Skip to main content
April 30, 2013

My Surface Story – Doing More with Less

My Surface Story is a new monthly series we’re kicking off on the Surface Blog. It will feature the stories of real people using Surface as they work, play, and travel. The posts will be written by Surface users, and we’re excited to see the many ways that Surface lets people click in and do more. First up in our series is Philip De Rop (@phderop) who shares with us how his Surface Pro has truly become the one device he needs whether he’s on the road or in the office.

Philip De Rop is a Quality Assurance Manager at Arkieva, a supply chain software company. He is based in Belgium and travels frequently to Arkieva’s headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. Philip manages a team of software testers, plans test cycles, and is an active software tester himself. Testing is like solving puzzles to him. As a technology and software enthusiast Phillip always enjoys the exciting features new hardware can bring.

Two months ago:

Here I was queuing at Newark Liberty International Airport to go through customs with my heavy laptop bag over my shoulder.  While still in the line, I started untying my shoe laces and removed my belt and watch.  When I finally reached the trays, I needed about 3-4 trays, 1 for my laptop, 1 for my iPad, one for my shoes and belt and one for my coat.  My laptop bag does not go in a tray.  People started staring at me, because I took up too much space.

Next I went to the lounge, an advantage for frequent travelers.  Here I take 2-3 power outlets, one for my laptop, one for my iPad and one for my phone.  People stared at me, because I took up too much space and too many power outlets.

On the plane I took out my iPad, because the laptop is to big too work on (14 inch).  I put it in airplane mode and noticed that I couldn’t use my Bluetooth keyboard. Airplane mode means no Bluetooth. I had to take my iPad out of its case, keyboard is in a case.  Put the case somewhere on my neighbors lap and then put the iPad flat on my little tray table. The display keyboard takes up half of my screen and writing is difficult.  Then the stewardess arrived with drinks. I had to put the iPad on my lap, hoping not to spill my drinks on it.  People stared at me, because I took up too much space.

Since I have my Surface Pro:

I no longer need my iPad, which saves up a tray at the customs at airports. My laptop bag became a lot lighter.  Now people stare at me when I unpack the Surface.  I see them think, how can he work using only that small tablet?

In the plane I can still use my keyboard in Airplane mode, so I don’t have to get rid of it.  People stare at me because I take up so little space.

In the lounge, I plug in the Surface charger and charge both my Surface and my Windows Phone with it.  People stare at me, because they can’t believe I need so little space and only 1 outlet. I guess they knew me from before.

In the office, my Surface Pro has fully replaced my laptop.  I couldn’t believe the performance of that little machine.  As a tester I have the following software running on my machine: Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer for bug reporting, Microsoft Test Manager for creating and running test cases, our software which is a Supply Chain Software Suite handling a lot of data and using a lot of computing power, Microsoft SQL Management Studio, Jing for capturing and sharing issues with the software, Xmind to map functionality and to follow up test coverage.  Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer and Excel.  And a virtual machine that runs our software our software in a Windows 7 Internet Explorer 9 environment.


I have hooked up two 24 inch screens to display all the above, through a Targus USB 3.0 Dual Video Docking Station.  With my laptop, I had to close my lid and could not use the laptop screen. Now I even have access to the Surface Touch screen. A full size keyboard and mouse are linked to the docking station. Why would I ever need an iPad again?