Which Surface should I buy?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by M_Taylor40, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. M_Taylor40

    M_Taylor40 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    My Device:
    S2
    Hi everyone,

    I was hoping you all could give me some advice/guidance on which Surface best suits my needs.

    I'm after a tablet for web browsing at home and on the go (Tethered to my mobile), streaming TV/Movies/Music from my Netgear NAS at home or occasionally from a microSD card if I'm on the go and the odd bit of Office work. One of the biggest factors is that I'm after a tablet with a decent battery life as I start a new job on Monday and will be commuting for about an hour each way, then I want to still be able to use the tablet when I'm home without having to constantly keep an eye on the battery level.

    I've decided on a Surface tablet as I love the design, I'm heavily invested in the MS ecosystem with Hotmail for my emails & calendar, xbox for gaming, Windows 8.1 on my desktop at home, Windows Phone 7.8 (Soon to be 8.1 on a Lumia 930) for my mobile and through my current job I've had the chance to trial an Acer W510 with Windows 8.1 so I know I can do most tasks using just the apps from the Windows Store.

    The reason I can't make up my mind is the fact I'm still eligible for the student discount MS offer on their site. Through this I can get a Surface 2 32GB for £359 with £36 worth of MS Store vouchers, the Surface 2 64GB for £439 with £44 worth of vouchers, or the original Surface Pro 64GB with Touch Cover and Office 365 Home Premium for £399.90.

    From the few months with the Acer W510 I know I can do everything I need with just the ARM Surface tablets, but then for £400 I can get an amazing deal on the original Surface Pro but I'm not too sure about the battery life. Then I have the issue of if I get the Surface 2, will the 32GB model be enough to keep me going for the next couple of years or should I go with the 64GB model? I also would prefer a Touch Cover 2 with the backlighting and thinner profile compared to the Touch Cover 1.

    If you guys couple provide any advice or even just your own thoughts on the different models I would appreciate it. How many apps (Possibly the odd game) would I get on a 32GB Surface 2 before having storage issues?

    Thanks everyone,

    M_Taylor40
     
  2. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,106
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    The Pro is a great device, it will get about 4 hours on a charge depending on usage, it is an Ultrabook in Tablet form and has backwards compatibility for older software. Personally I use my Surface 2 for 90% of my personal use and my Pro 2 for work. I see you are in the UK, if you want to use the BBC iPlayer for offline use you'll need the Pro as the BBC hasn't released a Modern UI Player.
     
  3. M_Taylor40

    M_Taylor40 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    My Device:
    S2
    Thanks Jeff, I was thinking the battery was only around the 4 hour mark for the Surface Pro, which I just don't think would be enough. Even charging the Acer W510 which probably lasted 6-8 hours per charge (Never actually timed it) was a bit irritating, just wish I could have a wireless charging built into my desk/bedside table so I could charge my phone and tablet without actually having to do anything lol! I just didn't want to completely disregard the Surface Pro as to be honest it's an amazing deal!

    I can't really think of the last time I used BBC iPlayer, I've transferred most of my CD/DVDs to my NAS now so I can stream them around the house and then I just use Netflix for other TV shows/movies, if I wanted them on the move I would get a high capacity microSD card. I was using the PressPlay Video app from the Windows Store to stream and that worked without a problem so I know the Surface 2 will cover the playback fine.

    What's the capacity of your Surface 2, how many apps do you have installed and what's the remaining storage?

    I'm leaning more towards the Surface 2 but I'm still unsure if I should go for the 32GB or the 64GB model. I'm also thinking of future updates, I don't want to miss out on say Windows 8.2/9/Threshold or any really good apps as I don't have the required capacity.

    Bit off topic but do you work for MS? Just noticed your location, MVP status and your Bio sounds very much like you're involved with the System Centre suite.

    Thanks again for the advice.

    M_Taylor40
     
  4. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,106
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    I have the Surface 2 64GB and have around 28GB Free, but I use a 64GB Micro-SDXC card for my personal data and have over 400GB of OneDrive Storage as well. I love my Surface 2 and I use it for work all the time.

    Professionally, I'm a Sr. Learning Architect with an IT Background specifically in Datacenter (IaaS/Private Cloud) including System Center and Enterprise Desktop Strategy (Including BYOD and Consumerization of IT). I don't work for Microsoft but they are one of my customers and I do work for them. I'm a Surface MVP.
     
  5. M_Taylor40

    M_Taylor40 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    My Device:
    S2
    Have you moved the OneDrive location to your MicroSD card or is that still on the surface itself? I'm thinking I might go with the Surface 2 64GB, get the best out of the battery life and storage. I can't see ever needing more than 64GB for the Windows installation and all my apps, even if I include 10GB worth of personal files (Which could be moved to MicroSD).

