Last weekend I visited Lugano in Switzerland a beautiful location in the southern part of the country where Swiss mountains meet Italian lakes. With it being such a beautiful location I took a lot of photos to make sure I got the best shots edited and uploaded I took a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 with me.
The great thing about Surface is the lightweight design, you can throw it in your bag and not have to worry about the weight, and it certainly makes a real change from lugging a big heavy laptop around. It takes up hardly any space in your bag and with the detachable keyboard and touch screen it easily fits on a plane tray table so you work on a Powerpoint presentation, Excel file or Word document on the go. Preferably you can use it to relax and watch a movie on, the device I have has 128GB storage so I put a few movies and TV shows from BBC iPlayer to watch on the go.
The 12.3 inch screen is great for editing photos, the high resolution display is sharp, bright and clear with excellent colour reproduction. The high DPI screen means you can see a lot of information on the screen at once so when editing a document like a large Excel file you don’t have to constantly scroll around the document. Movies and TV shows also look great thanks to the great screen.
On the plane back I edited some of my photos in Adoble Lightroom using the Surface Pen and the touchscreen, the pen gives you real accuracy and precision when working on document even when working in a cramped environment. With a tap of the button on top of the pen the Surface opens up Microsoft OneNote which you can use to hand write notes on the screen, I keep all my notes in OneNote and the notes are synced with OneNote on my phone and other PCs., very handy for storing your travel documents and quickly retrieving them on any device. The pen is really easy to use and it clips magnetically to the side of the Surface so you don’t lose it. With the Surface you also have a great touch screen, I especially like using it for navigating around web pages. Windows 10 is optimised for touch and when you disconnect the keyboard the Surface automatically switches tablet mode optimising the user interface for touch. When I am sat on the sofa I often use the Surface in tablet mode as it is great for browsing Facebook, websites and Twitter. Pop the keyboard back on and it turns back into laptop mode.
One of the really great features of the Surface Pro 4 is the kickstand. You can place the Surface at any angle you like and its rock solid and doesn’t move at all. I have used other 2 in 1 tablets and most tend to tip over when you touch the screen in tablet mode but not the Surface Pro 4.
Whether you are working at a desk, on plane or editing photos sat on hotel bed the Surface design works really well. With the Surface Pro you can choose from a range of keyboards with colours to match your style. The Type Cover has a large trackpad supporting gestures and well-spaced keys, I have done a lot of typing on the keyboard and find it very combatable to type on. I can certainly type on the keyboard as fast as I can on a full sized laptop keyboard and it also doubles up as a cover to protect the screen when not in use.
The other great thing about the Surface Pro 4 is the battery life, I spent most of the return flight editing photos and I didn’t need to worry about battery life. You get around 10 hours battery life so you don’t have to hunt down a power socket.
The Surface Pro 4 has a full sized USB 3 port so you can plug in things like an external hard drive or a digital camera. It has a MicroSD card slot which is great as I use a MicroSD card in my DSLR so it is really easy for transferring photos from the camera to the Surface. There is also a MiniDisplay port for connecting the Surface up to external monitors or TVs.
With the Surface Pro 4 running full Windows 10 Professional you can install apps from the Windows Store like Twitter, Facebook and Netflix plus you can install Windows programs like Photoshop, iTunes and Google Chrome. In other words you have the power of a full PC in a tablet form factor, attach the keyboard and it’s a full laptop (minus the weight). Some of the special effects in Adobe Lightroom can push the processor pretty hard, the Surface Pro 4 ships with the latest 6th gen Intel processor and the Surface Pro 4 I use has an Intel i5 processor so editing photos was no problem at all.
There are also something other great features on the Surface Pro 4, with it running Windows 10 you get Windows Hello and Cortana. Windows Hello uses the Surface’s front camera to detect your face and sign you in to Windows so you don’t have to type a password or PIN. It works really well and is really fast, by the time you have turned on the Surface it has detected your face and signed you in. Cortana comes with Windows 10 and is your digital assistant. You can use voice commands to find and open apps or set up reminders, it will also tell you when it’s time to set off for an appointment. I noticed it was keeping an eye on my flights and while at the airport it told me my flights where on time, it does this by scanning your email without any manual interaction.
I really like traveling with the Surface Pro 4. It’s light, easy to use with the pen and touch, it runs full Windows 10 and has Windows Hello. You can process your photos, edit videos and you have full Office 2016 on it. If you are traveling this summer I wouldn’t drag around a big laptop and a tablet just take a Surface Pro 4 with you. More information at on the Surface at Currys and thanks to Microsoft and Currys for supplying me with a Surface.
Here are a selection of some of my pictures from locations including Lake Lugano, Monte San Salvatore, Piazza della Riforma and the Swiss Minature.