Love/hate relationship with my new i5/256gb

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by pandathumb, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. pandathumb

    pandathumb New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I've had my surface for just about a week now, and I'm starting to get a good feel for it. Some things I really, really love, and some aspects of it I can't stand. First and foremost is the design and form factor, which MS has done an amazing job with. The device works a whole lot better in my lap than I had expected, and the fact that the touch screen lets you use it in a sort of hybrid manner switching between touch and keyboard really works. It puts the device in a class by itself, and that is obviously what they were going for. The keyboard by the way is just awesome, it's far easier to type on than I would have expected and almost as comfortable to use as the kb on my MBP.

    Probably my biggest gripe with the system is the OS, it just feels like MS stuck a weakly implemented skin on top of Windows 7 and called it a day. It's a pain to set up the start screen, non-metro apps don't mesh with it visually, and nothing at all is intuitive. They've put basic settings in a metro app, but if you want to get to the details you are crudely dumped to the old control panel. It seems like every little thing I want to do requires me doing a web search to figure out; contrast that against iOS where everything is simple, intuitive and straightforward (granted Windows 8 is a far less constrained and more powerful operating system). Clearly MS should have put a lot more thought into improving the user experience on a tablet, and making it feel like more than just a thin GUI mod. Here's to hoping for the best with Windows 9.

    The other gripe is the browser, which looks great but really lacks depth - particularly for someone who is an avid Google + LastPass user. This is the one thing that had me thinking about returning the device, but luckily (thanks in large part to the many helpful posts on this forum) I don't need to. IM+ suits my need for hangouts, and the way the OS handles multitasking on the small screen is perfect for putting a chat to the left. Actually, multitasking is perfect in general, so kudos to MS for that. And I'm getting used to using the standalone LastPass app, it's a headache but I'll deal with it.

    The killer app is, almost without saying, OneNote. The real reason I bought this device is to be able to take notes and draw sketches at work, and to replace my Moleskines with something permanent and searchable. I love this, and look forward to playing around with the stylus as a replacement to my old Cintiq.

    Hopefully now that these things are starting to sell and gain momentum we'll start to see more developers build metro applications in the near future too. That's what this system really needs now.

    gary
     
  2. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    577
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Hollywood, FL
    My Device:
    SPro3
    You need to open your mind. Windows 8.1 brings you the best touch experience you can get from Windows. If you bought your PROD 3 to have of docked and use it with a mouse and keyboard you are missing the beauty and the freedom that this device can bring to you.
     
  3. Lobo

    Lobo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Well said, using Windows 8 is also a big change for me and using it for the first time feels a bit cumbersome. The constant switching between metro and desktop does make for a half-baked experience.

    Other than that, the device itself feels awesome and once you get down how to work with Windows 8, it's second nature in no time. And yes, I needed my fair share of google searches as well. ;)

    As for the browser, you might want to try Firefox. It's what I'm using right now and I'm rather happy with it.

    Actually, my pet peeve is the constant HiDPI battle, I just can't find a comfortable setting that works throughout all my apps and keeps my eyes in good shape at the same time.
     
  4. pandathumb

    pandathumb New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Certainly the more I interact with it by touching the screen vs using the keyboard/trackpad the more enjoyable it is to use it. It's a paradigm shift though and definitely takes some getting used to.
     
    ctitanic likes this.
  5. DeltaXray

    DeltaXray Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I honestly despised Windows 8 until I tried it on a Surface. It feels like Surface was what 8/.1 was designed for. At work I tend to sit with the thing quite close to me rather than across the desk in a dock, so I have found myself naturally using a hybrid of mouse/keyboard and touch combo. For example I will browse to a site with mouse/keyboard and once there find myself gripping the side of the Surface and scrolling the page with my thumb. I do a lot of work on servers and I find the Metro remote desktop client best-in-class. Whilst I find the keyboard OK I did have to go and get a Bluetooth mouse as the trackpad is awful.

    When I get home after a day as using it as a laptop being able to just rip the keyboard off and use it as a tablet is great.

    If you require the use of browser add-one, then give Chrome a look as it does have a Windows 8 mode so it compatible with all the metro goodies and (I think) add-ons still work. I don't like the windows 8 mode because they've just planted the same non-touch friendly UI into a mode used for touch but your mileage may differ.
     
  6. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    577
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Hollywood, FL
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Agree, there is a learning curve. The Settings in metro sucks. I still use Control Panel for almost everything. The trick that works for me is to use Search in the right Charm. That's the quicker way to go anywhere.
     
  7. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    577
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Hollywood, FL
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Well, unless you want to ruin your battery life stay away from Chrome.;)
     
  8. DirtyCanuck

    DirtyCanuck New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Adding a 3rd party Start menu dock (Classic Shell etc)
    And using an Artdock (http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/toolbar-creator.63014/#post401226)

    Solved majority of irritations.
    A good Bluetooth 4 mouse is crucial for some operation. I have a Mouse M (http://www.cyborggaming.com/prod/ratm.htm)
    For drawing Artrage is the only app that so far seems built for the Sp3, with the crucial pressure seeting adjustments baked in.
    Also: Wintab Drivers and Native Intel Drivers are recommended. Adobe graphics checker will otherwise run forever in the background @ max cpu. Making unit hot and battery life shallow.

    If you look @ the Windows 9 preview and new Start menu.
    It looks TRULY tailored for our tablets. Can't wait for a beta.
     

Share This Page