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Walked Into MS Wanting to Love the Surface Pro 3, but Didn't, What Am I Missing?

dleuen

Active Member
You make some valid points . The other observation I made about your remarks is that they are all software issues. I assume you were happy with the SP3 itself. Usually I have found that I am able to find a workflow that works if the only issue is software. It might not be a perfect workflow but it should be workable.
 

MartyB

New Member
I really look at this as two devices in one. When I need to do serious editing or writing, I attach a keyboard and use it like a laptop. A pretty good one at that. If I need to do some development on the go, same thing. If I want to play a game or do some browsing or read a book, the keyboard comes off and I use it like a tablet. That's why I like it. It can do both. Using the metro interface, I have a tablet with dumb games and a decent browser. Using the desktop, I have a full-fledged laptop for serious work. I only have to carry one device. An iPad functions as one, and so does a MacBook. Unlike some, I actually like the metro interface. It's a great tablet interface.

As for your specific questions, most of those have been answered. I'll say this for myself: my workflow depends on what I'm doing. If I'm tabletting around, I will use the mail app and calendar app to respond and to schedule. When I'm working, it's all outlook. As for onenote on an airplane, I'd note that the fact that it may not sync immediately to your desktop is rather unimportant. The metro onenote works, doesn't it? Why would you switch to the desktop onenote? If you're more comfortable with the desktop version, then just use that. I'm failing to see the problem. It'll sync when you are back in WiFi land.
 
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tuchas

Active Member
I am an Apple enthusiast that soft of felt the same way walking into an MS Store the first time. I bought the Surface Pro 2 shortly thereafter and struggled a bit with Windows 8. I was disappointed with the lack of Modern Apps and I just felt like the SP2 didn't do enough for me. But slowly I was pulled in. When the SP3 came on the scene, I ordered one right away. Other than the usual bugs for early adopters, it hasn't disappointed. And those flaws are gone. The Modern App Store is becoming more robust with more quality apps. And as a traveling consultant, I'm able to run VMs with MS Windows Server 2012 flawlessly. My iPad has not been turned on in the last 3 weeks and my MBP Retina is gathering dust. What you have (as other posters have eluded to) is a tablet and a laptop in one. And it works great.
 

schadowrider

New Member
Can echo what other have said. I've been pretty much on a completely Apple ecosystem the last 12 years or so. First machines were OS9, and have been moving up right through Mavericks and the latest iOS. TiBooks, AiBooks, PowerBooks, G5, MBP, rMBP, iPads, iPhones, AppleTVs, Airport Extreme, etc...

I've been waiting for Apple to breed the MBAir and iPad, but it just hasn't happened. As an associate professor, I really need to be able to make annotations on slides live during lectures, and it just wasn't happening in the Apple world. My rMBP wouldn't even play nice with a SMART Podium (with it's own digital inking capabilities) while running PowerPoint 2011, and Keynote was out of the question (I was told by the SMART techs that Keynote doesn't let anything else sit "on top" of the presentations, so they haven't been able to make their classroom tech work with Keynote). I've heard reference that the Mac version of Office are a generation behind the Window's versions, but I think it's generations behind. Office 2013/365 is fantastic for my workflow -- Mac Office 2011 is completely second/third rate compared to it (I realize this isn't Apple's responsibility, but MS's...; however, as much as Keynote has going for it, the lack of digital inking capability is a show-stopper).

So I took the plunge with the SP3. It's been a bit of a learning curve, but I *am* loving it. It's tough to define my workflow: I'm back and forth and in and out of the desktop and MUI apps constantly. Sometimes I swipe; sometimes I right click on the Arc... Sometime I'm in MUI; sometimes in desktop. Sometimes I touch, sometimes I use the track pad or mouse click. That's the awesome beauty of this machine -- the best of both worlds are literally at your fingertips. The Start screen tiles took a little getting used to and at first I stayed in desktop mode, but now that I've gotten a feel for it and have made it "my own", I'm rarely on the desktop -- loving the tiles... The main MUI apps I'm using are Tapatalk (wishing for Tapatalk HD, but this suffices...), IE (the MUI version is scaled wonderfully for touch mode), Bing Weather, AP for news, occasionally checking in on FB, WSJ, etc. Getting used to Mail and Calendar as well -- seem to work nice for quick e-mail & schedule checks. [At first I was missing some of the apps like the ones my banks put out for iPad, but the MUI version of IE is scaled and performs so nicely, I just go to their sites -- I've found I don't *need* a lot of the special apps that I seemed to need on the iPad....]

