Microsoft Surface Tablet - A Message To The Crack Heads


Last week I had the opportunity to get my hands on the new Microsoft Surface tablet computer. It's the first time I've seen this device out in the wild.

After playing with the Surface for fifteen minutes, I was mesmerized. It definitely earned a spot on my gadget wish list. But what I want to know is what kind of crack is being smoked by the critics who have lambasted Microsoft over this device.

What is wrong with you people? Are you stupid?

Anyone who has owned a Windows-based PC or laptop, like myself, would LOVE this device. I can see this replacing my big heavy 17" laptop when the time is right.

The Surface has the best of both worlds: it is a thin, light tablet but it is also a fully-functional laptop computer.

The keyboard/case made a great impression on me. I cannot stand typing on the Apple iPad. Without a physical feel for keys, I just can't find a use. But the keyboard case that comes with a Surface solves this issue. The keys are raised, but they don't move. You can touch them, but without the right amount of pressure they will not respond.

That's a big thing. You can rest your fingers on the keys and not have to worry about activating characters on the screen before you are ready. You can get the keyboard/case in two different thicknesses: 3mm and 5mm.

What I really loved about this device was the operating system, Windows 8 RT. Again, I don't get all the criticism over the new environment rolled out by Microsoft. It does so many new convenient things I can't name them all. Just swiping from off-screen to the active desktop unveils several new navigational and functional features.

People are attacking the Microsoft Surface like it is the biggest blunder to date. But I look at this in the same way that I view the Samsung Galaxy Note II. There are tons of people who find it useless, but a very strong niche of people that it hits a sweet spot for.

I don't see this as a perfect laptop replacement, but I want something lighter, more portable, and versatile than my current laptop. The Surface seems to be that device.

I have yet to find a tablet device that you can connect a USB mouse to. The operating system was created to support touch, and also to support mousing. You cannot mouse with an iPad, period. It's not even designed to allow it.

For the tasks that I need to perform, an iPad is out of the question. But with a Microsoft Surface, I could get my design work done, and have the full freedom of manipulating spreadsheets with a mouse. Plus I can enjoy the device as a touch tablet.

Call me nuts, but I love this device. I'm definitely in the niche of people who would find this a valuable device at $600. I'll be looking to buy one in 2013 and have it serve as my main portable computer, and retire the laptop.

Do you think that I am the crack head for loving the Microsoft Surface, instead of the critics who constantly cut it to shreds? Post your thoughts in the comments section!

Carlton Flowers
Diving Under The Surface


Microsoft Surface RT Tablet for $199? SOLD!


Fresh rumors in the tech sector are circulating about the pricing of the Microsoft Surface RT tablet computer being introduced at the amazing bargain basement price of $199. Part of me wishes this rumor had credence. But could it possibly be based on a shred of truth?

Analyzing the facts, we would have to say no. We know that Microsoft will only have a limited number of Surface RT tablets available for retailers to sell when it first hits the market. And we also know by the law of supply and demand that if demand far outweighs supply, you don't get bargain basement prices.

I'm not so sure that Microsoft would be in the business of selling the Surface RT as a loss leader just to get people buying apps, somewhat like Amazon is doing with the Fire tablet. But if you consider the price of the XBOX 360 and Kinect and how much technology they employ, it might not be that far fetched.

Plus, Microsoft made the statement that the Surface RT would be "priced close to what similar ARM based tablets are being offered". Everyone assumed they were comparing "Apples" to Microsoft "oranges". In other words, drawing a comparison of the entry level Surface to the entry level iPad 2 at $399.

But tech writers are now talking about the possibility of the Surface RT being compared to the Kindle Fire or Google Nexus 7, both of which are ARM based devices but comning in at $199. This is a valid argument.

I don't want to get my hopes up just yet, but I'm praying that this is the case. If you took a Surface RT and stripped it down to the basics with no keyboard, case, or Microsoft Office package, it is possible that you could price it at $199. This could be a break-even point or even loss leader.

As slick as the new case and keyboard are, savvy buyers would likely opt for these things at the time of purchase or shortlly thereafter. And with the availability of the Office suite, it would be a sensible upgrade for business users or students. That would bring Microsoft plenty of profit if they do end up going with the $199 entry price point.

I'll be writing soon about the Google Nexus 7 and the rumored 2nd generation Kindle Fire as viable $199 tablet options. But I'll tell you right now, the Surface RT would trump both of them immediately for me. I would be the first to get one fo $199, and the keyboard purchase would come shortly thereafter.

What are your thoughts? Would you opt for a Nexus 7, 2nd Gen Kindle Fire, Surface RT, or a more expensive tablet like an iPad 2 or 3? Sound off in the comments!

Carlton Flowers
On the Surface of Buying