Surface Pro 3 : Ultimate Portable Recording Studio

Surface Pro 3 on the road for recording
I just got a new high end ribbon microphone and  after putting it through its paces in the studio, I had to take it out into the field. I loaded Audacity on the Surface Pro 3, packed up my newly acquired Presonus Audiobox 22VSL and I was ready to go.  The Presonus comes bundled with Studio One and I later found that this works very well too.

The Surface Pro 3 is about the same weight as the Presonus interface. It worked flawlessly. It was as fast and responsive as any of my desktop machines for this application. I liked using the Pen instead of the mouse for this application too.

I was caught off guard when the fan fired up during one recording in a quiet space. All I had to do was move the Surface Pro 3 off-axis and it was all fine.

Over the next few days I hauled my new portable recording rig to several locations and often had the pleasure of showing musicians how easy it was to have all the features of multi-track recording and digital editing in a package this small.

 

Surface Pro 3 in the house!

It’s Surface Pro 3 Launch Day in Canada! I was at the Microsoft Store bright and early to get my Surface Pro 3 – Core i7 with 8 Gigabytes of RAM and 512 Gigabyte SSD.

I already have a Surface Pro 2 with 8 Gigabytes of RAM and 256 Gigabyte SSD.  I wanted to explore the outer limits of performance and capacity with the latest machine.

First Impressions
The Surface Pro 3 is beautiful and fast and I immediately noticed that there’s about a 1/3 more vertical real-estate. This is going to make a huge difference in Visual Studio 2013 and Excel. In both cases there’s a lot to be said for being able to see more on the screen without scrolling. The keyboard feels great and the touch pad is bigger, smoother, and feels more responsive.

The unit is bigger around the outside perimeter than the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2, but it’s thinner and lighter.  The fully adjustable kickstand is a marvel of engineering. I will no longer need to carry around rubber bumper things to support the screen at the leisurely reclined angle that I prefer for writing.

Despite the difference in size the Surface Pro 3 fits in the same carrying case I have for the older Surface Pro 2. But there was a great deal on a bundle (Office 365, Keyboard, Surface Complete warranty, and a case). So I got the bundle.

It’s too bad that I had to wait until today to get the Surface Pro 3. I had a very intense week last week with all day lectures every day. That would have been a great real-world test of power and battery life. I did it with the Surface Pro 2, but I had to keep an eye on the battery meter and stay close to a power outlet. I’m looking forward to finding out what kind of real-world performance I’ll get with the Core i7 in the Surface Pro 3.

Battery Life

Hmmm, the battery meter on the task bar does not show estimated run-time like my other Windows machines. It does show percentage though.  That probably makes sense because the machine could not possibly estimate the battery life with Connected Standby (aka InstantGo).

If you’re new to Surface check out this article: Surface Pro battery and power.

More in the weeks to come.