Tablets

Why the Surface Pro won't fit my computing needs

Find out why Patrick Gray doesn't plan to purchase Microsoft's Surface Pro when it's released.

The release of Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet is set for February 9, 2013, and it's the second release of Microsoft-branded tablet hardware following the Surface RT that I reviewed previously and still own. Several readers inquired if I would be buying the Surface Pro, and at this point, the short answer is no. Here's why.

What I like about the Pro

The Surface RT was an interesting device in that it wrapped wildly compelling hardware around what appears to be a confused interface and slow tablet computing experience. The Pro brings similar styling to the table, and it appears to finally offer a single device that can function as a traditional desktop via an easy-to-use dock, a laptop with the various snap-on keyboards, and a tablet. I love the idea of a device that can easily be configured for a variety of missions. I could plop it into a dock to write an article on the big screen, then grab and run without unplugging cables and performing undocking procedures. The device could act as a tablet on the plane and a traditional laptop at a client site. Perfect.

Furthermore, the Pro offers what I have long thought was Microsoft's ace in the hole: pen input. Combined with the OneNote software (another underrated and under-marketed Microsoft asset), Surface might make the perfect digital notepad.

So, what's missing?

On the hardware front, the processor, RAM, and storage seem adequate, but battery life presents a major problem. My average workday might consist of a few hours in the office in the morning, several hours in an airport and on a plane, and then a few hours of meetings with a client. Reaching for the AC adapter is not optimal when moving around in this manner. While I'm probably in a minority of people with that type of schedule, the mobile knowledge worker who might spend an hour in the office, then the rest of the day moving between meetings and collaborative sessions, would likely find themselves in a similar predicament, and this seems to be exactly the user Microsoft is targeting with this device.

On the software front, with Surface RT, Microsoft hasn't convinced me that it's nailed the tablet side of the equation. Slow transitions between tablet and desktop mode, long load times, and a lackluster application catalog mean there's still an iPad slipping into my briefcase if I want to read on the plane or be able to take notes through a full day of meetings (despite the iPad's poor note-taking experience).

While Surface has all the right physical characteristics for the multi-mission computing device I keep dreaming about, the battery and software are an Achilles' heel that would basically make Surface Pro an expensive laptop for my style of usage.

With Surface Pro looking as if it won't meet my needs, I'm left with carrying a laptop and tablet for most of my computing tasks. I am considering switching my desktop to an Ultrabook or MacBook Air, and switching tablets to an iPad mini. This gets me the best of all computing worlds, with a lightweight traditional computer for work and personal business, and a capable and light tablet that will last through an entire workday with battery to spare.

I'll keep an eye on Microsoft, since their thinking seems to be headed in the right direction as they strive for a device that can serve in multiple roles and has a great selection of keyboards, docks, and accessories to customize the core computing device for the task at hand.

Do you plan to purchase a Surface Pro? Why or why not? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.

Also read

About

Patrick Gray works for a global Fortune 500 consulting and IT services company and is the author of Breakthrough IT: Supercharging Organizational Value through Technology as well as the companion e-book The Breakthrough CIO's Companion. He has spent ...

212 comments
BTRDAYZ
BTRDAYZ

I like the idea of the Surface Pro for my users that are assigned both a laptop for off-site use, and an office desktop. the Surface Pro could replace both. In the office, the Pro needs: - Dock supporting wired Ethernet and DisplayPort(s). People like larger displays for office work and/or 2nd displays. And WiFi can often be spotty in some offices. - In lieu of a dock that I could just drop the Surface Pro into, the Pro could use a ThunderPort, which would allow the use of ThunderPort style docks, or monitors such as Apple's. - WiDi support. Very disappointing that the Pro cannot utilize wireless display standards just like laptops that have been on the market for the past 2 years!

