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Loxodrome

Surface Pro Replaced My Desktop

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Loxodrome

Well, it was time to say goodbye to my Dell Inspiron mini 1012.  Over the years, I had upgraded the
RAM from 1 GB to 2GB, Swapped out the spinning disk drive for solid state, and migrated the operating system from Windows 7 Starter, to Windows 7, Windows 8, and now to 8.1 beta.
 

I had used the mini for a travel computer, to take to the coffee shop, and use in the kitchen (yes, I am that guy who uses a computer in the kitchen).  For home use, I also have a Desktop Tower running Windows 8, 8 GB ram, 1 TB hard drive, dual monitors, etc…
 

So, I bought a Surface Pro 128 GB with type cover.  And I Love it!
 

It has lightning fast start up, quick response, runs all the spreadsheets documents and presentations that I throw at it, and I even have Photoshop and Lightroom running on the Pro.  But I miss my dual monitors.
 

I started looking for a solution, and found the Targus USB 3.0 Dual Video Docking Station (from
amazon
).  It connects via the USB port on the Surface Pro, supports dual monitors, Audio in and out, USB3.0 (x2), USB2.0 (x4), and Gigabit Ethernet.  So I ordered one, hoping that it would allow my Pro to push the video to my dual monitors.
 

And…  It works better than I could have expected.
 

I have the Surface Pro on my desk, with no cover. I hook up the Targus docking stating via the USB port, and plug in the power.  My dual monitors, Keyboard, mouse, external hard drive, desktop speakers, and yes, my Zune HD are all connected to the docking station.  I get my full keyboard and mouse, dual monitors, stunning sound quality, touch, swipe and gestures on the Pro screen.  And plenty of screen
real estate to run my applications.
 

The only tricky part of the setup is balancing the dpi settings between the Surface Pro screen, and the monitors.  The Pro screen is 1600x900 in a 10 inch diagonal screen, and the monitors are 1680x1050 in a 20 inch diagonal screen.  To find this setting, search for “dpi” from the Metro screen, the select the “Make test and other items larger or smaller” setting.

 

The Surface Pro is normally set to Larger - 150%.  But for this setup, I changed the setting to
Smaller -100%. 

 

With this setting, the icons, menus, and ribbons on the dual monitors are normal size.  The text
on the Pro screen is a bit small, but still functional.

 

Overall, I am VERY pleased with this set up.  In fact, it works so well, that I tore out the desktop tower, and moved it to the kids playroom for their homework, and gaming computer. 
 

I can’t wait to get 8.1 on here so I can take advantage of the new features.



 

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Loxodrome

I totally agree.  I have a full desktop productivity environment at my desk, and where ever I go. Plus it is totally portable, and I have the pen /One Note experience, and ability to draw and save on .pdfs.  I find new ways to be productive every day. 

 

-Jon

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