Surface 2 diaries: the verdict
After five days of using only the Surface 2 it's time to look back over the whole experience.
It's over: five days of running my entire work life on the Surface 2.
Looking back I would say the experience was very positive. I've been really impressed with the Surface both as a piece of hardware and as a productivity facilitator.
At my desk or away, in the office or out — the Surface 2 proved adept in a wide variety of situations.
There are a few caveats of course, and I'm not talking about the little niggles here and there that I've covered in earlier posts.
Firstly, I spent a great bulk of my time in the desktop mode. Only very rarely did I find myself on the Start screen, and even then it was more likely to be an accident than a deliberate move.
What this means, basically, is that I spent the majority of my time treating the Surface 2 as a laptop, not a tablet. With the overall cost of my setup (Surface 2, Type cover and mouse) hitting well over AU$700 you could make the case that I would have had the same experience on a normal laptop, with access to a full version of Windows, and maybe even saved some cash.
The problem is that the tablet apps on the Surface continue to feel a little like they're not quite there yet. A great Facebook and/or Twitter app would have meant I spent a lot more time on the Start screen. Similarly, a little more integration between the desktop and Metro styles would have gone a long way (and, as we’ve seen today,).
These are the sort of things that can be solved by Microsoft enhancing its relationships with app creators and I'm hoping that it's something the company is committed to. Because a seamless blend of app-style convenience and desktop-style functionality wouldn't just be nice — it would be a genuinely amazing experience.
Secondly, I'm very mired in the Google/Android ecosystem, so I won't lie and say I didn't miss Chrome or that I actually enjoyed 'Binging it'. I missed being able to sign in to my browser of choice and, yes, Bing still feels like Google's country cousin.
But what was surprising was that I missed those things a lot less than I expected. The week with the Surface 2 was, as I've made abundantly clear, quite impressive. I find myself a lot more bullish about Microsoft prospects with this product and I think that, at the right price, a lot more people might feel the same.
Missed any of the earlier Surface 2 Diaries? Here they are: