I have complained here about tablets.
I won’t complain any more.
A few months ago, T and I planned a vacation to Portugal. I knew that I would have work to do, and so I made plans to take a computer along. I tried several solutions–a clone of my trusty office machine X240? Heavy and clunky. A Macbook Air? I tried one, and hated the interface.
What to do? I wanted a machine that I could use without worrying about exposing too much client information if it got lost/stolen/strayed/destroyed. What to do?
In near desperation, I decided that I would try a very low-level Microsoft Surface Pro. To wit, I bought a used, several-year-old Surface Pro 3 with an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It slid into my pack nicely, and let me continue to use Windows 10. It cost around $150.
And you know what?
It was great.
I used it in a bed and breakfast in Lagos for writing, grading papers, and downloading my camera (even this old one has a MicroSD slot). I even watched some of the hearings back home.
I can squeeze 4-6 hours out of it if I’m careful. Not too shabby.
I liked it well enough that I leave my X240 in my office these days. When I need to go somewhere, or when I need a computer at home, the Surface is enough. The one I got had a keyboard that was a little sticky, so on our trip I ended up using the on-screen keyboard, which was not bad at all! I recently replaced it with a newer (used) keyboard (one of the fancy new Signature models, all Alcantara and stuff–and with smaller, better-spaced keys, and I’m loving it.
So. My war with tablets is over at last, and the Surface Pro won.
The Surface Pro 3 has now been superseded by any number of more powerful Surface Pro machines, but I think these things are a bargain for portable computing. Highly recommended.
More on Portugal soon…