Monday, 9 May 2016

SurfacePro 3 vs SurfacePro 4

As an MIE Surface Expert, I have been privileged to get a SurfacePro 4 to play with and have been doing so for just under a week now. It has been well worth the wait for this and I am enjoying the differences between the SurfacePro 3 and the SurfacePro 4.

The most obvious difference is having Windows 10 up and running from start up. I am used to Windows10 from my own personal laptop, so it is nice to have it at work as well (most of school is on Windows 8). It also means I can use the dictation in the OneNote Learning Tools!

The keyboard is a big improvement. The keys are spaced out and it is more like a laptop keyboard. Finally the space bar and the larger touchpad are actually in the middle of the keyboard.  I like the backlit keys (although it took me a minute to realise the screen wasn't getting brighter, but my keys were!!!) and overall I think this keyboard is awesome!

The bigger screen looks nicer. It does mean there is no windows link on the screen but for me this is no problem due to the fact that I wasn't really using it anyway on my SurfacePro 3.

The specs say that it's faster - I didn't have problems with my SurfacePro 3 so I can't really tell the difference at this stage.

Storage - same as my Surface Pro 3. As I use mostly cloud storage, having only 128Gb is not an issue for me. You can add a card to increase storage which some people might want to do.

The Surface Pen works better - more like a pen than a stylus. Apparently you can get a Pen Tip kit as well, to change the tips. I don't think I'll go that far.  I don't like the eraser being at the top therefore having to flip the stylus, I preferred the SurfacePro 3 pen better in that respect, but I'll probably get used to it in time, it's only been a few days!

  • Press and hold the eraser - opens Cortana
I haven't used Cortana much, so will have to work on this - not sure I want to talk to my computer much in my classes....
  • Click the eraser - opens OneNote

I had to change where this went for OneNote as I had OneNote2016 installed with the Learning tools and Class Notebook Add in, so wanted the double click to go to OneNote2016. It opens a new window if I already have OneNote2016 open and it also just goes to whatever page I happen to be on in OneNote2016, rather than to a specific quick notes page - it would be nice to have the option to be precise. 
Took me a bit to remember there was a Surface App - very useful if you want to change any pen settings. You could have that single click go to any App if you want and it's easy to change. Not sure why it's not under the general settings though (Settings-Devices-Pen) - having a Surface App just for this seems a bit strange. It might make sense if there was more in the App (apart from a survey), but there's not.

  • Double click the eraser - opens screen capture where you can do a whole screen, or a clipping which is good.
But.... I can't configure where it goes, so it automatically opens the OneNote App again, but I'm using OneNote 2016 so it's not much use to me for now. Definitely something that needs fixing!

You can also store the pen on the side of the SP4 easily. This was possible on the SP3 but it seems much stronger now and doesn't come off as easily. I actually don't store mine there, as I have a portable case that came with my Surface Pro 4 kit and it has a pen holder. In saying that, it's a pain unless you are left handed! Really it's storage only as I have to double handle it. When I'm using the stylus a lot, I just pop it to the right of the screen via magnet. I think I will go with the old case I had with my SP3 (although it doesn't fit exactly, may have to do some home maintenance on it or buy a new one *sigh) as I prefer it. It looks nicer and the pen sits in it nicely and doesn't get caught in my bag. It is also a lot more comfortable when using the keyboard with it on your lap.

I like the new login. You can unlock the Surface Pro 4 with your face, iris, or fingerprint. All I have to do is look at it and it unlocks. Love it. It's like magic. My kids tried as they thought they might be able to get into it as they look like me, but they only succeeded in locking me out completely as I mentioned in my last blog. Unfortunately I only got to play with that for a bit before school bound it to a domain and now I have to use my school login. Ah well...

So my time has been spent opening my Notebooks for OneNote, downloading a few apps I use a lot, and getting to know my stylus. I'm having issues with getting StaffPad installed again due to 2 different Microsoft login accounts, but hopefully all will be resolved soon and I can hand back my SurfacePro 3 and be totally reliant on this wonderful machine.

No comments:

Post a Comment