BentLightyear
BentLightyear

Thanks, Patrick, for a great review. Your perspective is always valuable to me. I think Surface (all types) is a great concept and I applaud Microsoft for taking the risk and doing it. The problem is that they've copied Apple's pricing and are obviously shooting for the same market. If they can lose about 2/3 of the price, I might buy one. My hope is that this is just paying the development costs and soon they'll be able to do just that. (But I doubt if that's their business model.) I don't look down on or envy the Apple fans who like shiny, pretty toys and need some way to unload all that heavy cash. But as a retired programmer living on Social Security, I need for someone to build that Surface functionality and adaptability into a $250 phablet w/ a keyboard cover that contains an extra battery. Perhaps if they marketed the elements separately, I could eventually put it all together. The timing is certainly right with Windows 8 offering the prospect of a single system on all devices. It will no doubt take a few years to smooth all that out. I just hope that Microsoft is able to hang in there until all the bumps get sanded down. It will certainly be a challenge for them, but hopefully they are big enough to pull it off. I imagine that their hardware partners will pick up the lead eventually.

Notsnik
Notsnik

I just take a couple of small portable 5000mW/hr chargers with me, keeping them topped up at every opportunity. Problem solved.

blueberry606
blueberry606

Patrick? Seriously? You would rather play with phone apps? LOL...I personlly think you should move to the Apple ecosystem. Since what you are really good at in the first place is talking about and telling others how they should strategically focus their IT use to better leverage expenditures. Maybe you should strategically focus your computer use on delivering a strategic value and streamline your personal usage results..........LOL I mean really, why use something you really dont care about.

DKuida
DKuida

Actually I was looking forward for that device as a replacement for my Full blown Dell XPS15 with 256 SSD and a spare drive and 8 Gb memory. After realising it has only on e USB 3 ( and I must have USB 2 ) and also there is no way to upgrade to 8Gb I decided just to pass surprisingly to the Gigabyte expected 11" tablet. Also the lack of integrated Broadband is a showstopper for me especially with a single USB left.

Hameiri
Hameiri

Seems to me, a Surface Pro, with an external battery to charge while in your briefcase would be lighter, and more useful than a laptop and a iPad Mini.

mad-doggie
mad-doggie

You're saying that the surface pro "TABLET" wont suit your "COMPUTING" needs? The difference between a tablet and a PC is not clear to you yet?

JJFitz
JJFitz

Rather than carry a laptop around, it might be better to investigate the availability of a spare power source. I believe the Acer Windows 8 tablet has a detachable keyboard that also serves as a second battery. I would rather have the spare battery / keyboard over an iPad [i]and[/i] a laptop. As for apps, I believe that MS will catch up. How long did it take Android to catch up to iPad?

carpetking
carpetking

... we have about $600.00 worth of disposable income a month. And that goes towards food, fuel and entertainment each month. And as you can guess, after food and fuel, there isn't much room for entertainment. At any rate, though I would dearly love to buy a Surface Pro, i've looked closely at the Surface RT. I'll hopefully be able to convince the wife that we can swing a Surface RT when we get some other bills paid off. In looking at the RT a lot and talking to owners of the platform, for the limited amount that I use our laptop, I think I'll be more than happy with the RT box.

Mantei Woodcraft Ltd.
Mantei Woodcraft Ltd.

What dock? This is the first reference I've seen regarding a dock. Have I missed something?

4wsilver
4wsilver

My major gripe about any of the Apple or Android offerings is real productivity software and printer support. Although in some cases they have USB, they cannot truly print to a printer unless it has another computer running to support the printer. Both Cloud and wifi for those products print to another computer which in turn sends information to the printer. Yes there are some HP and others with a computer in the printer that will work, but that entails carrying a printer with you. I want to print to just about any printer out there with or without another computer tied to it. This has caused me to hold on to my outdated HP TC1100 tablet. It has abysmal battery life. (3-4 hours at best) but does have capabilities of hot swapping of batteries. The question I want answered is what is the battery life of the Surface PRO and whether or not it has printer support, which I would hope it does. This is just an opinion piece and does not have an actual review of a product. I can write an opinion about a lot of things that I have not seen or tried and they would not be accurate. This article is a waste of peoples time. We need a review of the Surface Pro from an objective, hands on trial. Then I can see if it would really do what my old TC1100 can and improve battery life and size.

