Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting familiar with the device, part of Learning Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3.
- Let's start with a quick introduction to get familiar with what the Surface Pro 3 is, and what it's capable of. At first glance the Surface appears to be a tablet. But it's different from an iPad or an Android tablet because it's actually a full computer. It runs Windows 8.1, which is the same operating system that you'll find on any new Windows-based computer. In fact, the only things missing that you would expect to see on a laptop computer are a keyboard and a track pad. But that's what the keyboard cover is for.
The keyboard cover is not required to use the Microsoft Surface, but many people consider it to be essential. It connects to the Surface using magnets, (click) and it acts as a cover to protect the screen when it's not in use. But it can also fold open, of course, giving you a keyboard and a track pad. This basically turns the surface into a laptop computer. We'll talk more about the keyboard cover later in this course. For now I'm just gonna disconnect it and set it aside so we can focus on the Surface device itself.
Even though Windows 8.1 is the same operating system that you would find on a desktop or laptop computer, it also has a touch-friendly tablet interface. So the Surface works well as either a laptop computer or as a tablet. Like most tablets, the main feature of the Surface is the touch sensitive screen. This is your display as well as your main input device. There's also a start button on the front over here on the side. This is a touch sensitive button. We'll talk more about the touch screen and start button in a minute.
Also on the front you'll find a front-facing camera and microphone. They're both a little hard to see because they're pretty small, but they're up here at this top edge. There's also a set of speakers. You'll have them on both the right and the left side. And they point out towards the front. Now on the back you'll see a rear-facing camera. That's up here on the top edge. And there's also the kickstand. This is a hinged panel that opens up along the bottom half of the device. You can open this up, and then set the Surface on a table or a desk to use it in a free standing mode.
You can also set it on your lap if you're sitting down. If you use the keyboard cover, the kickstand is pretty essential to keep the screen upright. The kickstand has a tensioned hinge, so you can move it to pretty much any angle. If you pull the kickstand slowly, gently and firmly, you can put it into whatever angle you want, and then you can lay it in that position. Now moving on, I'm gonna go ahead and remove the keyboard and close the kickstand. There we go.
On one side you're gonna see buttons for controlling the volume level, either up or down, as well as a headphone jack. All the way on the other side you'll see three ports. There's a single USB 3 port for connecting peripherals. There's a mini display port for connecting an external display. And then down towards the bottom is the charging port where you can plug in the power cable. Finally, along the top edge there is the power button. This will put the Surface to sleep when you're not using it.
You can hit this button to wake it up from sleep. Or if you've completely shut the device down, you can hold this button for a few seconds to turn it on again. And then you'll also see air vents along the top and side edges. Sometimes during heavy use, you'll probably hear the fans turn on and pass air through the vents to cool the device. Now you should be aware, as I went through all of this I was talking about the top and side edges. But that's all relative. You can use the Surface in any orientation. Like most tablets, if you rotate it, the screen will change to fit.
Next let's talk about the typical controls that you'll use to interact with the Surface. So let me just lay it down on the table so that we can see it. I'll go ahead and put that in position here. And typically the Surface will be in sleep mode when you pick it up. So I'm gonna put it into the sleep mode. OK. So when you pick it up, you can hit the power button, which is that single button on the top edge, and that will wake it up from the sleep mode. And now I'm on the lock screen. You can swipe with a finger on the lock screen to unlock it.
And depending on your login settings, you may need to type in your password. If you don't have a physical keyboard attached to the Surface, an on-screen keyboard will appear when you need it. And we'll talk more about settings for passwords later in the course. Now using the touchscreen you can interact with the device. I'm on the start screen here, so I can just kinda swipe through these screens. I'm gonna flip over to the desktop view, and from here I can move windows around. I can double-click to open up folders just using my finger.
And I can close this window by hitting that X. So I'm interacting using my finger much in the same way I would use a mouse or a track pad. So you can tap the start button, which is on the front of the screen here, and that's gonna flip over to the start screen. Now the start button is a touch sensitive button, so all you have to do is tap it. When you're on the start screen, you can browse through the applications on your computer. You can tap to open applications, and you can interact with objects with your finger.
If I tap on a field where I would type in text, that's when that on-screen keyboard will pop up. So I'm just gonna tap outside of that. I'm gonna tap on the start button again to go back to the start screen. And you can also think of that start button sort of like a home button. Whatever you're doing, this button will take you right back to the start screen. Finally, the Surface Pro 3 comes with a stylus. They call it the Surface pen, so you can interact with the Surface using the touch screen and your finger.
You can use the keyboard cover, or you can use the Surface pen, which is very useful for taking handwritten notes or using drawing apps. Of course we'll get into all of that later on the course as well. For now, you should have a good idea of the buttons, ports and other features of the Surface Pro 3 so we can dive in and start seeing how to use it.
Author Nick Brazzi then shows the capabilities of the Surface when used as a laptop or tablet, covering such particulars as input devices (keyboard, mouse, and pen), touch screen controls, and pinning apps to the taskbar or Start screen. He then explores the built-in apps, customization options, and security and privacy considerations.
- Using touch apps vs. desktop applications
- Shutting down and restarting the Surface Pro
- Connecting a keyboard, mouse, and display
- Using the Surface pen
- Working with Internet Explorer, OneNote, and Mail
- Using the camera
- Installing and uninstalling apps
- Customizing a Surface Pro
- Configuring Windows updates