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A few months with the Surface Go

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During the last weeks I saw a few reviews (like this one) about long time experience with the Surface Go. I have mine for a couple of months now and finally finished the first semester where it accompanied me for a couple of different tasks.

I planned to use my Surface Go to take notes during the lectures to not waste paper or get too distracted using my laptop. That didn’t really work out, because the professor of two of my courses disallowed the use of tablets and computers in the lectures (or at least set high restrictions that weren’t really worth it for me) and I had to write on paper instead. But I found other use cases though.

For example, I used the Surface Go with OneNote to learn for exams. I learned for my apprenticeship exam and for an exam about C++. I’m happy with the results of both of them. I noticed that, when I write things down while learning, I can remember them better. But I also need to have the option to rearrange notes or correct them later without creating a mess on the paper. OneNote was really awesome for that. And a nice feature: OneNote has a dark mode, paper doesn’t.

And I used the Surface Go as an office machine. I wrote a seminar paper as well as a paper for my apprenticeship on this device. For both I had to use Microsoft Word, because certain features where missing in Libre Office and the Surface was my only option with Windows. But I also wrote a couple of blog posts using this device.

The low-power CPU on the Surface Go and Windows had the advantage, that I got less distracted from working on my assignments. I wasn’t able to procrastinate by coding, because coding isn’t that much fun on this computer (although it’s still possible). Somehow this device forced me to be productive.

The third main use case is using the Surface Go as a media player. I watched a lot of videos on this device. It has a perfect size to take it without a keyboard and watch a video in bed or on the couch. You can also easily connect it to a TV using an adapter (I use a multi-adapter, that let’s me use all different kind of ports by plugging it into the USB-C port).

The Surface Go is my perfect companion on the Go (as the name suggests). It’s perfect for me as a student, allows me to take notes, write on it (papers, as well as blog posts) or use it to consume videos. For development activities, I still prefer my old ThinkPad (when I’m on the go) or my desktop PC (at home). It was quite a big investment (it cost me a lot more than my desktop PC with much better specs), but it was still a good one. I hope I can use this device for a few more years to come.

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Jan-Lukas Else
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