Fravio
Fravio

I spent few minutes reading this awfull article....

Gisabun
Gisabun

Great journalism. The author decided without even TRYING the product that it's not good for him. This shows how much WE can trust HIS journalism - and to be unbiased in future reporting.

aderoche
aderoche

Patrick, I wonder what your clients think. From looking at Prevoyance Group's website, I get the impression that you are a one man shop. If that is the case, I think it's been fairly well communicated that this product was never meant for you. It's designed to be integrated into a Windows domain environment. Furthermore, as a consultant whose own website states that your clients are "Past clients include Baker Hughes, CA (formerly Computer Associates), Gillette, Nissan, OfficeMax, Pitney Bowes, SAP and other Fortune 500 and 1000 companies", I would think you would have written this article about how this soon to be release product will fit into those environments. You know, the ones intended for the Surface Pro. When I hire consulting firms, I could care less what they use personally. What I want is for them to help me decide which products are best for my company.

khans
khans

Microsoft is a punching bag for these apple boys, they cover up probs with apple but come out against Microsoft in a vociferous manner.

viveka
viveka

Plan remote meetings (save costs where possible), shut off the laptop and make eye contact with customers in meetings, then maybe things will be a lot more productive and you could listen to itunes better. Having a little fun...

ag691234
ag691234

This article articulates a biased preference of one user who is obviously (and for mind boggling reasons) an Apple fan.

mardee.thompson
mardee.thompson

Lets face it, the Microsoft Surface line didn't cut it. It was a nice start down the right path for Microsoft, but its a path that has been well traveled by others for years now. The Surface RT should have been priced at about $249, $299 tops. It's got good hardware specs, looks classy, but lets face it. Windows RT needs some tweaking, the Appstore needs to grow, developers need to jump on board before out of the gate you price compare to the ipad line. iPad is the priciest out there, and why is that? Because its the best out there, (no i'm not an Apple fan boy, I own Android tablets in the Nexus line, and a Thrive.) Bottom line is for the Surface to be a success it needs to be lowered in price to allow adoption, which might help developers jump on board as well! Sales were lackluster, so they put in retail stores against other hardware partners wishes, and sales still are lackluster. This remind anyone of the great HP Touchpad liquidation? Microsoft, get a clue! An $800 Pro version is not the answer.

pgerardi
pgerardi

Thanks, Patrick. People asked you if you'd be getting one or not, and you say no, and tell why - it doesn't meet the needs for your preferred way of working. Fact is, it doesn't meet mine either for similar reasons. But the note taking features, the promise of real/full windows apps (we'll see), and the pen (!) mean I'm going to give it a try, and maybe it'll be worth it enough for me to change my preferred way of working...just a bit. I'm sure I don't have to tell you, but you can ignore the fan-boy comments and those who post negative opinions telling you they don't want your opinion... As for me, I need the flexibility that an Android gives currently. So my tablet of choice, at least prior to hands-on evaluating a Surface Pro, is an Android device. Your opinions and preferences will give me something else to test on the Surface when I get the chance. Everyone is a fan of what they like. Everybody should be encourage to use what fits them best. My wife is best served by an iPad, and my daughter by an iPad mini. We all run Macs, with Windows in a virtual machine so we have the best of all worlds right at our fingertips. That's the way we work, that's our preferences. We're all fans of being productive and the platform that gets us there is the best one - for us.

djohnston
djohnston

I have an iPad and the Surface. I like them both; however for work-related use I prefer the Surface. It's note taking features and the Notepad application make it my first choice for work. I can live with the power issue; in a perfect world power would not be an issue, so that is ok with me. And the keypad is not bulky compared to iPad keyboard cases I have tried...and I've tried quite a few.

