Five Reasons Why I Won’t Get a Microsoft Surface

My last post like this seemed to go down well, so I decided to do another one. This time I’m going to share some reasons why I will not be purchasing a Microsoft Surface. If you watched through the whole of the Geek Out live announcement, you’ll know that, during the event when the live blogs started talking about the Windows 8 Professional version with the Intel core i5 and Ryan and I were commenting, I said, “I want one.”

That was — I’m semi-ashamed to say — an off-the-cuff, heat-of-the-moment comment and, after Ryan, Chris, and I started talking about it, the more and more I realized that I had been a little hasty based on initial, half-baked impressions, and that I probably don’t really want one after all. Sure, I wouldn’t turn one down if Microsoft wanted to send me a demo unit to make me change my mind (hint, hint, Microsoft!), however, as it stands, here are my five reasons why I won’t get a Microsoft Surface — at least not based on anything we know currently.

No Price

This has been spoken about ad nauseam on LockerGnome and I tend to agree with most statements. I won’t be getting one because I don’t know how much it will cost and I won’t save for one, either, because of the reasons below.

No Specifications

As much as the specifications may mean nothing to how the device will function, it does have a bearing on how well we will perceive the device to work and how powerful the device will or should be. It’s the same with cars. If you were given the choice between two 60 MPG vehicles — one with, for argument’s sake, 722 horsepower and the other with an unknown amount of horsepower — I’d take the one with the known quantity of horses under the hood. That is just me, however. You may be different.

Seems Like All Show, No Go

As much as it was only a beta — or at least I hope it was a beta — when we saw it, it seems like Microsoft has put a lot of show into the looks of the device, but the software can’t cope. This was with the Windows 8 RT version, which is the only version that I’d consider getting if any of these five reasons for not getting a Microsoft Surface are reversed by showtime. However, if it can’t cope with basic tasks, then it will be of no use to me. I am a desktop user and love the power of a desktop even though I know that being more mobile is the route that the industry is going. I just think that the device looks nice, but the keynote made me think that the Surface will underperform.

I Own an iPad; Why Would I Need a Second Tablet?

Okay, I can’t install Windows 8 onto my iPad properly, but my iPad allows me to do everything that I’ve asked of it and I just can’t see past that fact. I am more than happy to be proven wrong on all of these points, but with fact and not with opinion. These are, after all is said and done, my opinions on why I won’t be buying a Microsoft Surface. You may agree or you may disagree, but one thing is for sure: you won’t likely change my mind with facts that I already know, but you definitely won’t change my mind with opinions!

Too Many Technical Unknowns

I want to know what is in my device. Intel Core i5 is nice, but is it the low or top end Core i5? What RAM is in it? What size is the camera? What type of RAM is in it: DDR2 or 3? The ARM chip by Nvidia is nice, but what’s the clock speed? There are so many other things that Microsoft hasn’t told us. I would be happier if I knew all of the technical specifications.

We’ve also not been told battery life or how the device will be charged. I have a feeling it’s because it is under six to eight hours. I hope that my fears aren’t realized.

Five Reasons Why I Won't Get a Microsoft Surface

To Conclude

I know that I’ve probably branded myself as an “Apple fanboy” by many of you who are — quite frankly — silly enough to think that bullying (which is what you’re trying to do by definition) is right and that I’ll care where you pigeonhole me. I am an equal opportunity geek. I am biased. We all are. But I give everything an equal opportunity to impress me. I don’t think that Microsoft will impress me when the Surface comes to market, but I am more than prepared for it to impress me. I hope this device is good and that it sells and that I am completely wrong. However, I doubt that I will be wrong.

What are your thoughts on the Surface? Do you like it, dislike it, or are you reserving judgment until the production model is on the market?

Article Written by

John “Scotsman” McKinlay is a 25-year-old autistic living in Glasgow, Scotland. He has been an online presence since 1998, but has only recently found that his voice and writing skills could bring him into the world of blogging and podcasting -- with a bit of YouTube on the side. He joined the ranks of LockerGnome back in March of 2012 and has been warmly received both by the LockerGnome staff and by you lovely ladies and gentlemen of the LockerGnome audience.

  • http://www.meloniemclaurin.com Melonie McLaurin

    it’s not a tablet, but not quite a laptop… an odd creation. I’m with you, Chris.