    I currently have a 130GB OneDrive but only use 5-10GB of it, and that's mainly some training videos and eBooks for the MCSA Windows Server 2012 qualification.

    Final question, what's the battery life like for your Surface 2? I've read that you get about 7-8 hours but always prefer to hear from real-life end users!

    That's an impressive role! I'm moving from an IT Technician/Assistant Network Manager role at a local secondary school (Ages 11-16) where there's just the 2 of us in the IT Support department to an IT System Specialist (Servers) role within a huge IT department at a college (Ages 16+). Trying to get my MSCA and CCNA done so I can move onto a MCSE, but I haven't decided which MCSE to do yet!

    Thanks again for all your help.

    M_Taylor40
     
  6. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,106
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    My Surface 2 averages 9-14 hours of normal use depending on what I'm doing. It is on the lower end if I use it for a bunch of calls (It is by far the best Lync 2013 Client I've used). My OneDrive offline files on the root drive not the SD card.

    Congrats on the new job...from a MCSE perspective, if you have a MCSA in Server 2012 I would consider both the Private Cloud and Server...(total of 4 more exams) if I had to chose just one go with Server (unless your college is deploying a Private Cloud in the near future)
     
  7. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,314
    Likes Received:
    358
    Trophy Points:
    83
    My Device:
    SPro4
    Any particular reason for this Jeff? I have mine on the SD card at the moment.

    Also to the OP: I have a Surface 2 64GB + 64GB SD Card _ Purple Type 2 Cover (I love the backlight feature). I also use OneDrive liberally. Usage terms, I use it for about 8-9 hours per day - primarily on Word, browsing (2 tabs open - but I am careful about this as it sometimes adversely affects the battery life), Skype (as per requirement), Mail app always open. I have turned off quite a few of the live tiles of the apps that I have because they also impact battery life - though I do keep Flipboard, a news app, and just a couple more on. Brightness is on an average on 40% (never more) though I do have the auto-dim/ adaptive brightness on. I do use the MS Arc Mouse (but with the USB not the Bluetooth version - could not get it in time for a trip that I was taking recently). With all of this, I get about 8-9 hours battery life - by this I mean that when I get back home and after doing some work at home, I am left with about 40% battery life, which I think is very good.

    I have been a fan of the Surface (the RT version - I have the 1st Gen and then upgraded to the 2nd Gen because of the kickstand, the colour and the SoC) and the app situation such as it is does not really bother me - I guess, I have minimal needs in that regard. However, recently, I have been thinking about my next upgrade (for later this year, I guess) and I have been toying with the idea of getting a Pro. I have two reasons for this - (1) I find that I do need at least one or two programs which I don't think will come to the Surface App store in the near future and the available workarounds are quite cumbersome; and (2) I do miss the inking capability, which I will also need. And since I don't think any third party solution (like smaller Wacom Tablets) will work with the Surface 2, the Pro seems to be the only way out. The negatives are (1) the thickness (which I can probably deal with) and (2) the weight (a reduction of which is important for me and a point that was instrumental in my opting for the Surface RT/ 2 rather than the Pro in the first instance). As for battery life on the Pro, I expect MS's 3rd iteration will further improve it and there is always the option of the battery cover (though I am hesitant on that count).

    Good luck with you choice!
     
  8. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,106
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    Hey Kristal,

    I don't put my OneDrive on my root as I don't have many files I make offline. Also from an inking perspective, I found that the Registry Hack I mentioned on another thread along with using the Wacom Bamboo Capacitive Stylus is giving me pretty good results...especially if I zoom into the section I want to ink on allowing me to write larger.
     
  9. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,314
    Likes Received:
    358
    Trophy Points:
    83
    My Device:
    SPro4
    Which thread is that?
     
  10. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,106
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    My Device:
    Surface Book
  11. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,314
    Likes Received:
    358
    Trophy Points:
    83
    My Device:
    SPro4
  12. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,106
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    It won't be anything near an Active Digitizer and works best with script rather than print. It works really for good for highlighting and using a medium thickness pen at normal zoom, I get good results with a thinner pen if I zoom in.

    Zoomed in for inking :

    Screenshot (7).png

    Normal for review:

    Screenshot (8).png
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
microsoft surface which one should i buy
,
should i buy a surface
,
should i buy a surface 2
,
should i buy a windows surface
,
should i buy surface
,
should i buy the surface 2 or surface 2 pro
,
what microsoft surface should i order 2014
,
whch surface should i buy
,
which microsoft surface should i buy
,

which surface should i buy