A few days ago I went against the advice of most of my friends and bought a Microsoft Surface2 over the Samsung, Google and Apple tablets. My rationale was that I needed a portable device with MS Office and a functional keyboard. I’m part of the “new niche” that Surface2 should go after rather than purely trying to compete against the iPad.
I’m extremely happy with the Surface2 keyboard. The ease by which you can attach and remove the keyboard is very functional. The keyboard itself is easy to use and I do not feel that this is any step down from my laptop keyboard. The USB port, which has multiple benefits, is very useful for fitting a Windows8 compatible mouse. My “desktop” experience is exactly what I had wanted.
The operating systems with an tablet version of Windows8 is intuitive and easy to learn. I had not been on Windows8 but I like being able to customize the “Start”. In addition, I’ve found the combination of using the mouse, keyboard and touch screen to be intuitive and not an issue as some reviewers have complained.
For the first time yesterday, I used the Surface2 strictly as a tablet as I sat on my bed watching college football. I interacted on my social media sites and surfed the web. This dual function is really appealing. I will always rely mostly on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smartphone for mobile connected activities. Still, it was nice to have the bigger screen of Surface2 while watching TV. However, I can tell that I’m going to use the Surface2 more as a desktop device than as a tablet.
Where the Surface2 falls short is with the quality and quantity of apps. For example, I’m a heavy user of Evernote and the Evernote Web Clip is an important tool that is not available for Surface2. The LinkedIn app is so poor for Windows8 that I didn’t even download it. Another important app for me is Spotify which is not available for the Surface2. There are definitely compromises to using the Surface2. I think there is a real niche market that Microsoft can address. They’ve done a lot of good things with the Surface2 but need to make further improvements to really become the niche player that provides “the most productive tablet on the planet”.
For me, I’m still happy with my choice so far. As an executive who is heavily reliant on MS Office and needs a keyboard, this is a sleek device.