I recently got a nice gift from my hub; something I’ve been wanting for the past year – a new Microsoft Surface Pro 3, 12 inch laptop, complete with the new Windows 10 operating system.
I’d been wanting a smaller laptop that offered a more compact size, could be used as a tablet, and that worked with lightening speed with a great SSD hardrive, that could be great for multi-tasking. I’d say it’s like a portable desktop that weighs just under two and half pounds with the fabulous detachable Bluetooth keyboard.
These laptops don’t come cheap and I’ve been keeping my eye out on them at various stores for the past year, waiting to see if there would eventually be one on sale. With a sticker price that I found shocking of almost $1100, and that was without the $159 keyboard cover, the $59 stylus pen, the $69 Office Word software, the $59 Bluetooth mouse, or even the 13% tax that would then get added to that large number, bringing the total to just around the $1700 mark, I find that steep. I wasn’t prepared to spend that kind of money on a laptop I wasn’t in need of, but thought it would sure come in handy for traveling or even just taking it with me in a large purse anywhere I’d like to.
I read tons of reviews from many tech and geek sites about this machine to learn about the pros and cons, and it’s been getting predominantly great press. Since I was in no hurry to buy one, I kept my eye on sales, expecting the best ones to come just before school started or perhaps Christmas.
Recently, I’ve read a few blogs from other writers who were using an older version of Windows, from XP to 7 to 8 and 8.1, who had opted to take advantage of the time limited free upgrade to Windows 10 that kept popping up on their screen for a free download. The feedback wasn’t so positive. Apparently, changing your current operating system to a newer one had messed up a lot of files and sent many people running to their local geeks and repair shops. This scared me enough to decline the free upgrade on my not so old desk and laptop installed with 8.1, which I cursed the day I got them, but have since fallen in love with.
When I remember back to all the computers I’ve had, I was happy with all Windows operating systems I used, eventually. My first desktop had Windows XP. My first laptop had Windows 7. I wanted one while Vista came out and heard nothing but problems, so I waited it out until Windows 7 came along. When I finally had to lay my old desktop to rest, the new Windows 8 was out, and I was forced to join the ranks of many unhappy users. From the time I ordered that slim-lined desktop until 3 weeks later when it came, Windows 8.1 was already out. The word was 8.1 was way better than 8, so I installed it on my desktop. I was not a happy camper learning a very different operating system with 8.1, and I cursed that baby for weeks, in frustration of having to look all over the place to get where I needed to on the screen. Many people complained about 8 and 8.1 and the charms on the sidebar and all the tiled metro apps on the middle of the screen. But I was enjoying the touchscreen aspect of it, and after a few months I loved it and then got a new laptop with 8.1, which is my current laptop for the past year and a half. After hearing a lot of horror stories from writers who’ve upgraded to Windows 10, I didn’t even want to try it. I’m one who prefers a new system to be out for awhile before I’ll think about buying it, so I can get some feedback.
As I kept my eye on the Surface Pro 3 and school time was approaching, my favourite home shopping network was offering a one day special on it, pre-installed with Windows 10. Although I’d have preferred to wait for the kinks to get ironed out with Windows 10 before buying a laptop with the new system, I was a little more comfortable knowing that the new operating system came already installed and that I wouldn’t have to upgrade and screw up any existing files. This beauty was on sale for just under $1100 complete, with all the added items and software I mentioned earlier as extras, plus tech support for one year, plus on a monthly payment plan with no interest. It was like Christmas for me!
Microsoft says this new system is similar to the Windows 7 that was loved by many. I find it a little like 7 and 8 combined. The desktop apps are now back in the bottom left corner where the start menu is once again. Little mini tiles will also open to the apps you use most, but your desktop and icons are all clearly visible, and of course the touchscreen capability is a great thing to have. The hybrid laptop/tablet has a full-size data port to plug in other devices, and a space for a micro SD card to add more space, should you require it. The screen is vibrant and pages load quick. The camera is 5mp front and back, giving it the ability to take nice pictures and not distort your face for selfies and Skyping. The keyboard is backlit and even though smaller than a regular laptop, my fingers don’t feel like they’re going to hit the wrong key because of its size. I personally hate the trackpads on all laptops because I always seem to hit it while typing and it does weird things to whatever I’m working on, so the Bluetooth mouse is perfect as I shut off the trackpad and don’t have to use up a data port for the mouse.
A Word about Word
My package came with Office 2013. I can honestly say I don’t plan to write my books with this laptop, but I need the program in order to read existing documents in Word and Excel. I’ve been using Word 2007 for years and I love it. I’m used to it and not interested in the last two updated versions. Another thing about my Word 2007, an never-ending licence came with my Windows 7 laptop years ago and I’ve been using it on every new computer since, without having to renew the program annually. So when 2013 licence expires next year, I’ll be putting back my 2007 version on my little buddy.
It’s only been just over a week since I got my new hybrid. It didn’t take me more than a few hours to learn the ins and outs and most of its capabilities, and set it all up. So far, I have to say I’m quite impressed with it, even though I found myself missing 8.1 a few times with it’s search feature in the charm sidebar now gone. For some untechier people, I should think Windows 10 should be easier to operate than 8 or 8.1, especially if your coming from Windows XP or 7. I’d have to say that buying a new computer with Windows 10 pre-installed would be less of a hassle to users than upgrading a current system, especially if it’s an operating system pre Windows 8. And if you’re not in the market to be buying a new machine in the near future, maybe it’s better to wait until this new system has been out for awhile before upgrading. Keep in mind, Windows 8.1 came out very shortly after 8, so there may be a 10.1 before we know it.
I’m no geek, but I thought I’d share my experience about the new Windows 10 and the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Have any of you had any positive experiences with Windows 10?