So, I quit my job about a month ago to start working at Digital Extremes (by the way, play Warframe) and finally I was able to rid myself of Apple devices. The only reason I had a Macbook pro in the first place was because my old job was completely Apple-centric. Apple servers, apple wireless, APPLE EVERYTHING. Why? I don’t know. Personally I wouldn’t trust my data with a server I couldn’t configure completely (let alone pay for potential updates) but that’s just me. Especially if all we were doing is serving files to the LAN (and rare cases through VPN) and that’s it. You could set up a Ubuntu or Debian server in a weekend that did the exact same thing, with more features and costs less and… nevermind.
The point is I had an opportunity to get rid of my Macbook Pro, so I sold it on eBay, and at first got a Macbook Air 11in. Now, I will say that if you’re going to get a Macbook at all and you don’t give a shit about specs (AKA most web development work or browsing) it’ll work great for that and it’s pretty cheap, at least for an Apple product.
After a while, I realized that since almost the entire business world is Windows based, I switched the Macbook Air for something even more portable, and more… fun in general. The MS Surface Pro 128GB. Since I was within 2 weeks of buying the Air and paid about a $50 difference.
Totally worth it.
What’s awesome about the Surface Pro? It’s a tablet that can use any native Windows application, and also run standard tablet-style apps with a touchscreen. If you want to run office natively, this will totally do it for you no problem. If you want to play games on Steam, it handles them incredibly well (see this channel for examples). I could even get it to run Heroes of Might and Magic 3 (a game from 2001) with the touchscreen controls and it worked great! (just be sure to look up the latest Intel drivers) If you want to take notes, it has a Wacom style pen that works great. Besides the standard Windows apps that you would run on any Windows machine, there’s a bunch of cool tablet style apps that work great too.
Some of my favorites are:
and a few more I’m probably forgetting.
The only downside to the Surface I can see is MAYBE the heat if you’re doing heavy work, but even then I don’t see it as much as an issue. It’s never uncomfortably hot for me that I can’t use it. I’ve had laptops that have been much worse. Battery Life also kind of sucks, but it lasts about 4-5 hours which is enough for me, I usually just have it plugged in anyways. Some games have some weird scaling issues, particularly older ones, but they can be generally fixed by both updating the graphics drivers, and fiddling with settings.
I’d totally recommend the Surface Pro for anyone who wants the tablet AND notebook experience. It has enough of a tablet functionality to get by, and the fact that it can run any Windows app natively makes it an awesome purchase. If they release a new model (which they are rumored to this year with better battery life) I’ll probably sell my current one and get it. Even still, I highly recommend the launch model.