Microsoft Surface Hands on Impressions

So I spent 30 minutes or so sitting in a Microsoft store and got to play with the Surface.

First I guess I’ll start with the good things.   It’s really well constructed.  I mean I don’t know that I’d say make a skateboard out of it.  It feels really solid.  The kick stand concept is great and it seems really strong.  All the reviews say the battery life is really good.   The software is pretty snappy, switching between apps is relatively painless.   The type keyboard is very impressive.  The touch keyboard, well I imagine I’d get used to it but if I bought one I’d REALLY want the type keyboard.

The thing that really shocked me about the Surface is how darn big it is.   It’s a 10 inch tablet so I expected it to be about the same size as an iPad and it’s much much bigger.   Using it tablet style just seems unwieldily.   Like I can’t imagine say sitting on a bus and using a Surface to read something.   It would just be awkwardly large.  It’s really designed to sit on a desk with the keyboard out.

I want through many of the core apps, and looked around in the store.  It’s kind of barren in there.  Evernote, Netflix, a handful of big important apps, but after that it’s a barren wasteland.   No Facebook or Twitter really stings me as I imagine these things would be great for social networking mavens and yeah I’m sure there are other ways to go about getting them on there.

I have no idea how i’d go about getting all my Mac data on to a Surface.  I assume someone will come up with  an app for that eventually but for right now I’d have to manually transfer it over file by file.   I would not look forward to that–Android without the established ecosystem of apps for weirdos like me who like owning multiple platforms.

The real damning thing about the Surface came down to the price.   It’s 499, but really 599 as a keyboard is a necessity; and frankly you want the touch keyboard so it’s really $638; that’s a lot of money.   Yes it is comparable to an iPad with keyboard–but there’s an established app ecosystem there.  Like I can say for certain that I can get a great set of apps there.

And the final nail in the coffin as far as my interest goes was walking up and standing by an Acer laptop with pretty reasonable specs–Ivy Bridge and all that bussiness  with a 15 inch touchscreen for 699–only $60 dollars more than the surface with type cover.   And it’ll run all the software I already have.  Only 60 dollars more and it does a ton more stuff.

I don’t understand who the Surface is meant to appeal to.  It doesn’t make me love the iPad or Nexus 7 any less.  It’s not as good of a consumption device as those.  It seems like it’s poised to compete against a Macbook Air and other Ultrabooks.  If this were a 399 with keyboard device then sign me up this would be my next computer.  But at 499+139 bucks for the real keyboard it’s just outrageous.

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About Andrew Martin
Hello, I'm a 31 year old educator. I've spent a few years abroad before coming back to the states this year. I'm a man of many interests, and I use seoulbound as my place for talking about them.

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