Since its announcement a few days ago and its rather disappointing showcase in Los Angeles, the Microsoft Surface Tablet has been causing quite a stir among the technology crowd. It is common business sense not to enter into a crowded market which the tablet market is fast becoming. But to do this and openly compete head to head with Apple? Has Microsoft lost the plot completely?
Apparently not. The Surface has already exceeded the Apple iPad by offering two tablets within its Surface range. Yes it’s a range not just a single product. Rather sophisticated don’t you think? We can choose between an ARM- based version or an intel- based version both operating Windows 8. As an enterprise you are more likely to benefit from an intel- based version as it is the most powerful of the two, reportedly more powerful than Apple’s iPad.
Ok I know a lot of you reading this will be hard-core Apple fans and who could blame you? Apple has managed to remain innovative and ahead of the game. However, if like me you love Windows and wish that they too could develop something similar to the iPad but with Windows applications then you are in luck, because here it is.
So the real question is; what makes it so special? And more importantly; how is it going to make business easier?
Well the Surface tablet does not just augment PC mobility it replaces the desktop and the laptop completely, creating a full PC experience wherever you may be. You can be productive on the go as you just use the same tools and software as you always use. iPads on the other hand waste time as you need to search for apps in order to be productive and end up just ‘killing’ time until you can get back to your desktop. Not exactly the efficient method your business was looking for.
What I was most impressed with is the built in accessories which allow the tablet to act like a desktop. The built in stand is one thing but the magnetic touch pad keyboard which doubles up as a cover, now that is genius! Simple, but genius. Some of us are still programmed to use keyboards and Microsoft have realised this. What is even more exciting is this cover/keyboard is available in a range of colours so you could change the covers to suit your mood or your outfit if you really wanted to.
Microsoft haven’t created one off gimmicks or paired their accessories separately to milk the cash cow. They have really thought about their customers’ needs and created something which is practical to the daily lives of a business person. It might be ever so slightly bigger and heavier than the iPad but when you consider that it packs in an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, it’s actually pretty impressive that it’s as svelte as it is. It also has USB and micro-HDMI ports, and a micro-SD card expansion slot. What is more, it has what the iPad doesn’t and that is the ability to run Windows.
Now all that remains to be seen is the price. If Microsoft play their cards right we could see a shift in the tablet market and it’s about time. The clever, thoughtfully designed Surface tablet deserves a place next to the iPad for finally making Windows PC users lives easier.