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Thursday, May 04, 2023

Traveling with the Surface Go 3

I'm home from my trip now, and as it turned out, the Surface Go 3 was the absolute perfect travel computer.

My review is as follows:

  • Size: The small size of the Surface Go 3 (10.5") made it easy to take with me.  I put it in my regular backpack with a laptop sleeve for the trip, but it easily would have gone into a messenger bag or large purse.  I've also carried it by itself since getting back.  The bump-proof case I got for it helps me feel more secure doing that.  I felt like the small size also made it easier to pull it out of my bag at security in the airport.
  • Weight: The Surface Go weighs just over a pound, although the case and keyboard increase that weight a little.  Even with those accessories, it's pretty lightweight, and was super comfortable to carry with me everywhere.
  • Case: I bought the SUPCASE, which is similar to the case I used to have for my old Surface.  The naked Surface just feels like it would be too easy to slip out of your hands while moving or carrying it, so I like the grippier feeling of a case.  Plus the case is supposed to provide some protection again bumps and drops.  I also like the separate kickstand, as the stand on the Surface is difficult to pull out and I would be worried about it breaking with a lot of use.  There's a pen holder too, but I don't have a pen right now (though I wonder if I could steal the one from my old Surface Pro...).
  • Keyboard: I initially bought an aftermarket keyboard, but had to get a Microsoft branded type cover because the off brand one was too big to work with the case.  The MS keyboard works perfectly, so it's worth the additional cost (although I bought it for less than the standard price on Amazon).  The keyboard is small but I'm still able to type reasonably well, although if I had larger hands that probably would not be so much the case.  Keyboards typically rank high on list of priorities for writers, so you'll understand what I mean when I say that the keyboard has a nice clicky feel to it.
  • Speed: Initially I thought the computer was going to be a little on the slow side, which was okay with me since it was just for travel, but it turned out not to be as slow as I'd thought it would be.  It was fast enough for most things I wanted to use it for.  For the most part I used it for Facebook, Google Drive/Docs, Google Calendar, Toggl, and Canva, and it worked well for all of that.  There was a little lag time on occasion, but not so bad that it got in the way of what I wanted to do.

Now that I'm home again, I'm thinking about what I want to continue using the computer for.  The issue is that I have a perfectly good laptop at home, with more storage, memory, and processing speed than the Surface Go.  And since it's not good for laptops to be plugged in all the time, I do try to take it with me to work on occasion, whether that is taking it to bed, to the couch, when I babysit, or when I have to charge my car - any time I have some time to kill.

So I don't necessarily want to make the Surface Go my only travel machine, but I do want to use it on occasion too so that the battery doesn't go bad from being in storage too much of the time.  Having a backup and travel computer is a good thing, but juggling the two of them will make things a little more complicated!

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