2015 brought its first big change for me, I’ve sold my Surface Pro 3 and bought a - wait for it - MacBook Air. 😀
Why did I sell the Surface Pro 3?
Well, I was very, very excited when I got the Surface. I had the first Surface Pro, my wife had the first Surface RT and we were both pretty unimpressed with Microsoft’s first Surface. My wife still occasionally uses the Surface RT for some stuff, but I sold mine with great financial loss. Then, when Microsoft released the Surface Pro 3 I wanted to have it right away (the i5, 128GB version). Even with a 10% off voucher it was still a very expensive device. I used it as my main device and used my laptop as my lab machine (running Windows Server 2012 R2).
After a couple of trips (USA, Sydney, Brisbane, …) with speaking gigs and a lot of customer meetings I again was pretty unimpressed with the device. On the plane, just using the Surface as an eBook Reader (in Flight mode) it didn’t last longer than 4hrs. On a 16hrs flight (Dallas to Sydney) that’s a very long time without a device. The pen’s connection constantly dropped off. The fan went off nearly straight away after turning on the device (yes, I have a lot of tabs running in my browser, but still) and the fan is noisy, very. My wife was constantly complaining about its noise. (rightfully so!) Microsoft says “use it as a laptop”?! Yeah, no thanks, it got so hot after a bit of use I couldn’t bear anywhere near my skin. So, after just 2.5 months I decided that I don’t like it anymore. I wanted something else. Yes, there will be someone saying that there are new updates that will fix some of these issues and more to come. You know what? I don’t care. I paid nearly $1300 AUD (that was after the 10% voucher and a bit over €900 or $1000 USD) and I just want it to do what it’s supposed to do. It frankly just didn’t. Selling it wasn’t easy to be honest. People offered me everything from $500 AUD ($400 USD / €350 ) to $800 AUD ($630 USD / €560 ) and in the end I sold it for $800 AUD. ust within 2.5 months that device lost nearly 40% of its worth. I’ve seen 4 year old MacBooks go away for more than any Surface currently on the market!
Why did I buy a MacBook Air?
My wife already bought a MacBook Air about 5 months ago, and even though I was initially very ‘against’ her buying one, as soon as she just ignored my advise and got one anyway, I was instantly convinced that this is a great device. Yes, it doesn’t run Windows (natively), you have to do a lot of things differently, but the hardware, oh the hardware is just amazing.
I have my lab running on Azure, on a Laptop (Dell XPS 15) and also on an older Dell 930. I always carry the Laptop around with me when I’m at work and I have to actually do something, not just meetings and other boring stuff 😉 So I basically still have Windows, but on a different device, where I can always RDP to (or use Azure, again via RDP).
I can use Office for Mac, which isn’t great, I know, but there’s Azure RemoteApp, which I could use if I wanted to. I can use OneDrive for Filesharing, Sharepoint Online for collaboration with my colleagues and OneNote is also here.
Only app I have found to really not run great on my machine? Lync. Crashes all the time. Microsoft, fix that please! I hate having to always plug my machine in to charge it. The Surface was never going long without a need for a charge. I couldn’t leave home for a 2 hour customer workshop with my Surface fully charged and not take the charger with me.
I needed battery life. I also needed a 13inch screen, but no weight please.
So, after playing around some time with my wife’s MacBook Air, I decided to get one for myself as well and now two weeks in, I really like it.
There are still a few things that are a bit strange or different if you, like me, have only ever used Windows for the last 20 years (like installing and uninstalling applications, where’s my start screen? 😉 ), but over and all I’m really happy with it. Fully charged it gives me more than 10hrs of battery life. In reality it’s about 6hrs of normal use (30 tabs in Firefox, some Skype-ing, Outlook, blogging).
This brings me to the last bit of this article. Where on Windows I really only had two actual options to write blog articles (Windows LiveWriter or use WordPress’s online editor), on Mac, surprise, there are a lot more options to chose from. After all, this is the overly-hyped blogger, hipster, whatever platform, right? Some asking around on Twitter I was pointed at Blogo. A pretty straight-forward blogging software which I found pretty easy to use. I pointed it at my WordPress installation on my domain and it downloaded all the settings and even the theme (LiveWriter NEVER got the theme right!!!). Blogo is not for free, but it’s not really expensive either. Go take a look at it and check it out for yourself. If you need any support, I found the guys there very responsive and helpful.
You can try Blogo for free for 21 days. If you need any help, contact the Blogo team at [email protected]. You can also visit http://support.getblogo.com for knowledge base articles, feature requests and more. Blogo’s community manager is also available to answer all your questions at @getblogo on Twitter.
I guess, over time, I will update this article with my findings around MacOS and my new toy. If you don’t hear anything too bad, just assume that I am overly happy with my choice!
Did you just recently change platforms? Do you have a Surface Pro 3 and want to share your experiences? Do you have a MacBook Air and want to share some?
Drop me a line here or on Twitter!