Today’s post from the 30 Days with Surface Pro series is dedicated to getting it set up in my office, connected to an external monitor. For those of you who are just joining the party, and haven’t been following the 30 Days experiment, I am giving up my MacBook Air and my iPad for the month, and using just a Surface Pro as both my desktop PC, and my tablet. That means, when I am sitting in my office at my desk, I want the Surface Pro to look, feel, and act like any other Windows 8 PC. I have it connected to a mouse, printer, USB hub for external storage, and to my 23-inch monitor.

The idea is that the Surface Pro isn’t just a tablet, like its Surface RT sibling. It runs on an Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM, and it runs the full 64-bit Windows 8 Pro operating system. If I set it under my desk and connected all of my peripherals to it, there’s theoretically no reason anyone should know whether its a desktop tower, a notebook PC, or a Surface Pro. It’s just a Windows PC.

I ran into a couple issues getting the Surface Pro connected to the monitor. One was just a personal pet peeve easily fixed by changing some settings. The other was a little more challenging, and required poking around a bit to figure out what was wrong and how to fix it. I’m all set now, though.

Just for clarification, I’m not actually taking an entire 24-hour day to get the Surface Pro out of the box, or log in to Windows 8, or figure out how to navigate around the OS. I have work to do, and I am relying on the Surface Pro as my sole PC this month, so I actually got through those phases in a few hours so I could get down to business. But, I am making notes as I go along, and sharing the highlights on a day-by-day basis so you can live vicariously through my Surface Pro journey.

Read more about the challenges I had connecting the Surface Pro with an external monitor in Surface Pro, Day 5: Tweaking the display.

About the Author

I’m a Houston-based independent analyst, marketing consultant and writer. I follow news and trends across all facets of technology, and help people understand how the changing tech landscape affects them. I work with businesses to identify market opportunities and develop effective content marketing strategies to take advantage of them. I’ve worked in the trenches as an information security consultant, an IT manager and a marketing executive. That real world experience gives me a unique point of view that lets me see things from the business perspective. I’ve been a CISSP for 13 years, and I’ve been recognized by Microsoft as an MVP for 8 consecutive years. When I’m not working with technology, I’m a husband and father who loves mountains, oceans, football and golf. You can contact me directly at [email protected] For more from me, you can follow me on Twitter, subscribe to me on Facebook or add me to your Circles on Google+.

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  • Sam

    The whole selling point of Windows is the “TOUCH” screen. Why are you testing it using a mouse?

  • Tony Bradley

    Touch is a major feature of Windows 8, and especially for a Windows 8 device like the Surface Pro…when you’re using it as a tablet. However, if you’re using it as a desktop–connected to a monitor, external keyboard, printer, etc–using the touch gestures on the display of the tablet itself is awkward.

    It works perfectly well with a mouse. Alternatively, I’d suggest using a device like the Logitech t650 touchpad which allows you to use the touch and swipe gestures while sitting at your desk.

  • Sam

    Your point is well taken, and i know what your trying to do with your experiment, but I think the tablet operates differently when used just as a tablet. I found mine froze from time to time and couldn’t swipe side to side, trying to swipe on the corner to change the tile was very hard to do, took several tries. When your finished with your trial, try it just as a tablet to see if it works the same way with touch only.