Surface Duo is on salefor over 50% off!

  1. msconfuse's Avatar
    I recently got the surface pro 3, this is my review maybe it will help someone out there who's in the same position that I am.

    I'm a system/network admin and a lot of times I'm on call on the weekends and during the weeknights. With my baby girl turning 2 years I find that I do not have a lot of time to sit at my desktop or at a table with my Macbook Air. My baby girl demands attention like crazy. I'm either out with her in the park or I'm playing with her at home. The only time I have free is when she's taking a nap/asleep but problems don't wait.

    I needed something that I could have on me when I'm outdoors with her and something that I can use without having to step away from her for too long when we are at home. I tried using the ipad as my mobile solution, there were lots of RDP apps but none really work well for me. It was at that point that I decided I needed true RDP which meant I needed a real windows tablet.

    I tried the surface pro 3 at best buy for 15 minutes and everything looked great. Great build, amazing screen, and super slim. It had that apple wow factor. The surface 3 looked like it was going to be a winner. But then I got it home and....

    1.) The weight never really bothered me when I was in the store. I didn't even really notice it that much but after using it for 40 minutes (using it in tablet form) at home I can say that you will gradually feel the weight. And after fifty minutes I found myself constantly shifting the pro from one hand to the other hand.

    2.) it's great to have such a high resolution display but RDP does not scale well and server apps are not made for 2k resolution so all applications are now tiny. I have the real estate to see the full server desktop but it is very hard to read and navigate around server/application settings. The only way to make this work was to scale the pro resolution back to 720 and even then it wasn't ideal.

    3.) the brightness on the tablet isn't that good outdoors. It is viewable in moderate shade if you turn it up to about 80%-100% but that also means your battery takes a hit.

    While I could maybe work around the weight issue I don't know how i am going to work around the bad scaling in RDP or outdoor visibility. Using it on the desk as a laptop is fine. Using it at the couch or on the floor as a laptop is fine. But I don't need another windows laptop. I already have a desktop, a Macbook air, and a HP laptop. I'm looking for a device that's more tablet first and laptop secondary.
    06-22-2014 12:38 AM
  2. 12Danny123's Avatar
    To be heist I think the Surface Pro 3 is probably the best tablet first and laptop second device there is. But if wanna use tablet apps. You can use the Windows apps or you can download bluestacks and use Android apps
    06-22-2014 01:58 AM
  3. ioaniro's Avatar
    Have you tried to play with the compatibility settings of your apps? Might help with the scaling problem. Just right click the icon of your app go to properties/Compatibility and Check/Uncheck the "disable display scaling on high DPI settings" and see how the app looks (you might need to go to Change settings for all users if the tick box is grayed out).
    For the outdoor use I don't know the Pro 3 but the 2 only works close to or at maximum brightness but is perfectly usable. Battery does take a hit though :-). Only thing that is annoying to me is that I have it set not to adjust the brightness automatically so when I go in the sun I need to guess where the brightness slider is...
    06-22-2014 02:13 AM
  4. Darth_Bane's Avatar
    I typically use gotomypc and remote into my work computer, from there I use RDP to access the servers. That may be an option.
    06-22-2014 05:28 AM
  5. acsn's Avatar
    RDP to another Windows 8 computer appears to scale properly on my test. On a RDP to Windows 7/Server 2008, everything is too small. Maybe this can be a workaround for you, which is to connect to a Win 8 machine and do your sysadmin work on it. I normally connect to VPN then to a management machine. However, I can see it can be a problem for you if you normally connect via RDP to your various servers that does not scale properly to do work on it.
    06-22-2014 08:09 AM
  6. BaritoneGuy's Avatar
    I recently got the surface pro 3, this is my review maybe it will help someone out there who's in the same position that I am.

    I'm a system/network admin and a lot of times I'm on call on the weekends and during the weeknights. With my baby girl turning 2 years I find that I do not have a lot of time to sit at my desktop or at a table with my Macbook Air. My baby girl demands attention like crazy. I'm either out with her in the park or I'm playing with her at home. The only time I have free is when she's taking a nap/asleep but problems don't wait.

    I needed something that I could have on me when I'm outdoors with her and something that I can use without having to step away from her for too long when we are at home. I tried using the ipad as my mobile solution, there were lots of RDP apps but none really work well for me. It was at that point that I decided I needed true RDP which meant I needed a real windows tablet.

    I tried the surface pro 3 at best buy for 15 minutes and everything looked great. Great build, amazing screen, and super slim. It had that apple wow factor. The surface 3 looked like it was going to be a winner. But then I got it home and....

    1.) The weight never really bothered me when I was in the store. I didn't even really notice it that much but after using it for 40 minutes (using it in tablet form) at home I can say that you will gradually feel the weight. And after fifty minutes I found myself constantly shifting the pro from one hand to the other hand.

