If you’re anything like me, you feel that the plethora of choices in the netbook and tablet marketplace is mind-numbing. The iPad has become ubiquitous in the minds of most when thinking of a tablet-like device, and many of us either own one or have played around with one in an Apple store near you. There’s no denying that the simplicity and elegance surrounding the iPad is attractive, if not altogether sexy. With the company’s closed model, however, other manufacturers have flocked to the market with their wares packaged in such a way hoping to catch the consumer’s attention and hard earned dollars. No matter how you look at them, though, anything else really is just an iPad alternative.
I personally have not understood the tablet craze. What I’m not able to do on my smart phone I am able to do on my laptop. The last thing I want is another gadget that’s stuck somewhere in between an MP3 player and fully functional, productive laptop – a tech purgatory, if you will.
Microsoft, by resurrecting the name of a former product, has provided salvation to the masses with yesterday’s announcement of their very own designed and manufactured tablet. The Microsoft “Surface” will appeal to those who want to watch a movie and surf the web via coffeehouse Wi-Fi and, with the integrated full keyboard, to the professionals trying to do “real work.” The Pro version, due 90 days following the launch of the RT “lite” version, contains the full Windows 8 operating system. This is truly a game changer. Sometimes it pays to be a late adopter of technology. I believe those avoiding the tablet – even dismissing it as I have – may finally have something they can use to indulge their fun & games side but then churn out some real work too. All the specs and prices remain to be fully revealed, but the common features between both models include a dual Wi-Fi antennae (for good coverage regardless how it’s held), USB port, micro SD card slot, HD display and video out port, and the very cleverly designed cover containing a full keyboard and touchpad on the underside. This is perhaps one of the coolest features of the Surface. According to Microsoft’s Panos Panay at the super-secret launch held at Milk Studios in Hollywood, the magnets force the cover on only one way and the keyboard turns off when it is folded over the tablet. This design elegance and ease of use were extended to the integrated stand, the surrounding air ventilation system and virtually every line to create something of beauty that they claim you will truly WANT to hold in your hands. Now assuming the battery life is decent and if they price it less than the iPad, I will certainly be holding one in my hands come launch day.