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From a rainy night on a football field, a closer look at Microsoft's NFL-purposed tablets in action.
CNET was invited to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on December 1 to check out some of the tech employed by the NFL: namely, this season's Surface tablets.
These are Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablets, designed with extra weatherproofing and better daylight visibility, plus a ruggedized outer case.
The tablets replace the older method of physically having to print out pictures of every play. That system is still in place as an alternative.
Not everyone chooses to use the Surface, and printers remain on the sideline in case of an emergency.
CNET's Scott Stein with Microsoft's Product Marketing Director James Bernstrom.
The Surfaces run a custom operating system designed for use in the NFL: photos of every defensive and offensive play are stored in a sort of digital binder.
Different members of the staff can have different profiles, to store specific plays and unique annotations.
With its ruggedized case on, the Surface Pro 2 is definitely bulky and heavy. But that's what the rear hand strap is for.
A view of one of the two types of photos delivered to the tablet: an eagle-eye 50-yard-line view.
The Surface stylus isn't capacitive, and works well even on a water-spattered screen in 45-degree weather.
We had no idea how to draw up actual NFL play notations, but we did our best.
The ruggedized case is supposed to make the Surface safe to drop, too.
Another look at an end-zone view of the field delivered to the Surface. This was before the game, so actual plays weren't loading on the tablet yet.
Trying to get a good grip.
Battery life is meant to last through "the course of a game." Based on what we know about Surface Pro 2 tablets, that seems fair.
A weatherproofed and heated charging cabinet to keep the tablets safe in seriously bad weather.
The 13 tablets allotted to each team can be rack-stored and charged simultaneously.
In the event that wireless networks go down, this unit is hard-wired to load photos directly onto the tablets when plugged in.
Maybe these tablets will do more than just deliver still photos in the future, but right now that's all NFL rules allow for.
Holding one in the driving rain, just like an embattled NFL coach.
For more on how the NFL uses of tablet technology, check out our full story
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