Surface Pro 3 as my desktop

Over a year ago I wrote a blog post about using a Surface Pro as my desktop.

While the Surface Pro remained my desktop device I often found myself not wanting to use it as a tablet due to its thickness and weight. For basic couch-based browsing or e-book reading I opted to use my spare Surface RT.

Effectively my Surface Pro was really no better than the average notebook except the fact that I *could* use it as a tablet.

A few weeks ago while in the US for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference I upgraded to a Surface Pro 3 (as well as bringing several more home for my colleagues). The device is much thinner and lighter than the Pro 1 or Pro 2 and as such I’m not quite happy to use it as my tablet. Also with the battery life being greatly improved I have no issue with it running all evening on the couch.

Interestingly a few people I know asked if I used my Surface Pro as a complete desktop replacement. I had to direct them to the blog entry mentioned above – as absolutely was it my desktop device.

With the Surface Pro 3 absolutely nothing has changed. It is plugged into exactly the same hardware, running relatively the same software, but is just a lot faster and can handle more running at the same time! (I opted for the i5/8GB RAM model.)

The only thing I’ve changed about my setup is the layout of the monitors to utilise the Surface’s now larger screen (whereas previously when in desktop mode I didn’t bother using the screen other than for the Start menu).

So what’s the takeaway here? The Surface Pro 3 is truly a single device for both business productivity and consumption, professional and personal, desktop and tablet.

Windows 8.1 Preview and DisplayLink drivers

Being one for the bleeding edge I woke up this morning nice and early to begin downloading the preview of Windows 8.1 from TechNet.

The installation took approximately 35 minutes as I was running off an ISO.

While the upgrade itself was very smooth and everything appears to be still installed and working fine – my dual monitors were not showing up.

My current setup uses a Targus docking station as described in my post about the Surface Pro being my desktop device.

Long story short – if you are installing Windows 8.1 Preview and use a docking station or device that utilises DisplayLink technologies then you will need the beta drivers from DisplayLink – available for download here:

http://www.displaylink.org/forum/showthread.php?t=61769