Seeking Feedback for My Casual Needs

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by tskwara, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. tskwara

    tskwara New Member

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    I really like these forums and read them more than I should, as I don't own a Surface - although my daughter has an RT and won't part with it for more than a few minutes.

    Just a few sentences to set the context:

    As an iOS developer I can't part with my Macbook Pro Retina 15". I really enjoy using it though and find myself on the sofa with it at home even when just browsing online and catching up on email and whatnot. I'm not sure why I do this as I have an iPad Mini Retina on hand as well (need it for app testing). It must be the large HDPI screen that makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

    Whether for work or enjoyment, I occasionally sketch ideas, notes, or doodle (trying to pick up some basic art skills) on paper and sometimes later scan them into my Macbook for possible reference later. I purchased a Wacom Intuous tablet a couple months ago to help streamline this paper process, but I just can't coordinate between a separate screen and digitizer. It is painful and I don't think it will get better for me. I'm not that bad with drawing and have decent handwriting, but the off-screen tablet workflow yields terrible results and I've had to go back to paper and pencil.

    Recent discovery:

    I was able to spend several hours with a Surface Pro 3 and found the drawing and note taking experience game changing. Drawing in Fresh Paint made me feel like an artist at times. Drawing in Sketchbook Pro was really nice too. OneNote was interesting and I can see how that may work for my note taking needs. Overall the time I spent with the SP3 was enjoyable to say the least.

    To the point:

    My experience with the SP3 is now getting me to think about buying an SP3, maybe just an entry-level i3 version, for taking care of my sketching and note taking needs. My reservation is really about how limited my use of the device will be and if it makes sense to consider the SP3, which is capable of so much more. Cost is a factor, but I do put a lot of value on a good experience and improved efficiency.

    I'm not much of an MS Office user these days and get by with iWork, but MS Office is very nice. It's not clear if I could capture additional value from using any part of Office at the moment, but I can say that we have licenses for everything MS here if I need it.

    One last point, I've also spent a little time with a Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and found the note taking and drawing experience pretty good too, although a notch down from the SP3. My experience with Android is limited at best so I'm not sure how far I could give this option consideration.

    Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any comments you feel up to sharing.

    Best,
    Tom
     
  2. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard!
    So what exactly do you want. to know?
     
  3. tskwara

    tskwara New Member

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    I suppose I didn't really get to the point did I - o_O sorry!

    Given other's experience with the drawing and note taking aspects of the SP3, has that experience been positive enough that one could recommend the SP3 for primarily that subset of features alone?

    If reliability, accuracy, and usability of the SP3 drawing and note taking experience has been just acceptable but not exceptional, my expectations probably won't be met. While I recognize there's much more value to the SP3 then just what I need, it is these particular features that will make/break my decision to buy one at the moment.
     
  4. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

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    Obviously yes. This forum is full of those users. But you have to keep in mind that Windows is a different beast that is more flexible from the point of view of configuration compare to Mac OS where everything has been configured for you and you can't change anything.

    If you buy the SP3 willing to accept this point and willing to learn then you should not have any problem. If you are going to be living constantly comparing your experiences between the two OS then You will be living a miserable life.

    I would recommend you the i5 version, the i3 is too low and the i7 is too much.
     
  5. tskwara

    tskwara New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I won't be comparing them on any other point other than for my use for drawing and note-taking.

    I'm pretty familiar with Windows from past programming experience and now with running SolidWorks and some developer stuff in Parallels. I've switched from '100% Windows' to '15% Windows / 85% Mac' about 8 years ago, but have many years experience with it's underpinnings.

    I think Windows 8 and the SP3 are a great combination and would already have one if I was still using Windows exclusively. But my needs have changed and interest for now is limited to just these pen-related functions.

    The i5 looks too be a good balance - now for selecting the memory and storage. The SP3 I spent some time with was an i5/8GB/256GB configuration, although I'm hesitant to spend the extra $300 for what I would use it for. Has anyone found the extra 4GB RAM worth having even with modest application use? The OS seems to run more smoothly overall with more RAM.
     
  6. Liam2349

    Liam2349 Active Member

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    Well I don't have an SP3 yet, but the primary reasons I purchased an SP2 were for the stylus, form factor and premium build quality, and I use it for my studies a lot. I feel it's one of the best things I've ever bought, and I hope that SP3 will improve my experience.

    Talking about note-taking, I feel that OneNote 2013 is significantly better than the Metro version, so you should try that out. It just has a lot more features.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Active Member

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    The SP3 has completely replaced all my other devices save for my phone. I use my computer daily for research and teaching, along with photo editing with PhotoShop.
    I can't offer any suggestions, but if your experience is anything like mine, the more you use your SP3, the more functionality you will discover with it. I use it as a tablet all the time for websearches and e-mail. The pen functions are addicting; I would not want to be without them at this point.
    I agree with Frank G that this is the best tablet PC I have owned.
     
  8. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

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    I'm using the 4 GB one and I have not feel the need of having 8Gb. But I'm a paranoiac on closing Apps if I'm not using them.
     
  9. tskwara

    tskwara New Member

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    Thanks for your feedback Frank, and to the others as well!
    I'll follow up about my configuration and experience if I move ahead.
     
  10. Bandito

    Bandito Active Member

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    Though I haven't actually touched an SP3 with the Core i3 processor, from what other folks have said here, I think it would be completely adequate for your usage as described. This would keep your costs down and I think you'd be happy with it. As for the 4 or 8GB of RAM, again for your use, 4GB is perfectly fine.

    The only thing that I would try and think about a bit, if I were you, is what if you really found that you liked the SP3 and decided to do a lot more with it. If there is a fairly strong possibility that that might occur, then you may want to consider a higher-level model. Otherwise, you should be very well set up for what you'd like to do with the Core i3 version, IMHO.
     
  11. wynand32

    wynand32 Active Member

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    Agreed, for drawing and note-taking, I think the Core i3 version would be fine from a processing and RAM perspective. IMO, the bigger issue with the Core i3 version is the 64GB SSD, but even that can be fine if you're not storing a great deal locally. And, you can add up to 128GB via microSD card, so that can be a good option.

    Really, OneNote is pretty efficient, and isn't much of a resource hog (including the modern version). I've found it to be simply excellent for handwritten notes, as good as or better than the Tablet PCs I used back in the day, and it's also great for capturing Web clippings if you do it right (tip: use the Share function of the modern IE to clip selections via right-click/long-hold).
     
  12. Len J

    Len J Active Member

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    The office 365 office 2013 desktop suite with the ability to file synch across up to 5 pc's & Macs opens up opportunities for efficiencies previous versions of office didn't allow. The ability to put e-mails in OneNote notebooks, create office tasks & appointments within one note notebooks and then search notebooks is awesome, the ability to do that with the exact same look and feel on multiple devices seamlessly is amazing. I've finally gone almost completely paperless using two p/c's (desktop & laptop,) and an iPad.

    I am buying a DP3 for the pen note taking within OneNote to take it to the next level.

    The one doe side for you at this time will be the fact that the Mac version of office is not the current windows 2013 version so you'll lose some functionality, but, allegedly, MS is updating office for Mac shortly. ( we will see when)

    Just my $ .02

    Len
     

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