Surface Pro 128GB -- Early reactions . . .

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro' started by Russ, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Russ

    Russ Active Member

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    Well, I have now spent a few hours with this little darlin', except I did take some time out to take my dogs down by the creek.

    Hardware: Surface Pro 128GB; 64G SD card; Type Cover; Wedge Mouse (I'm gonna miss that when she takes it!); StarTech USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter; Orico USB 3.0 4-port hub; Surface Pen (standard). Ordered a "Self-Healing" screen cover, but don't have it yet.

    Here are some of my early reactions, observations and what I have done so far, in no particular order:

    1. First disappointment was before I even got the Pro out of the box. The charger accessory is in two pieces -- the adapter + a short power cord to the AC outlet. I was on the road long enough to know that you never let two pieces do what one piece can. Eventually, that little AC cord will end up in Shanghai when she is in Hwangyen. A little dab of superglue will fix that nicely.

    2. Installed Office Home & Business 2013 (it includes Outlook) -- a download install from MS store. It was remarkably quick and consumed very little disk space. Tight code, maybe. She is gonna love the touch-enabled Office apps, especially One-Note.

    3. I connected to my wired network for that install, expecting it to take longer. When I plugged in the StarTech USB, the Pro immediately recognized it and installed the drivers.

    4. Installed Simplified Chinese Language Pack -- which took longer than the Office install. Maybe because I was back on wireless.

    5. Unlike my RT, I can access the Pro on the network from my desktop, and move files. With the RT, I always have to initiate the transfer from the RT. I like this better.

    6. The machine is quick and responsive, especially compared to the RT, but that's no surprise.

    7. Still have about 90GB on the C: Drive. I still have some programs to add, but nothing really big, unless she wants a full version of PhotoShop (I predict not), but that's only about 1G. I will put her music and pictures on the SD card and map them, thanks to somebody here (or somebodies) enlightening me on that process. Also probably put a few movies on there for her to watch on the plane. Still gonna have a lot of free space.

    8. Power connector snaps in more easily than the one on my RT originally did. The RT adapter connects better now since I introduced it to a pattern file. The Pro power adapter is $80 at MS store. Gotta be a good profit margin in that. Power adapter has a USB charging port, which will be handy for recharging her phone.

    That's about it, except for my favorite, overall reaction:

    It's A Computer!!!
    Yeah, it's small and it's cute, but it's a computer.

    Regards,
    Russ
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  2. Sin

    Sin New Member

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    Nice. Thanks for the early reactions. Hope she enjoys it as much as you are.
     
  3. bosamar

    bosamar Well-Known Member

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    She better not let you play with it too much. You might not give it back. :starstruck:
     
  4. Nemesis296

    Nemesis296 New Member

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    I'll share my initial reaction as well...I've been playing with this thing for about the last 6 hours (since I took it out of the box!!!) and I have a Black Touch Cover to go with it. Right off the bat I was really impressed with the touch response on the device. The on-screen keyboard is far more responsive than even my 4th gen iPad. Fast, fluid touch gestures were among the first things I was thrilled about which immediately told me that this device was for real.

    Initially I wanted to see how Microsoft's estimates on disk space stacked up, and I'm pleased to say that 90GB of the hard drive was left out of my 128. Of course, it's much lower now but I'll get to that. After setting up my account and everything (which imported everything from my laptop running Windows 8, all the way down to the picture on my desktop), I pulled out the Surface Pen.

    The Surface Pen is really cool. I immediately downloaded Sketchbook Pro and went to work on testing the palm rejection software and the associated pressure points on the pen. I'm happy to report that this works extremely well. The pen can also be clicked to access right-click menus and actually select things on the screen, but most importantly, when it's about an inch from the screen, a pointer shows up on-screen and highlights whatever might be selected. I've actually used the pen quite a bit to help navigate things on the screen because it's just fun to use. One gripe I have is that when the battery was charging I had absolutely nowhere to put the Pen. It docks securely via the magnets that the AC adapter uses, but for whatever reason it wont connect to the dock for the keyboard, or any other place on the device. It's a bit of a head scratcher to tell you the truth.

    After settling in with the Pen, I decided to pull out my Touch Cover. This thing snaps on so quickly it almost scared me the first time. You definitely know when it's really connected. Typing on it is probably the same as the RT (this is my first Surface), but I like the typing experience so far. It takes a little getting used to, but I'm able to type this post so go figure.

    Then I tested the true potential of Surface by downloading Steam and installing a game or two. The graphics are definitely not as amazing as some of the latest graphics cards, but they can definitely hold their own. I haven't had time to test too many games, but I assure you I will report back when I have additional feedback. Steam definitely runs. I also shared my CD drive from my desktop PC at home and installed Office 2007 on my Surface. I'm not too keen about Office 365 so I'm happy that 2007 works just fine. Next I installed the Logitech Unifying Receiver on my device so I could use a whole assortment of USB mice/keyboards that I have at my house. All of that worked as expected with no painful installations.

    Battery life has been decent as well. When I pulled it out of the box it had probably 40% of the battery and I plugged it in after about an hour or so of playing with it. After less than two hours it was fully charged, and when it was 90% left, I saw an estimate of 5 hrs 17 mins left on the battery. I'm guessing with regular Office use the battery will last about 6+ hours, which is good news. I've also been connected to WiFi since turning it on, so that definitely seems to be OK with the battery life.

