Take one tablet and call me in the morning.

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The Surface Pro 3 has now been superseded by any number of more powerful Surface Pro machines, but I think these things are a bargain for portable computing.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…


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