My IT department gave me a Surface Pro when I started back in April. I hate this thing. When it’s plugged into a dock and has a proper monitor, keyboard etc it’s mostly fine, but trying to do any kind of actual work on its own for any amount of time is goddamn irritating. Fuck this piece of shit.

The one problem I have when using the Surface Pro in a dock is that sometimes its graphics drivers go all wonky and the top 1/6 of a window that I try to maximize on one of my external monitors disappears, and I have to google what the fuck the keyboard shortcut to un-maximize but not minimize a window is, then unplug the thing from the dock, then re-plug it to the dock, and this fix only works like half the time.

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The main problem with the Surface Pro is I have zero use for a tablet in a work context. I do have use for a laptop. I just want something with a good keyboard and a nice screen so when I go to a meeting and continue my work interrupted, or if I work from home I can plop it on my lap.

How is it for going to meetings? Terrible.

Something about Windows and especially Office is terrible at resizing things when unplugging from an external monitor. Outlook goes totally haywire and I have to close it and reopen it for it to work.

Something about the wifi adapter is straight up broken. Half the time if I unplug it from the dock, which has an ethernet connection, it won’t connect to wifi at all. It can find networks but won’t actually go online, unless I reboot, and that means if I undock and go to a meeting with all my stuff still open, but can’t get on wifi, then I need to close everything down, reboot, and reopen everything.

This stupid flippity floopity not-actually-a-laptop keyboard combined with a kickstand is okay at best for propping up the Surface Pro on a flat surface like someone else’s desk, or a conference table. I can type reasonably quickly on it but that’s because I’m a fast typer in general on pretty much any keyboard.

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What about working from home?

Putting the Surface Pro on a lap is fucking garbage. On top of that, there’s no keyboard backlight. We keep the house relatively dim because my wife is sensitive to light. All our lights have the dimmest possible bulbs in them. Gimme my damn keyboard backlight! (EDIT: Ok, so apparently there IS a keyboard backlight and mine was just turned off. But still, using the flippy floopy Surface keyboard on a lap is shitty.)

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The screen is high resolution but the colors and contrast suck. I have to crank the brightness way too high to make it visible but then it sears my retinas with too much white.

Positives:

It’s light weight so I can hold it like a paper notebook while walking around the office. Of course, I am a large muscular individual who spends an inordinate amount of time in the gym so I am also capable of carrying a laptop.

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It has a pen, for doing pen things, which I don’t do at all. The only pen thing I do is periodically lose it because the magnet that attaches the pen to the side of the Surface Pro isn’t powerful enough and it either gets knocked off inside my bag or knocked off while I’m moving the thing around. I gave up on keeping the pen attached. It lives in a drawer now.

The speakers are kinda good, but who gives a shit?

I don’t know how the hell Microsoft and whatever other tech vendors convinced IT departments everywhere that they should spend all this money on Surface Pros instead of regular laptops. My company is so far along with the Surfaces that I don’t think there are any decent regular laptops and their accompanying docks still in circulation where I’d have an alternative.

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But man, I hate this stupid thing. Its light weight makes it very tempting to fling across the room with disdain, except for the whole me not owning it problem.