    • John O’Connor

      a lablet? put that way, it doesn’t seem all that stellar

  • http://twitter.com/markbyrn markbyrn

    Until this Unicorn is actually mass produced and is for sale, there’s no way you can recommend it or not recommend it. The problem I really have is when tech pundits flame-bait with titles that suggest the Surface is going to top Apple, iPad, MacBook Air, etc. Gizmodo does this very well to ensure maximum ad hits.

    • http://twitter.com/ThisDamnScots John McKinlay

      I’m doing neither. I am giving my reasons why I won’t be buying one.

  • http://zoyx.com Zoyx

    My reasons…1) I don’t need the keyboard. I already have a bluetooth keyboard. 2) It will be sold at a premium. Quality knock-offs will be cheaper.

    Soooo… I will wait for a tablet-only built by ASUS, Dell, Acer, or etc. I would prefer a windows tablet over an Ipad. Windows is a much more useful platform.

    • http://twitter.com/ThisDamnScots John McKinlay

      You’ve never used an iPad then.

      • http://zoyx.com Zoyx

        Yep, I own one. It is a mighty fine toy. There are some useful things that it just can’t do, that Windows can.

  • Alex Smith

    So you’re forming an opinion on a product you’ve never used and barely know anything about?

    • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

      Based on indicators, it seems so.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.hill.737001 Kevin Hill

        im with Chris on this.. it did’nt excite me either.. especially with the vagueness of the presentation.. i was prepared to be excited, then let down.. Microsoft didnt give me a reason at all to make me want to own one.. i dont own an IPad or any other kind of tablet. but if i were going to buy one, it would most likely be an iPad.

      • Timmy

        A bit harsh, remember what you said about the iPhone before it came out. At least you gave reasons then though. And no one would buy one if they knew as little about it as this author does. Maybe this is why it’s not on sale yet. God you people lol -_-

  • http://twitter.com/bama1fan John Seagle

    Reason number 6–You are a Apple FAN BOY!

  • http://www.facebook.com/saarkia Aria Saarkia

    As someone who doesn’t own an iPad, this kinda’ appeals to me – if its price is more competitive than that of an iPad, I’ll definitely consider it. Plus, I’m kinda sick of how ‘locked down’ iOS is, and yeah yeah I can jailbreak it, but can anyone really be bothered?

    Plus, I LOVE the Metro interface – perfect for touch screens (yeah, it sucks for a desktop) – I think it’s a genuinely intuitive and innovative attempt to rival iOS by Microsoft.

    • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

      …what price?

      • Matthew Speltz

        I think ‘If’ was used there, but that’s me being a grammar Nazi.

        Really, everything else comes back to the price. As someone who has been an avid desktop user for years, I would look forward to this or any Android tablet stealing ideas, but only if the price is screaming “Buy me!”

        • brad

          I agree … Price is key RT $500 and pro under 1000. But battery is super important to me as well. So 10 hrs is a must

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606163198 Christopher Micallef

            What if the pro was $999 and the 32gb RT was $600 to compete with the comprabible Ipad and Air. That’s what think it’s going to be.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606163198 Christopher Micallef

            The macbook Air has a 5 hour battery (the smaller one) and the ipad has 10 hours. The RT should be up there but the Pro deserves some slack.

  • http://oswco.com dartdog

    All valid points, I’m an Android fan myself and don’t see anything here to drag me away from my pretty spiffy Samsung 10.1 which will finally get ICS next month… I doubt the MS tab will be competitive cost wise and certainly not feature wise. The Intel version could be interesting as an ultraportable but there is a lot of competition in that space as well. The will sell some in the corporate space and to the Win fanbois, but never achieve mass market success or much developer support.

    • http://twitter.com/ThisDamnScots John McKinlay

      You are the proof that Android and iOS users can live together peacefully.

  • http://www.facebook.com/LeeZerUK Lee Grace

    i’ve got to say i’m not overly confident about this new tablet also. Firstly I also don’t like not being given spec’s. I also tout on about it’s the experience over the specs however going on the premis that the RT model will be priced aggressively between the kindle fire and ipad prices respectively i do fear the device if not powered correctly will have more of the experience rather than the ipad. if this is the case then and the spec’s are lacking then it’ll turn into not the best value for money tablet. I fear greatly for the longevity of the keyboard also. If this thing is so thin and has so many layers in it’s construction, i think it’ll be susceptible to knocks and damage

  • Zonks

    If it was not announced to be released yet, why are you considering not to buy it, based on this current info. You cant buy something that is not set to be released yet. It would be nice to know, but since this is another company, you should not expect them to play the announcement game, like other company’s like apple. This announcement was more of a teaser to what to come, with more details to come in the future.

