The Surface Challenge – Part 2: Setup

In the second article of the Surface Challenge Blog Series, I will be discussing how I setup my work environment to be able to do my day to day development work from my office desk.


I will have to agree with many, the display on the surface is a little too small to be able to work an entire day on without getting one hell of a headache. Fortunately for us, the device has a Mini display port that allows us to connect it to external display device. The first thing I did when I got the device, was buy a Mini-Display to DVI adapter to hook up my surface onto my 22 inches monitor. The adapter was bought brand new for about 45$. Having been patient, I should have probably buy it online for way cheaper.


The hands-on experience surface is incredible. The combination of the touch screen, touch pen, and track pad on the keyboard is extremely powerful. However, when sitting at my desk, I like have the same experience as if I was using my laptop on a docking station, so I use the only available port to plug in a wireless mouse.


For a keyboard, I use magnetic Type Keyboard made for the surface. I tried to use the touch keyboard instead, but I had a hard time inputting the capital letters in my password when using it. I could never tell if I had the Shift key pressed correctly or not. So I made the switch to the type keyboard. When using my surface in the “docked state”, the device sits with the kickstand opened in front of me on what used to be a full sized keyboard tray. Another option, could be to use a Bluetooth keyboard. Remember that my only USB port is already used by my mouse, I really don’t want to for and plug in a USB hub.


The device has a 64Gb Solid State Drive in it, as mentioned in the previous post. With all the recovery data, I believe I was left with just over 10Gb of free space. Add to this Visual Studio 2012, all of the Office 2013 clients, and some default apps, there’s not much left. I went and bought a 16Gb Mini Sandisk drive for 14$ and inserted it as internal storage.


The Surface Pro, by default has around 4 hours of battery life. I very often take the device with me in meetings, so while I’m sitting at my desk, I always make sure the magnetic power adapter is connected to its side. This adds an additional to my docking experience, but helps me ensure the device won’t shut down right in the middle of meeting;
The next post in this article will describe the development process I followed to develop SharePoint 2013 apps using a Surface Device.






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