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Analyst gives Surface top marks for unique design that lets you blend work and play

by David Needle

October 31 2012

Microsoft Surface can replace your notebook, according to Rob Enderle
Microsoft Surface can replace your notebook, according to Rob Enderle

Industry analyst Rob Enderle has a new favorite device, Microsoft’s Surface tablet. But it’s not just the specs and the feel of the device that impress Enderle, he goes so far as to say it’s “improved the quality of my life.”

Why? Enderle says Microsoft has taken a very different approach than Apple did with the iPad, notably, they weren’t afraid to create a tablet that can replace your notebook.

He says many people he knows tried unsuccessfully to  do serious work on the iPad and leave their laptop at home.

“... it is clear to me that Apple wanted people to buy both an iPad and a MacBook which is why they didn’t make a lot of the same decisions that created Surface. However, with Surface you really can leave your laptop at home,” Enderle says in his review in TG Daily.


Some highlights from Enderle’s experience using the Surface:

“I’m an avid reader and so I’ve started to peruse my Kindle books on the Surface tablet. I’ll be reading and an email will arrive (little flag in the corner). If it is important, I'll switch to email, flip the keyboard around, and respond.

“Often these emails come with attachments I need to address, I can open them in Office and do that, and if I get an idea my reader transforms almost seamlessly into a laptop so I can capture and flesh out the idea and then I’m back to reading.”

He also addresses some of the criticisms of the Surface among early reviews.

Yes, the Surface display is inferior to the iPad with Retina display, though he says blind tests have shown the Surface display is better for watching movies. He agrees the iPad is a better choice for text, “especially if you should be using glasses but don’t. ClearType does make the fonts pretty but you are often dealing with really small type.”

And then there’s the huge disparity of apps. There are over 275,000 apps in the App Store specifically designed for the iPad. Enderle argues Microsoft still offers most of the quality apps and of course Surface RT comes with Office.

Making the best of the Surface’s relatively meager app selection he notes, “discovery seems to be easier with this product.”

“Microsoft says it has 56 of the top 60 [apps] - but the remaining 4 could be one of yours so it is worth checking .... it certainly wasn't an issue for me.”

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