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Old 12-31-2013, 12:17 AM
1,658 posts, read 2,624,160 times
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Edit: could a mod please move this to the Tablets subforum?
[Done... Moderator]

I bought a 128 GB Surface Pro 2 last week to replace my Gen 1 iPad that I've had for 3 years. so far, I've been extremely impressed with its usefulness and design.

I am an architect, so I was very specific in what I needed in a tablet. The game changer for me was the Surface's Wacom digitizer recognition and ability to detect different levels of pen pressure on the screen when taking notes or doing sketches. Very few tablets have this capability, and the Surface Pro is the only full-PC tablet with Wacom recognition. With the Surface Pro being a full PC, I was able to load my old Adobe CS3 suite; using Photoshop and the Surface's included stylus gives me a more portable form factor to do design work on the fly or take my work home with me without hauling my work laptop home. I have also loaded Sketchup and the Surface's Intel i5 processor was able to handle spinning around an 80 mb building model with no problems.

Being in an arch firm, we waste a lot of paper doing markups and redlines, and we also waste a lot of time making copies or scanning in markups in that are emailed to clients or contractors. With the SP2, I can bring PDFs into One Note, mark them up like I would on pen and paper, and then email it to my other colleagues in a matter of minutes. And if I make a mistake while sketching, I can simply hit the undo button and re-sketch. Little things like this have the potential to save enormous amounts of time in my profession, and I'm sure in other as well. In the end, I hope to be mostly paper-free at work.

As for the design, there are many thoughtful touches that show Microsoft really put some effort into this tablet. The build quality is solid, and the tablet ventilates itself via small slits around the back perimeter. The two-mode kickstand is sturdy and works well (I usually use the 45° position), and I like the magnetized power outlet connection that clicks into place and can also hold the stylus. Magnets below also hold the keyboard in place.

Speaking of keyboard, I don't have one yet, but I have been getting by without it. The on-screen keyboard works fairly well, although it doesn't always automatically pull up when you click a text field. In that case, you have to swipe the right side of the screen, click settings, and then click keyboard to bring it up. I'd say it comes up about 95% of the time though.

Battery life is very good and much better than the Surface Pro 1. So far the longest I have run it on battery is 5 1/2 hours and it still had 20% left. I've heard some have been able to last 8 hours.

A couple downsides: The SP2 is fairly heavy (2 lbs), so it's not quite as comfortable to hold as some others. But it's also a full PC, so it beats lugging a laptop around. Having the kickstand at the 45° position helps when it is sitting in your lap. Also, the VapMag finish or whatever it is called on the back side of the kickstand has a tendency to scratch easily, so buy a cover.

The 128 GB Surface Pro 2 is a little pricey at $999, which doesn't include the keyboard or Office 2013 (for some reason Office is included on Surface RT models). Fortunately I had a couple gift cards so I only paid a little under half that amount.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with my purchase and it has found a lot more use than my iPad. Anyone else have a Pro or RT?

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 12-31-2013 at 09:42 AM..
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:44 PM
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I've got the same 128Gb SP2 as you. I thought I'd use it as a backup to my primary 18" laptop. Truth is, I've had the laptop open only a couple of times since I got the Surface. The Wacom digitizer was also the selling point for me, as I wanted something I could take notes on for school and could write directly onto PowerPoint and such. I also do a little bit of photo editing. I also wanted something that could handle certain apps I use as an engineer, and a tablet with full windows was my only option for that.
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