I Travel with the Microsoft Surface Pro 2

Steve Ross

Written by Steve Ross

A recent train journey down to London for business gave me a bit of a dilemma: I was keen to make use of the uninterrupted idle time to work on strategy and financial planning for Shackleton but didn’t want to take my relatively bulky laptop for a couple of reasons. It’s too big to sit comfortably on my lap and even if I was able to get a seat with a table, the screen is large, making it easy for my neighbour to read everything. Nothing I planned to work on is top secret, but equally I’m not particularly keen for anyone else to be reading our future plans and strategy.

It struck me that this is a common dilemma, and one that technology has been promising – but not not quite delivering on –  for many years. I love using my iPad - it’s great for checking and responding to emails, checking over my calendar and reading documents. However, if I want to do some proper business work..well suffice to say the jury is still out. Technically you can use Word and Excel on an iPad, but an official version of Office hasn’t yet been released; Apple does offer its own alternatives Pages and Numbers, but honestly it’s not the same as working on a full version of Office on a PC or laptop as anyone who has tried will attest.

I’m sure millions of people have had the same thought I did - but it bears repeating: what most business users really need is a combination of a tablet and a laptop. It has to be something relatively small and light so it’s easily portable. It has to have a powerful processor, excellent battery life and form function that really lets you do serious work. Various manufacturers have promised such a device, but none have really hit the mark to date, rather there’s always a compromise that pushes you back to a laptop.

However, I’ve just read a few reviews of the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and at long last it looks like there might be something that actually does the trick. It does everything I’ve already mentioned, runs Windows 8.1, has a proper keyboard, it’s light, is reported to have a superb screen and (when my work is done and I’m relaxing on the train home) it has an in-built stand so I can watch the latest episode of House of Cards.

Could it be the elusive ‘hybrid tablet’ we’ve been waiting for? It might just be according to tested.com All I need now is another train journey to London - the perfect excuse to buy one to find out!

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