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Episode 20: Unboxing the Microsoft Surface tablet

I went down to Microsoft's pop-up store in San Francisco and bought myself a Surface tablet to unbox ... and I can't wait to skateboard on it. Also this week, Jeff Cannata goes crazy on a ruggedized Pentax camera.

Now playing: Watch this: Episode 20: Unboxing Microsoft's Surface tablet

This week, we got a new production assistant, Nic Henry (welcome, Nic!). And Nic got a pretty fun assignment: go down to San Francisco's Westfield mall at 8 a.m. and find a way to get in line at Microsoft's Surface pop-up store on the second floor. Then, Molly will roll in at 9:30 all cheerful to take your place in line and buy some tablets! It's good to be the talent.
Pentax Optio WG-2 gets the best torture test yet.
Pentax Optio WG-2 gets the best torture test yet.

Nic did a great job, though, and interestingly, ended up second in a line that grew to probably about 50 people while we waited for the store to open at 10. Add that to photos of a baby little mob scene in Times Square before its launch, and you have to admit there's definitely interest in this iPad competitor.

Will that make the Microsoft Surface tablet a hit? We'll see. As I note in my unboxing, it's already hampered by a typically Microsoftian confusing array of OS and accessory options, it seems a little expensive given that it's not an iPad, and what is the deal with the refusal to admit the specs of the cameras? (I did a little digging: when you take a photo, you can choose the resolution, up to 5 megapixels. So, there you have it. Mystery solved.)

But all those thoughts can wait for the Road Test I'm currently conducting; for now, enjoy the prettiness, the packaging, and the proprietary power cable.

Also this week, Jeff Cannata performs an absolutely amazing torture test. The Pentax Optio WG-2 purports to be rugged, and you know that we here at Always On consider that a bit of a challenge--one Jeff is more than up to. Think surfing, barbecue, ice chest, and car tires. It's epic.

There's also all the news that's fit to report about the forthcoming iPad Mini, which I've already pre-ordered, and of course, your calls and letters. In Torture Test giveaway news, Shawn Slinsky was the happy winner of our bricked iPhone 4S, and he said he's got a friend who repairs cell phones who feels confident it can be revived. Shawn, we'll look forward to photos of you using your new phone! Thanks for watching, everyone, and enjoy.