Surface 3 as all in one machine

Discussion in 'Surface 3 (Atom)' started by Steven Du Bois, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. Steven Du Bois

    Steven Du Bois Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    8
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    I have really enjoyed the past two months with my surface 3 however I want to see what everyone's consensus here is. My main point for desiring the Surface model was to have one machine that could "do it all". I am an adult online student too working on my masters in Pastoral Studies so the need for constant research and lots of big thick books on kindle is key. I have even come to enjoy using Drawboard PDF in research. This all being said, I still have not grown completely accustomed to the S3 as my one and all machine. Its quite convieient to take to work to read and study or to sit on my lap and type assignments, but for larger assignments the keyboard size seems to leave me desiring for a real computer again and the screen size is difficult to have PDF documents and Word open together and still be able to read what I am doing.

    I guess the point of this discussion is to see what other people are doing and feel. Do others have suggestions on full-time use of the S3 or comments how things got easier? Am I nitpicking a small issue that is really no concern. Before you say it the pro models were a little too big for tablet use for me, especially at church, it was just awkward and when I tried using it to watch online lectures while taking notes in one note the screen was too hot to handle, so after returning my first S3 for a SP3 I immediately returned the SP3 for the S3 again...Out of the ability to exchange I could never afford or justify two similar devices that cost so much so buying a pro model now is out of the question.

    Are there other people in my boat with similar concerns? Do others see a need to have a larger laptop too for longer typing sessions or am I just crazy? I am very mad at myself for selling my very nice and fairly new Lenovo on ebay as soon as I received the S3, now I wish I kept it...
     
  2. Steven Du Bois

    Steven Du Bois Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    8
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    probably should have sucked it up and dealt with the hot screen on the SP3 but now its too late...the SP4 keyboard cover that came with it was almost perfect for typing papers...keys were not too scrunched together...
     
  3. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    6,331
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I assume these larger assignments are accomplished at home so have you considered a docking station. You can attach a full sized keyboard, mouse, and monitor. you don't necessarily have to use the Microsoft docking station either. I use a USB docking station and they go for under a hundred dollars now days.
     
  4. Steven Du Bois

    Steven Du Bois Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    8
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    No I hadn't because it seemed unrealistic to spend the Microsoft price...didn't consider a different brand...that would solve a lot of the issue and still help me keep the goal of the all in one concept...I really enjoy the S3, its just that for times like right now when I need to look through documents and write papers at the same time its quite cumbersome...Maybe I shouldn't have relied solely on the Drawboard PDF I just wanted to give it a true try this time around with all available programs meant to make my life easier...
     
  5. bronsky

    bronsky Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    If you are comparing the Surface 3 to a larger device, I am assuming that you still need a portable device for on the go. IMO, the Surface 3 only works as an all in one when you take advantage of the docking capability. After all, if you are comparing it to a larger notebook, you will still need a small portable device if you require portability. A small notebook doesn't really have an advantage over the Surface 3.

    [​IMG]
    Here is the S3 next to my daughter's Acer V5-122p. The S3 may actually have a larger usuable display than the 16:9 11.6" Acer.

    In the office, the docking capability makes the Surface 3 function perfectly as a desktop.

    [​IMG]

    Split screen editing or cutting and pasting between documents work perfectly on a docked S3.

    [​IMG]

    In my law practice I do a lot of legal research, use large PDF's, annotate quite a bit in Drawboard (but must admit, use Adobe Acrobat Xi Pro quite a bit more for manipulating large document productions), create and revise documents and find myself quite often in split screen cutting and pasting. I use my Surface 3 as my only computer, aided by a Galaxy Note 5 as a companion device. That is the complete list of my devices at the moment (unless you count my 7 year old Acer 1410T which is set up with Windows 10 and all of my software as a backup in case a catastrophe befalls my beloved S3). So, you have to compare the price of the dock and external display with that of the third device (larger laptop). My set up was far less expensive than adding the cost of my old Thinkpad X301 (which sold for over $2k new). Even at that, the difference between a 16:10 13.3" display and a 3:2 10.8" display is less than you would imagine.

    To gain a real advantage by moving to a laptop, you have to compare the Surface 3 with a much larger laptop (14" or larger?). The problem is, at least for me, any device significantly larger than the S3 would not fit in my briefcase and be available at an instant's notice to provide complete access to my entire office while on the road. A notebook would require an extra case and would be carried separately, meaning, it would often be left at the office on my desk.

    [​IMG]

    It's the age old trade off of utility versus portability. In that comparison, the Surface 3 is the best compromise I have encountered and, at least IMHO, the best portable device on market today. It is a serous work tool.

