MS Surface at Starbucks

By on November 16, 2012 2:50:04 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1089

So here I am at Starbucks doing some quick work.  This is, obviously, not something you'd do with an iPad.  You never see people with tablets at Starbucks.  It's either they're messing with their phone while waiting or they have, more commonly, various MacBooks. 

What is making MS Surface so great for me is that while I can use it as a tablet, though not as good as my iPad, it is much more practical to lug around than my 11 inch MacBook Air.  Is makes a much better light computing device for me than my MacBook Air.

Part of the appeal is the keyboard. It is flat on the surface of the table. I don't know how many millimeters thick it is but it's trivial. It makes it a much nicer device for typing, something the traditional Notebook can't yet touch. It's a design choice. The guts of a Surface is in the screen (the tablet). In a typical laptop/notebook, the guts are shared in the same place as the keyboard which always makes it slightly thicker.

Before I got the Surface, I was thinking that the Surface Pro would be a better solution. Now, I'm not so sure.  In fact, I suspect the Surface RT is a better solution for the role I've put it in - light computing.  It's not like I'd be doing development work on one of my Ultrabooks.

Again, the biggest flaw in Surface RT remains the software. It's unrefined and SkyDrive remains woefully under integrated.  However, these are things that are likely to be addressed.  They've already released an update that made it significantly peppier overall.

After having such a negative first reaction to the Surface (the OS really doesn't give a good first impression) I've concluded that this is a pretty amazing device. It's gotten to the point where I don't know if I'll be getting another MacBook Air (the MacBook Pro remains my primary laptop device, taking over the role my ThinkPads had held since the early 90s).

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November 16, 2012 3:16:48 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Must....resist...urge...to...get....one....

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November 16, 2012 3:28:41 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Have absolutely no need to get one.

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November 16, 2012 5:08:46 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

If the cats stay well...and we can thus afford to get OS again I'll need something more portable than a Lappy....and more practical than a smart phone....so one of these gizmos may fit the bill...

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November 16, 2012 5:20:19 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

If I were 20 or more years younger then I could probably make up an excuse to get one or two of these new IT devices.........but then they didn't have these things 20 or more years ago......go figure. 

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November 16, 2012 5:29:42 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I'll stick with my little 10.1" netbook, suits my needs just fine.

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November 16, 2012 6:43:30 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Of course the bigger question is......Starbucks?

We had the misfortune of trying their coffee when we were OS ...... week-old dishwater would be superior....

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November 16, 2012 8:00:24 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

their white hot chocolate is pretty good on a cold day

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November 16, 2012 8:20:57 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,
Of course the bigger question is......Starbucks?

Dunkin' Donuts has better coffee. Hell, 7/11 has better coffee, but I'm sure neither of those places are "trendy, hip or cool" or whatever they call it nowadays. I have no need for foam or fancy names. For the most part, if I want a good cup of coffee, I'll stay home.

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November 16, 2012 10:23:52 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Nothing beats a caramel macchiato...........

Home brew is safely in the hands of Dunkin' Donuts, though

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November 16, 2012 10:51:34 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

So what's this coffee 'waffle' all about?  Let's get back to the pros and cons of the Surface tablet, orright?

Oh, and some informed thoughts/opinions would be preferable to "it's crap" comments.

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November 17, 2012 8:31:21 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting starkers,
So what's this coffee 'waffle' all about?  Let's get back to the pros and cons of the Surface tablet, orright?

Oh, and some informed thoughts/opinions would be preferable to "it's crap" comments.

And who appointed you to the topic police?

Very well then. Back to the perceived topic.

Since this is a portable device that I am sure will be exposed to various real world hazards, how durable does it appear to be?  Will it survive a drop from table height? Can it be sat upon with no damage? Is it rainwater, coffee and alcohol proof?  How does it stand up to heat and vibration? These are all important considerations if they are to be used in the real world as a working device.

To be a true substitute for a laptop or netbook it needs to car/truck proof, student proof, baby proof and bad roommate proof.(maybe even pissed-off girl/boyfriend proof) I ask because as nice as they look, as advanced as they are, they still appear somewhat fragile and wide open to damage of any and all kinds, much more so than a laptop which is already fairly easy to destroy.

That's a lot of cash to lay out for a potential future paperweight.

