Sunday, November 25, 2012

Reasons I prefer the Surface to my iPad


I have had my iPad from the very first day they went on sale in the US. It was a rainy Saturday in Chicago when I walked out with my first iPad. I have used it almost every day since. Then last week I got a Microsoft Surface.

After a few hours it was still frustrating getting used to the Surface, a few things took longer to work out. The address bar being at the bottom of the browser seemed a little odd. However, after 5 days I found I was using it rather than my iPad. I accept I may not be a typical iPad user but here are the reasons I prefer the Surface.

1. The keyboard. I really like the touch keypad which means the Surface becomes a small laptop when I need to write something more substantial than a few notes. A nice innovation the iPad should adopt.

2. The Office suite. In my work we still use Office and Word, Excel and Powerpoint for better or worse are staple tools. With the Surface I can open a Word Doc attachment and immediately start editing.

3. The USB port. I can easily save files over to the Surface such as an offline version of an html elearning module.

4. Widescreen. There is a real lack of apps on the Surface currently. However, I found that I could use websites really easily given the widescreen. Thus I found the Guardian website better than the apps I have previously used on my iPad. The FT web app works really well. I also like the widescreen in portrait mode. The FT web app looks more like a broadsheet and I can scan the whole front page, feels much more like a real paper.

Downsides? Yes, there are a number. I don't use lots of apps on my iPad so I don't really feel the lack of apps, but there are not many apps available. As I say I found though that the websites worked well for me. I installed the Kindle and this works well though feels a little odd both in portrait and landscape. The Flash Player is odd as there is a Flash Player installed but it only works on Microsoft approved sites.

I think for my parents the iPad is ideal as they are mainly consuming content but for me, when I am on the move and need to create and edit content then the Surface is much better. The Surface will have a really tough job taking on the most popular computer ever and it is too expensive currently, however, for me I am glad I have one.