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Surface pro question

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm a mechanic at a good sized family owned garage, and I specialize in computer diagnosing. We own several scan tools including all of the domestic ones. Many of the scan tools are now moving to lap top with usb obd2 adaptors. We currently have the ford ids and chrysler star mobile on laptop as well as cardaq j2534 which is used to reprogram many import cars.

My problem is, the laptop is bulky as heck when trying to use it in a car along with all the cables, especially if you need to drive it while looking at the data streams. A while back, before the surface was even rumored, my boss had mentioned it would be cool if we could get everything on a tablet instead of the laptop, except the software only works with windows and needs a usb port, plus a x64 or x86 processor.

Now to my understanding, the surface pro has an i5 processor (so its x64), windows 8 (duh) and a usb port. Our current laptop only has an 120 gig hdd so the 128 gig pro should have plenty of space. Im also assuming it can use a usb dvd drive so we can install the software.

So would there be anything preventing the pro from taking the place of our laptop? If not then I'm going to try and convince my boss to get one. I just want to make sure it would work before bringing it up to him.

I actually go to other shops in town several times a month to reprogram cars with the laptop, and a tablet would make my job much eaisier, lol

Thank you for any help
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Intel Core i7 3770K at 4.5ghz Asus z77 Maximus V Formula evga NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Classified Samsung "Wonder Ram" 8gb (4x2) @ 1866 mhz 
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The main rig
(18 items)
 
The Wife's Rig
(15 items)
 
minecraft box
(9 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3770K at 4.5ghz Asus z77 Maximus V Formula evga NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Classified Samsung "Wonder Ram" 8gb (4x2) @ 1866 mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
ocz vertex 4 256 gb ssd Western Digital cavier green hdd 1tb Sea Gate 1.5 tb hdd Samsung External Blue Ray Writer 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Xspc rasa 750 rx360 with 3 sp120s Bitfinex Fan Controller Windows 8.1 Professional Acer 23 inch led 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G510 Seasonic 750 watt fully modular Black Nzxt Switch 810 Razor Deathadder 
OtherOther
Asus mpcie wifi adaptor Azio usb Bluetooth dongle 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570k @ 4.5 ghz Asus Maximus IV Gene-z68 Evga NVIDIA GTX 780 Classified 8 gb Samsung "Wonder Ram" @ 2133 mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
320 gb western digital intel ssd LG Blue Ray Drive Corsair H100 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
4 stock corsair fans on h100 Windows 8.1 Acer 23 inch led Logitech G510 
PowerCaseMouse
Rosewill Capstone 750 watt NZXT Switch 810 black Razor Deathadder 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 GIGABYTE GA-G41MT-S2PT G41 + ICH7 Micro ATX  GTX 670 FTW 8 GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500 gb seagate cd burner/ dvd player H80 in push pull Windows 7 
Power
Thermaltake 600 Watt 
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post #2 of 4
A couple notes.

-The Surface Pro starts with 128GB, but much of that is drained faster than expected with not only the OS files and paging file, but also a backup image used to restore the Surface. You could, however, just put this as a backup somewhere else and free up about 8 GB. You could also reduce the size of the paging file if you feel you know what you're doing with that.
-Yes, it has a USB 3.0 port. This is backwards-compatible with USB 2.0. Just make sure that whatever hardware you want to use has Windows 8 drivers (I really wouldn't anticipate that as an issue, but if your business is going to center around this working, you might as well do some research)
-Finally, there are some other companies making other kinds of tablets to do the same sort of thing. Ars Technica had a review of an Acer Iconia that seemed like decent Surface competition. However, if you're working in an industrial area, I'd say the Surface's hard-body build is probably to your benefit. Someone managed to lose theirs in traffic, seeing it get run over by cars, and besides some wearing at the edges, it functioned pretty much fine.

If you live near a large city, there are some Microsoft stores where you could try it out and see how well it fits you. The keyboard is an extra $120-$130, but in some use cases you could do without it.
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Calvin
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the information thumb.gif I did some research on the software, and it looks like the Ford IDS is not Windows 8 compatable (in big red letters on their site)...yet. So it looks like the surface may not work now, but may be a viable option for the future, once all the software adopts Win 8. I looked at the acer iconia, but I like the build of the surface. Its going to be in a rough environment and needs to last. I would be the primary user of it, but others would use it too and some aren't as careful with equipment as I am, lol.

