Following my previous article on the matter, here is my top 10 of annoyances with the Microsoft Surface Pro (in no particular order). I’m writing this article after about a month using the Surface. The point is not to destroy the device, because it’s a pretty good piece of hardware, but to stress the annoyances that makes me think twice before recommending the Surface Pro. This wasn’t the case when I had an iPad2, and God knows how much I don’t fancy Apple’s products.
I’m writing this article in my bed, trust me, the kickstand is a pain in any soft environment. An old magazine is currently helping a lot stabilizing the device, which makes me think there is definitely room for a 3rd party to come up with an amazing stand for the Surface. Bear in mind that on a table, the Microsoft Surface is perfect when used with a keyboard.
The magnet power supply is the most annoying power lead to plug in ever. Try to put it on in the dark (still talking about the Surface) and you will understand the pain.
The tablet has an amazing screen. As in amazing. Only problem, the desktop mode has to be scaled by +50% in order for the average human eye to see anything. Such a pain, as doing so will blur any non-Windows based UIs (e.g. Spotify). You cannot switch between the screen scaling options without having to go to the control panel, change the settings, sign out, sign it. Painful. At least if there was a shortcut, that would be bearable.
I blindly thought I could transfer files from the tablet to my computer and vice versa via a USB cable. It’s not possible via any of the provided ones, and I believe it isn’t either if you try to buy a male/male USB cable. Fortunately, the homegroup sharing works like a charm, so do USB keys. I haven’t tested the Micro SD slot as yet, but I’m not sure it fulfils the purpose of sharing data between devices very well.
The tablet is completely quite as long as you stay within the read-write-browse-watch boundaries. If you try to play a game – a real Windows PC game – you will hear the noise at a point that you’ll probably have to switch to headphones to avoid it.
God I like and hate that at the same time. Heat is great because when I use the Surface in a cold environment (e.g. in the bathroom), it’s very comfy on my laps. Anyone who tried that with an iPad will agree. But…, but, the thing can get very hot. At a point that the Surface reminds me my good old Toshiba Satellite. I’m not really sure generating that much heat is a good proof of power efficiency…
I went to a meeting with it, once. You really need a bag because it’s not nice to hold more than 10 minutes. Perhaps others will find it fine; after all it’s far lighter than a laptop, but heavier than a standard 10” tablet.
The difference of touch behaviour between Windows 8 modern and desktop modes. In some instances, if I want to scroll a webpage on Firefox desktop, I have to touch the scroll bar as if I was using a mouse. If I want to scroll the same webpage in IE10 Windows 8 mode, I can use any part of the screen. Same thing in Windows Explorer, Spotify and so on. It’s genuinely annoying. We need a unified experience in the next Windows, whilst keeping the destkop mode as for now, I can’t see a world where I do everything in the modern UI!
The Stylus. This thing is both über cool and slightly annoying. Despite going through the calibration process multiple times, there is always a moment when the pointer showing on the screen is not showing where the actual stylus is pointing at… I’m pretty sure it will get better with the next Stylus related update.
Sleep/Wake modes are kind of painful. How many time have I found my Surface hot, with a black screen, vibrating when touching the Windows logo, but not responding while clicking the power button? The latter should theoretically wake the device, but I end up using it to hard reboot the Surface one time out of three. This kind of things should not happen if you want such an expensive device to be a success.
Having said all that, I’m still in my bed, enjoying the great sound of the speakers, through Spotify desktop, whilst having no problem to update my blog via Firefox desktop. I like my Surface Pro a lot, but there are quite a few problems that definitely emphasize the v1.0 state of the Microsoft slate. Nonetheless, I am impressed by the versatility of the device. Being able to do anything I would on a PC whilst enjoying a great portability for the embarked power remains unique, and that is, what the Surface Pro is.