Goodbye Surface RT, hello Surface Pro: I won't miss getting work done again

Goodbye Surface RT, hello Surface Pro: I won't miss getting work done again

Summary: I traveled with my Surface RT and iPad this week, but found neither was able to let me do my job as an engineer and I told myself I won't travel and be limited again. Microsoft's Surface Pro looks to be the perfect device for an engineer and mobile tech writer like myself.

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Goodbye Surface RT, hello Surface Pro: I won't miss getting work done again

I like my Microsoft Surface RT device, but after my recent two day trip this week to San Francisco I realized I do need access to a full Windows computer while on the road, and am planning to swing by Best Buy tomorrow morning to pick up the Surface Pro.

I wrote about how I liked Surface RT because it wasn't my work computer, but now realize at times I do need something portable that is just as capable as my work computer. I needed to get something knocked out (stability calculations for a ship using specialized hydrostatics software only available for Windows) during my trip this week and couldn't do it on the Surface RT, or an iPad, and told myself I cannot travel again and be limited in my ability to work. I read Ed Bott's review and am convinced the Microsoft Surface Pro is perfect for the way I work and play.

My office issues laptops to senior people on a four-year rotation and for the most part they are utilitarian Dell laptops. There is nothing fancy about them, but they get the job done and work just fine.

To be honest, I use mine 75 percent of the time in the docking station at work. I travel with it or take it home on the weekends and it lets me get work done, but it is a chore to drag it around and not something I look forward to. After a year or two the battery life dropped to just a couple hours, but most of the time I have the ability to plug it into an outlet where I am working.

I could carry this computer around when I travel, but it's bulky, runs Windows 7, and is not a "fun" computer. If I am traveling for events to write about for ZDNet or for pleasure, I don't want to haul my big work-issued laptop around and want something else.

An Apple computer is not an option for my work as a professional engineer (naval architect), but I do use one at home for writing and other tasks. I could pick up a MacBook Air for around the same price as a Surface Pro, but then I have to get Windows on it and for the portable computer I am looking for there is no need to have Mac OS on it. If I just needed a computer for writing, then I would pick up an inexpensive Chromebook, but I need more than that to run my ship stability software and other engineering applications.

I already sold my Surface RT via Twitter and will be keeping my blue Touch Cover keyboard. My wife is using my old original MacBook Pro, 2006 vintage, so I plan to pass along my 2009 MacBook Pro to her as well, and use the Surface Pro as my primary home computer with an external monitor.

I mentioned that I want a fun computer and I think the Surface Pro will fill that role as I found the Surface RT to be an enjoyable experience with Windows 8, interactive touch screen, slick kickstand, functional keyboard cover, and ultra-portable design.

There are a number of Windows 8 laptop and tablet options, but I haven't seen any that are as light, well designed, and compelling to me as the Surface Pro. I want a super portable computer that is well designed and does not limit me from doing what I need to do when the occasion arises and I believe the Microsoft Surface Pro is that computer.

Related ZDNet Surface coverage:

Topics: Mobility, Tablets, Microsoft Surface

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136 comments
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  • Any Rumors on when it'll be available on the Canadian Microsoft Store

    I'm just as excited to get my hands on one (already got the type cover and a USB 3.0 hub) and really want to know when it's gonna be available here.
    MrElectrifyer
  • Any Rumors on when it'll be available on the Canadian Microsoft Store

    I'm just as excited to get my hands on one (already got the type cover and a USB 3.0 hub) and really want to know when it's gonna be available here.
    MrElectrifyer
  • Any Rumors on when it'll be available on the Canadian Microsoft Store

    I'm just as excited to get my hands on one (already got the type cover and a USB 3.0 hub) and really want to know when it's gonna be available here.
    MrElectrifyer
    • Canadian Microsoft Store

      The Surface Pro will be avaiable in Canada on Saturday morning - you might want to go today or at least phone ahead to see if they have any left (you've been able to reserve one since Tuesday).
      Mujibahr
      • @ Canadian Microsoft Store

        Yeah, sure it will sell like crazy. can't wait to see idiots waiting in cue to get rid of 1k at BestBuy on Saturday morning. Won't happen mate.
        yegura
        • Well.....

          You have to wonder why fanbois and fangurls would wait in line for hours to pick up their precious gadgets when you can walk into the store a few hours later and pick one up with no waiting in line [except at the cash]. Oh ya. It's Apple's marketing department's hype. Even McDonald's is poking fun at Apple with it's chicken wings commercial.
          Gisabun
  • Your wife got the better deal

    Even a 2006 Mac is better :)
    D.J. 43
    • RE: Your wife got the better deal

      He said 'work' not 'play'..
      carbine-465cb
      • Huh?

        You can play [games] with a Mac? Call of Duty? Diablo? Need for Speed?
        Gisabun
        • Playing with a computer

          Playing with a computer does not always involve "games".

          But one gets to understand this when they grow up. Eventually.
          danbi
          • But sometimes, it does.

            The lack of games on a Mac make it sub par for play when compared to a Windows PC. Windows is better for work and play. This is the point Gisabun was trying to make, and it is a valid point.
            Patrick Aupperle
        • Work

          He was implying that you can't do work with a Mac. Based on the needs of the author as stated in the article, this assumption is correct.
          chefgon
    • I just hope you don't believe yourself...

      Even a fanboy should know that the Surface is pretty much the most revolutionary tablet on the market and in fact, the surface Pro is the best tablet and maybe the best ultrabook out there. http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57568209-75/microsoft-surface-pro-shows-off-its-inner-ultrabook/
      Simon Tupper
      • Puh-lease

        The surface is not a laptop because of the form-factor, and is not a tablet because of the OS.

        The hardware is spectacular, but the software is an unusable mess.

        At their price point, you could get both a decent laptop AND a good Android Tablet so why bother at all...

        They are not selling and their market is a dead, empty wasteland... in 4 or 5 years... Microsoft will be RIM.
        beaner1111@...
        • Puh-lease

          just FYI, Microsoft is not just limited to Windows only unlike RIM. Microsoft is more than Windows. And Windows 8 is not a failure.
          Ram U
          • I know. I have to laugh at the "armchair CEOs"

            like beaner1111@... where MS "will be dead in 5 years" even though actual business people say otherwise. My guess is that he loses a lot in the stock market.
            NoMore MicrosoftEver
          • beaner...

            well that kind of says it all about him doesn't it...
            ScanBack
          • Haha...

            ad-hominem... classic douchebagerry...
            beaner1111@...
          • Yep

            Yep Microsoft also makes unnecessary Office software which is far too expensive, has a horrible newer interface, and is completely unnecessary now that Google Docs is available.
            Chad Perkins
          • Google Docs?

            Oh you mean "Google Crash" or "Google Incompatible". :-)
            Gisabun