Buying a Surface Pro?
Thread poster: SD Platt

SD Platt
Local time: 18:51
Member (2003)
German to English
Apr 24

Needs to run all the usual (alas still) Windows based CAT software such as Trados, Transit, etc.

Does anyone have one and use it as their primary translation machine?

Thanks in advance.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:51
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
It's good Apr 24

deutschenglisch wrote:
Needs to run all the usual (alas still) Windows based CAT software such as Trados, Transit, etc.

I have been using one full time for work for slightly more than a year.
https://www.proz.com/forum/hardware/311755-surface_pro_4_ist_it_possible_to_run_trados_2017_properly_on_a_surface_pro.html

It's a nice machine. The only caveat I have is that the battery life is not great. Mine is a desktop replacement, so it seldom causes problems for me.

Dan


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:51
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Ergonomics Apr 24

Anything with adequate specs will run all the programs you need; certainly it's no problem to find an appropriately equipped Surface Pro. They're very good machine. I have a higher-end computer with a similar form form factor, and the main issue I have I ergonomics. Unless you're sitting at a table, there's no way to use it in normal computer mode (with the keyboard). So if you often work on the couch or in the car, as I do, you can't do it. Something to think about.

 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:51
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
a few questions Apr 25

Dan Lucas wrote:

deutschenglisch wrote:
Needs to run all the usual (alas still) Windows based CAT software such as Trados, Transit, etc.

I have been using one full time for work for slightly more than a year.
https://www.proz.com/forum/hardware/311755-surface_pro_4_ist_it_possible_to_run_trados_2017_properly_on_a_surface_pro.html

It's a nice machine. The only caveat I have is that the battery life is not great. Mine is a desktop replacement, so it seldom causes problems for me.

Dan


Hi Dan,

I'm currently in the market for a fanless laptop, which should obviously be strong enough for translating. I probably run quite a bit more programs than your average person, some of which is also quite demanding. That's why I'm having a hard time finding a fanless laptop that's actually strong enough. However, I'm not going to give up as I really want a computer that can be completely silent when I wanted to be. I mean, I love my Dell Precision M6800 workstation (which is extremely powerful and can handle pretty much anything you throw at it) but it can get quite loud, and feels even louder when working at night.

That's where you come in. Do you have one of the fanless models? Which one is it, and how old is it?

Various (fanless) Surface devices are on my shortlist, as well as the Venom BlackBook Zero 14 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0siMCwXf6-E ).

I was almost ready to pull the trigger a few days ago on a Venom BlackBook Zero 14 (as I hear great things about its keyboard and touchpad, and it seems like it might almost be powerful enough for my needs), but a colleague of mine who is also interested in finding a fanless laptop reminded me that Coffee Lake laptops are right around the corner, which is why I've decided to hold off a bit and see what appears during the next few months.

Michael

PS: One of the main reasons I think I will probably go with something like the Venom BlackBook, rather than say a Surface Pro or a Acer Switch, is what LEXpert said: ergonomics.

I spend around 80% of my time working at my desk, with my laptop plugged into two large external monitors. I have this interesting set up where I actually use my laptop's keyboard instead of an external keyboard, for two reasons:

(1) the keyboard on my Dell Precision M6800 laptop is superior to most keyboards I have ever used, and
(2) over the years I have fallen in love with having a good touchpad right underneath my keyboard, and I have yet to find an external keyboard with a good touchpad underneath the keys, rather than a crappy little one off to the right.

However, I occasionally want to be able to pick up my laptop and go sit somewhere else in my house and continue working, with the laptop on my lap. It seems that this isn't very easy to do with one of the detachable models.

[Edited at 2018-04-25 20:36 GMT]


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:51
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Not for you, then Apr 26

Michael Beijer wrote:
I'm currently in the market for a fanless laptop, which should obviously be strong enough for translating. I probably run quite a bit more programs than your average person, some of which is also quite demanding. That's why I'm having a hard time finding a fanless laptop that's actually strong enough. However, I'm not going to give up as I really want a computer that can be completely silent when I wanted to be. I mean, I love my Dell Precision M6800 workstation (which is extremely powerful and can handle pretty much anything you throw at it) but it can get quite loud, and feels even louder when working at night.

