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My New #Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with #Windows 10

pro 3

 

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.

Tech review

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.

 

Yes, that's my reflection in the screen.
Yes, that’s my reflection in the screen.

 

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?

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

38 Comments

  • Sue Vincent

    Having been reluctant to switch from XP to 7, I quickly fell in love with it… I have 8.1 on my laptop and avoid the thing with something approaching loathing. I am really hoping 10 will prove more (this) user friendly… so thank you for shring your views, Debby!

  • Cat

    Hi Debby, your new laptop looks fab. The only thing that puts me off tablets is the touchscreen, so these new detachable keyboards look great and not too flimsy. I bought a new PC 2yrs ago with windows 8.1… turned out to be the biggest mistake of my tech choices, although I do love my windows 8 phone. 8.1 wasn’t really designed for PC, IMO. I think people had more problems upgrading from xp or 7 upwards, but upgrading from w8.1 wasn’t an issue. The only problem I have is copying images into my photo folder, for some reason it just doesn’t allow me to do it. As for w10, I love it, so much better and easier, although the new e browser needs some improvement, especially with playing videos through YouTube. Of course, you can easily re-open with Internet Explorer or change the browser from e to IE or chrome. I look forward to hearing how you find w10, good luck

    • dgkaye

      Hi Cat. Thanks for your feedback. I wonder if your problem with copying images in 8.1 had to do with your computer more than the operating system. I’ve never had that problem. I got my Surface and keyboard, mostly to be used as a portable laptop. I love the touchscreen for minimizing and maximizing things. I also like the tablet part for taking videos on vacation, and handy to open up while out and about at free wifi spots. I don’t have any issue with Windows 10, but I’m not loving its new Edge browser. I’m finding it more difficult to navigate, so I’m using IE and it works fine. But one annoying thing I found with video. . . I took a short video of a family gathering the other day and tried for hours to send it to my pictures, or any other file I could have access to it without having to go back to the original video on the tablet to view it, to no avail. My old tablet stored videos on their own, whether to Onedrive, or in my document files. I even tried sending it to my dropbox where it says it is, but when I’m on social media trying to attach the video, it won’t show up. So far, that’s my annoying finding.

      • Cat

        The issue you have with sending the video to pictures is exactly the problem I have with W10, it just won’t allow me to save images unless I copy and paste them individually into “saved pictures” folder, but it’s a bit drawn out. I haven’t spent much time on it yet, but will let you know if I find the solution or even just the reason might help 🙂 It might help to save the video within a certain size.

        I agree about e, however, the more I use it the faster it becomes, but you’re not alone changing, I suspect it will go down as one of MS flops, like w8

        • dgkaye

          Thanks Cat. Good to know I’m not crazy. I literally spent 2 hours the other night trying to move that video over, to no avail. I tried the tricks you mentioned. This is an annoying feature, considering I wanted to use it to take videos when I travel, with no option to share them. If you find a solution, I’d love to know. I’ll do the same. 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Hi Wendy! Yes, they don’t come cheap and are pretty much priced the same across the board at the regular retailers. I’ve bought almost all of my computers from my home shopping network at competitive prices and extended warranties and bundled software coming with them. Nobody can seem to touch those prices. Although, those specials are usually on twice a year for one day, so I had to keep my eye on the upcoming program listings. You know the old adage: ‘You snooze, you lose.’ LOL But it’s a powerful little machine. I’m not thrilled with the Edge browser which I think hasn’t been perfected yet, but the option of IE 11 is great, it’s what I use. And the video is a problem, I can’t share a video without going through a lot of ropes. So I hope that will change too.

        • dgkaye

          Then you would be golden Wendy. I’ve been following your articles for some time now and I know you’re always looking for new apps and sharing your discoveries, I think you’d really enjoy this. Mine is 128 Gigs, it’s currently holding everything I have on my desktop in files with still another 40 gigs in storage. And the beauty is there is a micro SD slot if you need to add more storage. LOL I almost sound like a Microsoft sales agent! 🙂

  • Sacha Black

    I would like to comment on this a little more, but this is like Chinese!! I have no clue what all these programmes are. Shamefully – I am an apple girl through and through. Either way, I am very glad you got a bargain and are happy with it. <3

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Sach. That’s me, the great bargain hunter. Every new operating system that comes out will have its pros and cons. Some of the new good things don’t always over-ride some of the things that have been modified for the upgrade. As it stands for now, I’m happy with it, but I’ve come across a glitch where saving videos to share is a difficult process. All my other gadgets allow one to share a video directly from the app it was taken in. This is not the case with Windows 10. I’m hoping this will have some sort of an update. 🙂

  • elainemansfield

    Thanks for your experience, Deb. I have a very small laptop that slips into a docking station with a huge screen. The extra back-up drive is external, so stays at home when I travel. I use dropbox for backing up then. I also have a cloud backup that keeps happening wherever I am. For now, I spend way too much time sitting in front of this gizmo.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for sharing that Elaine. It’s good you have plenty of backup. We all know how important that is to our writing life. I love Dropbox, as it comes everywhere we go with our files. I use an external backup as well, but what is your other cloud backup?

  • Sue Dreamwalker

    Great that you shared all that info with us Deb.. And I have been hearing horror stories too along with all the security problems with it.. So I am pleased you are happy with your New Laptop..
    I use VIsta, and Word 2007 too :-)… Having back up and also an external Passbook Hard drive for all my photo’s and poems ect..
    At least you sound as if you know what you are doing.. I am afraid I rely upon friends who know what they are doing 🙂 LOL..

    Love and Hugs.. and Have a fantastic week..
    I have enjoyed my catch up this evening..
    Sue xxxxx

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Sue. Believe me, I started out like you, relying on the help and kindness of others. But sometimes life gets so busy for everyone, and I found and still find, myself stuck many times. I rely on my best online friend ‘Google’ for many of my dilemmas, and have continued to try and teach myself. Of course, I still have wonderful friends here I can go to when caught in a technical dilemma. I much prefer Word 2007, and not experienced Vista, as I skipped that operating system and went right to Windows 7. <3

  • Deborah Jay

    Thanks for sharing all that, Deb. Both my laptop and my Netbook (I take that when I travel, as it takes up much less space, though I don’t find the keyboard so easy), are still running Windows 7. I’ve shied away from the pop-up offering the Windows 10 upgrade, and now I’ve read your words, I’m happy I’ve done so.
    Frankly I think my main laptop, which is now around 5 years old, is so stuffed with data (I already added new memory for it to continue coping), that I think an upgrade to the operating system would be catastrophic.
    I usually replace my laptops every 5 or 6 years, so I know I’m getting towards that time again. Sounds like I might get on with a new one running Windows 10.

    • dgkaye

      I’ll keep you posted on 10 I’m finding a few bleeps here and there and using my good friend ‘google’ to resolve. It’s mostly fine as a new computer coming with it, but I wouldn’t dare upgrade from my 8.1 which I love on my desktop and usual laptop. 🙂

  • Aquileana

    Hi dear D.G!… I had heard that Windows 10 is out there… But Am I old fashioned… Might be… I am still using Windows & … Shhh, secret, just between you and me … And whoever reads this comment *I guess*… Love and best wishes… Oh and It was nice to see your reflection on the laptop screen too! … Aquileana ? ☀ ~

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