I’ve put my Switch throught the paces over the past year — I was one of the
obsessed fortunate people who was able to get one in the days after its release. I probably devoted more time to playing Breath of the Wild than I did on any of my homework in high school. 99% of that play was in docked mode, and I’d traverse between my PS4 and my Switch on my big TV. Then my personal life got busier by way of a promotion at work and a fantastic relationship. Now, the Switch’s little screen and Joy Con go with me everywhere I go, even when I know I won’t be able to play it. My relationship with my Switch can be summed up best by that scene in the 4th season of Arrested Develoment “That way I have it.”
I think the reason behind this switch (and terrible dad joke) is that I’m getting older and one of the sad realities is that I can’t devote as much time to gaming as I was able to just a year ago. Now I try to eek out 30 minutes on my lunch break, but as any Real Gamer knows, you need at least two hours (preferrably four) to really get into a flow state with a game. So why have I devoted these past two paragraphs to talking about the Switch when the title is clearly about the Surface Pro? Because for the first time in a year, I left my Switch at home.
Due to a fortunate set of circumstances, I was able to save up enough money to buy myself my own damn laptop instead of using my work computer for everything. I opted for the portability and draw-ability of the Surface Pro 4. As a dabbler in the sketchy/painty/drawy arts, I was looking for a tablet that was responsive and possessed a similar feel to actual drawing. So the Surface was a no-brainer. Although, I was unaware that when you pay $1300 for a screen with chips and circuit boards inside, you don’t get a Microsoft Fancy Pen along with it. That’s an extra $100, bucko! And guess what? The Best Buy where I bought the Surface Pro was sold out of these magic drawing devices. Coooool…but kinda, actually cool.
Turns out, this worked out in my favor — because I’ve been able to access my old Steam library and download a couple of indie gems that arent too taxing on my i5 processor. Dead Cells and Into the Breach to be specific. Both PC exclusive (as of this writing), and both vying for 30 minutes of my lunch break.
After a little sleuthing (and a lot of “one more run” in Dead Cells and Into the Breach at 3am) I found out that the little touchscreen computah is able to run a ton of newer games capably. I’m not going to get a buttery smooth 60+fps or 4K textures anytime soon, but as a console gamer, this doesn’t bother me. I just want access to a large game library when I have downtime. And as an added bonus, I can go from playing Dead Cells to writing this article without having to switch screens. Granted, I’ve spent the equivalent of five Nintendo Switches to have access to this kind of versatility and portability, but being able to pair my PS4 controllers via Bluetooth, an array of classic games at a super cheap price, emulator capabilities and being able to lay in bed playing Civ 5 more than make it worth it for me.
Sidenote: Even after years, Civ 5 is a time thot.
Ironically, the reason I wanted to get this little tablet to begin with hasn’t been fully realized. Microsoft is really bad at fulfilling orders online, apparently, as I ordered my Surface Pen on Saturday and here it is Tuesday and it still hasn’t shipped. I was hoping to sketch my own thumbnail image for this article, but alas, I have to give free, very limited advertising to Into the Breach. Either way, discovering I have a new portable gaming machine is like sugar in my cereal, I didn’t know I wanted it, but now I can’t go back.