    On possible price for RT and 8 Pro, you should not compare it with the Ipad, as it is much more. If you think the RT should be less then or equal to the Ipad 3 at $500. But what does the surface RT have over this, well 32GB vs 16GB ipad, so $600, not 500. Also microSD, USB. The only big draw back will be app market, but since windows 8 metro apps, will prob be easily moved over to RT, i think the app market could grow real fast. RT could get away at $600, as that is equal to the ipad price (32GB).

    Now the 8 Pro surface will be very unique. Starting at 64GB, meaning a $700 ipad price, but comes with SD expansion, USB 3.0, and …. a full OS on a tablet size device. App market … im sure windows has a few programs over apple. The only thing that could kill this is a overly high price. But at $700 for the old new Ipad (64GB) with its features, im sure is worth at least up to $1000. But i wouldn’t mind it at a lower price.

    Now there is some hardware specs missing, but how amazing would it have to be. Its not like its hard to match apples hardware in the Ipad. The screen is all it has going for it. Ipad killer …. possible, but wouldn’t be the first time the PC world had done that.

    • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

      What if the iPad is serving him well enough? Why would he need more than that?

      • Zonks

        why not. Why get an ipad if you have a iphone that my serve him well enough. Because you can do more. Having a full OS tablet would be a step up. RT version, maybe not though. But why have a new ipad and buy a surface. well since an ipad holds its value, when selling it. I’m sure you could get most of what you spent back, to easily put toward the next best thing. But if your use to the apple interface (Mac, iOS), then they may not care about it. But would you consider a apple version of a surface, which had a full Mac OS on it?

        • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

          iOS is a full OS.

          • Zonks

            Full OS as in a desktop OS experience, but on a more portable interface…. more then a laptop. Which i’m sure apple will aim for. I mean they aim to make some of the laptops thinner and thinner. Take out the lower half and put everything into the screen and you got a tablet with a desktop OS. Some may say that people don’t need that, but when you get it from your OS, they will buy it up.

          • brad

            you mean mobile OS not a full OS

          • AdamsUsername

            This comes down to semantics though, doesn’t it? It might have the potential to be a full OS, technically, but based on the fact that its only offered on apple products that are built for consuming media and mobility, I would have a hard time arguing that -right now- you could do as much on any existing device running iOS as you could with Windows or OSX.

            From a user perspective, productivity is one form of “Operating” that traditional “full operating systems” should offer. In the case of the iOS vs Windows, I don’t think there’s any questioning the argument that iOS is more a mobile operating system, designed for consuming, than an industry grade system designed for supporting things like peripheral input hardware, extended or multiple displays, wired local networking and the means to read hard-storage like external hard-drives.

            When it comes to those features, you and I both know iOS was not designed for that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606163198 Christopher Micallef

      The Pro version is probably going to be in the macbook air price range.

  • Sam Adel

    I’ve already got an iPad and I love it, but the thing that impresses me the most about the new surface tablet is that you could use it exactly like a PC, and most of all I mean developing web and windows apps on it.. Thats a pretty good reason for me to think about getting it, Chris

    • Ray

      I am with you there, but have you tried to use some of the laptops out there with under achieving processor speeds and memory. Yeah they work ok for simple tasks, but start doing anything else and it becomes an absolute pain to use. Maybe Windows 8 will change that. I dont know.

  • http://twitter.com/ryanbarthel Ryan Barthel

    Isn’t a tablet suppose to be mobile? Why the hell would I want to carry around some flimsy keyboard and have to worry about plugging things into a USB port. No thanks. Maybe Microsoft is targeting this to an older generation that needs to sit in a stationary position to use a computer/laptop/tablet.

    • ksizzlemix

      omfg why the hell would i want to get an iPad and carry around some flimsy smart cover. no thanks. really dude? targeting to an older generation? lol. a lot easier to type on an actual keyboard than a touch screen

      • Joseph Stein

        The smart cover is what you’re targeting? Really?

  • Joshua James

    I know i’m getting an iPad, that fact. The surface i’m not really sure on yet. The iPad intrigues me with it’s hardware and apps as a developer, and a musician (wannabe). What I think i would use the surface for is as a laptop, and thats not how I would use an iPad. On the Surface i’d be most interested in running Termlab, winisd, and Reaper. I just can’t see it being used a how i think a tablet is used, which is a mobile entertainment device, for news, web browsing, sketching, reading, watching netflix, playing the odd game, that sort of thing. To me it’s a business device, meant for things like software based oscilloscopes, and heck if ubuntu runs decent on it then maybe some web development. Actually I think that i’d be more excited using it as an ubuntu tablet.