Michael, sorry, I didn't see this. I would not buy a fast Surface if you want a quiet machine. The fan cuts in frequently under load. I also feel that balancing a detachable on your lap can be tricky compared to a traditional notebook PC.

Dan


 

SachiM
Japan
Local time: 02:51
Japanese to English
Get an i5 model or higher Apr 27

Hi deutschenglisch,

I've been using Surface Pro (3, and now 2017) for translating since I started freelancing often enough that I couldn't just use the family computer. I love it. Though I work at home most of the time, I don't have dedicated office space in my apartment, so it helps that I can work in different rooms depending on what the rest of my family is doing.
It was also helpful that I could work on my usual computer when I had to stay with relatives for over a month.

My husband knows some things about computer hardware, and he told me to get a Surface with i5, since m3 is 'useless.'
I got the lowest i5 model, 128GB (both times), and it's been great.
This seems to be the tier Microsoft is featuring, with keyboard and/or pen bundles.

I have SDL Trados 2017, MultiTerm 2017, and memoQ 8.4 installed. No problems.

The major difference I see from a traditional laptop is that your lap needs to be long enough for the kickstand, in addition to the length of the keyboard. I'm 158cm but have no problem with this, since I place my bag between my lap and the Surface, and it happens to be long enough (it helps with height for typing, too).
For times I am working in bed because my feet are cold, I find the kickstand to be a major advantage, since the brain of the computer isn't lying on the blanket and therefore getting overheated.
But most of the time, I work at a table or a standing at a counter, so the kickstand is not an issue.
Either the bottom edge of the Surface or its kickstand left silver-gray marks on my cheap IKEA table after I had been using it for a year, so now I place my laptop sleeve (or paper or something) under my Surface to protect the table surface.

I use the Surface keyboard and a Bluetooth mouse when I'm at a desk (but it can be used with any keyboard and mouse). I find the Surface keyboard's touchpad easy to use, with Win10 gestures, but my wrist needs a mouse I can use with my hand thumb-side up if I'm working for an extended amount of time.
The current keyboard for Pro 2017 is much more useful, since there is a "Fn" lock key. The Pro 3 one didn't, so I used to have to press the "Fn" key every time I was trying to use a Trados/memoQ shortcut which required "F3" etc.

As for the pen, I don't use it for translating, but I found it more useful than I thought for highlighting PDFs as I study. I still don't think it's necessary, though, if you're trying to save money.

[Edited at 2018-04-27 16:23 GMT]


 

Nicolas Bianchi  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 18:51
English to French
+ ...
My two cents May 31

I own a Surface Pro 4 (i5 / 8GB RAM / 256GB HD).
I worked with it for a few months as my main device, as I’m traveling.

If you work inside only, with a second screen, the display is great. If you happen to work outside, then it gets very annoying: it’s glossy and small, esp. when using CAT tools! I hid some layout elements or unpinned them in order to be able to work with it.

The battery life is miserable.

It sometimes felt quite sluggish with both Trados and memoQ (running TO3000, MS Outlook, Browser, MS Word and other tools at the same time).

I don’t like the kickstand (when working outdoors, on a camping chair for exampleicon_smile.gif ).

As I’m not using it as a tablet, I hate the touch screen: each time I’m trying to remove a dust corn, I activate/deactivate something.

Conclusion: I got another computer instead that suits my needs a lot better. Kept the SP4 as a backup, though.


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:51
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
in the end, I got a fanless (= 100% silent) Venom BlackBook Zero 14 (laptop) May 31

Hi everyone. Okay, so I finally bought myself a fanless (100% silent) laptop for work. In the end, I didn't buy a Surface Pro, or an ASUS ZenBook, or a Dell Latitude 12 7000, or an Eve 'V' – all fanless models – but a Venom BlackBook Zero 14, from an Australian PC manufacturer. You can read my full review @

https://www.proz.com/forum/hardware/325813-okay_finally_bought_myself_a_fanless_100_silent_laptop_4_work_venom_blackbook_zero_14_review.html

Michael


 


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