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Thread: New Surfaces

  1. #1

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    .NUT jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    New Surfaces

    Surface Duo 2, Surface Go 3, Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio. Who's excited for what and who isn't?

    I try to avoid being too much of a fanboi but I do like Surface devices. I had a Surface 3 that has since died, I have a Surface Pro 5 that still works fine except the battery won't hold a charge, a Surface Go and a work-supplied Surface Pro 7. My partner also has a Surface Laptop 3.

    I'm interested in the Surface Duo 2 but I am dubious about the usability of the camera. You can't fold the device all the way back without covering it and holding it to open to take photos may be a bit awkward. I guess we'll see what the reviews have to say once it's been in people's hands for a while. That said, I'm not really sure that I can justify the price anyway. I would also have to put all my wireless chargers in mothballs, which would not be the end of the world but would be unfortunate.

    Given that I'm not really using computers on the go much at the moment or the foreseeable future, I can't really justify upgrading my Go to a Go 3. I use it mainly for media consumption and it's fine for that. I had it enrolled in the Windows Insider Dev channel, so it already has Windows 11 on it and I've moved it back to the Beta channel. I think that it will be able to stay on Windows 11 and continue to receive updates, so that will do me fine for a while.

    If I was working on the go then I'd almost certainly upgrade my Pro 5 to a Pro 8. It looks like a significant upgrade even over the Pro 7, especially if one was to use a eGPU via Thunderbolt. I wouldn't though, as I have a custom-built desktop for gaming. I have the Pro 7 hooked up to two 2K monitors at home though, so it will be more than adequate for a while yet. I imagine that there will be a Pro 9 or even 10 by the time I need to upgrade for work.

    The Laptop Studio looks very interesting. I don't think that it's something that I'd consider for myself at all but it may be just the thing for my partner. She would actually use it for artwork and there's plenty in there besides just that. She probably won't be prepared to spend the money for a while but I think that that will likely be her next machine at some point.

  2. #2
    Angel of Code Niya's Avatar
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    Re: New Surfaces

    I don't have that much experience with Surface devices. I've only been in contact with a couple. At a glance, I didn't really get the impression that they are that much different that traditional laptops other than being a little more lightweight. What do you like about them so much? Is there something that makes them special in your opinion?
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  3. #3

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    Re: New Surfaces

    @Niya, I've always had a desktop computer at home but I have had a number of laptops to be able to use in different rooms and also while commuting to work. I had a couple of Dell XPS 15 machines and then the Dell XPS 12 that had the screen that swivelled inside a frame so that it could face the other way or be folded flat to create a tablet. It was a very heavy tablet though, even though it was a fairly small machine overall.

    I got the Surface 3 because it was a relatively cheap, low-powered machine that I could use mostly to consume media. It was light and very portable, could be used as a tablet in portrait or landscape but could also be used as a laptop of desired. Surface devices with a kickstand aren't ideal for use on your lap but I didn't find them nearly as terrible as I've seen many people try to make them out. The Surface Pro was a similar proposition but more powerful, so I could do real work on it while on the train. It was bigger and heavier than the Surface 3 but still very portable and easy to use as a tablet.

    I started working from home before the COVID pandemic hit and I was originally using my personal desktop for work. It was originally only a day or two a week but, eventually, we went filly remote and I decided to take up my boss' offer to provide a dedicated work machine. I chose a Surface Pro because it's as powerful as a regular laptop and even more portable, but it doesn't have a keyboard to get in the way when I'm working at home. I use the same keyboard with it as I do with my desktop machine, so I wouldn't use a laptop keyboard and it would only get in the way and clutter my already full desk.

    I acknowledge that Surface devices aren't the only options and aren't necessarily the best for everyone but they have worked very well for me. If I need a new machine in the future, I'm likely to just stick with what I know, unless there's a significant reason to look elsewhere. Price may be a factor, as Surface are at the high end, but I do like the flexibility that the Surface Pro provides. I also have my own Surface Dock and a Surface Dock 2 from work, plus a number of Surface Connect charging cables, so that's a reason to stick with Surface. Proprietary connectors have their downsides but, in and of itself, Surface Connect is pretty good.

  4. #4
    Angel of Code Niya's Avatar
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    Re: New Surfaces

    Ah ok. I think I get what you're saying. You can be very flexible with where and how you use them. Sounds like a great product. I need to pay more attention the next time I come into contact with one.
    Treeview with NodeAdded/NodesRemoved events | BlinkLabel control | Calculate Permutations | Object Enums | ComboBox with centered items | .Net Internals article(not mine) | Wizard Control | Understanding Multi-Threading | Simple file compression | Demon Arena

    Copy/move files using Windows Shell

    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. - jmcilhinney

    The threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones. No arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign. - yereverluvinuncleber

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: New Surfaces

    I have had the Pro 2 since I went on a long bike ride several years ago. It always had a few drawbacks, but I wasn't using it enough to justify upgrading, and every version kept getting better. This last fall I picked up the Pro 7, because I was going on another long bike ride, and I DID have some use for it.

    What I like about these is that they are powerful computers, entirely capable of running several simultaneous instances of Visual Studio, which is what I use them for. The Pro 2 is now my DB server at home for developing, while I use the 7 with a docking station and two 27" monitors for work.

    I have no plans to upgrade, though, because the 7 is too new, and totally meets my needs. The screen is larger than the 2, which means that the keyboard is just enough larger that it is considerably more usable (the keyboard can't be larger or smaller than the screen, or it would fold weird). The battery life in the 7 is quite a bit better than the 2, and the 7 is lighter than the 2, which is a key point considering that I use it for multi-week bike trips. I have yet to carry it backpacking, though, and probably won't.

    EDIT: After looking over the specs, I think the Surface Pro 8 is a decided step backwards, for me. I see nothing in the specs that looks like something I care about, but the cost is higher and they got rid of the USB-A port, which I use quite a bit. Not impressed.
    Last edited by Shaggy Hiker; Sep 24th, 2021 at 09:08 AM.
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    Frenzied Member jdc2000's Avatar
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    Last edited by jdc2000; Sep 29th, 2021 at 04:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Lively Member homer13j's Avatar
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    Re: New Surfaces

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    I have had the Pro 2 since I went on a long bike ride several years ago.
    Do you really need one for a bike ride?

    My only experience with a Surface was watching Johnny Manziel smack himself in the head with one after a bonehead play.
    NFL's Johnny Manziel endorses Microsoft's Surface like no one else
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: New Surfaces

    The funny thing about that, is that he cases that MS made for the NFL were not available to the general public. I haven't looked to see if that has changed, but a few years back you couldn't buy one. Why make such a case, get such clear advertising for it, yet not sell it?

    The point with carrying a computer on a bike ride is that there were some projects I wanted to work on. On a good day, I might only be on the bike for 4-6 hours, which would leave me considerable time to sit under a tree and do a bit of coding. In practice, it turned out to be more complicated. I used it for reading in the evening, checking maps, email, and so on, but only a modest amount of coding. By the end of the day, I tended to be kind of tired.
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: New Surfaces

    I had a new kitchen fitted recently and I've got lovely new surfaces.
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: New Surfaces

    Since I am just using the 2 as a DB server, you might say I have a surfeit of surface.
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