As far as hardrive space, the current laptop only has 30 gb in use out of the 120, so I think the 128gb pro should have plenty for what we want to do with it. I'm going to bring it up to him today as something that would be a good future purchase, once all the software is compatable with Win 8.

In most cases we dont need a keyboard at all, all of the software is point and click, which is actually kind of a pain with a laptops touchpad (can't use a mouse to eaisly in a car either) and the only time the keyboard is even used is if we need to look something up in the browser, and an on screen keyboard can be used for that
The main rig
(18 items)
 
The Wife's Rig
(15 items)
 
minecraft box
(9 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3770K at 4.5ghz Asus z77 Maximus V Formula evga NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Classified Samsung "Wonder Ram" 8gb (4x2) @ 1866 mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
ocz vertex 4 256 gb ssd Western Digital cavier green hdd 1tb Sea Gate 1.5 tb hdd Samsung External Blue Ray Writer 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Xspc rasa 750 rx360 with 3 sp120s Bitfinex Fan Controller Windows 8.1 Professional Acer 23 inch led 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G510 Seasonic 750 watt fully modular Black Nzxt Switch 810 Razor Deathadder 
OtherOther
Asus mpcie wifi adaptor Azio usb Bluetooth dongle 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570k @ 4.5 ghz Asus Maximus IV Gene-z68 Evga NVIDIA GTX 780 Classified 8 gb Samsung "Wonder Ram" @ 2133 mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
320 gb western digital intel ssd LG Blue Ray Drive Corsair H100 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
4 stock corsair fans on h100 Windows 8.1 Acer 23 inch led Logitech G510 
PowerCaseMouse
Rosewill Capstone 750 watt NZXT Switch 810 black Razor Deathadder 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 GIGABYTE GA-G41MT-S2PT G41 + ICH7 Micro ATX  GTX 670 FTW 8 GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500 gb seagate cd burner/ dvd player H80 in push pull Windows 7 
Power
Thermaltake 600 Watt 
  hide details  
Reply
The main rig
(18 items)
 
The Wife's Rig
(15 items)
 
minecraft box
(9 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3770K at 4.5ghz Asus z77 Maximus V Formula evga NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Classified Samsung "Wonder Ram" 8gb (4x2) @ 1866 mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
ocz vertex 4 256 gb ssd Western Digital cavier green hdd 1tb Sea Gate 1.5 tb hdd Samsung External Blue Ray Writer 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Xspc rasa 750 rx360 with 3 sp120s Bitfinex Fan Controller Windows 8.1 Professional Acer 23 inch led 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G510 Seasonic 750 watt fully modular Black Nzxt Switch 810 Razor Deathadder 
OtherOther
Asus mpcie wifi adaptor Azio usb Bluetooth dongle 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570k @ 4.5 ghz Asus Maximus IV Gene-z68 Evga NVIDIA GTX 780 Classified 8 gb Samsung "Wonder Ram" @ 2133 mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
320 gb western digital intel ssd LG Blue Ray Drive Corsair H100 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
4 stock corsair fans on h100 Windows 8.1 Acer 23 inch led Logitech G510 
PowerCaseMouse
Rosewill Capstone 750 watt NZXT Switch 810 black Razor Deathadder 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 GIGABYTE GA-G41MT-S2PT G41 + ICH7 Micro ATX  GTX 670 FTW 8 GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500 gb seagate cd burner/ dvd player H80 in push pull Windows 7 
Power
Thermaltake 600 Watt 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 4
thats such a great use for your needs. if you dont want to wait however asus has been making really think ultra books (think macbook airs) that not only have touch screens but can also still have windows 7. look up the lenovo yogo as well as its a laptop that converts into a tablet. there are also hybrids now that detatch the keyboard from the screen so your boss can use the laptop and when ur going to be out detactch it into a tablet. lots of choices really
ShadowinBlue
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ShadowinBlue
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