On Surfaces, iPads and so forth24. February 2019 | link this post
Years ago, when the iPad 2 had arrived, I was a happy user of Apples tablets for some years. Of course my iPad aged and after enjoying quite a long life with me it finally had to go. The technology was of course still new with it just being the second iteration of the tablets. Later I went to Microsofts Surface Pro and I've now used this for roughly two years. It's really cool, and it's propably not for me.
The good parts
The Surface as a piece of tech feels nice, so does the keyboard/cover Microsoft produces. Even though I've basically got the smallest version the experience of using the device for the first time is great. Actually it really reminded me of the experience when I got a MacBook in ~2006.
Ambitions and where they may fail you
Microsoft has the really cool idea to create a unified OS for Desktops, Notebooks and Tablets. However in practice there are, at least in my experience with the device, some shortfalls to this:
- A lot of the applications are clearly not designed for touch-use.
- It feels like Windows doesn't handle the resouce limitations on a tablet as well as iOS.
With applications not being as well-designed as they could be I've basically stuck with using the Surface as an underpowered notebook. Microsoft is not really at fault here I think, it would be up to the people who create the applications to make the experience of using them great. After all, Microsoft themselves certainly does put in the work with Office, Edge etc. Sadly it seems that as far as UIs go the Apple world simply has developers who put more care into this (I am aware that there are really great exceptions).
There is one more thing: while I've gotten the smallest version of the Surface Pro it still has a price that puts it in almost the same region as the iPad Pro, and for that it feels slow. I've started quitting more and more applications (didn't have to do that on the iPad) and it still feels slow in something like Chrome. I'm not sure how much of this is an issue with the device itself (speed of the used SSD storage etc.) and how much of this is down to people writing programs not really taking into account that they have to work with limited resources. Still this puts a damper on what could be an awesome experience.
So what does all this come down to? Currently I'm considering going with an iPad pro for the near future. Having an iPhone I own a bunch of Apps that I can use on there and that promise to work seamelessly with what I've got on my phone. So that would certainly be a plus. I'm gravitating towards the smaller 11" version for portability. I guess there will be a post when I eventually decide to go for it and I'll share my experience.