Microsoft Surface – and More on Tablets
A month into using my Microsoft Surface – a few conclusions, and an BIG thumbs up for getting one for business and home use. But first – an invite to see “Pad Man” at The Circuit’s December 6th Breakfast Bytes. “Pad Man” will have an hour shoot off showcasing 3 tablets – the Microsoft Surface, The iPad and Android Tablet. See https://www.thecircuit.net/ for more details. Todd Szewc, Andrew Yarnall and myself will be “competing” and discussing our tablets.
My Favorite Things (and Key Reasons You Should Consider One For Yourself)
1) Microsoft Windows 8 and still being on the Windows platform. I have used an iPad tablet for about 2 years, and now having a tablet that belongs to the Windows family is very effective. Outlook integration from Microsoft, Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, the Windows desktop, and Bing to name a few make the Surface a natural for my work flow. I already feel like I get an extra 15-45 minutes in my day by working more effectively between my laptop, Surface and Windows mobile phone. I feel better work wise at the end of the day.
2) Form factor – nice size, nice weight, nice balance and NICE Kickstand! No surprise when you consider how much the tablet market has matured the past 3 years.
3) Snap off keyboard (and cover). Very versatile and just plain better than what I have experienced with iPads. I thought the snap off keyboard would be “silly” after watching the commercials, but now that I have one – I really enjoy it!
4) USB Port and MicroSD slot – two places for you to get more memory, or move files.
5) Never having to Sync (by cable) to your desktop or laptop, like iPads need to for certain functions. This has been a total, pleasant surprise of “simple to use”.
6) Integration to SkyDrive – SkyDrive is just another drive to the Surface and Windows 8 operating system. This allows the “always there” feel for files between my phone, laptop and Surface.
7) The Apps you need are already out – Nook, Skype, Games, Hulu, NetFlix, etc. (*see least favorite below)
8) Remote Desktop built in as a standard part of Windows 8
What I Have Been Using It For
1) More location flexibility for Email notes impacting projects and communications with customers, prospects and referrals. My typical days finds me with 5-15 minutes of downtime between travels, meetings and the such. Having the small footprint Surface (and Windows 8 software) makes my day simpler.
2) Getting more aggressive and timely with my marketing needs centered around social media – both Twitter and LinkedIn. I want to drive more SEO for our business. The Surface helps in making part of the work fun, and more importantly easier because of the small footprint.
3) Getting better on Sudoku – but that phase will pass. The 2 items above is where my ROI is.
Is This Just A $600 Add-On For My Laptop/Work?
Yes and No. After all the discussion and feature lists – the Surface is just an Add-On to my laptop. The payment though is worth it. More productivity and more opportunity to grow my business is worth the $’s.
My Less Favorite Thing
You have to load software by way of the Microsoft Marketplace – so with some applications (like Java and Silverlight) not there, you might be limited on some websites you can visit. I expect this issue to take care of itself by users tweeting and asking Microsoft for what is needed. Currently the apps list on the store continues to grow (4K already). This lack of feature will be limited to the RT.
Surface for Windows 8 Pro Will Raise The Bar
Intel Processor (versus the slower ARM chip found in most all tablets), Full Outlook, USB 3.0 (vs 2.0), 128 Gig (vs 64 Gig) and the ability to load any software that runs on Windows 7. Cost will go up by $300.
A few more items are added, but the above are enough for me to purchase one.
See our December 2012 newsletter (https://martinandassoc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/1212.pdf) for a comparison of the iPad, Galaxy Android and Microsoft Surface.