The new Surface is around the corner and rumors are starting to be confirmed, including a docking station, power cover and the expected Haswell upgrade with longer battery life.
I love my Surface. I have both the RT and the Pro, which I got from the last two Build conferences. When the Surface 2 line rolls out, I’ll be upgrading to the new versions. But when people ask me if they should get a Surface, iPad or Android tablet, I still say it depends. Get an iPad if you want all the latest apps, want to sit on your couch and read, or travel and watch movies. Get a Surface if you want to take it to work or do anything remotely productive with it.
The outcome will look like this a month later:
- Get an iPad: “I love it and look at all these cool accessories I bought.” Including a clunky Bluetooth keyboard!
- Get a Surface: “I love it, what are people complaining about with Windows 8?” or sometimes “I returned it, look at my new iPad.”
- Get an Android XYZ: “I should have bought an iPad.”
I want to be able to tell everyone to get a Surface. And this is what it will take.
The Helix Style Keyboard
Some people still want to use the Surface on their lap. Go figure. The kickstand works but its awkward. The Surface should have an optional keyboard that’s just like the Lenovo Helix. Lap and battery problem solved.
Stylus Inside the Device
The stylus should connect into the device, not hang off the side.
Lighter Pro Model
The Pro is a little too heavy to use as a tablet, especially compared to the RT. Got to get that weight down.
More Form Factors
An 8 inch, super cheap Surface running RT is a winner, but it has to be super cheap. No more expensive than the Kindle Fire. There should be a 13 inch model of the Pro. And there should be a giant 20+ inch desktop model.
Two Different CPUs for the Pro
Haswell and keyboards with batteries are going to help, but what I would really like to see is the Pro have two different processors, both the Haswell and an Atom. The Atom chip should be used when not on power until some massive desktop app like Visual Studio kicks in. Now that’s a power saver mode. Also it should be clear to the user that its in this mode. This will be harder to pull off without increasing cost.
No Profit on RT
Microsoft is playing catch-up here. They should be getting the cost of the RT models as cheap as they possibly can. Maybe even taking a loss. Give an 8 inch away with the XBOX One if you have too.
I have my opinions about Windows 8 itself, but I’ll save that for another time.