Given that, your thoughts on insurance coverage and carrying and/or protective covers/cases will also be welcome.

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November 17, 2012 9:39:41 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Island Dog,
Must....resist...urge...to...get....one....

There's an 'easy' solution to that, Spence. Just move over here, to Denmark. It's not available here, and may not be at all.

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November 17, 2012 10:15:27 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Wizard1956,
And who appointed you to the topic police?

Um... uh... nobody.  However, while it's nice to hear about good coffee and all that, I'd really like to hear more about Surface and what actual users really think of them.  I've read that Surface RT is probably not a good buy because it is tied to the App Store, thus preventing users from running programs or apps of their own choosing, so yeah, I'd like more information as to how useful [or not useful] it is... whether I'd be better off waiting for the Pro or similar version.

As for the damage aspect, well it's like any other device... look after it properly and you'll have it for a long time... barring accidents.  However, that's a calculated risk you take with any electronics device.  For mine, if and when I get it, I'll use a leather protective folder something like this

 

Hopefully it would be enough to prevent damage, well the worst of it, at least

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November 17, 2012 10:36:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting starkers,

                                                                                 o   o   o

As for the damage aspect, well it's like any other device... look after it properly and you'll have it for a long time... barring accidents.  However, that's a calculated risk you take with any electronics device.  For mine, if and when I get it, I'll use a leather protective folder something like this


Hopefully it would be enough to prevent damage, well the worst of it, at least

I have a Zaggfolio "Carbon Fiber Textured Folio with Removable Bluetooth Keyboard", which I purchased to lovingly cradle, protect, and enhance my iPad 3.    (It looks very much like the one shown in starkers' reply ... well, okay, a little nicer, perhaps.)

It enhances it, by providing a  MUCH  more useable keyboard for word-processing and e-mail type applications.  It completely wraps around, and thus provides some  SERIOUS  protection for the iPad.  It provdes a method for tilting the iPad to an eye-friendly level.  And it makes it easier to hold and carry the iPad on a hour-to-hour basic.  It costs $99, and is one of 3 or 4 current products of its type.  (It is one that the Wall Street Jounal's Walter S. Mossberg recommended, a few months back.)

Sorry ... don't mean to sound like an advertisement here; but I just love this thing!  It turns a silly toy into a half-way productive tool.     

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November 17, 2012 10:57:06 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

FWIW, the one starkers has pictured above looks like the Brookstone product (they have kiosks in damn near every airport and stores in lots of malls).

Very bad bluetooth implementation, drops connection to the iPad regularly.  Went through 3 of them before just returning it and getting a full refund (they are good about that).  They may have remedied the problem since (that was for the original iPad) so don't take that as current gospel, but should be on the lookout for connectivity issues.  For slightly more money, got an Apple keyboard & have no issues, though integrated it ain't.

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November 17, 2012 11:25:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One Addendum to my Reply #15 above ... and then I promise I will get off the subject.           

A 12 minute independent review of the Zaggfolio product by Ron Epstein of the "Home Theatre Forum" can be found on Youtube, at the link shown below.  Epstein also calls this product  " the best keyboard in it's class ". 

          www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtAiUC_Js8E

 

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November 18, 2012 1:08:18 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Yeah, guys, the folio I pictured is something like/similar to one I'd use for a Surface tablet.  I just used that picture to show what I was thinking.  The keyboard case I end up getting could be this brand or that, and definitely with a different set up. The one pictured sort of lifts, folds and slots in to stand the tablet up, whereas I prefer something that opens more like a book and has an adjustable backstand.

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November 18, 2012 12:35:00 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Sounds like you need the one MS makes to go with it, starkers.  I expect third party keyboard products to show up, but not for awhile.

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November 18, 2012 10:12:02 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Daiwa,
Sounds like you need the one MS makes to go with it, starkers.

Trouble with that is it's too pricey for what it is.  I have a folder/keyboard for my Android tablet that most likely would fit the bill, and at a quarter of the price of the MS one, it'll be more cost effective get another when the time comes.

Quoting Daiwa,
I expect third party keyboard products to show up, but not for awhile.

There may not be any available that were specifically made for Surface as yet, but there will be some cover/keyboards around that will suffice.  When my niece came into possession of an Android tablet, the cover made specifically for her iPad was a near perfect fit for it.

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