Why Should You Buy a Microsoft Surface? - dummies

Why Should You Buy a Microsoft Surface?

By Andy Rathbone

Most computer manufacturers create computers, including Microsoft Windows tablets, as cheaply as possible. By coming up with the lowest price tag, they hope to undercut their competitors. Instead of taking the same road to the bottom, Microsoft created its line of Surface tablets as a showpiece, designed to show off Windows tablets at their finest.

To do that, Microsoft designed the Surface in-house with a large budget and engineering team, a luxury not available to most computer manufacturers.

Competitors cut costs by wrapping their tablets in cheap plastic. Microsoft Surface models, by contrast, come sheathed in a magnesium alloy. The rugged but lightweight casing gives the tablet a solid feel.

The Surface includes a built-in kickstand. An optional attachable keyboard doubles as a cover when not in use.

[Credit: Photo image provided by Microsoft]
Credit: Photo image provided by Microsoft

Why not just buy an iPad? Well, they’re attractive tablets that excel at what they do, but they’re limited. Without a built-in USB port, iPads don’t let you transfer files easily between your tablet and desktop PC. Every Surface tablet, by contrast, includes a full-sized USB port, making it easy to swap files through flash drives or even portable hard drives.

When iPad owners need to work, they usually reach for their laptop. Surface owners simply flip their keyboard into place, load the familiar Windows desktop, and head for the mainstays of Microsoft Office: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote.

When you’re ready to hit the road again, flip back the keyboard and run, taking all of your files with you.

Your Surface strips computing down to its essentials, creating a lightweight and mobile workstation that lets you add on accessories when necessary:

  • Fingers: Your fingertips may be the only accessory you need. Touchscreens simplify many mobile computing tasks. It’s easy to scroll through large documents with a flick of your finger, for example. Plus, touchscreens often seem more natural, especially when paging through digital books, maneuvering through maps, or resizing digital photos.

  • Keyboard: A pop-up touchscreen keyboard works well for light typing. For heavier work, the optional keyboards add about a half-pound of weight and double as screen covers.

  • Monitor: When you plug a monitor into your tablet’s video port, you’ve created a two-monitor workstation. You can view your notes on your tablet but compose your document on the second, larger monitor. Or, you can extend your Windows desktop across both monitors, doubling its size.