Battery Indicator in the Notifications Area

This is a Windows 10 thing, not a Surface thing I know, but if you’ve got a Surface you watch the Battery Icon. It’s more fun with a Surface Book though.

This morning I glanced down at the notifications area to check on the status of the battery. The Battery icon was gone, and so too was the option to customize the hidden icons.

If this happens to you, you can click in the Notifications area ^ “Show Hidden Icons” and drag the Battery icon (or any of the others) back to the Notifications area.

In this video you can see me move the Battery Icon from the Notifications Area to the Hidden Icons area, them move it around in there. Then finally I move it back to the Notifications Area.

The Surface Book Has Arrived

image

And how could you not make this association?
image

First impression – Microsoft has hit the sweet spot! Much though I hate to admit it, I’m a little tired of being hunched over my Surface Pro 3 when I’m in desktop mode, and the Surface Book is just that little bit larger, and it makes a huge difference.

In my workflow I absolute must have the ability to use my main device as a tablet for taking notes with a pen, or sketching out ideas, and making mind maps. The Surface Pro 3 did an excellent job of that and I’ve been very happy with it for fourteen months.  But it’s always felt like a bit of a compromise when I was in desktop mode. The Type Cover was fine when I was out and about, and until I started typing on the Surface Book, I had no complaints.  But Microsoft, you did a great job on the Surface Book keyboard, and now when I switch back I realize what I was missing.

Why get a Surface Book when my Surface Pro 3 was doing a stellar job as my main machine? People have been asking me that and now that I’ve got it I can tell them:

The larger screen size DOES matter. I can tile four windows on the screen and they are all comfortably readable.  (Hint: Windows+Left, Windows+Up puts the current window in the top left corner. Open another application and use Windows+Left, Windows+Down and that application will sit in the lower left corner. Do the same on the right side and you’ve got four windows up). I wish that I had found these keyboard shortcuts sooner. Trying to do that with a touchpad is tricky. Here’s a screen shot of what I’m seeing right now.
image

I think Microsoft got it right with the 80:20 idea that many people will use the Surface Book 80% of the time as a laptop and 20% of the time as a tablet.  I might be a little heavier on the tablet side of things but much of that extra time, I’ll probably flip the screen over and keep it attached to the keyboard for the prolonged battery life.

Why get the Surface Book instead of a Surface Pro 4?

The point a which you can make a direct comparison is when you configure a machine with

  • Core i5 / 8 GB RAM / 256 MB of storage

Comparing the  Surface Book to a Surface Pro 4 with a Type Cover, the difference is about $370 USD.  I’m seeing a lot of value for the difference.  You’re getting:

  • Larger screen. That is physically larger, and higher resolution.
  • More battery life. It’s so nice to glance down at the battery indicator and NOT have to think about managing your life around the battery.
  • A device that you can fully use and type on in your lap or in a car or other cramped or awkward situations.
  • The keyboard is so good that I won’t need to have a second, full-sized keyboard for prolonged work sessions at a desk (as I did with the Surface Pro).

I still like to work with two screens up for production/development, and I’m keeping the Surface Pro 3. It’s a perfect complement to the Surface Book. I’m using Mouse Without Borders to allow me to do all my typing on the Surface Book.    

I’m really liking the Surface Book so far. It’s a joy. 

Microsoft Surface Data Eraser

Microsoft Surface Data Eraser is a tool that boots from a USB stick and allows you to perform a secure wipe of all data from a Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 2, or Surface Pro device. A Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB stick requires only the ability to boot from USB. The USB tool is easy to create by using the provided wizard, the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser Wrapper, and easy to use with a simple graphic interface, no command line needed.

Read all about it here: Microsoft Data Eraser