"The only way to be truly satisfied, is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." Steve Jobs
My Surface PRO 3 'Must Have' Accessories List

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Miracast adapter for the Surface PRO 3

Finding a good Miracast adapter that works with all the devices that you may own at home have proven to be a difficult task. That's why to find a blogger that has gone the extra mile on this task and dared to share his experience is a nice finding. So here is Mark Coppock from The Tech Chat in his quest to find the perfect Miracast adapter for his brand new Surface Pro 3.

The verdict. While still not perfect the Netgear Push2tv is the closest to be one.


Update: I just got confirmation that the Screenbeam mentioned here works at the same level as the one from Netgear. The advantage on the Screenbeam is that it comes with the HDMI to VGA adapter in case that you need to connect to on old projector for a presentation.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Pro 3 is really thin

When the iPad was released many thought and still think that it was a technology marvel. But once you see a picture of one of them opened then you realize that it's just a giant iPhone. And the iPhone are thin. A real marvel is the Surface Pro 3. How Microsoft could compress everything to made a TabletPC that is as thin as an iPad 2?

 

The one on the left is an iPad 2 close to a Surface PRO 3.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Improving the Pen

Since I used for the first time a pen with a rubber band in the place where you hold it with my fingers I have not switched  back to the  more traditional design without this feature. So I find the Surface Pro very unpleasant to hold. So, I thought, well, here is a very easy project to do.

First task. To find a pen with the rubber band and the appropriate diameter. An old one did the trick.


The rest is easy. Remove the band cut it to the appropriate side, and put it in your Surface Pro 3 pen. And here is the end result.


I'm a happy camper!



How to overcome the lack of DVD reader in your Surface Pro 3

I realize that we have many new readers here that never have used a Tabletpc or UMPC before and the lack of having a DVD reader seems to them an overwhelming issue. So here is what needs to be done.

The first thing is to forget about attaching any DVD Reader/Writer to your Surface. Your Surface is a mobile device born to be free of cables and heavy or not so heavy accessories to be carried.

The second part is to learn about ISO files and how to create them. ISO files are, without entering in too many technical details, virtual copies of any CD or DVD. There are many tools online that allows you to create them. You can read a very good a very good tutorial of how to create an ISO here.

Of course, to create an ISO you will need a PC with a DVD reader. If you don't have one at home use a friend's.

Once you have the ISO you can copy it to your Surface using a microSD or USB memory stick. Once your have access to the ISO file in Your Surface, just double click on it and Windows 8.1 will recognize it as a DVD or CD. The rest... Well, I think that you know what to do next. If not that probably is a topic for another thread.

One more thing, You can take an ISO and create a bootable USB memory stick if you like. You can find a wonderful tutorial about it here.

Surface Pro 3: The hinge

I recently was asked to take some pictures of the hinge mechanism in the Surface Pro 3 by one of my Spanish readers at Wintablet.info and I think that having them here is something that many others for sure will appreciate.

















Saturday, July 12, 2014

PRO 3 docking station

A docking station is virtually and literally a must have if you Surface Pro 3  is your working tool and you want to achieve  the highest level of productivity possible in this Tablet. But Microsoft's docking station will cost you around $200 which is about the average price for any good OEM docking station in the market. So the question is, is this a good investment?

Buying the OEM docking station has it advantages like having the option to charge the Tablet from the docking station that eliminates the need of having an extra power adapter around your  desk. The problem is that OEM docking stations do not work with other Tablets o even with different versions of the same Tablet like in the case of the Surface. This is one the reason why buying an universal docking station is always a better idea even when you don't get  the integrity level between docking and Tablet that OEM types get. The other reason is price. Usually you pay half of the price of the OEM docking when you buy an universal docking station.

A quick "Bing" search will show you a diverse array of different brands loaded with different options. You need to pick the one that better covers your own needs such as the amount of monitors that you want to have connected at the same time,  the amount of USB ports that you need and if you want a Docking that includes its own video and sound adapters adding more quality and power to the ones used in your  Tablet.

Here is one that I post here with the solo purpose  of showing how they look like.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Cheap Backup Pen for your Surface Pro 3

When you are using a TabletPC with a digitizer having a backup pen is always a good idea. But a replacement pen from Microsoft will cost you $49.99. But what about if I tell you that you can buy a backup pen for as low as $9.25  (affiliated link).



The HTC Scribe is a pen sold under the HTC brand but the technology behind is from N-Trig, the same company that made the Pen sold with the Surface PRO 3. Now, do not let the fact that the above link is marked as an affiliated link fool you, this article was written using this Pen is my Surface PRO 3.




The technical characteristics of this Pen are the same as in the Surface PRO 3 so the experience while using it is about the same.  There are two major differences between both pens, one of them is the tip. 




The one on the left in the above picture is the one used in the Surface PRO 3. Comparing both it seems better built the one from the HTC Scribe.



The HTC Scribe pen is harder  and you feel the difference when you are writing. The pen in the Surface PRO 3 is a lot softer and that makes the  writing experience more natural  but you will need to change the tip more often.

The second difference between the two pen is that the HTC Scribe does not have a top button capable of interacting with OneNote.  This means that the HTC Scribe uses only one AAAA battery and does not have a BT transmitter.  Unfortunately, both top caps were built using different threads as you can see in the below picture and that means that you can't  use the BT cap from the PRO in the HTC Scribe.



Conclusions

The HTC Scribe is a wonderful spare pen for the Surface PRO 3 if you don't mind losing the features associated  with OneNote. Overall, the Pen works very well, I would say that probably better than the one included in the Surface PRO 3.  In my opinion the tip on this one is able to transmit better the differences grades of pressures that you are putting in the Tip. But that's just my opinion.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Surface PRO 3 speakers

One of the features that I like in the Surface Pro 3 is the new speakers design in particular the new location.


Now they are located in the front, pointed toward the user. And that makes a huge difference compared with previous versions.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Outlook supports ink

There are a lot of new users coming lately to this blog  and some of them do not know what to do with the pen in their brand new Surface PRO 3. So here is a note which only purpose is to show one of those cool things that you can do using the pen: Send handwritten emails.

Outlook detects the Pen and enables a new option in the Tool bar called Ink tool. That allows you to write emails like the one in the next screenshots.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I love OneNote

OneNote is a free tool that makes me want to go back to school. It's so easy to use and now with the Surface Pro 3 it's even better. There is a lot of debate about Microsoft's claim of this being the Tablet that can replace your laptop. And those that do not understand the claim just think about Panay' word "lapability". I invite those to forget for a day or two the keyboard and use it a little more as a TabletPC. And here is where OneNote comes in your help.

You can take note using your Pen in OneNote and later on if you whish you can convert these notes in printing letters. Here are 3 screen shots that show how that's done.


Here is a short note. Even the title is in cursive. Open the Draw menu tool bar.


And click in the marked with an arrow icon. And watch the magic moment.


Everything including the title is converted!