    [​IMG]

    So, I guess the short answer to your question, "am I nitpicking a small issue that is really of no concern?" is yes. Sure there are some compromises using only a 10.8" tablet, but the Surface 3 is the best balance of those compromises for my use scenario. I have owned mine since the May 5th US release and absolutely love it. I would like to see the model updated with the new style keyboard, the addition of the pixelsense controller for improved writing, I have already added the SP4 pen, which is a significant improvement over the stock S3 pen. Oh, and I would love a Skylake Core M model. But, even without my wish list, the S3 has allowed me to move from three devices to two, greatly simplifying my life and reducing the need to spend time syncing and maintaining those three devices. Considering the expense of a laptop, it is far cheaper as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
    revmike and Tsurugaya like this.
  6. Steven Du Bois

    Steven Du Bois Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    8
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    Bronsky, thanks you.ve helped me make up my minds. S3 really is the right size I need to carry around and the pro models were too much. I guess what has held me back was wondering how long I can expect the actual life expectancy to be on my S3 to put so much trust into it...its not like it can be fixed or tinkered with, but for me, your set up looks to be the best option for me. Where in NJ do you practice? I am in Sussec County myself. Steve
     
  7. bronsky

    bronsky Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Way down the Turnpike to Exit 5. My office is in Moorestown (not Morristown). I am lucky enough to live in the Pinelands, next to Warton State Forrest. Almost as pretty as Sussex County. Glad to be of help.
     
  8. Steven Du Bois

    Steven Du Bois Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    8
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    Good...its one of the reasons I tell people all the time, if you are going to be stuck in a high tax liberal dominated place like NJ, the only placed to live are way down South Jersey or north west Sussex/Morris/Warren Counties...the last traces of normal people left in the state. Thanks for your advice...I was all set to introduce a new laptop into the mix and that was not the point. I have gone and ordered a docking station, inexpensive yet good keyboard and new monitor...Total investment $200 as opposed to $500-$800 on a new laptop. Earlier in the summer what brought on the idea of a surface 3 for me was there are many programs, especially for research that are just not made well for tablet use and to be able to have them portable in this format it awesome. Mix that with a family at church that wanted to send their daughter to community college but couldn't afford a computer there was a need I could fulfill and give them my 3 year old desktop and plunge into the Surface realm or buy a new laptop...I did not want to carry around a laptop AND a tablet if I could afford not too so Surface won out and I sold the spare but newer laptop I was carrying around...Looking forward to desktop options in my portable device. Thanks again for taking the time to send pictures as well...better for me in seeing the final layout... Steve
     
    Zippy0n and bronsky like this.
  9. LoriMomof9

    LoriMomof9 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    remember - the Surface 3 has a full size USB port - so you can hook any keyboard up to it... I have 1 I bought on Amazon for about $10 - it is only 11" wide. I have it for my laptop, so if I have some extended typing time - I will try it. Then I may get another one for the Surface. I am used to using a tablet, plus I have small hands. Do you have the pen? I find it super useful. I really like just writing instead of typing as well - just need to figure how to have it set to default - instead of showing the keyboard... :)
     
  10. Steven Du Bois

    Steven Du Bois Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    8
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    I cannot believe that I actually hesitated about the docking station...almost bought on Black Friday of $99 I still could not justify spending $199 just two weeks after they sold it that much less...found a seller on Amazon that sold one to me that he said is new (box didn't look like it but all was still wrapped inside)...That being said, between that, a monitor, cheap full-function keyboard and VGA to mini display adapter (all from Amazon) I spent less than $200 to have my Surface 3 become a desktop while here in my home office and a laptop/tablet when not. I am currently typing this from my desktop set up...This was a great idea, thank you to all who helped me decide, especially the south jersey lawyer. When I clean the space up some I will snap a picture for the site here as well...the best feature of the docking is that you can turn the display off on the S3 while on desktop mode to conserve the display life of your S3, or use the display as additional screen room.

    Steve Du Bois NJ
     
    bronsky likes this.
  11. Argus Tuft

    Argus Tuft Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    I got a bare bones S3 when I signed up with a new ISP. Pen and cover purchased on eBay. Thinking about keyboard, but the installed one does the job especially when used with the pen. Mini HDMI to HDMI adapter - $5. 2TB Portable external hdd works flawlessly. S3 performs without any major problem both as a laptop replacement, and as an in vehicle entertainment unit. Doesn't come close to replacing desktop though.
     
  12. stufried

    stufried New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I am also a lawyer. (Please, no "first kill all the lawyers" jokes). I bought a Surface 3 LTE to be my "not at the desk machine." I have a home and office i5 Macs with large amounts of ram. I wanted something that I could replace both my Mac Air 11 inch notebook and my iPad 3 for trips, when going to court, etc. I bought the Surface 3. With this machine, I read and mark up court transcripts with Drawboard, I've written full appellate briefs in Word 16, do Westlaw searches, sign and return documents various documents on the fly, and more. It is a great machine for taking notes, doing Westlaw on the fly, and getting things done.

    Like a few people on this forum, I've had one or two moments when my machine takes an unwanted pause, but normally it has been great. I bought a leather tablet style case and use it as a tablet for reading. I still have both AmiDuos and Bluestacks on my machine debating which one stays. AmiDUOS is the better emulator but at least version two seems slow.
     

Share This Page