Bottom line: iPad rarely gets turned on anymore, and the rMBP only gets turned on for convenience and photography (LR) work. The convenience part is because it's hooked up to a 27" NEC monitor plus a nice Mac keyboard, touchpad and Wacom tablet; once my SP3 docking station comes in I suspect the rMBP will only be turned on when I want to work on photo editing...

I'm not sure I would have gotten to this place just playing with the SP3 in a store for a half hour though -- it's taken a few weeks for things to really start to click (and I have much more to learn).
 

Kif

Active Member
Nah... I think the SP2 was an evolutionary upgrade to the SP1 as the 4 will be to the 3. The exception being that the Broadwell chipset will allow the smaller form factor to be more fully utilized. Losing the fan-cooling is reason enough to wait, at least for me.

Just because someone's opinion differs from yours doesn't mean they're wrong ;-)

The problem is that we're talking about this generation Surface Pro in this forum. It's pure speculation what changes are in order for future generation of SP. Regardless it's not construction for someone who is looking to purchase a new device right now.
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
I am an academic which means that I use Office all the time. As others have pointed out, the split-personality of Win 8.1 (especially on the SP3 - I have the i5, 4GB/ 128GB version) in my case is very helpful. I use the mail app for all my mail accounts - including work. I considered using Outlook, but I don't need anything that sophisticated (or cumbersome). I use the Calendar app and ignore the University's Oracle calendar and if I have to use the latter, then I can access it from the desktop versions of IE, Chrome or Firefox (the latter two I installed because I use them from time to time for specific reasons). To be honest, I have still not achieved a comfort level that works for me with OneNote, but when I do use it, I use the MUI version, which works very well with the Pen. I use the pen to mark papers and to jot down notes - the former in Word 2013 and the latter in OneNote (MUI version). I also use a lot of diagrams especially when I am writing my book(s). Previously, I used to hand-draw the diagrams and then scan the document to insert it into the body of text. Today, I continue to hand-draw the diagram, but use the Pen to do so digitally and I import it into the body of the text.

I also have an iPad Air, but that is only restricted to accessing and reading my digital library which contains over 3K books (all stored on OneDrive). The OneDrive integration across Office works brilliantly and I can't imagine being without it. The recent addition to storage (to 1TB) by MS was very welcome. I use Office 365 (the Academic version for which I got a discount on furnishing proof of eligibility).

All in all, the SP3 works very well for me. Of course, YMMV.
 

Tsurugaya

Active Member
If your employer is ok with cloud usage then set up your folders in OneDrive, that way you have excellent sync across your devices including in flight if the plane has Wi-Fi. When I write something in OneNote on my Surface it appears on my other machines within 5 seconds. I have no problem annotating in PowerPoint from my Surface to a monitor if screen is shared, but I can't do it when extended.
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
If your employer is ok with cloud usage then set up your folders in OneDrive, that way you have excellent sync across your devices including in flight if the plane has Wi-Fi. When I write something in OneNote on my Surface it appears on my other machines within 5 seconds. I have no problem annotating in PowerPoint from my Surface to a monitor if screen is shared, but I can't do it when extended.

Alternatively, the OP could enable "offline sync" and access file (residing on OneDrive) even where there is no connectivity - its just that the files will sync up when s/he moves into a zone of connectivity.
 

megatronium

Active Member
With everyone getting their hopes up for Broadwell in SP4, did you catch the part where intel said that Broadwell will offer similar performance to Haswell? That could go any number of ways. I guess we'll see!

They then went on to compare it directly to the Atom processor for the rest of the release/unveiling. Interesting at the very least...
 

double07

Member
May be the device is simply not a good fit for you. In many cases, rather than adapting to a different way of doing things people doesn't want to change how things get done.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member

cajun456

New Member
I really look at this as two devices in one. When I need to do serious editing or writing, I attach a keyboard and use it like a laptop. A pretty good one at that. If I need to do some development on the go, same thing. If I want to play a game or do some browsing or read a book, the keyboard comes off and I use it like a tablet. That's why I like it. It can do both. Using the metro interface, I have a tablet with dumb games and a decent browser. Using the desktop, I have a full-fledged laptop for serious work. I only have to carry one device.

I fully agree with this. I got mine a few days ago and I am using it as the two devices it was meant to be.
 

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