Dower’s Guide to Surface Pro 3 Must-Have Accessories

It’s the holiday season and maybe you’ve just purchased a Surface Pro 3; what next? It’s a wonderful multipurpose device, but even if you picked up a Microsoft Type Keyboard to go along with it, there are some things that you should also get to make it the best productivity tool you can use. I’ve been using my Surface Pro 3 since it came out, and it has now become my primary computer for all my work; which includes video editing, image work and development. Here are some of the accessories I recommend to go along with your Surface Pro 3.

Please note that these recommendations below are not limited to the Surface Pro 3, they will work fine for any Surface Pro tablet.

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X-Wing and Tie Fighter Now on GOG!

It’s hard to believe, but LucasArts release the first X-Wing game back in 1994! That’s 20 years ago! LucasArts followed it with Tie Fighter in 1996, both games were fantastic and became an everlasting part of my past. The horror of the story is that these games never saw any type of re-release, until now. Good Old Games, GOG, has gotten the rights to sell these games! If you never played it, I highly suggest you get them, both games are $10 each, and come with the all their expansions. So, now, instead of trying to dig up old floppy disks or pirating the game and struggling with emulators, GOG did the hard work for you. For me, this was an instabuy! I’ll be reporting later on how it’s like.

Microsoft Makes Windows 10 Available for Everyone to Test!

Windows 10 ScreenshotThis past Tuesday Microsoft announced the next version of Windows, dubbed Windows 10; skipping over the number 9. The announcement was at a small press event and with little fanfare, but the big news is the availability of the new OS to the public to test; following what Apple has been doing with their updates to OSX. I downloaded the image off Microsoft’s website and first installed it as a virtual machine on my Macbook Pro using Parallels 10. It was a bit quirky at first, since Parallels likes to make things easy for you by offering you known OS’s to install. Windows 10, isn’t known to it yet, so I had to play around a little to make a VM for “Other Windows”, and point it to the ISO file for Windows 10. I must admit, the install process went far faster than I expected. It’s unclear if the fast install experience was because of Windows 10 being still a technical preview, or if this will be how the final version will install.

Upon starting up, it didn’t feel that different, there is no new logo, and everything appears like Windows 8 until you realize that there is no more Start Screen! You are taken to a more familiar Windows 7 desktop. It’s only when you hit the Windows Key or the Windows Charm you’ll notice the Start Screen is now part of a new Start Menu. Beyond this obvious change, there is the new Virtual Desktops and the enhanced task switching. I’ll try and go into these things later when I have a chance to delve into Windows 10 some more in the coming days.

Initial Impressions of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3

wpid-2014-06-12-21.47.21.jpg.jpegUnlike official tech reviewers and members of the press, I don’t have early access to new and exciting technology. Instead, I need to wait till the consumer masses are allowed to see and touch them at retail outlets. The Surface Pro 3 won’t be available to purchase until June 20, but Microsoft recently put their upcoming tablet on display at their retail stores; and I happened to be near one yesterday.

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Review and Comparison of the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

noteproBack in March, Samsung, to my surprise, released a new set of tablets, their Note Pro, and Tab Pro series. These two tablets are unique in the Android realm because they are the first large Android tablets to hit the market. Up till now, all tablets have been chasing the 10″ form factor; essentially chasing the norm that Apple put in place with the iPad. Samsung breaks this trend by releasing a 12.2″ tablet! I was at first skeptical, having only a few months earlier picked up a Note 10.1 2014 edition. But when I saw it in person at Best Buy, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one!

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Checking out the Asus Vivotab Note 8

Asus Vivotab Note 8When I heard about the Asus Vivotab Note 8 from this year’s CES, I was pretty psyched! Not only is the Vivotab Note 8 An 8″ Windows Tablet running full Windows 8.1, it comes with a Wacom Stylus; a feature that sets itself apart from anything else in the 8″ Windows Tablet space. The only problem is the difficulty in getting one.  It seems the tablet is only available from the Microsoft store in limited quantities, when they do get them in, they seem to sell out fast; which hopefully is a good sign. I managed to grab one, and it arrived this past Wednesday, so I’m busy configuring it and giving it a once over. Stay tuned for my full review!