Code Focused

Why I Pre-Ordered a Surface Tablet

Visual Studio Magazine Contributing Editor Joe Kunk explains why he thinks his Surface tablet will kick his iPad's butt.

Microsoft has begun taking pre-orders for its Windows 8 ARM-based tablets, promising delivery by Oct. 26. There are three models: a 32 GB without a cover for $499, a 32 GB with the black Touch Cover embedded keyboard for $599, and a 64GB model with the black Touch Cover for $699. The $499 model has already sold out and is listed at three weeks delivery time.

Within minutes of learning that the Surface was available, I ordered the 64 GB model with the black Touch Cover and the optional Surface HD Digital AV Adapter (HDMI  cable) for $39.99. You may also order an extra 24W power supply or VGA adapter each for the same price, with free shipping included. Pre-orders can be made at the Microsoft Store.

The promised delivery date is Friday, Oct. 26, less than 10 days wait -- but it will be a very long wait for me. Why am I so anxious to have a Windows 8 Surface tablet?  It's all about mobility and productivity. I purchased a 64 GB iPad 2 when it came out. It was a nice portable media player, but I never found a good way to be productive with it. I gave it to my college-age daughter and she uses it every day. For what? A media player.

The Windows 8 Surface tablet will help me be more productive. The Windows Store apps will be comfortable, familiar and -- best of all -- compatible with my favorite Windows desktop productivity applications, including Microsoft Office. The standard USB port will make it easy to move information on and off the Surface. The MicroSDXC card slot will allow an extra 64 GB of portable storage to be added, so I'll have plenty of space for demanding projects. Finally, as a .NET developer, I can write apps for the Windows Store using my existing .NET skills, creating apps I'd love to have at home or at work.

As a man now viewing his 40s in the rear-view mirror, I do find that change is getting harder. Despite that, I'm fully embracing the lifestyle changes that mobile devices bring. Just this week, I dropped cable TV and my landline phone in favor of higher-speed Internet with NetFlix and Hulu, and mobile phones for each family member. It's all about mobility and productivity. Microsoft has crafted a well-considered, superior tablet device that just feels right; I can't wait to have it in my hands.

About the Author

Joe Kunk is a Microsoft MVP in Visual Basic, three-time president of the Greater Lansing User Group for .NET, and developer for Dart Container Corporation of Mason, Michigan. He's been developing software for over 30 years and has worked in the education, government, financial and manufacturing industries. Kunk's co-authored the book "Professional DevExpress ASP.NET Controls" (Wrox Programmer to Programmer, 2009). He can be reached via email at joekunk@ajboggs.com.

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