Monday, June 24, 2013

Surface Pro tablet - first impressions

Finally got my hands on a Surface Pro last week and have had the weekend to work with it. The tablet comes with a scribe and we also purchased the keyboard cover for one of the surface pro tablets.
The kick stand is handy but typing on the tablet is not comfortable with the tablet sitting up with the kick stand. When the keyboard cover is on, and everything is lying on a flat surface, typing is comfortable. However, the keyboard cover is not really designed for laptop typing. The table with kick stand open is top heavy and does not sit well on ones lap. So far, using the keyboard cover makes it difficult to enter my password (sigh) and I have found typing on the cover to be slower than typing on the on screen keyboard. So in general, unless I will be doing lots of typing, I will not recommend purchasing the keyboard cover.

Battery life seems to be less than for my ipad. A couple of hours of looking through the app market, downloading apps and updating the tablet, saw 40% of the battery used. The tablet also gets quite warm. Ok at the moment in wintry Christchurch but less welcome in the summer. The battery icon is also not visible on the start screen, you need to go to eh desktop screen where the battery icon will then be on the bottom of the screen or to settings.

Have just about got used to the Windows 8 interface and installed a trial version of office to work with Word and Excel. The scribe sits into the port that also takes the recharge connection. The scribe provides the option of writing on the tablet and I down loaded the app ‘ handwriting’ and found writing on the tablet to be a quick way to input text. The app also allows for painless and relatively fast conversion of handwriting to text. So a recommended app. One note also has similar capability and Word has writing to text ‘input’ option. The ability to handwrite and convert to text is another reason not to have to invest in the keyboard cover.

Transfer of files across my office PC to tablet is also straightforward with a Microsoft account and Skydrive. Or you could also transfer via the USB port.

Videos run well as per Ted talks. Overal,l not many relevant apps for vocational education but seamlessness of access to standard PC files via skydrive or memory stick means various learning resources can be easily ported across. Will test the tablet with various datashows and touch TV screens this week.