Aliens and the Surface Pro

I’ve been busy for a while with quite a lot of things, so I have not had much time to write [or rant for that matter] lately.

First and foremost, I will tell you that Laura has been painfully making do for the last several years with my “leavings” from my employer. She’s been using my hand-me-down extra laptops when I get a new one.

Lately, though, that wasn’t really working for us. She loves to do photo editing and also loves a good, fast, and stable machine. My old work laptop didn’t quite have a powerhouse of a graphics card [neither did my newer one] and eventually, it has slowly succumbed to entropy and now crashes frequently for no reason. So did my newer one when I put any kind of strain on the graphics engine, like, say, playing a game… If I were to do such things…

It was definitely time to get something configured for her that was brand new and with a warranty. I gave her two options. One: get a super high performance laptop that would do everything, or two: get two purpose built machines (one powerful desktop for home and one ultra-portable for elsewhere). Either option was about the same amount of money.

What she discovered is that the laptops which had the specs that she like were 10 pounds and had 17 inch monitors and were usually “gaming” machines. She also didn’t like the fact that if something breaks with your laptop, you usually need a professional to fix it. I can change parts in a desktop rather easily, so no calling the technicians on that one. She also couldn’t get quite the performance on a laptop that she could on a desktop that was about half the price. So that’s what we decided. All that was left was picking out the two pieces of the Laura Computing Environment, from now on referred to as “LCE”. 🙂

The easier choice was a desktop for the LCE. We’ve both always admired the Alienware computers, and now that they’ve been acquired by Dell, they seem to be more affordable. We chose a strong performer, but without the dual video cards [without a second monitor they are unnecessary], with 32GB of RAM, super fast CPU, and an SSD for the system drive. All of our data files usually are on the network so storage isn’t a problem. We chose speed over space with that disk, but it’s still 256GB.

Then, we had to chose the LCE mobile machine. We looked at several options, playing with them in some stores, but none seemed sufficiently powerful and robust enough when combined with light weight and touch screens.

Anyhow, after my employer gave me a Surface RT, I found that I kept finding it in her hands. Hmm… there might be something there, I thought. So, when availability of the Pro came around, we showed up at the store – to a huge crowd! We were able to miraculously obtain the 128GB Surface Pro [which, it seems, everyone else wants, too] that the manager said had a “damaged box”. Turns out it wasn’t damaged that we could see. Everyone else was now in line to reserve a back-ordered one.

So: the LCE now consists of the Surface Pro 128GB and my old laptop. The Alienware desktop has not yet arrived, but it will in about a week I think.

I’ve set up the Surface Pro for her and even tested it out in a café with Lightroom on it doing some picture edits and uploads for about 3 hours. I’ve got to say: it’s pretty amazing for such a tiny thing!