Originally Posted by DroidFTW
The average consumer could benefit from a USB port because it would make for a cheaper cord for charging and connecting to other devices as opposed to proprietary connectors which cost much more and get changed every few years. Funny how the ad doesn't touch that though and instead opts for the additional storage argument (which is significantly weaker).
Using a thumb drive to add additional storage to a mobile device signals to me that the mobile device itself is lacking in storage space. My phone has tons of storage space and can act like a thumb drive when I need one. The approach that MS takes in this ad just further proves how clueless they are when it comes to mobile computing.
First of all, the Surface (Pro) has an "A" USB port, not a mini or "B" port. It supplies power to USB peripherals. You couldn't charge the SP from the built-in USB port. Nor would you want to -- the 500 ma that you're allowed to suck from a USB port would take forever to charge a table.
Whether the average iPad consume would benefit from a real USB port or not is questionable. I own a Surface Pro (SP) and after having lost the stylus right before a show I was doing, let me tell you how being able to plug in a mouse really saved my butt. Wouldn't work on an iPad (doesn't support a mouse), but on the SP it was a lifesaver.
I can't comment on the storage issues. I bought a Surface Pro to run exactly *one* Windows x86 application for my business. It doesn't use any storage and doesn't use much RAM so the SP is perfect (or so I thought).
Couple of comments about the SP vis-a-vis my iPads (I own three of those with my business):
1) Microsoft offers two covers: the "Touch Cover" (with a membrane keyboard) and the "Type Cover" (with "real" keys that you can actually type on). I opted for the Type cover. What a mistake. The build quality on the Type cover is absolute crap. Keycaps keep falling off. Given that my app requires very little actual typing, I'd have been much better off with the Touch Cover. It's really sad that I had to buy a case to protect the thing that was supposed to be protecting my tablet.
2) Both keyboard covers connect electrically to the Surface via a connector. Terrible design. Why not use bluetooth? Granted, they'd need a rechargeable battery in the cover, but the alternative is that the connector is going to go bad after a while.
3) The stylus is a disaster. I replaced an HP Touchsmart laptop/tablet with the SP. The HP had a hole you could stick the stylus in and the stylus was tethered to the tablet with a string. Never lost the stylus. On the SP the stylus attaches to the outside of the tablet with a magnet; no tethering. When I first saw this, I said to myself "I ought to take up a poll for how many days till the stylus is lost." It took three outings. At $29.95 each, that's expensive. Very poor design.
4) Windows 8. Need I say anymore? I've been using Windows since 3.1 days. Can't find half the crap I need to access without looking it up in a manual online somewhere. Why does Microsoft insist on changing the locations and names of everything with each new version? With Win8, they squared the complexity.
5) The SP does have some good points. Beyond the keyboard cover (and connection) the build quality seems pretty good. Yes, that USB port has come in handy. The screen is beautiful and mostly readable in direct sunlight (unlike my HP). 1920x1080 is nice.
6) People pick on the kickstand, but it's actually nice. Keep in mind that this is a tiny laptop, not a tablet. The kickstand is quite functional for this type of device. Wouldn't want to give up the thinness on my iPads to have one, but it *does* work better than the Apple cover does when you need to stand up the tablet.
re: "All they have to do in these ads is rotate both "tablets" sideways... The iPad will instantly and fearlessly switch to portrait mode, while Surface sits there with a thumb stick up its USB hole wondering why the owner has turned it the wrong way."
Uhhh, the Surface will rotate the screen. In fact, it's quite annoying about this. I really like the fact that the iPad has the lock switch on it so you can prevent screen rotations when you don't want to have them happen. AFAIKT, the SP has nothing like this (though it might be buried in the bowels of Win 8 where I've yet to find it -- PITA).
In all, the SP makes a great portable Win8 laptop. Wouldn't ever consider as a "tablet" device, though.
There is a reason Microsoft is losing so much money on the Surface devices. They haven't learned from their past mistakes and they're trying to create a "full computer experience" on a tablet. Same mistake they've been making since the 1990s. You'd think they would have looked at what Apple did and created something that would be pared down to what a consumer wants in a tablet. No. They still think that consumers insist on the full Windows experience. Given that Windows users are abandoning the platform in droves now, one would hope they'd figure out that this isn't a winning strategy.
I never would have bought the SP if I didn't have a business mission-critical application that only runs on an x86. I am a niche market and they are not going to make a whole lot of money off people like me and the small group of Windows fanbois. Their new reorganization just proves that they still don't get it.