    2.) it's great to have such a high resolution display but RDP does not scale well and server apps are not made for 2k resolution so all applications are now tiny. I have the real estate to see the full server desktop but it is very hard to read and navigate around server/application settings. The only way to make this work was to scale the pro resolution back to 720 and even then it wasn't ideal.

    3.) the brightness on the tablet isn't that good outdoors. It is viewable in moderate shade if you turn it up to about 80%-100% but that also means your battery takes a hit.

    While I could maybe work around the weight issue I don't know how i am going to work around the bad scaling in RDP or outdoor visibility. Using it on the desk as a laptop is fine. Using it at the couch or on the floor as a laptop is fine. But I don't need another windows laptop. I already have a desktop, a Macbook air, and a HP laptop. I'm looking for a device that's more tablet first and laptop secondary.
    Two things for you to try.
    - The modern version of the RDP app. It may scale better.
    - I also remember reading somewhere that MS has a virtual connection manager app that can be installed an apparently scales better on the desktop side.
    06-22-2014 10:33 AM
  7. msconfuse's Avatar
    acsn - I rather go directly to the server in question. I don't find embedded terminal sessions pleasant to work in. especially if you start opening more than one session on your management machine

    maflynn - we actually left GoToMyPC type services for admin staff and went straight to vpn. We found that it was great servicing users ( and we still use it for that) but none of the admin staff liked using GoToMyPC type service for admin work. Everyone preferred vpn

    ioaniro - i'll take a look and see if the setting is there. I don't remember seeing a setting like that. Did you know that the surface 2 is brighter. take a look at the specs. surface 3 is only 335 nits and the 2 I believe is like 450 nits in brightness

    as for win apps, I'm not to concern. I can load real applications

    so I went back to best buy and got the Acer aspire switch 10. its no where near the sexiness of the pro 3, no full hd (only 1366 x 768) display but does have an ips screen. It uses one of the newer atom processors and weighs in at 1.25. yes its limited vs the pro in power but the Acer is differently much brighter. RDP also scales much better. and the .50 drop is weight makes a big difference. I'm still testing and comparing the 2 but will have to make up my mind soon.
    06-22-2014 10:48 AM
  8. xboxonthego3's Avatar
    You might try the 2010 remote desktop connection manager. I used it on my yoga 2 because nothing scaled properly on that thing. It worked great. Haven't tried it on the Surface Pro 3 yet.
    acsn likes this.
    06-22-2014 10:49 AM
  9. acsn's Avatar
    I just tried RDCMan. It works. Not like crisp clear but it doesn't look small like when you use the default RDC client. Thanks xboxonthego3!

    Link to RDCMan info
    Link to download
    Last edited by acsn; 06-22-2014 at 03:10 PM.
    06-22-2014 02:53 PM
  10. xboxonthego3's Avatar
    You're welcome! Sorry I could not link the site earlier it kept flagging it as spam. I don't know why Microsoft can't get the latest RDP desktop program and app to scale properly. Scaling works fine with the RDCMan. I'm glad I could help!
    06-22-2014 03:06 PM
  11. enthuz's Avatar
    OP...I see that you already swapped it out. I had the same issue on my Dell M3800 with RDP. I forgot what I did to fix it. Scaling on higher resolution screens is an issue out of the box with any hi-res screen and not just SP3. I will try to see my settings for it when I fire it up again and post it here for others.
    06-22-2014 06:16 PM
  12. Jazmac's Avatar
    That's weird OP. I use my Surface RT to RDP and had no problems with it. Same with my Surface 2 which was much better. My new Surface 3 I haven't tried to connect yet but I can't believe it would be worse than the Surface 2. Did I mention the Surface 3 FLYS! Seems to me Mac is the world you live in and it is understandable you would have challenges on another platform. But do what works for you. Mac Air running Windows ain't half bad either.
    06-22-2014 07:15 PM
  13. msconfuse's Avatar
    That's weird OP. I use my Surface RT to RDP and had no problems with it. Same with my Surface 2 which was much better. My new Surface 3 I haven't tried to connect yet but I can't believe it would be worse than the Surface 2. Did I mention the Surface 3 FLYS! Seems to me Mac is the world you live in and it is understandable you would have challenges on another platform. But do what works for you. Mac Air running Windows ain't half bad either.
    you have to remember that the surface 2 is also 10 inches not 12. so that may be the difference maker. I work in a windows world, I also have a windows laptop and a quad desktop running vshpere with window 2012 vms. I got the MacBook air is my first mac computer.
    06-22-2014 09:33 PM
  14. msconfuse's Avatar
    OP...I see that you already swapped it out. I had the same issue on my Dell M3800 with RDP. I forgot what I did to fix it. Scaling on higher resolution screens is an issue out of the box with any hi-res screen and not just SP3. I will try to see my settings for it when I fire it up again and post it here for others.
    I still have it so post it if you can. I'm trying remote desktop connection manager and see how that works.
    06-22-2014 09:34 PM
  15. msconfuse's Avatar
    Two things for you to try.
    - The modern version of the RDP app. It may scale better.
    - I also remember reading somewhere that MS has a virtual connection manager app that can be installed an apparently scales better on the desktop side.
    are you referring to rdcman? I'm going to test that out and see if that helps. if you have something else please let me know.
    06-22-2014 09:41 PM
  16. acsn's Avatar
    I think he is referring to the Remote Desktop client from the Microsoft Store for the Metro UI. I tried that but could not get it to connect on VPN so I gave up on it.
    06-22-2014 09:44 PM
  17. Jazmac's Avatar
    you have to remember that the surface 2 is also 10 inches not 12. so that may be the difference maker. I work in a windows world, I also have a windows laptop and a quad desktop running vshpere with window 2012 vms. I got the MacBook air is my first mac computer.
    Sorry. When you said the Surface had that "apple wow factor", I went in the direction I did with my comment.
    06-23-2014 12:47 AM
  18. hotphil's Avatar
    An option for the RDP - do it in Desktop and set the display resolution to anything you like.
    Personally, I find that more useful than the Modern app as I can still see other windows etc on my desktop.
    06-23-2014 01:07 AM
  19. Wyn6's Avatar
    When I originally built my PC and hooked it up to my 60", I realized the scaling for desktop items was way too small. I scaled everything up to 150% and that worked. Did you try scaling things up under your Display settings?
    Jazmac likes this.
    06-23-2014 02:46 AM
  20. Funky Cricket's Avatar
    I had the scaling issue on my pro1 even at HD res on a 10 inch screen, stuff be small. I used the metro RDP for the few times I need to RDP into a server and it scales nice. I didn't use it a ton, as if i'm working a lot, I just use my work laptop because it has all my putty and VPN profiles on it.
    06-23-2014 10:37 AM
  21. mister2d's Avatar
    I recently got the surface pro 3, this is my review maybe it will help someone out there who's in the same position that I am.

