Byebye Microsoft Surface

by Volker Weber

I have only had Microsoft Surface for three weeks, and now it needs to return. Everything is returned from vowe's magic flying circus. Sometimes it takes three weeks, sometimes it may take years. :-)

We had a lot more fun than I initially thought. Surface is hard, Surface is not human. And still, it was the most used device in the last three weeks. It took about a week until I started using it all day. To my surprise, I hardly ever used one of the two keyboards. Whenever I needed a real keyboard to type a lengthy email, I would rather use the Lenovo Yoga. If I wanted a tablet, I picked Surface because it is smaller and lighter. That's a luxury you won't have since you will have either or. Of the two keyboard, I like the colorful Touch keyboard more, but I did not invest enough time to adjust to it. Most people will be better off with the Type keyboard, which has actual keys and not only a touch surface. The Lenovo keyboard is much better than both of them.

Yoga has another advantage over the Surface that I borrowed: more storage. I was able to put a lot of media files on the Yoga that I could not fit on Surface. If you get a Surface RT, you want 64 GB. If you buy a Surface Pro, you want 128 GB. Less storage won't work. I did find the MicroSD card slot, but the added storage is not very useful, since removable storage is not integrated into the RT apps like Music or Videos. Media files will not show in these apps. Corollary: this is the place to store your home videos.

While Surface misses the human touch, I found the build quality to be exceptionally good. It's a nice item to have. I often opened the stand, even when I was holding the tablet. It was nice putting some fingers under it for extra grip. There is one exception to the quality experience: Microsoft has a similar design to Apple's MagSafe connector you find on MacBooks. But it's not working nearly as well. The magnet is weaker, and the tolerances are too tight. The connector comes off too easily and it's fiddly to fit in.

I continue to like Windows RT and will return my full attention to the Lenovo Yoga 11. But it was indeed nice using Microsoft Surface. Thank you.

Comments

Nice comments - personally my use of the Surface RT has grown in the past couple of months. I use it a lot at home, grabbing it off the desk, leaving the touch keyboard behind and sitting on the sofa with it. In meetings it's my default note-taking device (and of course using OneNote the notes sync everywhere). In customer meetings it sometimes has been the bulk of the demo, and on a couple of occasions I've borrowed a VGA adapter and given the presentation from the Surface RT. For e-mail I find it acts as the thing between the phone and the full laptop with Outlook... the phone is for quickly scanning e-mail, getting rid of the crap and doing the quick replies which require little typing. The Surface RT allows me to read longer e-mails and do longer replies, and full Outlook is used for the e-mails which require the most effort.

Darren Adams, 2013-03-21 22:30

Volker, you can link the SD Card to the Music and Video apps with a simple trick, see http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/01/junction-points-and-windows-8/
Works flawlessly!

Ingo Seifert, 2013-03-22 08:05

The rest of the world calls this a symbolic link. ;-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolic_link

Volker Weber, 2013-03-22 10:23

So what... Hauptsache es läuft... Bei mir tut es das...

Ingo Seifert, 2013-03-22 13:52

Volker,'

As Ingo stated you can easily add the SD card to work with you libraries. You can also enable bitlocker on the SD card to ensure that of it is stolen it is not usable.

I am using the Surface Pro now for almost a month as my main device and it works flawless. I have the 128 GB with an additional 64 GB SD card (and ofcourse my Skydrive (Pro) )...

Peter de Haas, 2013-03-23 14:09

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vowe.net is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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