We are currently on a road trip – driving from Michigan to Florida – and, of course, we have our trusty Surface tablets with us. As always these tablets are proving to be awesome devices on the road. This is actually our first road trip with the Surfaces because on all of the previous trips we were flying. This time we’re driving a looooonnnngggg way but the Surface tablets do not disappoint.
We have with us, my Surface Pro 3, Tim’s Surface Pro 2 and my “baby Surface 2”. I thought I’d share with you how we’re using them on this trip.
On The Road Again With Surface Tablets: Blogging
Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro 3: I, in particular, like the larger screen on my Surface Pro 3 for editing pictures and video. I also like the keyboard better for lap work – although I’m the first to admit that I wish the keyboard were more rigid, it does the job. Both devices seamlessly connect to WiFi hotspots but also allow us to work offline on our posts. Posts, like the one you’re reading, have been pretty effortless to do with our Surfaces.
On The Road Again With Surface Tablets: Other Business
Surface 2 (aka baby Surface or purse Surface): On this trip we’ve had to scan several documents and send them on to business partners. As we mentioned before, the Surface Pro camera kind of sucks for taking pictures, see post Surface Pro 3 Camera Quality, so for this task we’ve been using the Surface 2. The camera on it has proved much better and allowed us to scan – readable – documents and send them on to others.
On The Road Again With Surface Tablets: Navigation
Surface 2: I have the 4G LTE version of the Surface 2 and I can’t tell you how awesome it is for navigation. I use HERE Maps App, see my review of Here Maps For Surface Tablets and Tim usually drives while I navigate. It is really nice to have that available. We both also have Windows Phones and the navigation on those is good too but the larger screen on the Surface makes it better. Besides, the Cellular plan from AT&T also allows me to do other things online while we’re driving. So far, we’ve traveled over 1,000 miles and there was only one spot in South Carolina, when we were in between cities – kind of in the middle of nowhere – that I didn’t get a good enough signal for surfing the web. Otherwise, it was excellent, I mean I even had 3 bars of 4G LTE in the Appalachian Mountains – woot.
On The Road Again With Surface Tablets: WiFi sharing
Surface 2: We’ve set up the Surface 2 as our WiFi hot spot a couple of times and used it with our other devices. It’s pretty nice and convenient. If you’re wondering how to do that, check out my post on creating a mobile hotspot with Surface 2.
On The Road Again With Surface Tablets: Email\Calendar
All of our Surfaces: clearly we have stayed in touch with the rest of the world via email and kept to our schedules with the Calendar app on our Surfaces. I honestly, don’t remember life before the internet – did it exist? Kidding of course; I know it did but it feels like today we are attached at the hip to our email and calendars. One thing that I found particularly useful was tracking our hotel reservations in the Windows Calendar. It allowed me to easily see where we are staying each night of this road trip at a glance – very useful.
On The Road Again With Surface Tablets: Travel arrangements
All of our Surfaces: we have been playing this trip totally by ear, we are not over planning and since we’re in transition, we sometimes make last minute travel arrangements. On this trip, there was actually one time that we sat in the hotel parking lot, while we were making arrangements via Orbitz.com on our Surface to stay there for the night. In case you didn’t know, you can often get a much cheaper rate via Orbitz than through the hotel and some hotels will price-match the Orbitz price (although not all).
On The Road Again With Surface Tablets: Facebook\Skype\Picture uploads
All of our Surfaces: I think this one speaks for itself. We’ve been posting updates of our road trips for friends and family on Facebook. We’ve also used Skype to call our immediate family to let them know where we are and what we’re doing. There is nothing like staying connected via technology – awesome, awesome, awesome.
We have also, of course, been taking pictures and videos all along and rather than using the cellular data, we’ve been posting them online via WiFi in the hotel rooms from our Surfaces.
On The Road Again With Surface Tablets: Reading\Entertainment
All of our Surfaces: We’ve both used our Surfaces for entertainment. I like to read and so the Kindle App for my Surface has been indispensable both in the car and at the hotels. Tim has been able to play games on his Surface Pro 2 even in the hotel rooms and I can’t tell you how many games of Tetris, Sudoku and Saltire I’ve played – let’s just say, we enjoy our Surfaces.
How do you use your Surfaces when you travel?