A colleague at work was talking about the new Microsoft surface pro, that was due out in a few days.
And it turned out that the launch day was a very snowing day in New York City. So for a snowy walk I choose to transverse Central Park and aim for the Microsoft popup store at Columbus circle.
It was a fantastic winter wonderland of tobogganing children and a range of adults having fun in the almost real world of Central Park.
I arrived at the Time Warner building glowing from the heat and cold of the hike and straight into a world of enthusiastic apple-esque Microsoft sales people showing all variety of the surface. And it was obvious to me within seconds of playing that the surface pro was something very special.
I bought one added a tactile keyboard, a VGA adaptor and was ready to change my business computing platform.
As the next day was the start of a week long business trip to europe, it was the perfect chance to try out this new wonder. So I pulled the Mac air and the ipad from my bag and added the freshly configured surface to my kit for europe. Yes I was nervous without the full range of iOS toys, but i still had my iPhone, so I wasn’t going 100% cold turkey.
I’m not going to bore you with details on the machine itself, let me just say its a tablet sized windows 8 machine.
When I arrived at the start of our 4 day meeting, sitting next to me was our head of sales whose laptop blew up the day before, so he was working on an iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard and on my other side was a sales Person on a standard dell laptop. This gave me the chance to compare and contrast these three choices.
I love apple products, so it’s very hard for me to say this, but the ipad sucked as a stand-in for a pc. Editing emails and trying to send just part of a received email to another person was a exercise not unlike making a soufflé. A delicate operation that takes expertise and careful Planning.
While the laptop was too large for a fully stocked business meeting. Making talking over the screen complex and all in all over intrusive.
While the surface was a dream. Running all the standard business apps just like a pc, being small and unobtrusive, and lapable when I needed to take notes on the fly.
I love the fact that the power block has an extra USB charging spot and that the power cable is a simple one and not unique like the dells, meaning I was able to use a standard cable and didn’t need to resort to a plug converter, which for the uk is the size of another power supply.
The machine worked perfectly in every way. I have no complaints and nothing but praise for the designers.
Maybe Microsoft have exited their years in the hell of horrible products, or maybe their will still be something horrible that I just have not hit yet? Here’s hoping for the former.