Have I told you lately that I love my job? I am very lucky in that I've been able to turn what I love into a profitable venture. And while we all love money, there are other perks as well. I get to fuel my love of gadgets. However, not all gadgets are loved by me. I only tout and promote those that I truly love!
Over the years thanks to my work with Microsoft I have touted the praises of the Microsoft Surface line. I have tried out most of them, or at least touched them in store. They were all great devices, but as technology goes, some needed a bit of tweaking. They have gotten better with each version.
Surface 3 vs. Surface 3 Pro
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Microsoft in Seattle again and we were all surprised, blessed, and ecstatic to be gifted Microsoft Surface 3 Pro devices! I haven't had it that long, but it is already my new favorite travel devices.
The 2 latest versions of the Microsoft Surface include the new Surface 3 and the Surface 3 Pro. I've always been a fan of the Pro version because not only can I enjoy using all of the great apps in the Windows store, I can also install my own apps that I may need to use from day to day.
The Surface 3 Pro also allows for almost infinite positioning of the kickstand so that you can view it from many angles.
Which one is for you? Microsoft has a handy tool and chart to help you choose. In short, my opinion is that if you want to use your Surface as a full laptop replacement you will need a Pro. With this option you can get up to 8GB of RAM which allows you to run power intensive applications like Adobe Photoshop. You also have the freedom of installing other applications by copying them to a USB key or downloading them from the internet.
If you choose to purchase a Surface 3 Pro you can choose one with either an i3, i5, or i7 processor. You can also get from 64gb to 512gb of hard drive space depending on your needs. and with a USB port you can still use external hard drive or USB keys. Prices on the Surface 3 Pro range from $799 to $1549 depending on the model. However, the Surface 3 can be purchased for $499.
Using the Surface 3 with Office 365
One great thing about the Surface 3 is that it includes a 1-year subscription to Office 365. On the Pro version, MS Office is sold separately. However, an Office 365 Home subscription can be purchased for only $9.99/month. Once that is purchased and loaded up on your Microsoft Surface you are ready to go!
One really great thing about using Office on the Surface is that it enables touch, and Surface pen use. This allows you to create notes in OneNote, or write directly in documents in Word and Excel.
This brings computing with Office up to another level! Here are some tips for getting the most out of using Microsoft Office on the Surface 3 or Surface 3 Pro.
- Move Your Important Files to OneDrive – OneDrive is Microsoft's Cloud based service that helps you keep all of your files backed up and with you everywhere you go. As part of your Office 365 Home subscription you get a 1 TB each for up to 5 users in your household. This allows you to keep all of your important Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other MS Office documents synced to the Cloud for easy access. And you will also know that your documents are safely backed up.
- Enable Touch Mode in your application – When using the Surface 3 or Surface 3 Pro, most of the beauty (and coolness) of the device is the ability to use it as a full touch enabled tablet.
- Activate and Optimize Your Surface Pen – If you purchase a Surface 3 Pro the Surface Pen will come with it. If you have a Surface 3 you can purchase a Surface Pen (Silver) for only $49.99 from the Microsoft Store. The Pen connects to your Surface via Bluetooth. It allows you to navigate, it acts as a mouse replacement. And it allows you to write directly on your Surface 3 screen as if you were writing on paper.
- Install Surface and Microsoft Office 365 Updates – We are all familiar with Windows Update. This is now handled via the Windows Store. However, Office 365 updates are handled within the product, but in a slightly different place than you may be used to. To check for Office updates, open any of the Office products. Click on File–>Account. Under Product Information click on Office Updates–>Update Now. If there is an update available you will be prompted to install it. Otherwise you will get a message stating “You're up to date!”
- Setup your Email Accounts in Outlook – If you want to receive all of your mail in one place and get notifications you can setup your email accounts in Outlook. Outlook will allow you to receive mail from Hotmail, Outlook.com, Microsoft Exchange, and other email accounts via IMAP or POP. Just check the help section in your email account to get the settings.
I use Office 365 quite a bit to create documents, spreadsheets, pretty Publisher files, and PowerPoint presentations. Being able to do this on a device as light and portable as the Surface 3 Pro is great. It weighs less than 2 lbs, and the battery lasts for up to 9 hours. And once you add a Surface Touch Keyboard, Surface Arc Mouse, or Surface Pen, the functionality is enough that you may not want to use your regular laptop ever again.
I absolutely love my purple Surface Pro Type Cover! The fact that it has a backlit keyboard helps so much when when working late at night. It comes in several colors so that you can match your style. 🙂
Armed with my Surface 3 Pro loaded up with Microsoft Office 365 Home I don't miss a beat when traveling. As a matter of fact it is so light that I now take it just about everywhere. I never know when I am going to have a little time to sit in a coffee shop, park, or even my car to get a little work done.
If you are looking for a light travel computer, or even a computer to use at home the Surface 3 or Surface 3 Pro loaded with Microsoft Office 365 is just what you need.
Disclosure: I received the Surface 3 Pro and Office 365 subscription as part of my involvement as a Microsoft Office Ambassador. All opinions are my own.