I’ve been using the Surface Pro with the Touch Cover since launch day. I’m an outside sales rep and it has proved to be the idea device for me. I value mobility over all other considerations. Win —> Surface Pro. I do very little content creation while on the road, short answers to emails, it’s mostly data input via touch. Win —> Surface Pro. What I’ve learned from the experience.
For my style of work, Windows 8 works great, and battery life was not the issue I thought it might be. I’m much more aggressive with power saving because boot up is so quick. Even on my long haul days I’ve stopped carrying the power cord with me.
At first I futzed about the screen angle when using it on my lap browsing the web or checking twitter; I’d try the kickstand, and then close it, and hold it with my hand at something closer to 45°, it just seemed too upright, but then I learned…. It’s the glare man, it’s all about the glare. The kickstand sets the screen at an angle that makes reading easier because of the lack of glare/reflections.
I think MS hit the sweet spot with the screen size, any bigger and most folks would have a hard time reaching the centre of the screen while holding it as a tablet, and touch targets would be too small at 1080p and only 10.1".
Here’s my takeaway. I love it, and it’s perfect for my work flow. I would be hard pressed to buy any mobile Windows8 device without a touch screen. If mobile content creation is important to you, then I would focus on a 11-13" hybrid (Helix/convertible or Duo11/slider) style. I’d be wary of top heavy convertibles, as in, no battery in the keyboard.
That’s the beauty of the MS Ecosystem, so much choice in form factors, there is something for everyone.
My wish list centres around unification between WP8/W8/Office
Unified Contact Fields between all platforms. Simple things like “Company” being in Outlook, but not on WP8 is annoying.
Sync of Notifications between all devices. If I’ve read something on my WP, I don’t need be told it’s new when I open my Mobile PC and then again on my desktop.
Folders for cloud based contacts
While I understand the principle behind not giving folks the ability to force close apps, in reality there are some apps (primarily ones using location services) that don’t seem to work properly and negatively effect battery life. I really like the idea of being able to swipe from the top of the screen to the bottom, a la Windows 8, to force close an app.
FIXXBOXMUSIC in a hundred different ways.
I am one of those users that really doesn’t feel the need for a Notification Centre, I think the Live Tiles work really well. But if they were going to do it, it strikes me that a screen to the left of the Home Screen is the place to put it.