After iPad Retina 3, I put my tablet purchase on hold waiting for the so amazing Microsoft Surface. What really excited me about the Surface from its promos was that I will have a fully functional Laptop replacement tab which would feel and run like a tab. Well Microsoft met both of my expectations but from two different Surfaces. the videos are available here http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/commercials
Surface RT which came first is a scaled down tab version of Microsoft Windows 8 platform which will not run your standard Microsoft software… but the device is smooth, sleek, good battery and the versatile and fluid Windows 8. It was good to see a tough well built tab which can be a serious competition to other established tabs in the market. The downside… the moment you switch to traditional Windows desktop, it seriously lags and you dont expect to do your usual Laptop stuff on this tab. The office suit provided runs well, Word & Excel opens well unless you are trying a large document. Powerpoint in general was disappointing as it was not just slow to open but sluggish to respond as well. As a viewer it was ok but dont expect to start making large presentations on it. The Touch keyboard is disappointing for longer typing needs but for basic forms filling and browsing, it is just good enuff. The 64 GB at USD 599 is a better choice than buying 32 GB at USD 499 as Windows occupies quite a bit of space for the OS and Win apps tend to be larger. With the friendliness, you are bound to store more docs and photos on the tab so you dont want to run out of space. The MicroSD slot allows you to keep copies of all your old documents/photos and load then as and when necessary. The ports, interfaces and options clearly throws the competition out of the Window. The downside was the apps availability in the Microsoft online store and it will surely become better with time. This is one area where Apple beats the competition head on.
Later, came the Power horse… the Surface Pro. It was seriously powerful and compact for a laptop replacement with lot of punch running full version of Windows 8. But calling it a tab would be unfair as compared to other tabs in the market which are half the weight and 3 times the battery life, this would be an embarrassment to Surface Pro. All the built-in Apps ran effortlessly and all those Windows apps that run on your PC now run on this tab. We even tried it with our corporate domain network and wow… no more tweaking BYOD settings. It just logs onto the Domain account, loads up the profile and you are on. All the corporate apps ran pretty much like working on a Laptop or PC. The keyboard was a disappointment for serious typing and a wireless keyboard is seriously recommended. You can attach a larger LED Monitor to it and you have a full PC experience if you are working long hours in your office. With all the required ports and options, this is truely a winner and Enterprises should seriously think of Surface Pro for mobility which provides simple and easy to manage Active Directory integration and group policy enforcement without requiring third party apps and middle ware to do that.
Overall, Surface platform is going stay here. Microsoft needs to ease out on licensing and pricing making it easier for OEMs to build and bundle the Windows as the OS for their Tabs & Notebooks/Laptops. I am willing to write-off the old Ipad for the surface and unless Apple bounce back with something amazing, I will not be going back to iPad easily.
Comments are appreciated and welcome as always.