The Surface Pro from Microsoft has been out for a while now, and yet it is still hot news. Having only just launched in Europe, and with a design that is still incredibly divisive, people can’t help but talk about the machine whether or not they count themselves as fans.
The concept behind the device is certainly an interesting one. It’s one of the first mainstream tablets to offer the full power of a PC with Windows x86 operating system, meaning that users should in theory be able to take their work with them easily and no longer be tethered to a desk or a laptop.
For SEOs and webmasters this is an intriguing prospect. Many of us who started working online did so in order to become more free – so that we could work where we wanted, when we wanted and how we wanted. Even with a netbook this freedom can sometimes be compromised as we are forced to boot up, sit down and type. What if you could stand up with a Surface Pro in one hand and doodle your design ideas straight onto the screen while talking with friends?
That’s the promise that Surface offers, but with mixed reviews, can it really deliver? If you work online for a living, is this a step forward or a step back? And is it a worthy investment bearing in mind the high price tag. Read on to find out…
When you first load up a Microsoft Surface Pro, you can’t help but be impressed. The thing is slick and this is true of everything from the hardware to the software integration. It moved fast, it uses an attractive UI, and it’s generally a hot piece of kit.
Pretty soon after the initial wow factor has worn off though and you try to get down to some serious work, you’ll find that there are a number of annoying compromises and that some things that should be easy are frustratingly difficult and fiddly.
Take that impressive kickstand for instance. It’s satisfying to use, but it only offers one viewing angle for users which means that you can’t tilt the screen up or down. This isn’t a problem too often fortunately, as the angle that has been chosen is pleasing on the eye and easy to use. When it does become an issue though, is when you’re sitting in front of a bright window and battling with glare. This is a shiny screen at the best of times and with no way to change the angle you’ll possibly find some situations rather headache inducing.
If you‘re a power user getting used to Windows 8 and the new Word, you’ll be frustrated at things like the lack of start button, the oddly placed FN key on the touch cover and the awkward saving process. Fortunately, Microsoft has anticipated your concerns and provided shortcuts and workarounds in each case (FN12 for instance still allows you to save the way you’re used to), but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s annoying. Even as a tablet, the weight makes the device cumbersome and the touchscreen keyboard is temperamental (though the UI is nice).
But then use it a little longer and you’ll find that these trade-offs also come with bonuses. Correcting spelling mistakes in Word for instance is superfast if you have a touch screen. Being able to take YouTube with you to the kitchen when you’re making tea makes life a little bit better. And having that pen is fantastic for web designers.
So the point is, that the Surface Pro is different. It’s not perfect unfortunately, but nothing is. If you want to add to your repertoire though, and find how this device can fit into your working day (and if you have the extra cash), then it’s certainly worth checking out.
The author of this post, Vadim Kirichenko, is a part time blogger and an internet marketing expert. Having worked with some of the top search engine optimization companies, he can be considered as one of the top marketing consultants. His interest in using the best and latest technology available for web optimization is what makes him different from others.