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I AM CONSIDERING UPGRADING TO A SURFACE PRO 3 W/ MS8.  VERY PORTABLE TABLET.  WOULD BE GREAT TO TAKE ALONG INSTEAD OF THE OLD NOTEBOOK.

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Bloody expensive if you ask me.

 

I was giving it some thought but I just can't justify about $2k for the i7 CPU with 8 GB mem. and 256 GB SSD.

 

So I ended up getting a refurbed Insperon with a Pentium chip, 4 GIG mem. and 500 GB HDD.

 

It is a bit slow but I use it for convenience on site, building the base model while taking measurements.

It folds up 180 deg. so I can use it like a tablet, has Windows 8.1.

The awesome thing for the Surface is the smart pen that comes with though. I would love to have something like that for my Tablet/Note Book Insperon.

 

Very handy for much less money than the Surface Pro.

 

Andy.

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I don't have any experience with this hardware. It looks fine on paper for running Chief. And given that the older surface pros did a pretty decent job I would expect this new crop to be better.

 

If anyone does have some experience running Chief on one of these let us know what you think.

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I'm running Chief on a mid range Surface Pro 3 (!5, 8GB RAM, 128 GB SSD). Chief runs fine on this system. The integrated video card works surprisingly well.

Here are a few thoughts:

  • The 3:2 aspect ratio, and the high resolution of the screen make the workspace feel much larger than one would expect for a 12" screen.  The general workability of the screen feels more like a 14 or 15 inch screen if you have good eyes.
  • I generally use it with the mouse and keyboard when using Chief.  I will have it folded flat open for jobsite meetings so everyone around the table can see it.
  • It replaces my 17" laptop for travelling, and jobsite work.  It really simplifies the logistics of going to meetings; I just pick it up and go.  It's the same size as  the clipboard that I carry everywhere.
  • It's possible to view drawings in tablet mode; but for any serious work I attach the keyboard, and the mouse.  I use a Logitech Bluetooth mouse that easily slips into my pocket. 
  • I use it in tablet mode every morning while I drink my coffee, and check the news, emails, and the latest on ChiefTalk.  It's also my companion in the evening as I read before going to bed.
  • It's heavy and bulky by tablet standards, but I've gotten used to it, and hardly notice the size and weight now.
  • The keyboard feels natural to my hands, and the feedback is quite good for such a thin keyboard.
  • I would not use the !5 as my primary machine for Chief, but could see using an !7 with a docking station as my only computer.
  • Upvote 2

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A few more thoughts:

  • Windows 8, with its tight integration with OneDrive, OneNote, and Dropbox has changed the way that I work.  All of my important files are synced between all devices including my phone.
  • OneNote is the killer app for the Surface Pro.  One note was originally designed back in the early 2000's for windows original tablet operating system that predates the IPad significantly.  OneNote provides an easy way to organize job notes, and personal notes.  OneNote is useful on any device; but it really shines on the Surface Pro.
  • One note is optimized for touch, but really excels when used with the included stylus.  I'm not using pen and paper anymore for notes.  OneNote recognizes my cursive handwriting and converts it to text.  I'm never searching for notes; they are all searchable and organized; and everything is synced across all devices.
  • The touch screen is useful, and very compelling; it's frustrating to work on a non touch screen once you've experienced touch.

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I have a surface pro with the I5 and 4gb ram.

 

I do have chief installed, but I could never see trying to actually do productive work on it.   It is nice to have to be able to open and manipulate files....pull a section if someone has a question...etc.

 

As a reference, I have a great workstation which is optimized for my Chief.  

 

3 monitors (2-24" 1920x1080 and one 27" 2560x1440)   I am running a I9 4790k overclocked at 4.4 with 32gb ram and a gtx 970 graphics card.   

I also have a gaming mouse with all configured hot buttons and a logitech g13 gamepad with all the buttons configured for drawing.   I have 3 ssid drives and 2 2-tb drives with full continuous backup as well as file history.

 

 

If I HAD to, I could draw on a surface.   But I would never want to.

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Agree with Bill's assessment, very useful on the run.

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I went light and portable route with a surface pro then a lenovo yogo 2 pro and ended up with a MacBook Pro 15 running chief.  The surface resolution is tiny but ran chief well.  The yago 2 had much better resolution but I despised windows 8 and ended up with a MacBook Pro 15.  I'm very happy with the mac running chief on the retina display. 