eda
eda

Did Microsoft make the mistake of inaccessible batteries? So often, having a 2nd charged battery and being able to start each day with 2 batteries can be the best answer.

heartzinaz
heartzinaz

Yep, dump that Apple hardware for some real hardware that will works with a real operating system. I stuggled with a MacBook Air and pitched it because of lackluster performance, WI-FI and bluetooth. Tried using it on a trip to Malaysia and Singapore, frankly is was worthless except for viewin video and reading. I opted for a Kindle Fire for longer battery life for reading and viewing movies. My feeling about MacAir Book... beauty is only skin deep. I switched to the iPad and must admit it's a pretty good platform when wandering about and using cloud services. When back in my office, it's back to my trusty quad core Dell laptop where I have some some real local storage. Needless to say once ASU qualifies the PRO, I'd dump the iPad.

TsarNikky
TsarNikky

A tablet, by its definition and form factor, is designed for consumer use; and to a limited extent, as an auxiliary computer to laptops or desktops for business/enterprise users. So, depending on one's computer needs, a tablet may or may not be appropriate. There is just no way of getting around the fact that its keyboard can't compare to those used with laptops or desktops. [If and when one adds on a "full-size" keyboard to use with the tablet, because serious data-entry is necessary, you end up with a two-piece laptop.]

hometoy
hometoy

Ok, I can understand the whole Modern vs Desktop view, and maybe it is slow to switch. I also can understand if battery life is somewhat limited. Outside of that I am curious about the software situation. I know that Microsoft has fewer title names than iOS or Android, but numbers don't tell the story. What apps are missing or what can you not do because there isn't a current app is more important. Years ago Apple was arguing that while they had fewer software titles than Microsoft, but how many word processors do you need? And they emphasized the quality of the apps over quantity. For example, one Microsoft Office takes the place of a dozen word processors. So I am genuinely interested in what applications or category of applications are found lacking.

M Wagner
M Wagner

... if I were in need of a new Windows 8 PC. Instead, I bought a Surface-RT as a companion device. It is clear that the Surface 8 Pro is a fully capable notebook replacement, and with a docking station and a larger monitor and a Bluetooth Keyboard and mouse, it becomes the perfect desktop system as well. Since I have two more years of warranty left on my Dell Latitude notebook, it makes no sense to buy a Surface 8 Pro today. That said, their is value to using the Surface RT as a companion device when I don't need full all the bells & whistles. The Surface RT permits me to access my employer's Citrix environment so I can access all my critical applications and IE 10, and cloud storage meets most of the rest of my needs. Far better than my iPad or my Kindle Fire ever did.

gkrew
gkrew

I was excited about the Surface but neither the RT or the Pro will work for me. I will stick with my Kindle Fire and my iPad which meet my needs despite not having 3.0 USB ports, micro SD ports and picture passwords. I am not sure why Microsoft is not addressing the issues to make the Surface better.Microsoft seems to be designing a device that they think we want without actually considering what users want/need. The price is already high, granted it is cheaper than Asus or Samsung devices running Windows 8 but their battery life beats Surface RT and Pro in my analysis. I have not seen outlets (regular or cigarette lighter style) on planes in a while. I would welcome that again while flying if I could charge devices other than a cell phone but it still won't make me buy a Surface.

