Surface Pro 3 as Dev machine

nickmnickm Blinky Light AficionadoPosts: 152
I'm considering moving to the new Surface Pro 3 as a replacement for my 15" Retina MacBook Pro. Was wondering if anyone had extensive experience. (I've played a bit with it in stores, but that's about it).

Here are my motivations:
-Portability: Obviously, this is much smaller and lighter than my current 15" rMBP
-High Res: I have really good eyes. I use native 2880x1800 resolution on my current machine. Currently, that equals 220 ppi, versus 216 ppi (2160x1440 so not TOO much of a real estate sacrifice) of the Surface Pro 3.
-Dock-ability: While I'm working at my desk, I can use the DisplayPort 1.2 daisy chaining to connect multiple monitors
-Detachable keyboard. I like the idea of being able to single-hand the Surface while standing next to a rack full of gear.

My hesitations:
-Too Small?? I've never had a portable dev machine less than 14"
-Keyboard: First impressions in the store have been fine, but I don't know how it will feel after 12 - 16 hour programming sessions.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    I personally would want more screen real estate. Will it support external monitors? I have two on my desk, and don't know how to do without them anymore, it streamlines so many things to be able to have something open on one screen while working on another, especially reference material. Of course, that problem isn't limited to the Surface, any laptop without a monitor port is going to have that issue. The Surface runs Win 8, so be prepared for some legacy to stop working. I haven't run into much in the AMX world that won't run on it, and for others with that issue I use a virtual machine ... but if you have a legacy program that needs a serial port, the built in VM won't do it, it sandboxes the VM from port access. You can get around it, but it's not worth the trouble IMO.
  • TurnipTruckTurnipTruck Junior Member Posts: 1,485
    I have been thinking about a Surface 3 as well. Not so much for development, more for field work.
  • PhreaKPhreaK Senior Member Posts: 966
    I've got to say, using a Surface as a site machine has crossed my mind as well but actually flipped it round a little bit and actually went from a 13" MacBook Air to a 15" Retina Pro. This gives me all the processing power I need, plenty high res screen real estate and lets me still use Sketch (seriously, I don't know how people live without that). For portability I then combine with an iPad mini running Air Display, which I can crawl into a rack with if needed and run anything that's on the mac.
  • the8thstthe8thst Junior Member Posts: 470
    I use a 15" Retina Pro and only have issues with RadioRa software. Everything else runs great... The Parallels VM running Windows programs in Unity mode is still faster than my desktop at work.

    That said... the aluminum body is a little heavy and I am really tempted by these: http://us.getac.com/tablets/F110/features.html
    I know it's stupid expensive, but it looks awesome.
  • ijedijed Junior Member Posts: 28
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    The Surface runs Win 8, so be prepared for some legacy to stop working. I haven't run into much in the AMX world that won't run on it, and for others with that issue I use a virtual machine ... but if you have a legacy program that needs a serial port, the built in VM won't do it, it sandboxes the VM from port access. You can get around it, but it's not worth the trouble IMO.

    I'm trying to think of any apps I might need Hyper-V for (looks like Extr0n and Crestr0n are fine) and using something like USB Redirector or setting up Remote Desktop for port access doesn't seem too much hassle... Unless I'm missing something?
    PhreaK wrote: »
    I've got to say, using a Surface as a site machine has crossed my mind as well but actually flipped it round a little bit and actually went from a 13" MacBook Air to a 15" Retina Pro. This gives me all the processing power I need, plenty high res screen real estate and lets me still use Sketch (seriously, I don't know how people live without that). For portability I then combine with an iPad mini running Air Display, which I can crawl into a rack with if needed and run anything that's on the mac.

    That sounds like an awesome setup. I do like how compact the SP3 would be but I'm still going to need a billion accessories to cart around with it....
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    ijed wrote: »
    I'm trying to think of any apps I might need Hyper-V for (looks like Extr0n and Crestr0n are fine) and using something like USB Redirector or setting up Remote Desktop for port access doesn't seem too much hassle... Unless I'm missing something?

    Hyper-V won't recognize any ports on the host machine, USB or otherwise. I had to run an IP-serial port program (which wasn't originally intended for 64b machines, so I had to find a special version). Then my COM ports kept changing from the USB dongle, and I gave up. I cleaned up an old PC that was due for the scrap heap and installed XP on it for my legacy programs, and I haul that around when I need to.

    I understand VM-Ware is not like Hyper-V in this regard, but it's a bit pricey for commercial use. My boss wouldn't go for it for the few times we would have needed it, hence my attempts with Hyper-V (which comes with Win8 Pro).
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