Blogging and Traveling with the Windows Surface Pro 3

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I don't remember the exact moment it happened, but at some point over the last year my son became more tech savvy than me. It was painfully obvious when the only thing he asked for from Santa Claus was a Surface Pro 3. He, like many grown ups, was completely wow'ed by the cool commercial promise that this tablet can replace your laptop. While he and my husband were firmly in Camp We Need One, I was a little more resistant.

And then I got the opportunity to use a Windows Surface Pro 3. And the commercial was right. This thing can replace my laptop AND my tablet.

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Meet the Surface Pro 3

Full disclosure: I am not what you could call a "techie." Rather, I am someone who is completely reliant on my technical devices working properly at all times while remaining blissfully unaware of how they work. So I fully trust my husband when he says stuff like, "When the Surface Pro 3 arrives I'm going to have the work infrastructure installed on it so that I can use it as my primary work computer." I put the kibosh on that plan immediately. This baby is mine. After it arrived, he was stuck longingly staring at it, drooling and saying things like, "Man, that is FULL UP. It has more power than your desktop!"

I know that the specs are important when making an investment in a computer, so here are some basics about the Surface Pro 3:

  • 12 inch screen size
  • 2160 x 1440 resolution
  • 11.5” x 7.93” x 0.36” in dimension
  • 1.76 pounds
  • Up to 9 hours of web browsing battery life
  • 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor family
  • Windows 8.1 Pro software
  • Runs Windows, Office, desktop apps and browsers
  • Full-size USB 3.0, microSD™ card reader, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort and Cover port
  • Touch screen, Touch mouse and Pen
  • 5.0 megapixel rear-facing camera, 5.0 megapixel front-facing camera, Stereo microphones and Stereo speakers with Dolby® sound

And for the really technical stuff, the Surface Pro 3 has two options for memory: 64GB or 128GB storage with 4GB RAM or 256GB or 512GB storage with 8GB RAM. There is a choice of three different processors (Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7), which determine the speed, CPU and graphics.

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At this point I think it's important to state the obvious: the Surface Pro 3 does everything (and more) that I need.

Traveling with the Surface Pro 3

Last month we went on a ski trip and, as usual, we had to pack up some technology so I could keep up with blog stuff and my husband could check his work email. When we were talking about what to pack, I took a leap of faith and left both the laptop and the tablet I've been using for over a year, opting instead to pack only the Surface Pro 3. It was a fabulous decision.

For starters, the Surface Pro 3 is so compact and lightweight that it easily fit in my tote bag, leaving me plenty of room for other essentials. Having carried both a laptop and tablet around, and suffering the shoulder pain for it, I can tell you toting this around was a breeze.

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Admittedly, on short trips recently I have not taken my laptop because it's just a pain to lug around. But, carrying only my older tablet was less than ideal because it limited some important blogger capabilities that the Surface Pro 3 has. For example, I can use PicMonkey (a blogger essential!), access photos from the memory card in the SD slot, and charge my phone with the USB cable. I had a pretty nice set up while the big kids were skiing with my husband.

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I appreciate the touch screen capability for browsing the internet, but when I'm "working" I really like using the keyboard on the Surface Pro Type Cover. I can adjust the kickstand to any sitting situation so it is almost not recognizable as a tablet. It totally functions like a laptop.

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This was my view, by the way... ski slopes with the Sea of Japan in the background.

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Blogging with the Surface Pro 3

One of the features that is most intriguing and unique (at least to me) about the Surface Pro 3 is the ability to write directly on the tablet with the Surface Pen. Because this technology is new to me it took a little time to warm up to it and figure out exactly how it would be useful.

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I recently used OneNote, the note taking program on the Surface Pro 3, while preparing and tweaking a Loaded Banana Bread Recipe. I jotted down notes using the pen while baking. When it came time to blog the recipe, I split the screen between WordPress and OneNote. The Surface Pro 3 was multitasking like a mom and it was so cool and I finally felt like I was tapping into the real potential. The more I use the Surface Pro 3, the more I am hooked.

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Shop! Visit the Microsoft Store to take a closer (and more technical) look at the Surface Pro 3. Compare your needs to the processor capabilities to determine which is the best fit for you. Prices start at $799 for the Intel® CoreTM i3, $999 for the Intel® CoreTM i5 and $1549 for the Intel® CoreTM i7.

The Shopping Mama was not paid for this post. We do receive samples through the Microsoft Blogger Program.

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