My Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has a long story attached to it. I bought it off of Kijiji for $600 I think.. and it was great for a while. But it was just a little too limited to be my everyday driver. So I sold it on ebay and lost a bit of money but not too much.. at least not until USPS destroyed it in transit then would not reimburse me for damages. So I went to do a full restore on it and discovered a bitlocker on HDD. So that lead me to installing Ubuntu 16.04 on a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 🙁
First off, I am running Ubuntu 16.04 on the Surface Pro 3 and it seems to be working okay. I don’t have the type keyboard so I’m just using a USB hub and a regular old USB keyboard and mouse. It’s a bit of a hack job. I had planned on using the Microsoft Designer Keyboard and Mouse but for some reason, they only play well with Windows 10.
This unit did have Windows 10 Pro on it when I got it the first time. Then I sold it and it came back.. and then there was a bitlocker on the hard drive so I couldn’t do a fresh install which is how I ended up here. I simply went into the UEFI and selected USB>HDD then rebooted with a USB version of Ubuntu Studio 16.04. It was the only copy that I had available at the time. I tried the live version out first and saw that wifi, bluetooth and sound were recognized which was good enough for me. So I blew out the old Microsoft partition and went all in on hoping that this would work. I really had nothing to lose at this point since the Surface Pro has a crack in it and I wasn’t going to get my money out of it. Plus I was hunting around for a cheap linux computer anyway.
IF I KEEP IT, then I’ll invest (again) in the Type keyboard and keep it. (which I didn’t, I ended up selling it to a co-worker)
This Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is the i5- 3rd gen. It has 4GB ram and a 128GB SSD
The current resolution of 2160×1440 makes everything quite tiny on the 12″ screen but this does have a mini display port adaptor so perhaps Ill just hook up a larger display and make an imprompu dock for this. I was hoping for a laptop but I guess a desktop won’t be a bad choice either. It can still be somewhat portable if I get that keyboard. The display drivers worked correctly out of the box without any issues.
The Surface Pro 3 has a xxxxxxx wireless card which connected to my Rogers 5G account with no issues. During the install, it updated the drivers along the way and the networking is working even better then my Dell XPS 8500 desktop (which drops connections every once in awhile)
The biggest weakness seems to be the touchscreen not working. Also, the rotation doesn’t seem to be working but this isn’t an issue for me as I don’t plan on using it as a tablet. Though I may work on it and see what happens.
So far, I haven’t tested the front or rear cameras of the Surface Pro 3 in Ubuntu Studio 16.04