Microsoft Surface Pro 2 ???

I'm looking to bin the laptop and move to a tablet.

Basic requirements are ability to run iTunes (that rules out Android tablets), and MS Office Pro, Visio and Project - which although you can get Apple versions of, I've heard horror stories of incompatability with older documents.

Most of it's use will be email/documentation/spreadsheets/process diagrams/project plans during the day. iTunes/online TV/'art house' films in the hotel at night. Not fussed about fancy apps - the phone handles all that shit

Thus I'm looking at the Windows tablets - Surface, Lenovo etc

I've been offered a nearly new Surface Pro 2 - 128GB for a very reasonable sum.

I've googled the reviews etc but does anyone have any real life experience with these tablets.

I'll have to stump up to buy a keyboard/cover - any views on these would also be appreciated
Sales of any of the Microsoft Surface tablets have been very poor, and I haven't seen one let alone tried one. However, what I have heard about them is that in trying to be both a tablet and a laptop they do neither well while being very overpriced.

The negatives that I've heard include:
  • Unlike a laptop, you can't balance it on your lap or some other awkward surface and type. With a laptop the battery and other heavy bits are in the bottom and so anchor it in place, and the hinge is stiff enough that you can set the screen to whatever angle you want and it will stay there. With the MS Surface, you pretty much have to have a nice flat and stable table to sit it on while you type. That takes a lot of the mobility out of it.
  • The keyboard is not very good. It's OK-ish if you don't have to use it much, but doing a lot of typing is difficult. That kind of goes against using it as your sole computing device.
  • Most PC Windows apps aren't designed to be used with a touchscreen. They have finicky little buttons and menus which are designed to be used with a mouse or to use keyboard shortcuts. That means that if you had plans of using mainly PC Windows programs then you're either going to have to use them with a keyboard and mouse (or touch pad thingy), or you're in for a lot of frustration. Real tablet apps use a different user interface design which is designed to work with a touch screen.
  • A lot of people have doubts about how long Microsoft will stick with trying to sell hardware. Many of their big investors want Microsoft to ditch all of the consumer and hardware product lines and stick with business software, which is where they actually make their money. Not doing this is why Balmer got the boot. If the new guy can't succeed where Balmer failed, he may not last long either. That might be neither here nor there so far as you are concerned, but it does raise some doubts about getting parts and service (e.g. getting the battery replaced) down the road on what is a pretty expensive bit of hardware.

Most people seem to suggest getting both a laptop (or keeping the one you've got) and a less expensive Android tablet and to use a laptop where you need a lap top, and to use a tablet where you need a tablet. You can use Dropbox or some other cloud syncing service to sync files between them (assuming your files aren't too sensitive for that).

That doesn't deal with your ITunes problem, but I guess you have just discovered the joys of vendor lock-in. There are Windows apps which claim to be able to copy at least some things between ITunes and an Android tablet, but I have no experience with them and so can't comment on their pros and cons.
I've got the Lenovo B8000F, an Android tablet, and I've been very impressed. I don't use MS applications but there are virtual desktops that can run Windows on an Android device so perhaps that's worth exploring?

The big selling points for me were the ergonomics and phenomenal battery life.


I really like the Surface Pro 2. I think its an ideal tablet/ultrabook convergence, and I like the form factor. The keyboard covers are particularly clever and effective.

The only con that stopped me buying one was that I was hoping the new Surface Pro 3 would have a sim slot included and 3G/4G connectivity (it doesn't :-( )
Thanks for the comments guys.

As the surface was under a ton, and I've managed to find a keyboard/cover for £60, I'm all happy and smiling.

Faster/lighter than the laptop, does the job as a tablet.

No complaints so far, job jobbed.

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