To answer your question, the surface pro is a nice unit. It's still a laptop and too big as a tablet and too small as a PC so that was another deciding factor for me to go to a larger screen while staying thin and light. I found the touch screen gimmicking. 

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I've just installed x7 on a Surface 3(new non pro version). It's running better than I expected it would. My view is for primarily gathering as built. A small ultrabook works too but I'm always looking for sleeker quicker more refined advantage.  I had a pro version when they first came out and it was just too big to legitimately use as a tablet holding it for extended periods while walking a site so I returned it since it had no advantage over having my dell xps 13 on the site.  this new surface 3 looks like it might fit the bill for the elusive 1 trip accurate as built.

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I've just installed x7 on a Surface 3(new non pro version). It's running better than I expected it would. My view is for primarily gathering as built. A small ultrabook works too but I'm always looking for sleeker quicker more refined advantage.  I had a pro version when they first came out and it was just too big to legitimately use as a tablet holding it for extended periods while walking a site so I returned it since it had no advantage over having my dell xps 13 on the site.  this new surface 3 looks like it might fit the bill for the elusive 1 trip accurate as built.

 

I decided to try the S3+ Pen too , ordered it yest. (on Points) rather than the Pro which felt a little to large/weighty for tablet use, which I think will be it's primary use since I have my Desktop + 3 monitor setup, but am hoping to use it Onsite, for Measures etc too and possibly output to TV if needed at Client's, won't be quick but should be useable I hope.

 

M.

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you could also try a Wacom companion 2 is out. more expensive but quality. depends on what quality and versatility you want.

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Hi Victor , just wondering how things are going with your Surface 3 , is CAx7 running ok?  I finally have mine set but am wondering if a older (lessor) version of CA may run better , since the S3 doesn't have the i3 etc CPU.

 

I am gonna say I am glad Win10 is coming next month , I do not like Win 8.1 and the Apps and built in Ads , but I guess the Ads are how I M$ is gonna make us pay for Win10 ....I'd rather pay $100 and have no Ads myself.

 

Thanks,

M.

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I'm using mine quite frequently but after a year of use there are some things to consider if you are thinking of getting one.

 

The unit itself is pretty good, but not iPad good. It would be better if there for example was a hardware button for the screen orientation, some times you just want to lock it quickly. The "home" button is also very sensitive and I hit it frequently by accident, and then Chief disappears. Contrary to some others experience I find the touch screen to be a real benefit, and it is much faster to zoom in and out and panning, than picking up the mouse.

 

The biggest problem is the pen. Chief isn't set up to be controlled by a pen like for example Word so it becomes a bit cumbersome. I've used it a couple of times to do field measurements and it is a bit fiddly to pick the right wall, selecting the dimension line, etc. In my case it still beats Room planner as I'm using the full Chief and also don't have to do a plan room by room. I need property lines, hardscaping features and so on. Would it in reality be faster to do it by pen and paper? I don't know, but those papers can be awfully messy and then when you get home you missed a crucial measurement or something doesn't add up.

 

If we could see another level of 'cleverness' here, like some form of local zoom where the pen is, a small keyboard to enter numbers, maybe a special screen layout for field measuring, it would be extremely useful. I'm not a programmer so I don't know if Chief can distinguish between a pen or a finger (I would assume it) but maybe the market for this is too small. Hoping for general pen improvements in Win 10 now that Surface Pro seems to be a showcase product for Microsoft.

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I've never had an iPad so can't comment on that but I am liking it so far , though I haven't installed Chief yet , but will likely get a Bluetooth Mouse ,rather than use the Pen for Chief . I wish the Pen was customisable ie I'd like to swap the eraser and right click button , which is likely cos of how I hold it (incorrectly?) and the button on top too , since at this point I Don't use One Note so the top button is kinda useless.

 

If you don't like the home button , you can disable it in the Surface App.

 

Which Surface do you have ?  did you find a Case you like for it ? I haven't so far.

 

M

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I have a Surface Pro 3 with an i5.

 

I have the blutooth mouse but using a mouse when you're walking around and taking measurements is a bit of a problem.

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