Replacing laptop with a Surface

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Posts 33
James Amos | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Dec 11 2021 6:54 AM

My laptop has a broken screen and the cost is going to be almost as much as buying a new laptop. I'm a student pastor and I have both a laptop and a tablet ATM. I was thinking about replacing them with a Microsoft surface so that I could just use one device. My current laptop has i5-7200c processor, 12gb ram, and 128 SSD. I'm not looking for a super device just something at least comparable.

I have a few questions about this:

1. Can I attach multiple monitors to the surface?

2. What model would similar to what I currently have?

3. Any pros or cons to just using a surface?

Posts 111
Morgan | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 11 2021 8:13 AM

So this is my experience with the Surface 3. It's an older model, and not the pro version so you might need to take some of this with a grain of salt if comparing to newer models.

  1. I was unable to do multiple monitors with the surface 3. This article tells me you'll need a Surface Dock.
  2. Not familiar enough on the current models to give a solid answer.
  3. The surface, while a tablet, functions as a desktop. You will have to download the Logos desktop app which isn't too friendly for tablets and touchscreen. It won't replace whatever tablet you're using right now.

I was OK with my Surface 3 for the 5 years it lasted. The cover keyboard is peeling in multiple places and it stopped holding a good charge around year 4. I also had difficulties with the keyboard connecting and would have to restart often.

I recently got myself an HP Envy 13 which has done well, despite some spotty trackpad issues. I also got a Samsung tablet for general reading and the mobile app.

Posts 718
Kathleen Marie | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 11 2021 9:00 AM

You want multiple screens, but you want one inexpensive device that is powerful enough to run multiple screens.

When on a low budget, I have had more success with more devices, each dedicated to what they do best, and each with its own screen. Yes they overlap, but that is good when one breaks or is overheating and buggy from a bad update. Redundancy is a safer goal than efficiency, on a budget.

I qualify for a temporary free pandemic EBB internet plan. The provider sells refurbished computers and old business Lenovo Thinkpads are sometimes available. AND they offer a special MS office for $20.00 for the life of the machine that does not require a subscription to work. Logos and MS Office are running very well on this machine that I paid less than $300.00. Technology and opportunities to acquire it keep changing, but I have no plans other than to keep running my student academic writing tools on a refurbished Thinkpad.

I have a broken-down mess of a cheap desktop that is frying itself running Logos and two monitors at the same time. I am vision impaired and when I am studying with Bible Software, two large monitors are a HUGE help. I would rather put the wear and tear on my junk machine, when possible, to save the Thinkpad for when I must be mobile.

I have a very cheap android tablet that I got before I had the free EBB plan, and it will be my only home wifi again when the EBB program exhausts its funds, so I have not canceled it. It was $100 and it is an extra $20 on my phone bill every month. Because I have it, I use it, and it is useful. It is often running some news or a training video while Logos windows are splashed all over my double monitor set up.

Yes, sometimes I have all 4 screen running at the same time. Along with a Google speaker and an Alexa echo, and Bixby on my phone. All the AIs have different strengths and weaknesses, but they can spell, do math, and all sorts of other things that reduce my need to open another tab on my screens.

As much as my library and writing is becoming more and digital, I have a circle of folding tables, set up around me, strewn with books and papers, and a 5th screen, and e-ink tablet.

Do you REALLY want to give up a screen and redundancy? Think about it?

Posts 2701
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 11 2021 9:33 AM

James Amos:

I have a few questions about this:

1. Can I attach multiple monitors to the surface?

2. What model would similar to what I currently have?

3. Any pros or cons to just using a surface?

I have successfully used the Surface Pro 1, 4 & 7 with Logos since 2012.

Using the Surface Dock, you can use the Surface Monitor plus 2 others (Current pic shows Surface keyboard, precision mouse, and 27" connected through a Dock).

I currently have the i7 with 16 GB RAM and 256 SSD (plus a 256 GB Micro SD card) and have never had a problem.

Pro - I always have my full library and full features with me whereever I set up!

Con - included screen is small for a complicated layout.

Pro - I have a saved layout called "Portrait (touch)" that I can quickly change to if I am using without keyboard/mouse/external monitor.

Con - Logos does not support touch/pen very well in TABLET mode.

Assessment - I greatly prefer using the dock (have one setup at home office & 1 at church office) when creating/researching. But the tablet features are great for preaching, and sufficient for basic interaction.

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim,, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

Posts 33
James Amos | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 11 2021 10:28 AM

Thanks everyone for the input and thoughts on this.

David, your final assessment is what I am trying to accomplish. I do understand that there are a couple limitations but I think the pros outweigh them. 

I currently use my 13" laptop and one monitor with my notes and Bible tab open on laptop and the rest of my layout on the large monitor. I think I could accomplish the same layout with the surface and monitor.

I was more worried about slow down of the program. I remember before I got the SSD installed on my current laptop that it would sometimes run slow and I think it was the cause of the HDD failure.

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