I have always sticked to high end, expensive, heavy and noisy laptops in the workstation genre. Recently I decided to test out a more lightweight tool and exchanged my HP Elitebook 8540w with a Microsoft Surface with Windows 10 Enterprise. Here are some experiences from this travel.
When changing from the Elitebook to the Surface I did miss the built in SIM card, the numeric keypad, the full-size keyboard, the DVD unit, a bunch of USB ports and the fingerprint reader. At the same time I did loose a lot of heavy weight, both on the computer itself, but also at the power supply! The new Surface Pro 3 is the one with the highest technical specification, but it is still a light weighted unit. I do believe that the external power supply unit for my old workstation was heavier than the new Surface device.
I was kind of skeptical to the new keyboard. It seemed to be of a poor quality, but it has surprised me in a positive way. It is great to use in my daily consultancy work out at customers where the keys feels good and responsive and the trackpad is Ok. I had to learn a couple of new keyboard shortcuts (screenshot etc), but that was not a problem – #neverstoplearning! It is also easy to remove the keyboard from the device giving me a super handy and powerful tool for field work.
I like the monitor a lot. It has a lovely resolution with great colors, and not to forget – it is a touch monitor. The touch function has been used more than I could ever imagine. I use it for scrolling, zooming and navigating. The touch screen in combination with the pen gives me a whole new integrated way of using my Windows device.
The missing interfaces
As mentioned, I was kind of skeptical to the missing interfaces. I have been used to have a built in SIM card, numeric keypad, full-size keyboard, DVD unit, fingerprint reader and a bunch of USB ports. The new Windows Surface device had one (1) USB port! But – I am willing to give this a test drive! After all when I am at my office (at work or home), the device is connected to docking stations with external devices compensating the peripherals, and in fact I can’t remember the last time I really needed a DVD unit. As far as the SIM card, I can always share internet from my cell-phone whenever I am out of service for a decent Wi-Fi network.
After some time of usage, my personal conclusion is positive – very positive. The device is a high performance device serving me well. It is a light weighted device allowing me for a lighter commute.
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