Microsoft Surface: The experience.

So I’ve been using the Microsoft Surface tablet for a couple days now since Saturday, and I’ve been liking every moment of it. I’ve been using the touch cover which came bundled with the 64gb surface. I might end up picking up the type cover anyway, but I’m not in rush to getting it since the touch cover seems to be working pretty well.

So the operating system is built and designed by Microsoft. A variation of Windows, called Windows RT. Windows RT is designed to operate on the ARM processor as opposed to the x86 architecture found in current desktop and laptop computers featuring Intel or AMD chips. The advantage to using ARM for their processor, is the fact that they are designed for low power mobile platforms therefore allowing devices to be both powerful for the basic tasks and great battery life. And by basic task, it is still capable of high performance task such as gaming, etc. Anyway, the main disadvantage to running Windows on the ARM processor is that it is incapable of running x86 application. Therefore, legacy applications you run on your current desktop will not run on the surface. That is where the Surface Pro comes in to play when it is released. The launch date for it is to be determined by Microsoft.

Back to the Surface… The experience is so much better than the other tablets that I’ve tried and owned. The Microsoft Surface allows me to do true multitasking which has been lacking for a long time on a tablet. The Surface allows you to run two windows simultaneously side by side therefore allowing true multitasking. The touch gesture is so fluid and natural feeling. After a while of using the touch gesture, it become instinctive.

Swiping to the left and letting go cycles with the applications you have running. Swiping from the left and back to the bezel brings up the multitasking window that allows you to see all the windows you have running. Swiping from the right brings up the Charms menu. The Charms menu brings up the menu that allows you to perform search, share, start menu, devices and settings. They are pretty straight forward, the Search allows you to search from either within your Surface, the internet or within the application. Share allows you to share the content you’re viewing with other people. Like who doesn’t want an even easier way to share those great facebook post that everyone loves. Lol. The Start menu brings you back to the start menu, the device similar to share allows you to push content to a device. And setting is pretty obvious, it brings you to the settings page for you to change the device settings.

The most interesting about Surface that I’ve come to notice is that it still has the Desktop mode that everyone is used to. However, the only application that will actually use the interface is the built in Microsoft Office suite which includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote. Also a desktop version of Internet Explorer which supports Flash. The Modern UI version does not, at least not that I am aware of. The Surface OS still comes with all the power settings that will please the techies and power users alike, with tools such as command prompt, control panel, remote desktop capability and BitLocker capability. It does act and feel like a netbook, but without the performance issue of one. The only downside is that you cannot install Desktop application, but I see this as a tablet with desktop capability and not a laptop replacement device. I use remote desktop to my home server for all the heavy lifting which performing all the basic tasks on the Surface.

Battery life so far it has been running just fine. Been using it for short periods of time and I only recharged it once and that was only before I heard we might we getting a power outage which might last a while due to Hurricane Sandy affecting Ontario as well. I wanted to be prepared.

Overall, for people who need a tablet for basic stuff or even students, this is a great tool for them, but better than what their competitor is offering at the moment. With the built in kick stand, you don’t even need to buy a third party case that does this for you. However, even the greatest tech has its downside. Some people might find the lack of ability to install Desktop application to be a bad thing. If you are one of those people, then you will want to hold off until the Surface Pro comes out. That will be running a full Core i5 processor and Windows 8 pro capable of installing any application.

Oh, did I mention the Surface running Windows RT doesn’t get affected by virus designed for windows. Bet you did not know that!

Also, this was typed on my surface tablet, took a little while cause I was also watching a movie and its 2am. lol

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