Travel with a Surface 3 and an iPad for unrivaled productivity

The Surface 3 with the optional keyboard is a great system for business trips. Using it with an iPad turns it into a near desktop capable system.


Another trip for the job, and you want to take a computer and other gear to eliminate the compromise of leaving your desktop system behind. It's easier than you think.

For Windows users, the Surface 3 from Microsoft is a nice option. It is a decent laptop when used with the Type Cover keyboard, and a reasonable tablet when the cover is removed. It's affordable and since it runs Windows it can handle all work tasks.

The Surface 3 is already appearing in users' hands in public, and the more I test it the more impressed I am with it. It is an outstanding travel system with very little compromise. There are other laptops that work well on the road, but for those wanting maximum portability the new Surface is a good bet. The all-day battery life is icing on the cake.

MacBook Air and iPad Air with Duet Display

The Surface 3 can stand alone on trips quite well, but don't overlook the benefit of taking a second screen. That doesn't sound very portable but it can be if you use a late model iPad, either size, with the Duet Display app.

See related: Duet Display: Turn iPad into a second monitor for Mac with zero lag (review) | Got an iPad at work? Duet Display turns it into a second monitor for Windows | 5 travel gadgets and apps you need for peace of mind

Duet Display enables users to set up an iPad as a second monitor for Macs and recently for Windows PCs. It supports connecting the iPad to the Surface either via Wi-Fi or by a USB connection. Wireless connections can exhibit laggy video but with a wired connection it is smooth.

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Having a two-monitor system in the hotel is very productive for knocking out those reports for the office, or any other business task. After a minute or two of using the combo it feels just like working in the office.

After using Duet Display extensively with both an iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 for a second monitor, I have found my productivity out of the office is greatly improved with a two monitor setup.

I've used it extensively with my MacBook Air, and recently tested it with a friend's Surface 3. Windows handles multiple monitors well, and having a second monitor connected to the Surface has been very nice.

Freeing up the main display for work tasks and using the additional screen to keep email (or other function) always open is very efficient, as anyone with two monitors in the office will tell you.

Many professionals have an iPad, whether for work or home use, and it's a good idea to throw it in the bag with the Surface 3. The combination will provide a boost to productivity over the laptop alone. Don't forget that this is not just a dual-monitor configuration, it's a two touch screen setup.

The Surface 3 with a Type Cover is the smallest and lightest full Windows PC, making it a great travel companion. Paired with the iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3, there is no smaller duo that is a full two monitor travel system that rivals some desktop configurations.