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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Surface Pro 2 Used on ATV

Yesterday I used my Surface Pro 2 mounted to my ATV.  While Ram makes a mount, nobody makes a protective box.  Get with it Otterbox.  I made my own box out of vinyl and wood.  I used corrugated box as padding.  THe tablet slides into the box from the top. The Surface Pro 2 needs an external receiver for GPS.  I used the Garmin Glo, the same thing I use for my Ipad.  It worked well for as long as it lasted.  I got 4 hours out of the battery.  The way I have it set up it goes off about every 10 minutes.  That is not a problem because a touch of the finger brings it right back.  Global Mapper is my mapping software.  The display is visible except when the sun hits the screen.  It was easy to read when I shaded it with my hand.  The only GPS I have with great visibility under all conditions is my Garmin 76. 

I will probably not use the Surface Pro 2 as my primary sampling GPS because of battery life, but I am happy it works.  It will be a good backup system.  I would imagine this would be more useful when you only need the display intermittently.  I does have an internal camera if you are scouting and need a picture.  It would also be easy to record a waypoint or a line to show where the problem is.  I could see using this for mapping because there would be no need to transfer information.  I can see big advantages to a farmer accustomed to Windows based systems to have a Windows tablet in the field.  I have $1250 in this setup which includes the tablet, a keyboard, a bluetooth mouse and a screen protector.  The Surface Pro 2 comes with a stylus which I find excellent for most uses.  I like the mouse for map drawing because I fell like I have better control. 

This would be a much better setup if Otterbox made a bo and Microsoft could match Ipad on battery life, but it is useful as it is.

Surface Pro 2 mounted to ATV

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