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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Reader Comments:

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 Griff Georgia

I agree about the combination of devices. I personally use a laptop with external monitor/keyboard/mouse at home but carry an IPhone for quick use while roaming around. I also use a Thrive tablet for other needs. Each provide a capability that the others cannot meet. All can do basically the same thing but each meets a particular need. I could easily see an all Microsoft package but I just can't afford to do so. I've had to purchase what my budget will allow. I like Mr. Kunks concept and wish I could purchase and use the same equipment. However, I do disagree about change being harder. I am in my upper 50's and enjoy playing with the new technology. If I could pay the price, I would work with all the new toys coming out. It keeps me thinking and pushing as I grow older.

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 Fabian Chicago

I don't have a surface but I have used other tables, they are not a laptop replacement just like the article talks about, the give you mobility and a better experience for tasks that don't require lot of typing like checking e-mails, weather, reading blogs, pay bills, deposit checks (yes, you can deposit a check with your tablet without having to go to the bank), read books, etc, all of which I do a lot and used to use a big heavy computer that won't survive without a power cord for more than 1 hour. My tablets run for more than a day without problems. At home I only use my computer when I need to do some programming or a lot of typing which is not very often.

Sun, Oct 28, 2012 Joe Kunk Okemos MI USA

The surface is not a laptop replacement. I cannot run Visual Studio or VMware on it. So my computing platform is a triad of Windows Phone - Surface Tablet - Quad Core i7 laptop. Each has its own important place in keeping me connected and productive.

Sun, Oct 28, 2012 Joe Kunk Okemos MI USA

The surface is not a laptop replacement. I cannot run Visual Studio or VMware on it. So my computing platform is a triad of Windows Phone - Surface Tablet - Quad Core i7 laptop. Each has its own important place in keeping me connected and productive.

Thu, Oct 25, 2012 Ed Hassinger 'merica

The fact you are 40+ and recently dropped your land line doesn't support your case of making smart technology forecasts.

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 Paul Iowa

So for $740, why not buy a laptop. Isn't that what you bought, a very low end, 10", touch screen laptop?

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 Dave Granger UK

Proprietory port and $40 for an adaptor, that's twattishness of truly Apple proportions.

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