In the coming months, computer makers will be announcing the release of “hybrid” devices that will morph between on-the-go tablets and fully functional laptops with a keyboard. The release of Microsoft’s Surface Pro is the complete package for Microsoft’s strategy with Windows 8 – giving business and professional users one device to do what they have traditionally used two for. According to Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, “The Surface Pro is designed for people who want a premium, thin and light notebook experience but secondarily want a tablet experience.” Basically, a simple, touch based tablet device AND a full desktop system to run your familiar programs.
So what does this mean for the future of your laptop?
Well, considering the power punch that the Surface Pro will be loaded with, it might mean a lighter laptop is in your future.
Check out these 5 features that may have you replacing your laptop sooner than you think:
1. Full Windows Applications
Windows 8 is leaps and bounds better than its’ predecessors. They have made it so easy to navigate your applications, as well as given you extremely quick access to the important admin parts through the Win key-X. Not to mention, the Remote desktop app on the Windows Store is unsurpassed. And on the Surface Pro, Windows 8 is going to make it so you can run your office from anywhere. Gone are the days of carrying around a hefty laptop AND an iPad. Now, you can carry just this one, thin device. You can literally go from developing software in “laptop mode” using the stand and keyboard on a desk, right to “tablet mode” to reading today’s news on the couch. Or, review work you just did. The possibilities are endless. Add to that a touch screen, and you have a seriously efficient system.
2. MicroSDXC Card Slot
Need to store a large file or use large applications on your Surface Pro? You can with microSDXC cards. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages to microSDXC is music. You can put 40 GB of MP3’s on an SDXC card that will save loads of space on the Surface. Not to mention, being able to sync the music to your primary PC without using a wireless LAN.
3. Type Cover/ Touch Cover
Just the fact that the Surface Pro offers these keyboard covers is a big step forward. Both of them attach easily to the Surface using magnetic connectors.
One major difference between the touch and the type covers is the experience. Having seen and used both of them, the touch cover seems a bit too flimsy for real typing. While I’m sure anyone can get used to it and use it as their sole keyboard, the fact remains, it DOES take some getting used to.
An easier solution, and probably more similar to the keyboards you have now, would be to just purchase the type cover (about $130). If you are a major typer, the type cover is going to be closer to that actual keyboard experience. Gently sculpted keys keep the cover thin and flexible, yet allows for fast typing that the touch cover just can’t match. The type cover definitely elevates the Surface Pro to laptop status.
4. Stylus Pen
The pen included with the Surface Pro is designed so you can write, draw or tap, with precise accuracy.
Where the real bonus comes in is what this pen can actually do for you. While most people do not need to look to write, they DO need to look to find the keys on a phone or need two hands to type without looking at a keyboard. The Surface Pro offers a completely different angle on this.
You can write on the Surface Pro… while walking, while driving, when an idea pops into your head, without having to hunt and peck on a teeny screen requiring at least one hand, or even open a keyboard, which requires two hands. Those features alone make the Surface Pro an incredible replacement for quite a few things. So, the Surface doesn’t just replace a tablet and a laptop, it replaces a notepad, PLUS a tablet, PLUS a laptop. Since absolutely no other machine today does that successfully, I’d say this was a revolution.
5. USB 3.0
If you’ve ever been sitting at your computer waiting for something to transfer, then you will really enjoy the new USB 3.0 on the Surface. The Surface Pro comes with a USB 3.0, upping the antey from the 2.0. What this means in simple terms is super fast, media file support. Transferring large files, like 30 megabyte files from a camera takes just a few seconds. Plus it provides more power to devices while they’re being used. The 2TB of portable storage gives you storage whenever you need it.
Additionally, the USB 3.0 will support practically any device, from keyboards to printers to cameras.
Ultimately, Microsoft’s Surface Pro is a sleek and efficient replacement for laptop users looking for more compatibility. With the array of features, it seems like the Surface Pro was designed for business users. The average iPad user or Kindle user who uses their device to watch videos, surf the Internet or play games, are better off suited with those devices. The Surface Pro users are looking for full fledged Windows 8 and expandable capability. That’s what will make the Surface Pro their laptop replacement.