  • http://twitter.com/warex3d warex3D

    BUT OF COURSE!!!!!!!!!!!!! the most Apple lover wont want to get a Surface even if it has a flux capacitor LOL

    • Michael Birks

      Well, that’s because the 1.21 Gigawatts required to make proper use of the flux capacitor is so hard on the battery life.

  • http://twitter.com/DutchGuyOnAir The Dutch Guy

    I don’t think it’s about Apple Vs Microsoft, it’s about MS teasing the hell out of this keynote and not delivering. They got everybody excited for…. absolutely nothing! They should’ve waited with the announcement till they were ready to roll Surface out….

  • JustToBeClear

    there are specs but not complete on surface.com and if you have an ipad thats just your opinion

  • Pingback: Surface trouble for Microsoft | New Media and Marketing

  • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

    Then YOU meant to say “desktop OS experience,” not “full OS.” If you look up the definition of OS, iOS is equally (as you would suggest) “full.”

  • http://twitter.com/djmoore711 D. J.

    I’m excited. If done right, this could be Microsoft’s salvation! Imagine the business sector that is already addicted to Windows. They will eat this up!

  • Rex

    Even if you would love to get one, you cannot do this right now, right? So, who cares you don’t want to get one now?
    Bull arguments.

  • BobGuy

    Seems all of the reasons to not buy it are non reasons. Ignorant of hard data, you shy away from a product which would not be useful anyway, because you already have a tablet computer. A better title for the article might have been, “Why bother to write this article?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.gor Joe Gor

    I remember swearing I would NOT get a mobile phone…had the damn console in the front seat box in the trunk 6 months later…brick on my belt or in briefcase…at one point I had 3 of the damn things sometimes be on alll 3 at once…
    METRO and portable computing in general strikes me that way. I use mobile communication and entertainment but am not impressed much with either, its not the whole meal deal…BUT WIN8 ROCKS on the desktop.
    Personally I think the RP is dynamically unstable, messing up file system and registry with some regularity but it heals itself, so far…I liked the CP better…perhaps it is solid on a real fresh instal lol.

  • Adam Smith

    Is it too much to ask that a Tablet do the usual media consumption tasks (internet browser/email reading, media playing, photos) but also be able to read Office documents (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) with some basic editing also available ?? Add onto that the ability to run more sophisticated work related software eg Photoshop. Reasonable speed, reasonable price, reasonable battery life. Why is it so difficult ??

    • John O’Connor

      you’re using the wrong apps (for office productivity use cloudon or onlive desktop). for basic editing there are a plethora of microsoft compatible apps (most limited in functionally) such as quickoffice(recently purchased by google so look for future integration), polaris office, etc. adobe has photoshop touch and quite a few others are available. while nothing is ideal at the moment (there is no all-in-one app to fulfill alll of our productivity/printing/image editing needs). Dependent upon your needs and requirements, a particular group of apps may work best for you. for printing i suggest printershare (not necessarily something you would want to spend $10+ dollars on but it gets the job done) in any event i digress. there are plenty of apps that will do exactly (and more) than what you need to accomplish any task, its finding the right balance/combo that works for you.

  • Qassim Farid

    What at all makes you think the software can’t cope?

  • http://twitter.com/Livesoftware Mike Lonnborg

    I don’t think you should consider that your already have an iPad right? Some casual users may want to use this for their main machine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JasonGHarbour Jason G. Harbour

    722 Horsepower AND gets 60 mpg? I’ll take ten!

  • Curtis Coburn

    From what they displayed, it looks good. But before I make any judgement, I would like to get to the Microsoft store, (when it is out) and play around on it for like 30 – 45 minutes. If I like it, I might consider it. If not, then its a no go.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606163198 Christopher Micallef

    They didn’t give you enough info to make the decsion yet. You don’t have to go flat out NO though. They will annouce the price eventually.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606163198 Christopher Micallef

    You can’t beat Chris with his defintions. He will argue that a $0.99 calculator you pick up in staples is a computer. (which it is by definition).

    A desktop OS experience on a mobile platform is what this market is waiting for and that’s why I think that Windows 8 will do very well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004038030715 Ole Anders Karlsen

    could very well take one, but I got to look at what’s inside the the performance it has.good design,
    Microsoft has very good hardware design. but I think or hope that they are going to take the competition seriously.
    I hope that’ll do it well whit Surface or I will buy the asus pad, I like win8 due to control of what is happening on my pad