InstructorJWN
InstructorJWN

Patrick, "Obviously" the "faults" you have mentioned are merely opportunities for other vendors to "supplement" the Surface with "pirepherals. first a Bigger battery.... with everyone going green, the old heavy and energy dense car batteries will be in abundance. using the Microsoft (side pack) you could carry a car battery and use that to supplement the poor battery life. The battery could also have a "mini server rack" on it to carry a powered file / application server to supplement the "svelt" form factor of the surface. The whole package, Car battery (wrapped in colorful microsoft fabric could be called the "power user pack, and will then provide the computing experience that you are looking for. Frankly this fits the marketing model of the XBOX, which required after market fans to keep the power wire ont he motehrboard from overheating and fusing to the motherboard. So Die Hard Zealots ould welcome the "extra 10 to 40 lbs of batteries. As far as "unusable" that is semantics. HAH!!

tkainz
tkainz

So I finally made it into the Microsoft store to check out the Surface RT only because I've convinced myself for some time now that the Pro version was what I really was waiting for and at least by playing with the RT for a bit, I would get a decent taste of what was to come in the Pro. I found the device "fun" and easy to use and seemingly sturdy and well built. Surely the Pro would be everything I hoped for especially given that I would be able to run full fledged "real" software on it and not be confined to run the half-baked, child-like, application wanna be software that seems to make up a majority of the Windows 8 arsenal (but that's a whole other joke... I mean story). Like everything in life, at least from a business perspective, deciding to purchase a Surface Pro ultimately comes down to a cost / benefit decision and for me, at least, I just don't see it as being there. As I was informed by the Microsoft Store salesperson, a beefed up Pro with the keyboard would end up running me well near the $1,100 to $1,200 range (if not more). Really? Why? More importantly, why would I want to spend that much for a device that effectively doesn't really do that much more than my $250 Netbook does? Realistically, when seated at a desk or conference table, with the Surface Pro on it's little kickstand with the keyboard flipped out, you're taking up about the same footprint as the Netbook would take up. Of course, the Netbook doesn't have the nifty touch screen that the Surface Pro has, but as far as I'm concerned, while the touch screen is a neat - even fun - aspect of using Windows 8, it's not a necessity and I've been using Winows 8 on my desktop - without a touchscreen - just fine for months now. So it's back to a cost / benefit analysis. For the same price as the Surface pro, I can buy a new, well equipped laptop which, for my needs, will perform as well as the Surface Pro, offer more RAM, more storage, more adaptability AND pop for a couple of touch screen monitors to have at my desk when I work from home AND have enough left for a decent night on the town. So while the idea that tablets are the end-all, be-all for the future of the computing world, if I were to judge that based on the Surface Pro, and If I owned a chunk of stock in laptops, I wouldn't be too worried. Get the Surface Pro down to the $500 range - with the keyboard - and then we'll seriously talk but until then, at $1,200, the cost / benefit ratio is way off base.

JLSP
JLSP

At least to me. I have been watching closely and trying to decide how to spend my money. It has been hard to justify $1,000 of my own money for a tablet that has very little storage and battery life. I'm looking for a replacement for my work laptop and I want it to be a tablet that I can take with me on the fly. This article spoke to me as a user and a tech. I can live with some shortfalls, but what's the point of having a tablet/laptop that can't hold up to my needs? I will be waiting for Microsoft to add storage and battery life before I spend my hard earned money on something that won't meed my needs just yet. Microsoft, I'll be waiting and when you improve it, I'll be glad to give you my money.

lance_peterson
lance_peterson

I agreewith the author here. Surface looks like a good next step up from the iPad for those of us that are power users, but it lacks the easy and clean user inteface of the Apple product. Give them a year to get the app catalog built up and solve the sliggish performmance an confusing interface and I may switch back to an MS powered product. Until the=n my iPad works great for my on-the-go productivity needs (Don't know why folks complain about the on-board iPad keyboard. I priofduce well with it.). One day we'll get that all-in-on prtable PC, just not today. No wif someone could just get me that flying car I've always wanted!

miguelguzman
miguelguzman

This article is full of personal preferences and lack of real information. There's not even real information about the product he's complaining about, but just expectations and speculations without real facts. I do not believe your claiming about the battery life and the store falling short of applications; that has not been my experience at all. I felt very much like you before I started using Surface RT. Kudos to Microsoft for this great new product.

