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Old 10-03-2018, 13:59   #1
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Windows surface pro

Hi all,

So Iím decidig what computer to buy... do you see any problems with a windows surface pro?
I like that I can Velcro it to the bulkhead and operate it with a mouse, which leaves the chart table clear. Also very energy efficient, compared to a laptop, as I understand.

But do you see any issues concerning running open cpn and Navico 3g radar on it? To improve connectivity, I would add a usb multi port , and a usb to Ethernet converter to connect to the Navico radar....

What do you think?

Thank you!
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Old 10-03-2018, 15:59   #2
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Re: Windows surface pro

I have a surface pro 3 and love it. However it sometimes gets a little noisey due to cooling (it sort of snaps behind the back cover), and I am very concerned about air flow with salt. I have secured it under the dodger for two seasons, but when it is raining or wet and stormy it came in to the cabin immediately. I don't take it out there anymore but use it in the cabin.
It is perfectly fine but for the concern about salt. What I really like it for is travel and opencpn stuff. Get a usb hub with an ethernet connection in the end! Very useful.
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Old 16-03-2018, 12:38   #3
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Re: Windows surface pro

What if it gets splashed? Are you doing planning on it, or is it for navigation? If the use is critical, I wouldn't do this. I would suggest instead either a waterproof Android tablet, or a minicomputer mounted where it can't be splashed. Or a warerproof laptop like a Toughbook.

Whatever you buy, it should be fanless so you don't pull salt air through it.

I lost a computer to a splash in the middle of the North Sea, so I'm not speaking from theory.
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Old 16-03-2018, 13:07   #4
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Re: Windows surface pro

I live on a boat 24/7 and we have 2 Surface Pros. 1 Pro 3 from 2015, the other a Pro 4 from 2016 so both out of warranty

I do like the fact that they have SDD’s and they only use about 3 amps at 12 volts DC to recharge BUT The big issue to me is that the Surfaces are virtually un repairable as the screen need to be removed to repair them and they normally break when you remove them so you have to pay for a new screen as the faulty bits
,
The Pro 3 now has the following faults

1. Battery
Battery now last about 1 hour 35 minutes

2. Keyboard Cover port not working
This unit has “eaten” 2 Covers

3. No Low battery warning
No Battery Low warning just powers’ off

4. USB port loose
The socket on the PC is worn out as it is very loose, if you waggle the USG WiFi extender it will disconnect then reconnect. It gets used every day

5. USB Devices do not always get recognised
i.e. USB Wifi adaptor will flash in and out after startup sometime requiring a PC reset (POWER/VOLUME) to get it working again

6. Bluetooth devices,
Keyboard and mouse taking longer to be recognised on Start up.

7. Overheating
On re charging from flat at around 48%. no High Temp warning, the PC just powers’ off. The Top Right and Bottom right of the back of the unit get very hot.

The Pro 4 has the well know Screen wobble fault when hot

In the UK I have been quoted about US$500 – US$785 to repair the Pro 3 and US$395 to repair the Pro 4
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Old 16-03-2018, 14:23   #5
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Re: Windows surface pro

I am jst starting to have trouble with u, r, b and c. Tried everything. I've had it since Jan 2015. I did not know about the repair take apart issue with the screen. Boat use is really hard on computers. t is a great travel computer, for the boat I'd get something else I guess, something totally sealed with heat tubes to dissipate any heat, no fans.

Sailracer.net InkDisplay android might run opencpn but but no color and no play store. http://sailracer.net/inkdisplay/
but it is more than an RPI3

Dual-Core Cortex A9 1.0GHz RAM memory512 MB Storage space4 GB
Wifi
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