At last!

Just for a change, a post about someone who found using the Surface Duo 2 to be a life-changing experience:

In the final week of semester, I gave my last class lecture. Some might have seen my lecture studio: I teach, I solve problems with digital ink, I also self-produce, switching between multiple cameras and screen share, and I clumsily try to read the student chat (a laptop on a stand) and following my notes (a printed PDF). Before my class, my laptop decided it would start an epic Windows update… so I picked up my Duo in a lightbulb moment and those two clumsy things were replaced by the duo: Teams meeting chat on the left and OneNote mathematical notes on the right. Once again, the phone went from being my time-wasting pocket device to a valuable part of my workflow.

After so many it’s-ok-but-it-costs-too-much-and-the-camera-is-poor-and-the-software-is-way-too-buggy reviews, fascinating to read about someone who found the whole dual-screen phone experience pretty much life-changing. I hope he gets his wish and the next hardware version gives the phone the higher level hardware and better-integrated software he thinks it deserves.

I can’t help but notice that, possibly uniquely, his Surface 2 Duo review never even mentions the rather high price of the device. Not a peep about how high the price was at launch, or how much he saved when Microsoft reduced the price in what seemed like a vain attempt to stop every review commenting on the price-performance disparity. Makes you wonder if this guy is an academic, dedicated to communicating what the device did for him without reference to how big a hole buying it left in his bank balance, because everyone buying a personal device has their own notions of what extra time to spend on life outside work is worth to them.1 Alternatively, this guy is the real-life counterpart of Connor Roy (Alan Ruck’s spendthrift eldest Roy sibling from Succession): rich enough not to care about money and prone to following his own whims wherever they take him.

I know I’ve banged on about this phone a lot on here for a device I have no interest in buying, but that’s because I find the experiment of trying to give users almost a tablet-sized screen experience in a phone-sized package fascinating. Also, I really would like to see Apple take a swing at this notion one day. I almost certainly won’t be able to afford it if/when they do, but I can still dream, can’t I?


  1. After all, if using the Surface 2 Duo buys you back some time spending your life not toiling away to accomplish the things you hope to at work, that’s got to be worth spending some serious coin on, no? Like he says at one point, “This thing gave me back life.”