Let me start this article with one word, Wow! Wow!! The Microsoft Surface is truly mind-blowing. Whoever is responsible for Microsoft’s renaissance is worthy of a couple of awards.
Very few people know how hard it is it build a device and get someone else’s operating system to run on it. I do. My work with PlirisMobile gives me unique perspective. It is clear that Microsoft just got tired of the OEMS screwing things up and built their own device.
Please do not assume a bias. I own 2 iPads and a Nexus 7. I have owned a ZTE Blade, a 32 and 64GB Playbook, an Acer Tablet, 3 Asus Transformers, 1 Galaxy Tab, some other weird tablets, and have tested both the Vantium and the Inye. I also bought the HP Touchpad, and still own a limited edition Palm Pre 3UK GSM version. So I am no stranger to new devices and weird OSes.
Remember the tablets from HP and Dell PCs running some tablet PC version of windows? Forget them quickly. Remember how Microsoft promised us heaven with the Nokia 900 and then yanked out the carpet under our feet by saying it wouldn’t support Windows Phone 8? I know all these things and after using the Surface for just one day, I have forgiven but not forgotten. This tablet is very good.
Mister Mobility asks: How is the Audio?
I got 100 USD worth Windows XBOX music pass free as a compensation for my upset in the ordering process. This is their attempt at iTunes functionality. It is good, Music app takes some getting used to though. The audio production is very good, I don’t remember if it is better than the Playbook’s but it is much better than the HP Touchpad.
If you are a geek then you will just get it. If you are not you will need to learn it. But truth be told. People will. If you have never had a tablet, this is the one to get. If you hate Android and iOS then this might be your poison.
I got my device after a disappointing online order process and my friend helped me to sort out the purchase and shipping, even much faster than Microsoft could have in their remedial system.
- SkyDrive!!!! I created this post in Microsoft Word on the Surface, saved it in My Documents, opened SkyDrive, uploaded it, and completed the Edit in the Microsoft Word Web App
- Microsoft Office 2013
- If you have used your windows live account on a windows 8 machine. Once you login most of your settings transfer right across.
- Skype is now truly amazing. It merges your Skype Contacts with your live contacts. Don’t complain; its all one company anyway.
- The People app is also very good, giving you all your contacts from various services together. Even the ones from Twitter.
- Battery life is amazing. I haven’t charged it in 2 Days, with Moderate use and still have about 50% power (this is not a thorough test)
- Keyboard covers? Stroke of genius. Yes; you can get iPad keyboards, but not made by Apple that work automagically.
- The live tiles are good. It works as advertised. I don’t want to do an OS review but just to say this is Windows 8’s perfect home
Concerns: Things, I am immediately unhappy about?
- Microsoft Office no Outlook
- I tweet mainly from my PC, and Metrotwit is my app of choice. The Windows 8 version. Not so much.
- 32 GB actually means 24 GB with 17 GB free.
- Apps are few, reminiscent of the Playbook and the Touchpad, in this case though, the device’s Dad is rich. No matter how much you hate the corporation, everybody is at home building or porting an app for this right now. I am already imagining a port of our Pliris Texty app to this.
Cyril Hardchild is going to ask me some questions, so I will answer them below.
- Is this device good? Yes
- Could this device be better? Yes.
- Is this better than the iPad? I think so
- Will it sell like the iPad? No, its not sexy enough.
That’s my 50 kobo first impressions.