Microsoft Surface Pro experience

After using the iPad for more than year as my mainstream tablet for daily use, I’m now giving the Surface Pro a go for the next few months. In this blog I will share my frustrations and likes. How will it perform? Is it really a productive tablet or just a fancy ultrabook?

DSC00163Both tablets are not usable in sun.

I’ve been using my iPad for a lot of tasks: email, taking notes during meetings (no paper for me anymore), surfing the web, reading books, reading news via Flipboard, listen to Spotify, checking my social networks, see the weather, watch tv, presenting slides, testing apps, playing games, etc.  Now let’s see how the Surface Pro does all this. These are my experiences after using it for a couple of weeks.

The positives

  • Office on a tablet is really nice
  • Great screen, I like high resolutions
  • Visual Studio and other development tools always available
  • Keyboard cover (not touch version) is great for typing
  • Re-use of my apple VGA cable for presentations
  • Fast and responsive
  • Closing an application with swipe is nice, after you found out how it works!

The negatives

  • Desktop is not suited for touch interface, my fingers are just too big
  • Almost no apps for touch interface
  • Limited battery life, only half of my iPad
  • Heavy, it’s much heavier compared to the iPad and weighs a ton compared to my favorite tablet, the iPad mini
  • Pen is nice but prone to loosing or forgetting
  • Missing a mouse often and the touch pad of the keyboard cover is only for emergencies
  • In laptop mode with the keyboard, viewing angle is fixed (not great for outdoors)
  • Not the same level of connectivity in corporations available, iPad is better supported (mail, wifi, apps)
  • Apps offer limited experience (onenote vs notes+)  (bento vs flipboard)
  • Mail client limited and outlook not touch friendly, what to use?
  • Airplay missing, I can’t stream music or video to my apple tv’s
  • Switching between apps without keyboard is cumbersome
  • In desktop mode and using it as a real tablet (no keyboard attached) is hard, my fingers are too big for touching small things and you must bring up the on screen keyboard manually for every input box

Would I consider using a Surface with Windows RT for the better battery life? NO thanks! The choice of apps for this platform is so limited and you can’t run ‘legacy’ windows software except office.

These are my experiences after the first weeks with the Surface Pro. So far it has been a mixed experience. I didn’t fall in love with it but I also didn’t have the urge to throw it out of the window. Keep coming back the next months to see if my feelings towards the Surface Pro change.