A tiny giant
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 made my all-mobile lifestyle become a reality
Being a geek (or a nerd) since I was a wee one, practical and useful gadgets in my day were mostly huge and nearly always stationed in one place. Having all my personal tools and tech with me on the go at all times to play and work has been my dream.
I tried to embrace an all-mobile lifestyle for a few years and with the inception of iOS and Android smart devices, this dream has been realised, mostly. Yes, you can work on your mobile phone these days, but the gadgets generally fall short when you want to do intensive work. For instance, conjuring up any email longer than three paragraphs will result in a numb thumb and eye strain, retouching photos and editing videos can be frustrating, since it takes minutes instead of seconds. So, I came to realise that I needed an on-the-go computer, but it needs to be fast, small and light enough to do all the above without giving me backache.
I browsed around and did a lot of research before dropping my money on this one. I think a convertible or a 2-in-1 computer should be a well-balanced gadget that is "cool" enough for casual users and professional enough for blue collar office workers.
And, this Microsoft Surface Pro 7 fits the bill nicely.
Since the Surface Pro 7 box only contains the actual tablet, to get the full Surface experience, like having a keyboard-cover or pen, you'll have to pay out even more money on top of the initial 40K price tag. Quite pricey if you want to go all the way.
Including the needs-to-be-bought-separately keyboard, this 2-in-1 tablet weighs 1,085g, which is light enough to lug around in a shoulder bag without harming your shoulders and back. The detachable keyboard is backlit and is comfortable and ergonomically sound enough for long typing sessions.
The 12.3-inch screen has a native resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels with a 3:2 aspect ratio, not the usual 16:9 like most digital devices with screens these days. This is considered a great screen ratio for better productivity because it's quite a bit taller than its widescreen counterparts. Although the screen is not OLED (the type that has superior black colour projection) and has large bezels around the sides, it is very bright and perfectly fine for any kind of use.
Gamers stay away because there is no discreet graphics card for gaming capability. But it can run older games at around a medium setting. This computer doesn't have gaming in mind as a priority. I would recommend a Nintendo Switch instead.
To make sure that this 2-in-1 is tough enough for work purposes, I used it to edit videos for a little while and ended up with a pretty steamy machine.
Surface Pro 7 Model 1865 i5. Photos: Arnun Chonmahatrakool
I went a bit further by getting a USB-C dongle that enables me to connect this machine to a whole slew of devices (a mouse, keyboard, charging adaptor and monitor), to do my everyday chores. After about six hours of text, photo, video editing, web browsing and a lot of YouTube watching the poor laptop had gotten very hot. So, I stopped this experiment. I bet it can handle a load but doing so may result in a short-lived laptop after a year or two.
I also find it more satisfying to watch Netflix on a 12-inch screen instead of a 5-inch phone, in addition to the stereo sound you'll be getting.
I accidentally dropped this tablet bottom-rim down from about a 30cm height and only nicked it a little (luckily, a permanent black pen helped hide the wound). This means the tablet is pretty durable.
After two weeks of prolonged use and carrying around this 2-in-1 computer everywhere, I fell in love with how it made my all-mobile lifestyle come true.