    I'm a system/network admin and a lot of times I'm on call on the weekends and during the weeknights. With my baby girl turning 2 years I find that I do not have a lot of time to sit at my desktop or at a table with my Macbook Air. My baby girl demands attention like crazy. I'm either out with her in the park or I'm playing with her at home. The only time I have free is when she's taking a nap/asleep but problems don't wait.

    I needed something that I could have on me when I'm outdoors with her and something that I can use without having to step away from her for too long when we are at home. I tried using the ipad as my mobile solution, there were lots of RDP apps but none really work well for me. It was at that point that I decided I needed true RDP which meant I needed a real windows tablet.


    1.) The weight never really bothered me when I was in the store. I didn't even really notice it that much but after using it for 40 minutes (using it in tablet form) at home I can say that you will gradually feel the weight. And after fifty minutes I found myself constantly shifting the pro from one hand to the other hand.

    I'm not sure what product out there is going to fit your needs. On one hand you want your MacBook Air to be stationery to your desk, the iPad was a no go, and you want the SP3 to be lighter (the SP3 is already lighter than the MacBook Air).

    Seems like the best compromise is to shoehorn in the iPad with Microsoft's official RDP client or buy one of the fancier ones in the app store at whatever price.
    06-23-2014 12:47 PM
  22. msconfuse's Avatar
    I'm not sure what product out there is going to fit your needs. On one hand you want your MacBook Air to be stationery to your desk, the iPad was a no go, and you want the SP3 to be lighter (the SP3 is already lighter than the MacBook Air).

    Seems like the best compromise is to shoehorn in the iPad with Microsoft's official RDP client or buy one of the fancier ones in the app store at whatever price.
    Sorry, but I don't want the Macbook air to be stationery at my desk. It's just not as portable as i want it to be when I'm around a 2 year old. As for the Ipad I've tried apps that cost $20 and the experience was still somewhat lacking since you can't do real multitasking on it. Which is what I would need if I'm RDPing to 2 servers at the same time. As for other products, I've been testing the Acer Aspire switch 10 and it seems to be a better fit for what I want to use it for. Yes it sucks compare to the pro. And the pro blows it out the water for so many other things. Hell if i could afford it I would keep both lol but I can't justify it so I need to choose one.

    As for keeping the Acer, I thought about that but then it started to occur to me that if i start traveling (vacation) the pro would be ideal. no need for a laptop anymore since the pro has the power. (unlike the Acer)
    06-23-2014 04:30 PM
  23. msconfuse's Avatar
    I had the scaling issue on my pro1 even at HD res on a 10 inch screen, stuff be small. I used the metro RDP for the few times I need to RDP into a server and it scales nice. I didn't use it a ton, as if i'm working a lot, I just use my work laptop because it has all my putty and VPN profiles on it.
    Why is that when I want buy something from the windows apps store they want to change my identity to my online account? I haven't done it yet but does this affect my local account on the pro?
    06-23-2014 04:31 PM

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