Posted by: crudbasher | June 19, 2012

An Educator’s Take on the Microsoft Surface Tablet

Well I have to say I am very impressed.

Yesterday Microsoft had an event where they unveiled a new tablet called Surface. The thing is sleek, innovative and very very cool. Here’s the video Microsoft played to show it off.

I’ve had several thoughts about this, both from a tech perspective and a teacher’s perspective. Let’s do tech first.

Tech

There are two version, the RT and the Pro. The RT is a typical tablet type architecture. It will primarily run apps using a version of Windows 8. If that was all they did it would have been ok but the Pro version is a full on PC. It has a new Intel chip inside which will make it able to run regular programs like MS Office and even Photoshop. That is hugely impressive in such a thin case.

What is significant is both tablets come with USB ports and SD card readers. These are not designed for a “walled garden” like Apple likes. I have said before that the closedness of Apple is their Achilles heel. (see Apple’s Achilles Heel) This machine will be open, which I like. It remains to be seen if it matters at all to the rest of the market. 🙂

The other significant thing about the tablet is the keyboard and touchpad built into the cover. That is really cool and very innovative. It’s been a long time since somebody out innovated Apple, but Microsoft just did.

Education

While the price hasn’t been announced yet it will make a big difference in how these will be adopted by education. Even so, I think the iPad is better for the current K-12 school model because of it’s closed ecosystem. Now once you get to college I don’t think the iPad is flexible enough for everything you might do, but then Apple agrees with me. They suggest getting a MacBook or iMac.

So I’m very impressed and can’t wait to get my hands on one.

Here’s some further thoughts via Engadget.

 

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