justin.donie
justin.donie

I've been interested to watch the unfolding of tablet use in general in the office environment. In our office, PC/Mac usage is about 60/40, so when tablets became an option, most of the ones I saw were Apple iPads, though I have seen Samsung unit or two as well. For a few months last year, tablets began cropping up all over, and in a large meeting it wasn't uncommon to see as many as 4 iPads around the table. Then by Thanksgiving it was 3, then by Christmas it was 2, then it dwindled to one. Now I can't recall the last time I saw someone in a meeting with a tablet. When I asked some of the folks who used to use them why they weren't using them any more in meetings, these were the answers I got: 1) I can't really take notes with one ... the process of taking notes just isn't convenient or fast enough (onscreen keyboard), and I found I was missing content while I struggled with the interface. 2) I can't access my network (intranet) documents fast enough to reference them on a timely basis during the meeting. 3) Without universal wifi coverage through out all corners of the office complex, keeping up on email via iPad (or other tablet) isn't viable. (Someone with a 4g plan might not have had that problem). 4) Not well integrated into the MS Outlook system used for managing meetings, conference rooms, email, etc. What has evolved over the last six months is people using their smart phones to keep up on email and calendar during meetings, using paper for personal note taking, and for those in charge of keeping minutes or making presentations, they use their laptops. People really WANTED the idea of tablets to work in the office. I LOVE the idea of tablets. But at this point, in our office (and in the previous one where I worked in for 3 years), they just aren't catching on. Functionally, for most office workers, the ability to interface with key work systems and to create and edit information on the fly just isn't up to par yet. Most folks are finding its simpler to keep notes on paper and transfer the essential bits to their PC's back a their desk. This tells me the tablet has a long way to go in terms of functional design before it overtakes existing technologies on the desks of most office workers. So what are folks using their tablets for if not for use in meetings, etc.? They do watch movies on them at lunch. :)

ExploreMN
ExploreMN

If your into note taking like you said, why note get the Galaxy Note 8" next month? Stylus, awesome note taking apps, all day battery. Seems it would fit your needs much better than that joke of a tablet ipad mini.

shr3d5
shr3d5

Being completely objective, I understand the complaint about battery life. I don't see it as a problem myself as I can always find a plug if I need it. However, where the argument breaks down is this -- if the 5 hour battery life of the Surface Pro is insufficient, getting a laptop with similar or even lower battery life to use in its place will somehow alleviate your problems? Or are you assuming you will use the laptop half the time, and the tablet half the time? I would look at getting a battery and a dock charger instead, giving you another 5 hours of battery life on the Surface Pro.

rrushing
rrushing

I have an iPad. Biggest draw back to me is it's very problematic in the note taking area. Seeing the Surface has a pen stylus will move to purchasing a Surface W8.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

For the person who is constantly on the move with even reasonably long presentations to make it's not always possible to recharge as you go. It's even harder when you have lots of Short Presentations and lots of traveling between presentations. Personally I use a Inverter that plugs into a car cigarette lighter to recharge between meetings but they relies on me driving a car to begin with and that isn't always possible. Just try suggesting to a Taxi Driver to plug your device into his car and see what happens. ;) Even aircraft have limited recharging capabilities. Sure the bigger ones generally speaking are not a problem or the company supplied Light Aircraft as they belong to the company and can be modified for your needs but everything else is a different story particularly when you are flying Leased Aircraft not on Larger Public Routes. Here it all Depends on what it is you do as to what is useful to you. ;) Col

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I ran into this many years ago with the Motorola brick Phone I Could by spare batteries but I had to wait several moths for a charger to be made available for sale. How any NB or tablet batteries can be charged out of the device? Col

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

It runs all the same software as any Windows PC (though maybe not as well.)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

If so, then what do you think it is? An entertainment device? A communications tool?