    I still have lots to learn, but so far I'm VERY satisfied with my purchase. I still have to decide if I'm going to get the extended warranty or not, this device looks indestructible.

    Also, after hooking up my Touch Cover I tried typing stuff while having it sit on my lap. I don't know what reviewers were doing but I had no problem keeping the Surface upright while typing both when my legs were propped up parallel to the floor and when my feet were touching the ground. It looks like this may very well replace my old Dell Inspiron 15R!

    Edit: I forgot to mention, the "Flick" gestures with the Surface Pen do not seem to work for me, unless they don't work in the desktop possibly...
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  5. Russ

    Russ Active Member

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    Bosamar --

    I do like it, but I don't travel much anymore, so the RT suits me just fine. The real problem is that, if I don't moderate my enthusiasm when talking to her about it, she will buy me one. She just does stuff like that, and, once she sets her mind to it, she cannot be dissuaded. I dunno if you saw my post about the iPad in "Recommendations for a good Bluetooth Mouse," or not, but that will give you a clue. The fact that I already have the RT won't matter; she'll just tell me to give it one of my kids. Hey, she came to this country past 40, speaking almost no English, started a business from scratch and has done very well, indeed, so she figures she can do stuff like that if she wants to -- and trying to argue with her about it is like talking to a doorknob. Worse yet, it's like arguing with a doorknob that replies in Mandarin if you annoy it. She lives near the Microsoft store in Atlanta. I took her there to decide between Type Cover & Touch Cover, so she already knows where it is.

    Sometimes it's fun.

    Take care,
    Russ
     
  6. Russ

    Russ Active Member

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    Nemesis --

    Thanks! That's a great idea. My Ladyfriend is artistic, and does a lot of her own design work, so that looks like an excellent program for her. I'm downloading it now.

    I did order an extra power adapter for her, but was not pleased by the $80 price. I got the Office 2013 package, mostly for the touch-enabled apps.

    I opted not to get the extended warranty. She has traveled with a laptop for years, so already knows that dropping it is a bad plan. That's about the only thing I can see that might be a problem. In fact, this Pro is a laptop replacement, and will be her travel computer henceforth. She is a little person, and trudges all over China, so the weight and portability are perfect. She wanted to replace her laptop earlier, but when I saw the announcement of the Surface Pro, I persuaded her to wait for it. That may be one of the smarter things I have done lately.

    I haven't really tried the pen yet, other than just to see if it worked, but she will give it a good workout.

    No reaction on battery life yet. Only time I disconnected from the charger was to take it over to my office for the download from MS Store. That proved to be so quick that it didn't matter.

    New toys are fun, huh?

    Take care,
    Russ
     
  7. magicrobots

    magicrobots New Member

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    Awesome posts guys, thanks for the impressions! I am really looking forward to replacing my RT with the pro. Not because I dislike RT; I think it's great for what it is -- I just need a real laptop for development since I sold my Macbook Air.
     
  8. GreatWindows

    GreatWindows New Member

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    Would you be able to upload a video of the Surface Pro running a game? like counter strike? World of warcraft? :D :D :D
     
  9. Nemesis296

    Nemesis296 New Member

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    I should probably clarify that I didn't pay for Sketchbook Pro, I just got the free version. Still it does a good job of showing you what the pen can do drawing-wise. Yes, new toys are always fun, I'm a gadget guy; it's my weakness. That's why I just *had* to have the Surface Pro. I was thinking about the warranty since there's always that looming fear that day 1 after the manufacturer's warranty expires that something WILL go wrong.

    I haven't put the money down on the purchase, but I was hoping to use Surface as a Visual Studio platform. If you have impressions of this before I decide to take the plunge please share them!

    Unlikely, but I can try. I haven't downloaded programs like Fraps in YEARS. Couldn't even begin to tell you what video capturing apps are good these days. I could definitely do screenshots since the Pro has that feature built in. If nothing else, I can give you some pretty detailed impressions of playing certain games (assuming I have them of course). World of Warcraft is still downloading, but when it's done I'll try loading it again. I didn't have much success earlier. :(
     
  10. bosamar

    bosamar Well-Known Member

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    I bought my wife her own RT when I purchased mine. She's not as tech savvy as me but she certainly seems to enjoy and love it. Every time I learn something new I try to train her. I'm very impressed with Pro but I'm actually looking forward to the RTv2.
     
  11. jneikum

    jneikum New Member

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    I've been playing with mine most of the day, and I have to say, I'm in love. So much so that I'm out for some adult beverages with the man right now, but I'm still thinking about it and posting here! One thing I haven't been able to do yet though is transfer my music from my phone to it yet. I tried taking the sd card out of the phone and popping it in, but the Surface didn't recognize it was there. I tried Kies over Wi-Fi, but it wouldn't connect. My transfer cable is at work, so I'll try that when I go in on Monday. What I transfered from my flash drive I had no problems with. For those of you that saw about mt Outlook.com issues, same thing is happening in the mail app. Everything prior to January 27th is there with nothing after. Outlook 2013 works perfectly though. I even thought maybe it was a specific email hanging it up so I deleted everything from the 27th and 28th from webmail and tried again but no luck. It is a mystery, but luckily one I don't have to worry about since 2013 is fine!
     
  12. bosamar

    bosamar Well-Known Member

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    If your music is on a laptop or desktop you can easily transfer it via USB. It may be easier to transfer it to one of those first.
     

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