For a long time now I have used tablets, and I haven’t been dedicated to just one particular platform. My first tablet was an iPad, but I soon found that even though everything just worked, I wanted to be able to do more. So, I switched to a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. While I have loved that tablet and the freedom of the Android system, I still wish the tablet could do more. That’s why for my next tablet I have chosen the Microsoft Surface Pro. Would you like to know why?
A Brief History
While Microsoft may have technically been the first company to come up with a tablet type of device, it was awkward to use and just didn’t catch on. Then along comes Apple. The release of the iPad reshaped how we use our devices. While I admit I wasn’t an early adopter, I did buy an iPad 2 when it first came out. As you know, you never buy the first generation Apple device as the second generation is always so much better than the original. Anyway, I used it for quite some time and enjoyed the device, but I always found it limiting. I couldn’t customize anything and there was no access to the file system. For me, it just wasn’t enough.
So, then I moved to the Samsung tablet that I use today. With Android came the freedom I was looking for in my apps. I could choose whatever I wanted and I had access to the file system. Once I slapped a keyboard on it and connected a Bluetooth mouse, I had what I consider to be my first mobile workstation.
My Situation Today
Today I continue to use my Galaxy Tab S2 and it works great. In fact, I’m writing this article on it right now. Still, I find it lacking. If there is one thing that I miss it is some of the desktop apps that I have come to rely on. For example, when I write, I can do it easily on my Tab S2, but I still find myself moving over to a laptop or my desktop to publish the articles and create images. Some desktop apps just aren’t available and, frankly, I need them to truly be productive.
Now I wish this wasn’t so. Honestly Android is probably my favorite mobile operating system, and I love the fact that it’s based on Linux since I’m such an open source fan. But, the fact is there are many apps that are only made for desktop operating systems, and that’s the biggest reason why I want to move over.
Full Version of Windows
The main reason I want a Surface Pro is the fact that it comes with a full version of Windows 10. There is no handicapped version on the Pro. While the Surface Pro may be a tablet at heart, with a full version of Windows I can use it just like a desktop operating system. That means I can install the full versions of Office and even Adobe Creative Suite – two packages I use quite frequently.
But the versatility doesn’t end there. No sir. I can install any desktop app that I want and use it just like I would use my laptop. There isn’t any jumping through hoops to multitask or setting things to run side by side. I can cascade the windows however I like, and even create multiple desktops if I want. This functionality is the biggest reason I want to switch, but that’s not all.
This is probably a pretty obvious reason, but I felt it important to list, nonetheless. I love the idea of being able to work from wherever I happen to be. The Surface Pro gives me the ability to do just that and it is easy to carry around. The device is large enough to be easy to use while staying small and light enough to carry around, even if you attach a keyboard to it.
Because it runs a full version of Windows, it needs the power behind it to back it up, and the Surface Pro delivers. With modern generation processors and gigabytes upon gigabytes of RAM, it has all the power I need out of a device that I will use for both work and play. Because of the powerful specs, I never have to worry about slowdowns even if I’m running intense applications such as Photoshop. Sure, I can go even more powerful on a laptop or desktop, but you lose much of the portability in the process. The idea is to get as much power I can while keeping the portability.
Admittedly, this is more vanity than anything else, but I like my devices to look good. After all, I’m shelling out quite a bit of money for these things, so I want them to look nice. The Surface Pro is every bit as stylish as it is powerful. It seems as if Microsoft took a page from the Apple playbook when they made the Surface, and its looks match its functionality, at least in my humble opinion.
I almost left this one in the design category, but thought it important enough to give it its own section in the end. The Surface Pro display is top notch. Sure it’s small, much like other tablets. Still, it’s ultra-high resolution and amazing colors make this a true beauty to use day in and day out. On top of that, the touchscreen is responsive and the Windows 10 apps look great on it. If you are going to stare at something for hours on end, it might as well be high quality. Am I right?
A Few Drawbacks
Still, as much as I love the Surface Pro, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. First, I will miss Android, and I have to say if Android tablets ever match the Windows functionality, I will definitely go back. But that’s just personal taste in the end. On top of that, I know I’m going to have to shell out quite a bit to get exactly what I want. The Surface Pro devices aren’t cheap, but in the end they really can replace both your tablet and your laptop. Last, the Windows Store doesn’t have as many apps as the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store, but with some emulators you can gain access to the best Google Play has to offer and I’m hoping that will fill the void of missing apps from the Windows Store.
While the Surface Pro is not a perfect device, it’s a damn good one. With its great design and full version of Windows, it really is the perfect laptop replacement. For my money, it is where I will go when I am ready to upgrade, unless something major changes with the iPad or the host of Android devices that are out there today.