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

You are supposed to try something and then confirm that it doesn't suit your purpose before you say a single word are you? Isn't that not only wasteful but very expensive? I don't need to go out and buy a F1 Ferrari to know that the wife will be unable to take it to the shops and stuff all of her shopping in it so it's useless to her for her needs. Why is it any different to say the same thing about any bit of Tech? The 3 Hours of battery is a killer for me and for that reason alone puts the Surface Pro off the Must Have list of things that I want to play with after shelling out my own funds to get one. Personally I buy what suits my needs and not what quite obviously will not suit them and I consider every factor of each and every item. It does however depend on what you need as apposed to want though as way too many people think that they need something justify that need to themselves incorrectly and then buy it and then try to make it fit the way that they work. Great if you are a seller of the stuff doesn't really matter what it is as you get a sale but terribly wasteful and it ends up giving the product a bad name if a lot of people buy something that they can not make it useful to themselves. This is what Apple has done right the iToys are not Tech they are a Fashion Statement and not actually really meant to do anything other than look pretty and be a Status Symbol so you must have one or more where as any Real Tech needs to fulfill a need for that person and that is the reason why you should or should not buy one. Trying to deride a person because they don't have a need for any device is nothing more than Downright silly and is more of a reflection on the person complaining rather than the [b]Sensible Person[/b] who realizes that any particular device doesn't suit them personally. ;) Just because something is available doesn't mean that you have to buy it and more importantly if you do buy it and it doesn't suit your needs what it say about you? If you believe that just because something is available you have to buy it, I have a Bridge for sale it's well maintained and only used by a Little Old Lady on her way to church on a Sunday. I am selling if for 25 Billion so pony up the money and it's yours. Yes I know you can not move it and it's in a different country to you but how dare you imply that you don't have a use for it you have to buy it as I want the money I'll get from selling it. :^0 Col

pgray
pgray

I know I said I was done commenting, but hopefully this will prove helpful. Here's a quick list off the top of my head, all of which is based on my experience with Surface RT (which I own), and from the perspective of tablet use. Since the Pro essentially runs the majority of the Windows desktop catalog, I assume I'd be set for productivity: - Tablet-based/finger friendly email client. I don't compose many emails on a tablet, but do browse, delete, and "triage" email. The "mini outlook" in Metro stinks, not sure how "real" Outlook works on Surface Pro, but I would assume I couldn't get in there, check my email, delete the unimportant stuff, and get out in under 30 seconds. - WSJ exists on Surface, but doesn't seem to work offline or mirror the actual paper the same way the iOS and Android versions do - No decent RSS readers that I've seen - No top-flight task manager that lets me use a "Getting Things Done"-style organizational scheme (I used Toodledo on the iOS side) - TripIt/Kayak are there, but a bit weak - Evernote is not as good as iOS/Android - No mind mapping tool that I'm aware of - Limited mapping, especially offline (helpful when going to another country)

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Depending on the length of the meeting, recording it in audio seems a far more efficient way to catch all the information--especially if you're keeping minutes. You can pretty easily follow that up with a speech to text app. I, for one, would not be trying to type notes on any device, not even a laptop, during a meeting. #2 might stand up, but I do believe when Microsoft gets RT a little better integrated with the rest of the Windows environment that issue will go away for the Surface. On the other hand, if those iPad users had been using iWork on their Macs instead of Office, there's a good chance all those documents would have been readily available. I've found that document synchronization is almost completely automatic in both directions. #3 is the fault more of your company's willingness to provide sufficient coverage. While I understand the desire to prevent outside access to the wireless network, if it truly affects the productivity of even one employee, the setup needs to be examined. #4 is also questionable--showing more that either they or your IT staff don't know enough about accessing that Outlook environment, though I will acknowledge that the iPad uses several apps to serve the overall purpose which actually becomes more efficient as they don't get in each others' way. I've seen many an example where Outlook itself is the problem--alerting users to a meeting two hours or more after the scheduled time--on full Windows networks. As such, I can't really blame the iPad when even non-iPad users are affected.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I can carry a couple of spare, charged batteries along with a laptop and swap them out if needed. They'll probably weigh less than toting a second device.

