I love gadgets. I own an iPad, iPod, android cell phone, dell laptop, and a desktop computer. Each one I use for different reasons. Last year I purchased a Surface RT tablet. It has now become the gadget I use when I am travelling for work, leading a workshop, taking a course, attending a conference, or surfing at home.
I must confess, it was not love at first swipe. I had to get used to Windows 8. I downloaded a Windows 8 guide to fast track my learning. In no time, I was happily customizing my own workspace.
Over time, I grew to prefer this mobile device to all others – here’s why:
1. Storage Space is Easy to Expand
One of the things that frustrates me with some of my other mobile devices is the lack of easily expandable storage space. Not true with my Surface RT tablet! It has a microSDXC card reader slot. I purchased an inexpensive 64GB card from Costco and instantly more than doubled my storage! This made my work files accessible even when WIFI was not readily available.
2. Perfect Size!
Yes, I have lots of mobile devices. Some are too small. Some are too heavy. Some are too useless because they lack features I require. But not the Surface RT. It is just right! When I take a course or attend a workshop I find that the Surface RT tablet can rest easily on my lap (or the tiny tables found in many lecture halls). It also fits perfectly in my purse. This means I don’t need a backpack or computer bag to transport the device.
3. Battery Life is Excellent
Some of my mobile devices run out of battery life quite quickly. To extend battery life I am forced to turn off features to conserve energy. It is why I use my Surface RT device instead. I can trust it. I don’t want to be forced into a situation where I need to race around trying to find a power source. I also don’t want the constant worry that at any moment my device will turn off. The Surface RT has never let me down. I have had my device for over a year and the battery life remains excellent.
4. Easily Connect to Any HDMI Device
The Surface RT tablet has an ample sized screen. However, sometimes bigger is better. An HDMI cable does not come with the Surface – it is an extra. However, the great news it can be purchased from popular electronics stores such as Best Buy or Future Shop for about $40. With the cable I can connect my Surface easily to my desktop computer at work so I have access to a larger screen. I also like being able to quickly connect to a projector when teaching or leading a workshop. When I am not at work, I love being able to connect the Surface to my home television, where I stream Netflix and recently shared trip photos with family members.
5. Transferring Files is a Snap
Cloud computing is great. However, nothing annoys me more than having to round trip my files. With many mobile devices the files have to be uploaded to a web-based service and then downloaded to the device itself. What a huge time waster – especially if Internet connectivity is an issue or there are lots of files. Transferring files between devices or sharing them with someone else should be simple – and with the Surface RT it is! The Surface RT has a USB port built into the device. To transfer files place them on a Flash drive, insert into the USB slot, then copy and paste the files to the Surface’s hard drive. It is as easy as it should be! Transferring files should not be a big deal.
6. USB Slot Makes it Easy to Connect other Devices
Why other mobile devices do not have a USB slot built into the device continues to be a constant source of puzzlement. Should this not be a basic feature? I use my USB slot to connect my camera to access photos, Flash drive to transfer files, and cell phone to charge or view files. The USB slot is one of the reasons I love the Surface so much.
7. Windows 8 Has the Apps I Want
It is true, you can’t install software on your Surface RT, because it does not have a fully functional Windows 8 operating system. That’s okay. The productivity and creativity software I need is on my desktop computer. When I am working on high-end, complex files I prefer to sit at my desk, with my dual monitors, and complete my work. However, the Windows 8 store does have apps I use all the time on my Surface (mostly for personal use). I love the News apps, Social Feeds, and Netflix. I also have become quite fond of Xbox Music. At first I missed Windows Media Player, but it did not take long to adjust to the new app for building playlists.
8. Full Version of Office 2013
The Surface RT comes with a full version of Microsoft Office including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. I use these productivity tools ALL THE TIME and I appreciate having the software I need to create and edit files.
9. Kickstand is Very Sturdy
With other mobile devices I own, I have found that they are difficult to prop up. I often don’t find that they are very secure. Not my Surface RT. The kickstand is very solid and it places the screen at the perfect angle making it ideal to get work done.
10. Touch Keyboard
When I originally purchased the Surface RT I did not order a keyboard. However, once I tried someone else’s keyboard I bought my own. I tried both the Type Cover and Touch Cover. By far the Touch Cover is my preferred choice. It easily clicks into the device and stays tightly fastened. The keys are the ideal size and my fingers don’t cramp when I use it. In addition, the keyboard cover is thin and light so it does not make the device bulky. Another plus, is the keyboard folds over the device protecting the screen during transportation.