Monday, June 18, 2012

A Surface Impression of Microsoft Surface Tablet

Microsoft finally joins the tablet party with the Microsoft Surface. Click the link for the details.

I'll reserve judgment until a price and release date come out, but on the "surface" I'm actually pretty excited about its potential. Larger screen, USB port, dedicated keyboard: Put together, it hits a niche  between the MacBook Air and the iPad that Apple has no answer for yet. (Then again, all Apple has to do is release a MacBook Air with a touchscreen: If it can run Metro and OS X in dual-boot, it would destroy Surface.)

So some random musings as I soak in the first news on the tablet:

  • Thank goodness they didn't call it the "Zine"
  • Apple's industrial design team must be having a fit, with the blatant design rip-off
  • That trackpad offset to the left ... you know that shit would never fly with Apple's ID...
  • ... especially, since, um, it's a touchscreen display
  • Why it will succeed: Cover with integrated keypad, larger screen, integrated kickstand, Micro SD support
  • Why it will fail: Poor price point, release date slippage, no app store support, no retina display
  • For this to have a chance against the iPad, the entry model has to clock in at $500; anything higher is the retail kiss of death
  • Battery life has to be on par with the iPad to succeed
  • Actually, if you can dual-boot Metro and Android on this baby, THAT is the killer feature
  • I think the real keyboard will be better to use than the chiclet-style pressure pad; just a gut feeling
  • Surface Project Manager: "This thing looks way too much like an iPad ... I know! I'll put a little white Windows logo at the bottom and that'll make all the difference!"
  • That 22-degree-angled back camera better have some adjustability, because it'll suck to try and film someone without being able to hold the pad strictly vertical
  • If I make cheap netbooks and budget laptops for a living, I'd be worried
  • It'll be interesting to see how other PC manufacturers who sell tablets treat Microsoft as a result of the Surface
In the end, this could be a serious competitor to Apple in the enterprise space with all the companies that rely on Windows already. And Apple rip-offs aside, you have to admit that it's a very nice design.

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