The Switcher Diaries: On The Road With The Surface Pro 3

My phone starts to wiggle its way across my desk as the vibration from the call coming in kicks over. It’s Campbell Simpson, the other half of the Gizmodo brain trust on the other end. “Hey man. I’m downstairs in my Tesla Model S, want to come for a ride?” I scoop up my Surface and hit the road: can the push the limits of the future worker by turning a Model S into a mobile office?

I’m Luke Hopewell, and this week I’m switching from a MacBook Air to a Surface Pro 3. All this week, we’re putting the Surface Pro 3 through its paces. From mobile computing, tablet tasks and full on desktop replacement tests: Gizmodo is powered by the Surface all week. Got something you want us to test? Let us know in the comments!

Disclosure: Microsoft is an advertiser on Gizmodo, but has no editorial influence on this series (though Microsoft PR did send over a Surface Pro 3 dock once they saw what we were doing!)

We do some pretty awesome stuff here at Gizmodo, but this is most certainly out of the ordinary.

The world’s most visionary vehicle is sitting downstairs, ready for me to ride, but I have a mountain of work to do.

I heard the words come out of my mouth: “sorry, Cam. I can’t…”. But then I stopped.

Normally when I get to the office, I switch from my phone or tablet to a 27-inch iMac. It’s a brilliant machine, but it has a portability problem, to be sure. You’re not about to stick it in your bag and take it out of the office with you, for example.

I remembered as I looked at my desk that I’m not on the iMac this week: I’m a mobile worker with some of the best hardware on the market right now to get me away from my desk.

“I’ll be right down”.

Cam will bring you a more comprehensive look at what the Tesla Model S is like to drive soon, but what I can tell you is that it’s one of the most comfortable mobile offices imaginable.

We landed at Sydney’s glorious North Head, taking in the glory of the harbour on a beautiful Sunny day. While Cam set about his job, I set about mine: I sat down on a nearby rock, adjusted the kickstand into lap mode and started to write. By the time he was done, I had scheduled a handful of stories and replied to a bunch of different emails: more than I would have been able to do on my phone or tablet, for example, all thanks to the Type Cover and a real operating system in Windows 8.1.

And that got me thinking: where else can I take it? Presumably, as long as I have the internet I can work from anywhere, right?

And that’s when I decided to jump in the frunk (front trunk) of the Model S, and work for the rest of the time out at the Heads. I’d argue it’s the first time someone has run a news website from the frunk of an electric car?

Mobile working means publishing posts from the frunk of a Tesla Model S on a Surface Pro 3.

A photo posted by Luke Hopewell (@lukehopewell) on

Another first for Gizmodo Australia!

Now, the point of this series is to see if the Surface Pro 3 really can replace my MacBook, and so far it can: and then some.

If I was using my MacBook, I would have struggled to see the lower resolution screen in the broad daylight so that I could post on the run. Plus, I would have likely run into power issues with the battery on my older 11-inch model. Now obviously the Surface is going to beat it in that regard, but in the numbers game we’re playing, it’s still a point in the Win column.

Could I have used my Mac to do these things? Yes. Did I get a better experience doing it on the Surface Pro 3 yesterday? Absolutely.

The Switcher Diaries continues tomorrow…

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