So, now that I’ve had my Surface Pro for a few days, I wanted to let people know what I’ve been trying to do with it and if it’s been meeting my expectations. To really put it through it’s paces I’ve got to cram it full of stuff for me to use. Follow me and let’s see what I’ve uncovered so far.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro made it’s world wide debut this past Saturday, and the launch was rather disappointing. The problem wasn’t so much the product, but more with the way the launch was executed, shipments were slow to arrive and Microsoft didn’t allow for pre-orders on their website; in contrast with their Surface RT launch back in November. Needless to say, my hopes of getting in over the weekend were dashed, with retailers like Best Buy and Staples not having much stock. My wife was lucky enough to get a pre-order in on Friday at Best Buy, but that didn’t materialize until yesterday afternoon.
I was on my way home from work when my wife sent me a text message saying I could drive down to Best Buy to pick up my Surface Pro, and immediately changed course to do so. The pick up was uneventful, and once home I was able to film my unboxing video, and did a quick physical comparison to my Surface RT.
FedEx delivered my Microsoft Surface RT right on time this past Friday at 10:30am, and as soon I was able to make it home from work at lunch I unwrapped it and began playing with it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited to about a new device… I’m can’t exactly explain why I was so excited about the Surface RT, but I think much of the excitement was the prospect of a really new device. Windows RT is different enough from the glut of Android offerings and the iPad to really get me excited. I pre-ordered the 64GB edition that came with the Touch Cover, but I knew that I would be trying to do more typing on it, so I order the Type Cover… If anything, it’ll give me more to talk about. So, now that I’ve spent some time with it, what are my thoughts?
Well, I’ve been keeping quiet for a while, sitting on the side lines watching this techno gadget porno play out between the big three, Microsoft, Apple and Google. It all comes to a climax tomorrow, with Windows 8 officially becoming available to the masses and Apple opening their doors for the preorder of their newest tablets, the iPad Mini and the refreshed iPad 3 (or what some are calling the 3S). Not to be left behind, Google will make a move with their Nexus 7 next week, by offering a larger capacity Nexus 7 at a lower price. So, what’s to make of all this techno bliss? Let’s reflect on all this.
Well, I took a break from blogging over the summer and what better time to get back into the mix than with yesterday’s announcement of the iPhone 5 by Apple. Those that know me understand that I’m quite a gadget junkie, and even though my addiction began way before the iPhone, in the past few years the iPhone and IOS devices have garnered much of my attention. So, what’s my take on yesterday’s announcement? I can safely say that it’s the best iPhone ever made. But, I don’t think it’s the best smartphone anymore. Let me explain.
The Amazon Kindle Fire was officially released to the world today. Amazon however decided to screw me on my preorder and ship it late next week, since they clearly decided not to send pre-orders out early to make it arrive on release day… Irritation aside, I decided to buy one from Best Buy and deal with the late arrival later. So, what do I think so far? Well, It’s a big box, and there’s very little in it. You get the tablet and a power cable, and a little card telling you how turn it on. The build quality of the device is pretty good, it feels solid, but aesthetically it’s pretty plain. The face of the device has no buttons, and on the bottom of the device is a lone power button, next to a micro-usb slot and headphone jack. The power button is the only physical button on the device. On the opposite end of the device are two slots for speakers.
Upon boot up the Kindle Fire goes through the usual setup steps, Time Zone, Wireless Network and Amazon account. Once done, you’re taken to the Kindle’s main UI, which is a carousel of items. The UI is very simple and streamlined for service the content that’s in your Amazon account. Immediately, I was able to see all the books I own in my Kindle library, however, the books were not available right away, since they’ve not been downloaded to the device. Clicking on a book though will prompt for download, which occurs pretty quick. Once downloaded, you’re ready to read.
In comparison to the HTC Flyer, another 7″ Android Tablet, the Kindle Fire is roughly the same size and weight. Physical size is almost the same, but the Flyer is rounded, so it appears slightly thinner than the Fire. I won’t go into a detailed review, since there are some nice reviews already out there, but feel free to look at my video below for my initial impressions. I’ll definitely have more to talk about once I get a little more cozy with the device. So, far I’m going to say that this IS NOT an iPAD killer, nor does it aim to be. So, I think it’s silly to compare the two devices. Also, I think it’s premature to compare this to other Android Tablets, since this isn’t designed as a general purpose tablet. It is designed to aid in the consumption of Amazon services. Ok, rant over. Enjoy the video, and please leave a comment.
Here are some links to some good reviews:
I knew it was around the corner, Barnes and Noble finally announced today its follow up to their Nook Color. The creatively named Nook Tablet. I’ve been wondering what they had up their sleeves, since I figure they couldn’t just sit on the sidelines and let Amazon roll over them with their Kindle Fire. So, does it hold up? Will it give Amazon a run for their money? Read on, and let me share my thoughts.
Today was the big day, Tim Cook made his debut appearance without the esteemed Mr. Jobs, to announce all the new things that Apple has had up it sleeve. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the new iPhone has been a long overdue addition to Apple’s technology lineup. Unfortunately, this event wasn’t televised or streamed, so I had to rely on liveblogs from the Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) and Engadget to keep me informed this afternoon. The event was held at 10am PST, and the liveblogs began rolling around 1pm EST. I won’t go into gross detail about what happened at the presentation, if you want, Engadget had some great coverage with photos, so you should head over there if you want all the nitty gritty. But the big things were the announcements of the new iPod Nano, iPod Touch, IOS 5 features, and lastly, the new iPhone. The iPhone 4S is the new model for this year, and the only new model, no iPhone 5, as the internet rumor mill surmised.
Amazon has announced their new Android Tablet, the Kindle Fire. For those uninitiated, it’s the follow up to their Kindle e-reader tablet, which has seen quite a bit of success in the e-book landscape. This new color tablet offers more than just reading books though, this tablet is a bridge to all the services Amazon has developed to date. In the palm of your hand is a device that connects to Amazon’s EC2 Cloud storage, their Android App Store, and their music and video store. So, what’s my take on it? Is it the iPad killer some folks in the shadows have been murmuring about?
Apple today unleashed Lion, their latest update to their operating system, for a whopping $30! Along with Lion, Apple unleashed their latest iterations of the Mac Mini and Macbook Air. So, is all the hubbub worth it? Or is it more marketing hype from the Apple Marketing Machine?