JJFitz
JJFitz

easy Rotate your battery usage and charge them in the laptop when there is a power outlet available. I buy spare batteries for my laptop. Depending on the length of the trip and the potential lack of adequate AC outlets, I might bring two fully charged spares. I had a battery charger from Lenovo that could charge two spares at once. Plug them in overnight along with the laptop and you are always good to go. I used to be able to "hot swap" the lenovo batteries while the laptop ran on ac. That was sweet.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

You are right for the entire first half of your argument; you fail when you hit, "This is what Apple has done..." While I realize that the iPad doesn't meet YOUR needs, but that doesn't mean it's strictly a "fashion statement" because quite honestly it can do "Real Work" very well, just differently from a desktop machine. Until you realize and fully understand that a tablet is not intended to replace a full desktop/laptop machine, you simply won't understand what makes the iPad so popular. This is the same reason why Windows failed for so long on x86 tablets and convertibles. The software of the desktop OSes simply aren't touch centric and as such makes using them much more difficult with desktop apps. Windows 8 offers a means to have Mobility and Desktop on the same device which is an excellent concept that will work better than any previous system, but the high resolution combined with high ppi means desktop fonts will be too small for easy reading and navigation. A larger machine or lower native "resolution" will moderate the issue but only a context-sensitive OS that either understands the surrounding environment or is physically selectable between Mobile vs desktop/tabletop use that prevents desktop use when being operated in the hands will the system really be more user friendly. What I'm trying to say is that when you're walking down the street or driving a car, you need the display as simple and easy to use as possible; when sitting as a passenger or at a table/desk, then the full power of the device can be brought to bear. Windows 8 begins to offer this ability, but too many people are trying to use it the way they're used to using their laptop/desktop--emphasizing the weaknesses without recognizing or using its strengths.

JJFitz
JJFitz

I found this online: http://bgr. com/2013/02/07/surface-pro-battery-life-accessory-321363/ Note: I purposely put a space before the "com" because techrepublic does not always let me link to other sites. :) If you take the space out you should be all set.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Here you need the NB Battery plugged into the NB to charge it. More than slightly difficult to switch over so they charge the spare batteries when you are asleep and no where near enough time for a full charge when you wake up in the morning have a shave, shower and whatever that third s word is and breakfast. I suppose you could of course carry 2 NB's and use the second one to charge the spare battery for your first NB but that seems rather expensive not to mention Excess Baggage prices. Col ;)

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Personally the Fashion Statement was meant more for the Apple True Believers who simply have to have one because it's made by Apple, well Foxconn for Apple at least. :D Personally I wasn't thinking of the iPad when I wrote the above though I should say there are quite a few people [i]End Users[/i] that I know who are using their iPads instead of a computer. They have replaced their computers with a iPad completely and personally they drive me nuts but maybe that's just me. The Apple stones are an interesting place to visit I should also add they are nothing if not different and while I could easily live with the layout and the staff the cheering every time someone buys and attempts to walk out the door with something new I find takes more than a bit of getting used to. Personally I think that the staff need Certifying when they carry on like that but I realize it's just me and my friends who are in the Public Mental Health Department so maybe the entire staff of the local Apple Store will get out of the Mental Health Hospital in the next few months after they have been cured of their issues. :^0 However before the iPad Apple products where much more of a Fashion Statement or Status Symbol than a real bit of Tech. Even the last generation iPhone which didn't get a signal because it wasn't being [b]Held Right[/b] was another example of how not to design things but how to con people into believing that they had something great even though they didn't know how to hold it. Anyway this Blog is nothing more than an Opinion Piece about why a Surface Pro will not suit Patrick and it gets under my skin when I see responses like that posted above. I see it much more as Reading Ability 1, Reading Comprehension a very high minus score. Col