Hi - New UK Pro User

Discussion in 'New Member Introduction & Site Assistance' started by T3Jn, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. T3Jn

    T3Jn New Member

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    Hi All

    Got sick of waiting for the UK release date so used BundleBox to import. Great service. Anyway, the surface is a device that I feel was designed for me and I really did not want to wait any longer. Ironically ordered the Type cover from the UK store and it took longer to get here!

    The device is living up to expectations, obviously the usual things apply - battery life and storage space, however for a decent spec laptop I've always thought 4 hours on a device this size capable as it is was a reasonable compromise. The storage is a shame, really can't see why a 256gb mSata card the same physical size could not have been included as an option. I've managed to get a full development environment working, however larger SQL databases are proving a pain, I've got a 64gb SD card in it, but it appears too slow, gave up waiting for the first 10% of a 50gb database restore on it. Going to see if an SSD in a USB 3 enclosure is any better. I was hoping I could use the surface as an emergency dev environment and stop travelling with my (what now feels immense) dell precession m6700. Double the drive space would have made this much more viable.

    Currently downloading Steam to try out Civ IV, however this highlighted the WiFi problems... first start up I could not get it to connect to my Netgear Prosafe WiFI access point - limited connectivity. Thought at first it was a problem with DNS so manually set them all up - did not make any difference so I plugged in an old USB belkin adapter and disabled the built in and everything worked ok. Downloaded the updates and then the onboard appeared to start working. However it keeps dropping off the network (not due to low signal), then comes back to life - could not even download an update to steam. Tried a couple of Draytek routers, same thing off an on, getting frustrating.

    Plugged the belkin back in and it's been fine since. So looks like that is the way to go for a while.

    I've been trying with windows 8 on the desktop for a few months, given up a couple of times and reverted to 7, it's just not usable on a multi screen desktop. Using it now again since finding a decent start button replacement - start is back. Being able to completely hide the metro interface is a must for me - I love new operating systems, I even liked Vista, this is the first time I have ever hated a new MS operating system, I can't believe I once had to google how to get to disk management. However on the Surface it is awesome, to the point where I actually think the RT may have been worth while, I like the mail apps (connected to a couple of exchange accounts) and the couple of metro apps I have tried (google & RDP) seem great. I just wish it was all optional for the desktop - but that's off topic for this forum.

    The type keyboard is nice, a bit flexible for use on your lap, which is a shame, however the surface is more usable as a "laptop" that I thought it would be, just need to have your legs up. Not great on the duvet though. I think an ridged keyboard with maybe extra storage and battery would be a nice touch. The only other thing with the type keyboard is the track pad, I tend to use 2 fingers with them, one for the cursor and another to click the buttons, this does not work as the buttons detect movement for the cursor. I get why and am sure I will get used to it, but it does slow you down. Also I've had a few occasions when the keyboard is not detected (as reported elsewhere) usually after it's been folded back. This is the first time I have used the keyboard for any length of time, and it's great - not as quick as a proper keyboard yet, but not far off (if my thumb joint stops hitting the trackpad).

    Oh - anyone know if it is possible to disable the shortcuts on the F1-5 keys? I get them too, but as a Dev those keys are kind of crucial, other than the volume can't see why you need the shortcuts with all the actions being so accessible with a swipe one way or another.

    Anyway, enough rambling - looking forward to getting active on the forum.

    Cheers

    TJ
     
  2. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator

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    Welcome TJ. Your post is basically a summary of the Pro forum to date :)
     
  3. Silverfox

    Silverfox New Member

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    Hi TJ

    Glad to hear your happy with your PRO, Got to ask, if you don't mind, I also live in the UK and are waiting for the UK release, how much did it cost you to ship it from the US, you can pm me if you like. I also work with SQL databases and that Would be its primary purpose so really interested to know how you get on with it.

    keep us updated.

    Darren
     
  4. Inadorel

    Inadorel Member

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    I shipped mine from US - but I got a friend over there to do it. I will say that the customs charges were £157 though. So in total it cost me about £820 plus the type cover which I bought over here (so as not to have the US layout on it). One thing that worried me about doing this that I can put peoples' minds to rest about is the power connector - the RT one works fine on the Pro and the US charger that came with the one I imported has a figure eight power cord (a two pronged kettle cable) so you can just switch it out for a UK one.
     
  5. T3Jn

    T3Jn New Member

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    Yes - I did the import properly, paying VAT before the import, I think in all it cost £937 including buying a Type cover and HDMI adapter (wrong one) from the UK MS store. The charger is no problem, just swapped with a "figure of 8" job. Also now ordered a couple of RT chargers to save carrying the bulkier Pro one around. I could have had a friend do it, but this worked out just as cost effective and there was no delay in delivery, ordered Thursday, delivered Monday.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  6. Inadorel

    Inadorel Member

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    I didn't realize that the HDMI adaptor I have for the RT was not going to work with the Pro either (guess I should have read the spec more closely). But the good news is that you don't need the official MS one - you can get one in UK from Amazon - I think mine was £12 and it works very nicely with the Pro. The only other disadvantage I can think of for the 'order it from US' approach is that I don't know how it would work out with support from MS if something goes at a hardware level. But I'll deal with that if it happens I suppose - I couldn't bear to wait for it to come out here....
     
  7. T3Jn

    T3Jn New Member

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    Yea, I made the wrong assumption that the Pro version was gone from the US site and they were now the same cable. Seen that any generic one will do.

    With regards to HW failure, I'll just ship it back to MS with a return address as the same as the original delivery.
     
  8. Silverfox

    Silverfox New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, seems to me that under £1000 will basically cover the pro purchase, just need to see if MS will adjust the pricing for the UK release or if it would be better to just get one shipped from the States.

    Still seems to be a rumour that late march will see a release date and pricing for the UK pro release.
     
  9. T3Jn

    T3Jn New Member

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    OK - here is the proper breakdown:

    Surface, sales tax & shipping from MS: $1,076.95 / £707.02
    Shipping & Insurance from BundleBox: £76.01
    Total VAT on the above: £223.02
    Type Cover from MS UK: £109.99

    Grand Total: £1116.04

    Probably a little under of £1100 if you take standard shipping from MS rather than Next day.

    Use the following link to sign up for BundleBox and I get a kick back for my pioneering efforts :)

    https://www.bundlebox.com/invite/GB18528/

    Got to be honest thought the day I did the import would be the day before MS announced UK availability - turned out not to be the case!

    Hope this helps other impatient folk like myself...
     
  10. smalltowngirl13

    smalltowngirl13 Administrator Staff Member

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    Congrats and welcome aboard!
     
  11. T3Jn

    T3Jn New Member

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    Two months to the day surface pro available in the UK. Total price for the kit I bought about £950, so I am out about £200 - happy with that for 2 months use. Actually seems really good value at £799 in the UK (tax included). At my time of purchase the UK exchange for the tablet alone was about £707 including sales tax.

    Importing costs really were down to paying double sales tax (US & VAT) and shipping twice.

    Will probably do again when the Surface Pro II is released!
     
  12. autodrivel

    autodrivel New Member

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    Hi T3Jn - Just ordered a Pro from the UK MS Store + Type Cover = £908 delivered (within 7 business days - so I'm waiting on delivery :cry:)
    One question about your original post - you said that you went back to Win7 because Win8 was no good on a multiscreen Desktop - I'll been running win8 Pro for the last 3-4 Months using twin Dell 24" Monitors and it's superb. What was it that you didn't like about the multimonitor handling?
     

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