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Surface Rt At 37,000 Feet


schoondoggy
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I am traveling for work this week. I will be experimenting with the Surface RT as a laptop replacement. It works with the GoGo internet on Delta, I am currently over Nebraska. I will be using the RT for a presentation, so I can test the connectivity to projectors and PowerPoint. I am in a tiny seat in the back of the plane. There is no way I could be working from my laptop, but the RT fits on the tray table perfectly. It is hard to get any work done, because I am explaining what the Surface RT is to people around me.

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That was me just two weekends ago on a cross-country flight to CA. I got a ridiculous amount of work done attached to the in-plane 2400bps dial-up connection GoGo inflight service. I also found being able to have a couple of applications visible simulaneously to be a tremendous benefit. In my case, I was drawing up proposal notes in OneNote and continually had to refer back to an Excel spreadsheet and a number of emails. I feel like I am in the minority, but I am really struggling to understand all the negative press surrounding this device.

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I thought I would just be displaying my presentation on the Surface, but I am currently editing in PowerPoint.

As for the bad PR, the Surface RT is different, its not a PC and it is not a traditional tablet, but it has features of both.

Instead of looking at what it is not, I look at why it is a good fit for my family, other than this trip it is a shared device for the family.

User accounts for each family member.

It is a laptop when I want to sit at the kitchen table and work.

It is a tablet when I don't need or want a keyboard.

It prints to my wireless printers and I don't need an app.

It sees all of the PC's on my network and can stream media from them.

Battery life is great for what this does.

So far it is a great fit for me.

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As a student the Surface is perfect. Very small and light (and durable of course). Most the time in class I need only the internet and IE is fast. Occasionally I need to yep something and Surface has me covered with Office and keyboard! Only thing that I need and it doesn't have (yet) is an SSH Client. (I major in computer science so this is a necessity)

 

One thing I thought was cool, I had an exam to study for but it was wing night at my local BWW so I brought my surface and a pad of paper. Put the surface in portrait next to my paper and it fit perfectly in front of me. Might not sound like a big deal but limited arm room at a table of 14 so it really got me excited about how portable and usable it is!

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Surface RT worked very well on my trip. I edited a PPT on it, re-sizing pictures was easy. When it was time to do my presentation, I started the slideshow and the Surface changed the second display from duplicate to extended, projecting the slide on the screen and gave me a nice presenter interface on the Surface, included a picture of the next slide and my speaker notes. Office 2013 is nice. Corporate email worked great.

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I agree with the sentiment that the negative press is largely a result of people struggling with change. That being said, the OS feels like it has multiple personality disorder. I can see the need for desktop in the Pro version but I feel MS did a big disservice to themselves by including it in the RT version where for most users it is confusing and provides them no real benefit. RT should have been solely in the modern UI, if it was it wouldnt have caught as much hell as it has.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been using the Surface RT for a month. Microsoft including the desktop was Brilliant! The market already has a tablet that almost there. At a recent conference I had to demo the Surface 3 times; in two of the demos previous Microsoft users gone to Apple and iPad claimed they were moving back to Microsoft. Why?

 

High prices and never ending upgrades are a curse. Always hoping you'll be able to use the new iPad to do real work, but never quite getting their. Forced to carry and iPad and a Laptop, and worse having to run Parallel's to run Windows programs. What the heck is wrong with this picture!

 

Surface RT is a good iPad replacement, not great, that will happen once the app market matures. Thank Goodness for the Desktop and Office applications. Once the Apps fall short, the Desktop Office applications still work exactly as users expect.

 

When I demonstrated Office, one guy called his wife and instructed her to go to the pop up store and pick one up. (She didn't sound too happy).

 

I'll keep the Surface RT and get the PRO on it's 2nd iteration.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Posting from Delta flight DL5806 at 32,000 feet. It seems like I have been traveling every week for business for the last two months. The Surface RT has been working great for travel. The size is perfect, it fits on the tray and typing is easy. I just had an epiphany, if I can get my IT department to let me use a Surface Pro for a work pc, I could still bring my Surface RT for personal use and the combined weight of the two Surface devices would still be less than my current laptop.

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Judging by flight number that is a delta connection flight, love that they are putting wifi all over their fleet.

 

How does the surface fit on tray with kickstand and keyboard? Heard a few people joking that it falls off the back of the tray as a way to mock the device.

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Tonight I left the stand pulled in and the Surface screen rested against the seat in front of me at the correct angle for viewing.

I was surprised that Delta has GoGo on the smaller jets as well.

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