Posts Tagged ‘surface’

Microsoft Surface Pro and our small world

I needed to get a new laptop and had had grown curious about the Surface Pro.  Most reviews I read were positive about the device (not so much about the Surface RT), and it felt like a great combination of tablet + laptop.

Unfortunately only the Surface RT has been released in Singapore, so there was no estimated date for the Surface Pro.  Just a couple days ago they announced it would be coming around the end of June.

Two weeks ago I was in Taiwan and reading more about the laptop and looked at availability on Amazon.  Via one of their affiliates I could get a Surface Pro shipped to Singapore.   I resisted at first, but then broke down while I was in a long queue at Taipei airport.

Amazing if you think about it… I pulled out my phone, launched the Amazon app, and it had the Surface Pro and type keyboard still saved in the shopping cart.  I clicked the purchase button and since it had my credit card information already, zip… the order went through.  This was Friday afternoon at 1 PM in Taiwan.

By 10 AM Monday morning the Surface Pro had made it from America to my home in Singapore.  I was blown away by the speed of delivery.  I think it’s going to take me longer as a passenger to get from Singapore to New York on my trip next month!

Anyway, after a week of using the Surface Pro and Windows 8 on it, I love it.  Windows 8 with a touchscreen is an awesome experience.  If you’ve been using Windows 8 (as I have) with just a mouse and keyboard, well, you basically haven’t been using Windows 8.  I’m motivated now to buy a touchscreen monitor for my desktop at home.

The gestures did take a little getting used to, especially when coming from an iPad, but after 15 minutes I was flipping through Windows and docking them with ease.

The type cover has also exceeded my expectations.  I think there’s minimal slowdown; I’m typing at essentially the same speed as on a regular keyboard.

The only drawback I’ve found is that it weighs more than expected.  Nothing too crazy but if you’re lying face-up in bed and holding it over you, you won’t want it crashing down on your face.

I’m looking forward to my first trip with it next month.  That will be the true test!

Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 RT

Windows 8 is finally here and along with it is Microsoft’s big bet – the Surface with Windows RT.  The company built the hardware itself (pissing off its numerous hardware partners) and it is basically positioned to compete against Apple’s iPad and Google’s Chromebooks.

Consensus is that the device is beautiful hardware-wise.  Unique case with a touch keyboard, slim tablet, and a kickstand to prop it up…

The criticisms I’ve read are centered around:

  1. The screen dimensions make it awkward to hold in portrait mode (a little too long)
  2. Windows RT doesn’t run all the applications that Windows 8 will run.  It runs basically the tablet-oriented apps and not the desktop and legacy applications.  That can be confusing for customers who don’t realize that Windows RT and Windows 8 are not the same thing.  The allowed apps must come from the Windows Store (app store)
  3. The lack of applications – it’s a new platform so more will be coming, but yes, there’s a lack of killer apps at the moment.
  4. Camera sucks

However it’s still an ultra-portable tablet with features that give it an edge over existing tablets for creating content.  Are people using it while still in the “shadow” of how one uses an iPad?  Perhaps it will take time to break out of using the Surface in the same way as using an iPad.

There’s plenty of reviews out there from the big tech sites, but this review by Hal Berenson had good analysis about what the Surface can offer.