Living with the Surface RT [Day 100]

Surface RT

I have hit 100 days with the Surface RT and I can say that they only thing about it that has been an uphill struggle has been this blog (only at times!). I certainly would have liked it to be more educational that it has been but attempting to blog daily has limited that. Id on’t intend to stop blogging, but I do not intend beyond today to blog on a daily (or attempt) basis but I do feel that this entry should look back at what I have tried to do and where i still/want to go with the Surface RT.

  1. Connecting wirelessly to another display
  2. Tethering to my phone for when I cannot get Wifi (made some headway – Bluetooth only real solution from a cost perspective, and so far not needed to!)
  3. Finding at least one good app (and free) for all categories (a bit ambitious now the categories have expanded i.e. sport & government not my thing!)
  4. Trying to write this blog from the Surface itself (setup has been on a PC, entries have been on an iPhone 5)
  5. Not writing this blog retrospectively (which it has up till now!)
  6. Purchase & use a stylus

I still have a few projects/research pieces involving the Surface RT that will be a part of this blog.

  • Tethering to my phone for when I cannot get Wifi (from my original list above)
  • Micro HDMI to mini HDMI adapter (on order)
  • VGA adapter (on order)
  • Working with whole groups of students and staff to utilise tablets in the classroom

I do have to say that I have not powered up my works laptop since July 2013, the Surface RT has been a great replacement and the abilities it has serves it well:

  • light
  • portable
  • Small form factor
  • Amazing battery Life
  • Productive (especially love office and OneNote app)
  • App store is starting to mature


I am going to have to dust off the laptop, if only because I’m teaching game engines and the software is on my laptop ready to utilise. I am still holding out hope that miracast will come to the Surface RT (although knowing it not coming), but overall I don’t see myself being drawn back to the iPad.

In fact I would probably be persuaded to move onto a Surface Pro or similar tablet/laptop device.



OneNote App Scanning on the Surface RT [Day 99]

OneNote Screenshot

Now this i can really see a use for, being a ble to effectively scan an image into OneNote, but there is more to it than just inserting a photo.

OneNote will attempt (and very well) to rotate, straighten and crop the image itself as it is placed into OneNote. You also have the ability to recognise the any text and covert in editable/searchable text as well. Great for curating all those board notes and handouts that can so easily get overlooked, lost or forgotten!



OneNote App vs Application on the Surface RT [Day 98]

I have often seen comments regarding installing OneNote, from the Windows Store, and always thought why would I do that? I have the full application on the Surface RT.

Well simply as it is awesome, the interface has been streamlines, the notebooks, sections and pages are located on the left but by using full screen (swipe up to access option) and  by using the new radial menu you have quick access to options. This is accessed by whenever you add information and see a small circular icon.

Check out this video for a quick overview:



Show all Apps on the Surface RT [Day 97]

This has been so annoying! becoming so used to swiping from any edge fully the odd occasion I have wanted to access “all apps” has me either searching for it from the charms menu or effectively Googling it!

NOTE TO SELF: swipe up anywhere on the background between tiles, that is all!



PowerPoint on a Second Screen and the Surface RT [Day 96]

I love this ability on the surface…. and it has so much more for the presenter

  1. Split screen that is adjustable
    • Current Slide (forward & back)
    • Next slide preview
    • Current slide notes (inc. text size adjustment)
  1. Timer (pause/reset)
  2. Current time
  3. Pen tools
  4. Magnify
  5. Screen blanker



HDMI Adapter on the Surface RT [Day 95]

Having the odd HDMI cable around I did not want to splash out on another HDMI cable, so instead opted for a HDMI adapter (Micro Male to Full HDMI female) that cost less than a few pounds.

As you may well move your Surface RT about I would be careful of not snapping or bending the connector, actually a good reason why adapter may well be a good idea, wrecking a cheap adapter not a whole cable is far more bearable though.

The side of the Surface RT is angled so the adapter is not flush against the device (I wonder if a hobby drill could be used to slightly trim plastic away for a better fit?)




OneNote Quick Access Toolbar on the Surface RT [Day 94]

OneNote Toolbar

OneNote Toolbar

I am really interested in using OneNote more, I am already loving the ability to share between devices, but still want to utilise this application more.

I must admit I am frustrated at how I have to quick opening up the ribbon for simple task switching – enter the Quick Access Toolbar, throw on a few basics to make my life easier (and space them out with some seperators spread out the icons):

  • Text/Select
  • Stroke Eraser
  • Favourite Pen 1
  • Favourite Highlighter 1
  • Favourite Pen 2
  • zoom out
  • zoom%
  • zoom 100%
  • zoom out

Can definitely move about quicker and without cursing the smallness of the icons ( I think most would have issues as my fingers are not what you could call large)