Friday, 10 April 2015

Surface Pro 3 Notes

After using the SP3 for 7 months, I can report that it has become an integral part of my teaching, research, and administration work. The pen in conjunction with OneNote has replaced my notebooks, both for calculations and for taking notes in talks and meetings. I can share my notebooks with my students so that they have an instant record of discussions. I can use the SP3 as a virtual blackboard to give lectures and with easy access to the lecture notes as exported PDFs. Marking assignments, commenting on drafts, drawing diagrams and graphs are simple with the pen. The size and mass of the device are advantages when travelling, whether it is to the office on bike, or across the world by plane. The device is fast enough for running Office, Lightroom, and other image processing software. It can do lightweight Mathematica calculations in a pinch.
For the SP4, I would be looking for better battery life (not that the SP3 is bad but more battery life is always good), slightly higher pen hover distance and better palm rejection, better thermal management, improved type cover (incorporating improvements from the Surface 3 version), addition of USB type C ports, and wireless broadband option. But the SP3 is good enough that I may not need to upgrade till the SP5 comes out.