It has been 6 month since I got my surface pro 4 and as an IT professional it’s hard to admit when we make poor choices, unfortunately this is one of those occasions.
I admit the ad was pretty cool and the idea of having a tablet with a conventional processor where you could run a desktop operating system (without that security Jibber Jabber from IOS and android which is just snake oil to keep their users tide to contracts) is really appealing to any IT professional.
Dreaming is one thing, living it not so much.
First 3 month it was a nagging pain, whenever the system went to sleep , I would get the Black Screen of Death (I guess Black is the new Blue in windows 10 ) whenever I tried to power up the tablet again. The only solution was to hard power off and that means to loose anything you didn’t save before. Right there any other table seemed to be pretty much better!
SCORE: IOS 1 | Android 1 | SP4 -1;
Well maybe the pen will mark the difference! Yes I am from the old school when personal digital assistants (PDAs) got to the market , most of them monochrome but we could write our life out with it, it would only take a couple of hours to get the hang of it and in the end I was handwriting my notes, emails and even code. Today most developers hardly know how to use a pencil, they go to school with ultra thin laptops and their tablets,they have no idea what they are missing, or maybe I’m the only one missing it .
Using the pen with SP4 has been a source of mixed feelings, when using it as a pencil (With One Note, I have to say, I like the way you can lay your hand onto the screen while writing and it works like real paper) it really works like one. It detects the different pressure and you can see that in the stroke weight, sometimes I even forget I’m using a tablet, the pen is comfortable and weighs like a real good pen. On the other hand, handwriting recognition smells, I’m left handed and obviously some letters I stroke differently from other people. So it’s a pain to use handwritten recognition because the stupid thing most of the times misunderstands what I’m writing and to make things worse, it tries to match it to the system’s language dictionary. Although I can learn to write differently every time the system fails to understand what I’m writing I don’t just loose one character I lose a whole sentence!!!
For that same reason it’s unthinkable to use it to write code since most times we write gibberish (If you are a developer you know what I’m talking about , all those descriptive variable names and function names) .
Now you might ask why would you want to do that? For starters have you seen how much screen space a soft keyboard takes ? So if you try to type code like that you’ll end up wasting a lot o time scrolling up and down to read your code context.
Also if you are on the move it becomes hard to find a suitable place where you can unfold your laptop to use the keyboard (without ever dropping it and possibly crack your screen).
So a tablet with a pen where you could write like a paper note book would it be the ultimate hacker’s tool.
Unfortunately the story isn’t over , 2 month ago the ultimate Microsoft fix for the black screen of death made things worse, now the system wouldn’t just freeze with a black screen , instead the battery would be drained in less than half an hour.
The screen flickers like an old neon light whenever I use a screen setting lower than brighter and every other month I have corrupted system files , although there’s no new software installed except those despicable system updates.
Like a roller coaster every time the surface gets an update I never know what to expect. Will it be thrilling or will it be scary?
The last update still hasn’t fixed the screen flickering issue, did partially solved the battery draining and added a new system freezing issue whenever I open a couple of web pages ( doesn’t matter which browser I use , always get the same result a frozen system) but since I’m not princess Elsa , I can’t let it go!
Obviously this tablet can’t even replace a paper notepad how can someone expect to replace a real computer with this thing?