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tastywheat

Surface Pro 2

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I've literally just arrived back from adventures in Africa in time to start uni, doing a post grad in aerospace and avionics engineering. I wanted something that would handle note taking tasks digitally, and after a bit of research, decided on the Surface Pro 2. This is part rant, part plea for help from other Surface owners.

 

Firstly, what's with the build quality? The kick stand, when folded, bows out in the middle 1-2mm (the width of the metal plate). The plastic RF window at the top doesn't align with the metal part of the body. It arrived with a chip in the paint on the rear edge - I was under the impression the vapor treatment was supposed to prevent that from happening? Have I received a lemon, or is this common with other units as well?

 

Next, what this shit is Microsoft doing with Office? As far as I can tell, you can't get a 'Metro' version. This means an awkward transition and clumsy menus that aren't really suited to touch inputs. Have I got this wrong, or is this really how they expect Surface Pro users to produce documents?

 

The Reader app. Again, I hope I have this wrong, but you can only mark up PDFs using the stylus with thin black ink. No undos, notes are often lost if you switch documents or applications, no selecting text, no changing colours or widths, no ability to highlight text. It feels overwhelmingly half baked. Can anyone suggest an alternative?

 

Right click on the Type Cover. Works with a very stiff tap about 1 in 3 times at best. I've taken to using the stylus instead.

 

The Metro version of internet explorer often has a brain fart, and presents nothing but blank white pages. This seems to happen when you click a link that opens in a new window. The only solution I've found is to close, and then reopen it.

 

To its credit, performance is buttery smooth. Battery life is good. The stylus is as good as my Wacom Intuos 4. Ink to text translation is fantastically accurate (I have terrible handwriting). The Type Cover is functional, though I think it could be improved with chiclet style keys. I'm still adjusting to Windows 8, so I don't think I have the perspective to pass judgement on it yet.

 

Do any other Surface owners have apps they can recommend for general/academic/entertainment use?

Edited by tastywheat

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The reason you buy a surface pro is to be able to put proper windows programs on it.....

Yes, there's that aspect of it which I intend to utilise. However, it's in the form of a tablet, and relies heavily on touch input. The legacy interface, in my opinion, isn't really optimised for on-the-go work. Too much precision is needed with the touch targets, which results in frustrating mistakes. There's a Metro version of Office available for Surface RT which would suit my needs, why engineer it to be incompatible with Windows 8.1? It just seems like a sloppy implementation for a second gen product.

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Sorry I didn't mean to sound like a douche before...

 

I didn't realize the office on rt was different. In that case it'd be handy if they allowed to to have the metro version as well since you had to buy office 2013 :P

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...There's a Metro version of Office available for Surface RT which would suit my needs, why engineer it to be incompatible with Windows 8.1? ...

Could you please link to this? I know it's planned, but I've not seen it anywhere yet and it's not turned up on my Surface RT. Office has always been something that kicks you into the Desktop.

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...There's a Metro version of Office available for Surface RT which would suit my needs, why engineer it to be incompatible with Windows 8.1? ...

Could you please link to this? I know it's planned, but I've not seen it anywhere yet and it's not turned up on my Surface RT. Office has always been something that kicks you into the Desktop.

 

http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/home-and...X103278460.aspx

 

I just had a look at this, and it doesn't seem to be a big deal. The only interesting thing worth noting is that you can optimise the layout for touch input which increases the size/spacing of the options....but this is available in regular office 2013 anyway :P

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http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/home-and...X103278460.aspx

 

I just had a look at this, and it doesn't seem to be a big deal. The only interesting thing worth noting is that you can optimise the layout for touch input which increases the size/spacing of the options....but this is available in regular office 2013 anyway :P

Ah. That's not Metro, just tested it on my Surface and that's what it looks like with the window maximised and "auto-hide taskbar" :P. Trust me, the Desktop is behind that window! :D

 

I think that eventually there will be Metro versions of the Office apps. MS is probably way ahead of me here, but they should take data from how people use the Office Online web apps (as well as their existing Metro apps like Mail and OneNote) and use it to include just the key functions to keep the casual Metro users happy. Then, stick those limited functions into a Metro UI and offer them offline packaged as an app that can be pinned and run like any other.

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