Microsoft Surface Tablet on sale from October 26th; Pros and Cons (Advantages and Disadvantages) by Quentin Moore

Planning to buy the Microsoft Surface Tablet when it goes on sale this October 26st?  This next generation Windows Tablet definitely has some great features.  It also has some potential issues to consider.  Before you go to your local Microsoft Store to purchase the device, considering reading this article about the Microsoft Surface Pros and Cons.

I have been following all of the coverage since the Surface Tablets were announced.   I plan to buy one myself as soon as it’s available.  I’ve been craving for a tablet PC that can run the desktop version of Windows for a long time.  I’m hoping that the Microsoft Surface will fit the bill, however, I recognize that this tablet might not be for everyone.  Below are some advantages and disadvantages of the Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft Surface Pros

Microsoft Surface Pros

Advantages of the Microsoft Surface Include:

  • Surface Pro runs Windows 8!  It should be able to run most, if not all of the apps I run today on my desktop.  This includes full versions of Microsoft Office.  It may include more demanding apps such as Adobe Photoshop.  Thus, when I’m on the go, I can still have the same functionality I have with my huge desktop at home.
  • Touch Cover and Type Cover look awesome!  No other tablet offers anything close, although I’d bet that some similar iPad covers will be on the market soon.
  • The surface has expansion slots.  Both Surface devices will have an microSD slot.  The Surface RT will get a normal USB port while the Surface Pro will get a USB 3.0 port, plus a mini display port for external monitors.  I wonder why it has taken this long to get a regular USB port on a tablet.
  • Although it hasn’t been announced, we expect the Surface to support Adobe Flash.  This definitely gives it an advantage in an Surface versus iPad comparison.
  • The surface has a wide HD display.  It has the correct aspect ratios for displaying movies without letter boxing.
  • The built-in kickstand is great too.  I expect to see more tablets include this nifty feature.

The Surface definitely looks promising.  But before you get too excited and break out your credit card, let’s examine the Microsoft Surface cons.

Microsoft Surface ConsMicrosoft Surface Cons

Disadvantages of the Microsoft Surface Include:

  • The Microsoft Surface for Windows RT will not run your desktop apps.  Will consumers know this before they purchase a Surface RT at Launch?  I just hope Microsoft is able to make a clear distinction between Surface RT and Surface Pro.  Else, they may see a lot of product returns.
  • Windows RT Developer Support is an unknown.  What apps will be available at launch?  How many apps will there be?  Will these apps compare to those on other platforms?  Hopefully some of these questions will be answered between now and when the Microsoft Surface is released.
  • The Microsoft Surface Price might be too high.  OK, this isn’t a con until we get official pricing.  However, I don’t think anyone is expecting the Surface to be cheaper than the iPad.  If the Microsoft Surface price is too high, the devices might be dead on arrival.  The RT version of the Surface needs to be priced near the iPad and higher-end Android Tablets.  If it’s more expensive, I think Microsoft will have a difficult time wooing consumers away from the cheaper options. I think the Surface Pro will sell as long as it performs well.  I think the price will determine if the Pro will be a consumer device or a high-end device for businesses and tech geeks like me.
  • The Surface will be a heavy device.  This is probably why someone was smart enough to think of the built-in kick stand.  While the Surface RT is on par with my heavy iPad 3+4G, the Surface Pro will be even heavier.
  • The Surface doesn’t have built-in 3G/4G connectivity, or at least this hasn’t been announced.  I consider this a minor con since I suspect it’s a temporary one.  In the meantime, I guess an air card is an option.  I don’t know if the RT will support one however.

I think all of these issues can be addressed.  We’ll just have to see what Microsoft and the OEMs can come up with.

Will the Microsoft Surface Succeed?

It’s hard to say at this point if the Surface will succeed.  Microsoft is attempting to break into a tough and crowded tablet PC market.  The success of the Surface will largely depend on how good of a product it is.  If it performs well and has good touch apps available (especially for the RT version), I think the Surface has a chance.  Another significant factor is the price.  I don’t think consumers will pay too much of a premium for Surface tablets, no matter how good they are.  Hopefully Microsoft is releasing set of devices that will be great to use without breaking the pocket book.