is something I would enjoy using, for basic email, web browsing, and apps and games designed for touch, I can imagine using it on my lap on the couch. The adjustable stand would make watching netflix enjoyable at the lake, etc. The 12″ screen is alluring as well. This experience I’m sure would be as I expect, great.
Now the other side, productive windows application time. Weather I’m working on my assignements and creating testing code in Visual Studio, or editing websites for customers, or remotely access my work computers to solve after hours problems on the servers at work. It seems I would likely need all the attachments and accessories.
Currently I use my laptop with an external monitor. On the Surface I would need the Display Port to HDMI adapter. I sometimes want a faster connection for file transfer and would use ethernet, another USB/Ethernet adapter required. I would want the keyboard and likely get a bluetooth mouse. And finally I would need to access more files of an external Hard Drive, USB or SD Card as I most likely wouldn’t spring for the 512GB ($2000) model. So with careful management of tasks I should be okay with the single USB port on the surface but a USB hub could be handy.
So this is when I talk myself out of the purchase. My laptop was $600 1 year ago, it is nothing special it is an Intel i3 processor, 4GB RAM, and 500GB Hard Drive, Ethernet port, HDMI port, 2 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0.
Compared to the Surface Pro 3, $1000 for the 128GB model, 1 USB 3.0, accessories needed for HDMI, Etherenet, and extra storage space. Plus the expense of the keyboard.
At the end of my day, I can’t justify the added expense yet, I’m hoping one of 2 things happen, either the price drops significantly which I can’t imagine, or I come into some extra disposable income, which also likely won’t happen. But its fun to imaging the different uses of the new technology around every corner. Can you justify a Surface Pro for your lifestyle? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for sticking with through this longer post, I’ll get better and more concise with my thoughts as I attempt to share more.