OK, I decided that I was confident enough to use the Surface Pro for my Open Day presentations at Nottingham today. All the software operated as expected! I used Bluebeam PDF Revu 12 for PDF annotation, Pen Attention to highlight the pointer, and X-Mouse button so that I could programme the middle mouse button to give the keystroke I need to toggle the highlighting on and off. I also used Gunnar Andersson’s excellent software WZebra (see http://radagast.se/othello/download.html) to help with my fun morning talk on strategy for the board game Othello.
I am trying to decide on the best screen resolution to fit with the local data projection facilities. Currently I am trying both 1280 x 800 and 1280 x 960. Either way I sacrifice a bit of the Surface Pro screen. At the moment I prefer 1280 x 960 in order to have the full height available.
I like the way that the device detects the pen and can then ignore touch. That way I can continue to use the touch facility when I want to. On the other hand, sometimes I accidentally touch the screen with a hand/finger before the pen is close enough to the screen to disable this, with random results. This is no major problem so far.
I do keep accidentally clicking the right click button on the pen. I haven’t yet found how to disable this completely. By default Bluebeam activates the lasso tool when you right-click during inking, but I have turned that off and it now doesn’t matter if I accidentally click that button while writing.
Sometimes I found the device changed orientation without me deliberately changing a setting. It took me a while to realise that it has a genuine physical autorotate feature: just picking it up the right way round will sort out the orientation (and picking it up a different way may change the orientation to something you don’t want). So I am happy with this now.
My problem with the wireless regularly becoming inactive has gone away for now. I expect this will come back, and so I had still better try to find out what setting is behind this. It may be a power management setting: I saw something about this online while Googling on a related issue.
I should try out Camtasia and also Echo360 personal capture soon. (Perhaps the issues I had previously with Echo360 personal capture will be resolved when I use the Windows Surface (or by upgrades in the software since I last tried it). However, I wouldn’t want to use the device’s webcam for the video footage of me (it is too scary when a pen approaches the tablet!). As the device only has one USB port, I will either have to use a USB hub, or else change to a Bluetooth mouse, if I want to attach a USB webcam too. (I quite like the reliability of a wired mouse at the moment!) Comments and suggestions on this are welcome!