I – being and IT professional have had many PC’s & Macs. I will never not have a high-powered Desktop because well, it is like what a muscle car is to a gear head desktops are to someone like me ‘IT Nerd’. I love to have a high-end gaming machine with an overpriced video card and as much RAM as possible just because.
I have always had a laptop and usually a PC not a Mac. However, recently my wife got the iPad Pro. This was the LTE version not the 5G version and I decided to also get one. The purpose of this was to have the apple pencil and be able to take notes quickly in whatever I was doing. Mostly when I am with clients, I like to take handwritten notes as I walk around their given space to install a network and place equipment as well as access points in various locations. This was good at first. I should also point out I have been using OneNote as my primary cloud access software as I can keep all past and future notes all in one place, which makes it easy to access anywhere anytime with access to the world wide web. PC, Mobile, Mac or Linux, it does not matter. If I have access the web I can login and see whatever it is I need.
A little history of the why and what so the context of this writing makes sense. I started using computers as a teenager back in the 80’s. I had a Commodore 64, I played games, but also, I had to learn how to use the command prompt, I had to learn how to copy disk drives and there was not mouse and I had to use an actual TV to connect to the machine. As I got older into early 20’s Windows 95 came out and the birth of the World Wide Web (web), was born. It was an exciting time for many, I immediately fell in love and became passionate about IT and technology all over again. After the Navy I went to a tech school known as ITT Technical Institute. I learned electronic theory as well as the basics in coding like machine language and networking. This was a dream place for someone like me and I loved every second of it. Not only is IT my career but also my passion.
Fast-forward to today, still as if not more passionate about technology and the web as I once was. Let’s talk about the Surface Pro. As I have already mentioned I have been using computers, PC’s & Mac’s for long time. I have had some dudes and I have had some great machines, but like all things good & bad (especially in technology) then become outdated and obsolete in just a few short years. I want to also premise there was a time with Apple did a fantastic job of making all the Apple products work together in unison, better than anyone else. So, for a while I switched to more Apple products (2009-2012 timeframe). However, now everything has seemed to catch up to Apple and in my opinion has surpassed based on the needs of an IT professional. I should also point out I do game, I do stream on twitch, and I also have an IT company.
As I mentioned I have an iPad and although it was great for a while the note taking and converting to text was atrocious. It lacked the things I wanted and needed. I needed a better way to connect to networks that I was working on the iPad did not cut it. I had USB-C to Ethernet RJ-45 couplers (dongle), but it would not connect. So, I then went and bought an HP, basic laptop but sufficed in my needs. This was great, but now I had a laptop & an iPad. I did not want both. I wanted something that was an all-in-one. Hence, the Microsoft Surface Pro (surface).
I purchased the surface by accident. I had fixed a broke screen on a client’s surface, and everything was fine but a few weeks later he said the touch screen was not working correctly. So, I bought him a new one, offered to transfer his data and replace it, free of charge. I would take his, fix the issue and sell it, at least that was the plan. I also made sure the specs were the same or better so that he understood I was willing to remedy the situation. However, over several months he kept canceling times to get together, and he would not commit to this exchange. I wanted 3 months as it sat in the box, just staring at me.
I started doing a little research on the best way to achieve my goal of having one machine to be my only machine. Based on my needs which I will outline below, all things point to Microsoft Surface Pro 7.
- Had to be Windows 10 Pro (Win 11 is out, but I do not care for it as of now)
- It had to have touch screen, act as a tab & a laptop
- Keyboard, mouse, available if needed
- Connect over ethernet, I setup networks all the time need ethernet more than Wi-Fi
- Use a digital pen/pencil to take handwritten notes and easily convert to text
- Sync across all my platforms
Surface Pro was a no brainer at this point. I had been stuck in my old ways trying to stay with the traditional laptops to conduct work. Now on to the pros & cons.
- The charger is unique to the pro. Makes it a little difficult unless you have the charger on you. Must buy more than one if you have a docking station and carry around to work in the field or offsite.
- The Keyboard comes off easily, although this is also a plus, it becomes annoying at times.
- The Pencil can only be magnetically mounted in one location it also falls off fairly easy
- Not a lot of apps to use that are the same functionally as the mobile or iPad device
- Does everything I need from a requirements stand-point.
- It is a superior hybrid machine to conduct business and do everything a PC can do plus it can act as a pad as well.
- The pencil works very well, and I can convert to text right inside OneNote.
- I can use all my MSN Office, Google, and even iCloud and sync easily.
- I can use in office and the field.
- The battery life is fantastic.
- It has Window 10 Pro, which I like so I can use the networking and IT Tools such as PowerShell, Command Prompt, and 3rd party applications for PC.
All-in-all I am very happy with the switch from the traditional PC Laptop & I can honestly say, although the iPad are great, it lacks the business side of using it. Great for someone who is creative and wants to do artistically (although I would argue that the surface has caught up). I would recommend the Surface Pro to anyone who needs to be mobile with their device and Windows is required. The Office apps are no different than any other pc. This gets my stamp of approval!