Two weeks ago I finally got my Microsoft Surface for Windows RT. On the run up to the launch of the first Surface device, I started to think about if I’d actually be able to use the Surface for Windows Pro as my only computer as I had planned.
The trouble is that the form factor is not a laptop replacement, it’s a tablet which has a ‘ready to work’ mode which can be used easily on a desk. A laptop has a stable base and a screen which can be tilted to any angle – so getting real work done is still doable on your lap. I don’t have a desk at home, just a coffee table, so when I want to write some code or a long blog post – I tend to sit cross-legged on the sofa and type away. This is quite tricky to do with the form-factor that Microsoft has chosen for the first two Surface devices.
As a first time tablet owner there are a huge amount of benefits which are more related to the form-factor rather than the individual device, but for me having the Microsoft Surface has been a really fantastic and new experience.
Being able to surf the web and use application while laying down or standing up are pretty obvious, but there are more subtle benefits like being able to take it to work every day without my bag getting really heavy. Plus it’s always nice to have all your personal stuff available to use at lunch time, including emails and OneNote notebooks.
In the first two weeks have found a few suggestions for improvements to the design of the hardware:
- The keyboard case should really have a magnetic grasp
- Power Cable is a little short (though it can be extended)
- Windows Phone earphones don’t work as expected (see below)
These improvements aside, the Surface has already proven to be a fantastic companion device, and due to the nature of the keyboard and kickstand design it has become my go-to device for email and instant messaging. In the last two weeks my MacBook has spent most of its time in a draw while the Surface has been my primary machine for personal use.
As someone who is a Windows developer and lives in a Microsoft ecosystem (Office 365, SkyDrive, Xbox etc.) it’s the ideal tablet for me, and I’m really pleased I got it.
Now if only I could find a Windows 8 laptop to replace my ageing MacBook and I’ll be sorted.
I’m not sure if it was a firmware update, or just me not being able to test properly – but it seems like the Surface RT now supports Windows Phone earphones as expected. The microphone now works!