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  • Microsoft Surface Pro

    Yeah, shock horror!

    Begs the question, if I'm going to spend that sort of money on some corporate style branded hardware, why didn't I go for a Mac.

    Well, the answer to that is, as much as I dislike Microsoft, for reasons that are perhaps not that rational and justified, I dislike Apple more. I have an iPod Nano, and I do like that, but don't use it any more because I had problems with the iTunes software, which is the only way to get stuff onto it.

    Anyway, I digress...

    I was planning a road trip around Europe a couple of weeks ago and I said to my missus, "we could do with using your tablet for Google maps to help us find stuff." Her response was, "get yer own tablet!"

    So I started looking and was thinking Samsung or Asus to begin with. But then my lad said, "get something with decent CPU and power." Bit of a curve ball that...

    I spotted a Surface Go in my local Currys and thought, "mmmm... Interesting..."

    Did some research and watched some vids and it did indeed look like a nice bit if kit, but there were android tablets with more power and better overall specs. But I really liked the idea of a keyboard.

    When I saw the Surface Pro I thought, "nah... too expensive," but the more I looked at it, and read up and watched about it I was thinking, this could be what I need. Not just as a tablet for the interwebs, of course, but for other stuffs too, namely music on the go.

    I had been taking my laptop out in the motorhome but if we ever went out into town, or whatever, I would end up lumping it around rather than leaving it in the motorhome. It weighs a ton this thing, so this is another reason why I started to think, Surface Pro.

    So, yeah, I got one, the i5 with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

    Gotta say, I am impressed. Okay, I am having to render some VSTi once I am happy in order to keep CPU usage in check, but I have been doing that on my main lappy when using power hungry VST effects like Adaptiverb and MGranularMB.

    I installed Studio One at first but there are issues with certain VST GUI and the high resolution display so I am now considering Reaper.

    I am hooking it up to my QUAD-CAPTURE which is powered by USB. In an initial test I got nearly two hours out of the battery of the Surface Pro. By all accounts the battery can last over 12 hours but Studio One needed to be run on full power otherwise things started to glitch. I haven't tried Reaper on battery power yet...


    I'll keep you posted on my Surface Pro exploits over the coming months...


    cheers

    andy
    Bandcamp // SoundCloud // YouTube

  • #2
    Mmm..you may get a lot of satisfaction out of the Surface Pro, but when I was researching tablets, it made more sense to me to get an Apple iPad Pro with the 12" screen and Apple Pencil, which I use for my art apps- I have been very happy with GarageBand and the other music and synth apps I have downloaded from the App Store- yes, the iPad Pro is a bit on the expensive side too, but the low prices on many of the very usable apps more than makes up for the 'sticker shock', and I also have a Logitech keyboard case that uses the instant connector- 3 little magnets on the side of the iPad that create an instant connection to the keyboard. Another reason I chose Apple is the zero maintenance factor- I download an app, and it either works or it doesn't in which case it gets deleted. Having spent many years upgrading and configuring computers, installing and updating Windows operating systems, I got tired of the never-ending cycle of fixing things that Microsoft broke- and some things they STILL haven't fixed- like Internet Explorer in Windows 10 on my laptop, for example! I got pretty facile with installing programs, drivers, and Windows updates, but it has been a long and joyless process fraught with buggy releases of softwares and drivers over the years, and it's nice to be able to just use a device for what it is meant for instead of spending valuable time 'fixing' things that should already be working. What I see with Windows and Microsoft nowadays is the more than noticable shift toward becoming more like iOS and Android OS- so they can continue to compete in a market where both formats have become far more popular due to the cell phones stretching the limits on capabilities with the latest tech advances. I have an Android smart phone as well, a Moto, in fact. So I'm familiar with aspects of most of the formats being used these days, and I have to say that Apple has risen in my estimation over the last couple of years because of the simplicity and ease of use- but the first thing I did was shut off Siri and Cortana because I found them both extremely annoying, rather than helpful- I don't want to 'talk' to my computer as if it were a person- it is a device to me to get done what I want, and nothing more. In that respect I guess I'm a bit of a 'Luddite'. I hope you get a lot out of your experience with the Surface Pro, and I am curious about what your experience with it will entail- I would like to know how easy or difficult it will turn out to be- as for myself, Microsoft and I have not had the best relationship at times! Cheers, Andy, and good luck!
    "I would rather be happy than to always be 'right'."

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    • #3
      This is what my iPad Pro looks like, with the Logitech instant connector keyboard case.
      "I would rather be happy than to always be 'right'."

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      • #4
        Hiya Avery,

        I guess it is all about what we perceive we are comfortable with.

        I accept your observations regarding Windows releases breaking things, but haven't Apple done the same, especially with hardware drivers? I have read some pretty off putting tales over the last couple of years where Apple have updated their operating system which has subsequently removed compatibility with external sound devices.

        What I wanted from my 12" system was the ability to use my existing software. I am not really interested in "apps" but I can certainly see the attraction, and the benefits. Like you say, if they work, they work, if they don't, un-install.

        I think, though, that we both agree on the excellent portability of these little devices. Sure, it is great using your favourite software on a 24" monitor with the fastest graphics, best CPU and all that, but I love being truly "un-tethered" from the desk and power point. And not just for emails and browsing. These little things are also very powerful creative tools... Definitely the way to go, regardless of your choice of hardware.

        cheers

        andy
        Bandcamp // SoundCloud // YouTube

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