7 Reasons I love Windows 8.1 and my Surface Pro 2

Written by Sean Wallbridge on. Posted in OneNote, Surface, Tablet, Windows 8

I love my Surface Pro 2 and Windows 8.1

Windows XP End of Service/Life is upon us (April 8th specifically) and it got me thinking about what I love most about my current platform (Surface Pro 2 and Windows 8.1).  Windows XP was good, Windows 7 was great, Windows 8 is something I love.  Touch is king.

surface 300x170 7 Reasons I love Windows 8.1 and my Surface Pro 2

For me, here’s why…

  1. Full Desktop Replacement: I have a killer rig these days for when I need power and peripherals.  I have my Surface Pro tablet in its docking station. While there, I have everything I could ever want/need.  2 external displays (meaning I have 3 screens total!). One of them is a 30″ LCD that needs a video card that can power its mega resolution and the Surface Pro 2 now supports that.  Awesome.  Further, I have a full wireless keyboard, mouse, speakers, external USB devices including Scanner (for scanning documents into SharePoint of course).  This is a full desktop PC, but the size of a couple slices of pizza when portability is required.
  2. It Doubles as my Mobile/Consumer Device: But I also have that exact same system, (data and all) that I can pluck out of my docking station and carry over to the couch and continue working away, with touch screen or pen.  It’s a beauty, eh?  I have an iPad and I love how it feels.  It is great for “consuming” information and games, but when I need to do “real work” it doesn’t cut it and goodness I’ve tried (I probably hare $1000 invested in apps, all cute).
  3. OneNote and the OneNote App: Can’t live without it. Nothing more to say about that!
  4. 10 Point Capacitive Touchscreen and Digital Pen: I’ve got a touch screen Lenovo Yoga as well.  It’s cool and all, but the Surface Pro has a true capacitive touchscreen (10 point).  This means I can draw and write and apply pressure (soft/hard).  Don’t be fooled, many touchscreen devices treat every gesture the same, the Surface Pro offers much more than that.  I’ve also got the handwriting of a doctor.  Brutal.  But the Surface Pro and Windows 8.1 “gets me”. icon wink 7 Reasons I love Windows 8.1 and my Surface Pro 2
  5. My data is Safe and Accessible:   OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) stores and syncs all my personal stuff across all 3 of my devices.  Meanwhile, OneDrive for Business (formerly SkyDrive Pro) keeps all my business content synched across my devices and across our team.
  6. Virtual Machines on the Go: My Surface Pro 2 has 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.  That means I have enough juice and jam to run a virtual machine while I’m working away.  As a SharePoint Consultant, I’m always VPN’ing into customer environments and I don’t like to get my chocolate mixed in with their peanut butter.  So I keep the various VPN software running inside a dedicated virtual machine so that my main Windows experience is untarnished by 3rd party VPN software that likes to go rogue and own my desktop experience
  7. Remote Desktop App: I’m a consultant and I’m a business man.  That means I have accounting crap to do and my accounting software is QuickBooks (don’t ask me for an endorsement, it’s just what we’ve always used…).  Now that we have a Windows 2012 Server configured to publish the whacky apps we don’t want to manage everywhere else, I can still do QuickBooks without muddying up my local experience. And I can connect to it from my other devices as well.  More on that here…

Everything I need. At my desk, on my couch, at work, at lunch and at play.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think is the single most important reason to upgrade from Windows XP, or your favourite new feature of Windows 8.1 and you will be entered to a random draw for a $100 Microsoft Store Gift Card. Winners will be selected on Monday, April 14th.



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Sean Wallbridge

Sean Wallbridge, President and Principal Consultant of itgroove Professional Services Ltd, is a 6 time SharePoint MVP and Evangelist from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Sean likes to characterize himself as a “SharePoint Jedi” (there are no experts, just those who continue to explore the enormous ways of the SharePoint force) and there is no better way to describe Sean’s enthusiasm for SharePoint! Sean and itgroove specialize in bringing a rich, professional SharePoint experience to the small and mid-size companies that form the backbone of business in British Columbia and Canada. In addition to being a SharePoint MVP, Sean has a rich background in the Windows world and carries many certifications including CISSP, MCSE, MCT and MCSA. Sean has lived and worked internationally (Bermuda) and still carries on an international consulting practice from his base at itgroove in Victoria

Comments (3)

  • Bruno

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    Interesting. All these things make Surface Pro 2 a very interesting machine for sure. I use my iPad Air all the time and it can be used for writing as well, surely depending on the work involved one can be far more productive with a surface Pro 2 and even more with its next generation. I am very happy with my iPad Air and currently I am looking for my laptop replacement computer.

    Reply

  • Colin Phillips

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    There’s very little my Surface 2 (not pro) can’t do. Obviously it’s not in the business of running desktop apps, but outside of PhotoShop, there’s not a lot of other things I need. On my most recent vacation, I never once cracked open my laptop, I was able to do all my vacation-y web browsing, some games, as well as keeping up with emails and responding to the odd request all with my Surface. Full blown versions of office apps on the Surface 2 make it a totally useful device for both work and play, and the app store is where I can go to find anything I don’t already have. I use my surface almost every day at home because it’s just so easy to take with me around the house. Windows 8 is obviously the catalyst here, as without it, the touch device revolution wouldn’t have come to MS, as well, the store is a Windows 8+ only addition, and to top it all off, the office for Surface is the icing on the cake.

    Reply

  • Darren

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    I have always been a fan of having a big powerful desktop and really not interested in lugging around a 6 or 7 pound laptop. Now that I can get the power I need from a lightweight device like the Surface and the awesomeness of Windows 8.1 with touch it is making a lot of sense. Who needs 2 desktops (1 at home and 1 @ work), and a tablet that really can’t “get the job done” when you can replace it all with 1 small device.
    I am sold and will be seriously considering the Surface pro when it is time to replace my boat anchor – er I mean desktop.

    Reply

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