Why I Ordered a Surface RT

After much deliberation and several flip-flops on whether or not I wanted an RT, Pro, or any Surface at all, I finally decided to go for the RT. I’m super excited about it. Like most developers that I’ve talked to about it, my initial reaction to the RT and lack-of-Pro availability was disappointment. “I need Pro so I can install Visual Studio and do EVERYTHING,” I told myself. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that I don’t want to do everything on my tablet, though.

My work-provided laptop is my primary development environment, and that’s not changing any time soon. What do I really want/need in a tablet? I’ve got a short list:

  1. Couch companion. I need fast coffee-to-internet times from an “off” state. My netbook currently fills this role, but it can be slow to boot/wake up.
  2. Keyboard. If I’m typing an email or document, an on-screen keyboard is simply not sufficient. Again, this is where I turn to my netbook. I also want the ability to take notes quickly in a meeting. I don’t take my netbook with me to work, so I tote around my behemoth laptop for this.
  3. Big screen. I was excited for the Kindle Fire to be my poor-man’s iPad, but I found that the internet experience was more similar to a phone than a laptop. The small screen requires way too much zooming in and panning around.
  4. Compact. If I’m reading on the couch, in bed, or at the doctor’s office, I don’t want something bulky.

Surface hits on all of these, plus it gives me the ability to connect to a projector or TV with the VGA and HD adapters. This could put an end to my days of camera-phoning whiteboards!

Jeff Atwood did a good job of getting me more excited in one of his recent articles, too:

Surface is just like the first iPad in that it has all the flaws and rough edges you’d expect in a version one device. But it is also like the first iPad in that there is undeniably the core of something revelatory and transformative here – a vision of the future of computing that doesn’t sacrifice either keyboard or touch.

Reviewers think Surface is intended to be a tablet killer, but it isn’t. It’s a laptop killer. After living with the Surface RT for a few days now, I’m convinced that this form factor is the replacement and way forward for the stagnant laptop. I can’t even remember the last time I was this excited about a computer. The more I use it, the more I think that touch plus keyboard is the future of all laptops.

How wonderful it is to flip open the Surface and quickly type a 4 paragraph email response when I need to. How wonderful it is to browse the web and touch whatever I want to. And switching between the two modes of interaction – sometimes typing, sometimes touching – is completely natural. Remember when I talked about two-fisted computing, referring to the mouse and keyboard working in harmony? With Surface, I found that also applies to touch. In spades.

My Surface should be arriving this week, and I’m certain that I’ll be writing about it again. I’m very excited.

One thought on “Why I Ordered a Surface RT”

  1. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

    Many thanks

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s