5 essentials Microsoft Surface must get right (IMHO)

 

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 18:  The Microsoft tabl...
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 18: The Microsoft tablet Surface (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

There’s a lot of talk about what the new Microsoft surface tablet will do – call me skeptical, but I want to actually use it before I get too excited.  I have a Windows 7 tablet that I thought would be a cross over device (both laptop and tablet), just like Windows Surface. As it is, I have 5 major peeves with it, and these are 5 things that the Surface must do well (not just “do”) before I’ll buy it.

Background

I have an Asus EP 121 Slate and have a love hate relationship with it. Mainly because I tried to use it as my primary device for about 6 months (when my laptop died) which accentuated it’s drawbacks.  I absolutely love the concept of the cross over device and have high hopes for Surface.

ASUS Eee Pad Slate
ASUS Eee Pad Slate (Photo credit: Masaru Kamikura)

Microsoft Surface Top 5 “Must Haves” 

1. A built in kick stand that works:  Why is this my #1?  Because my Slate just would not stand up properly, period.  What seemed at the start to be a minor inconvenience very quickly became a major issue.  I Skype my folks back home with the kids twice a week and the cover/stand just would not support it properly, especially if the kids so much as breathed on it.  My folks spent quite a bit of time talking to the ceiling, a nice decorative ceiling, but they would have preferred to see their grandkids.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 18:  The Microsoft tabl...
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 18: The Microsoft tablet Surface is unveiled during a news conference at Milk Studios on June 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

2. A great integrated keyboard: The keyboard that came with the Slate was always somewhere else.  Not the manufacturers fault you would think, but it was quite big relative to the Slate so would be stored in a cupboard somewhere random and unfindable.  I also found the onscreen keyboard really difficult to use accurately, which is strange considering I can easily type emails on my iPhone. That, combined with the Slate constantly falling over, meant I used my iPhone as my primary emailing device for most of the 6 months I was without a laptop. I can’t wait to find out if the keyboard cover for the Surface works well, it certainly looks fantastic.

3. Light and Truly Portable: The Slate is officially 1.16kg (2.6lbs) but feels much heavier. In fact, it’s 1.57kg (3.5lbs) with battery and case according to my kitchen scales. It’s got a 12.1 inch display and is 312 x 207.2 x 16.95 mm (WxDxH) overall.  This combined with the weight means it’s not small and light enough to carry around in my handbag and use as a truly portable device. Surface promises to be 0.7-0.9kgs (1.5 – 2lbs) and 9-13mm thick, almost half the weight and thickness of my Slate.

4. Long Battery Life:  The Slate officially had 4.5 hours but didn’t seem to last that long. It will be interesting to see how Surface fares.  Good battery life on a portable device is obviously essential.

5.  Great Windows 8 touch screen experience: I cannot wait to try out Windows 8 (I did try to upgrade to the pre release but had some issues). Everyone knows that Windows 7 doesn’t provide the best touch screen experience but it’s worth mentioning here as it contributed to my overall underwhelming experience.

So there you have it.  If you have been lucky enough to get close to a Surface tablet and can comment on any of the above, please do!

Anything else you think Surface must do before you’d buy it?

You might also like to read : 10 reasons I can’t wait to get a Microsoft Surface Tablet by Debra Littlejohn Shinder at TechRepublic

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Author: Sue @ Oysterfruit

Owner at Oysterfruit.com.au.

7 thoughts on “5 essentials Microsoft Surface must get right (IMHO)”

  1. I know you’ve probably covered this off but are you nervous that the microsoft slate offerings will turn into another zune? They’re great kit but will their sales be enough to keep microsoft interested for the long haul?

  2. Hi Kev – there’s a fair bit of talk about Zune and Surface out there. Is Surface too late to the tablet market? Not sure, they certainly seem late, but the fact they will be able to integrate into Active Directory is a huge deal – particularly for the corporate market. Will it’s hardware and software be superior to the iPads (like Zune’s apparently was)? It sounds like it might be. I have my own reservations about usability due to my current Slate but I’m hoping to be proved wrong.. Can’t wait to find out!

  3. Will be very interested to see everyones feedback. I have just transferred to Apple, with a central iMac and an iPad each for husband and I. This was after much deliberation and frustration that Microsoft wasn’t getting things out quick enough.

    1. It has been really slow hasn’t it? Now that we know the date I really want to know the price for MS Surface. There are $199 rumors for the consumer version, which would be amazing!! Unlikely I would think, given the price of older tablets…. I live in hope 🙂

  4. I haven’t even heard of the Slate or the Surface. We’re big Apple fans in this house. But I am interested to try out the integrated keyboard on the Surface. And yes…why is it the claim these manufacturers make on the battery life on their products is nowhere near that long in real life???

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