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Microsoft Surface 2 With LTE: Winner For Mobile Pros?
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PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
3/17/2014 | 7:12:04 PM
Surface and the IPAD
The surface seems like a pretty good deal. I don't really compare Ipads to Windows tablets. The Surface can be used as a fully funtioning PC. The iPad cannot and it's more $$$. If the iPad ran OS X then maybe I would change my mind.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
3/17/2014 | 7:43:00 PM
Re: Surface and the IPAD
I think there are a number of reasons not to compare Windows tablets and iPads. As you point out, a Windows tablet can be a fully-functioning PC. Valid point.

Even so, I think comparisons between iPads and Windows RT tablets are more reasonable-- especially if there's any truth to today's report that Office for iPads will debut later this month. Based on its marketing, Microsoft seems to believe consumers care about this comparison.

Speaking personally,I don't always use my iPad and my Surface 2 in the same ways. They overlap in some ways but also have different strengths and weaknesses. But that is, to some extent, a moot point. Most people are forced to choose a single device, rather than match various devices to their best individual roles. So for that reason, I think some amount of "Surface 2 vs. iPad Air" talk is natural. Either device is capable of boosting productivity, depending on how the user intends to implement it into his/her larger workflow. If you really want a light laptop that runs Office and some web apps, Surface 2 (plus keyboard cover) might be the way to go; if you want a pure tablet, most people would probably recommend the iPad Air.

On another note, before now, if you wanted touch-oriented, on-the-go productivity ("touch-oriented productivity" is not an oxymoron; it's just different than mouse-and-keyboard productivity), an iPad with LTE a better option than a Surface 2. Now, an argument for the Surface 2 can at least be made. The fact that the Surface 2 also doubles as a laptop could be an extra benefit for this need, but (given that the iPad's screen dimensions are arguably better for hand-hold-ability) it could also be a drawback. 

 
scalbert
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scalbert,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/18/2014 | 1:17:51 PM
Re: Surface and the IPAD
Typically just reading the comments but would like to expand based on our experiences and deployments.

1.5 years ago I would use my iPad (of two years) at home and some travel but relied upon my laptop as well when the iPad could not get the work done or was too laborious/tedious.  I also used a desktop at the office.  A little later I picked up a Samsung 500T tablet and found that it could do the vast majority of what I needed at home and on the road causing the laptop to collect dust.  The Windows tablet replaced the laptop and iPad I had previously used.

Fast forward to approximately eight weeks ago and I picked up Surface Pro 2 and have now replaced my desktop at the office thus bringing three devices down to one.  The Surface Pro 2 works quite well when docked and using the DP daisy chaining ability to two Dell U2414H monitors.

Point being, when docked, I am in desktop mode using typical applications like Outlook similar to the way one would use a desktop or laptop.  When at home on the sofa, I use the mail app and IE app like a tablet, which it is, albeit a bit on the portly side.  Of the approximate twelve deployments, using various Windows tablets but seem to be settling on the Surface Pro2, all were also Windows laptop and iPad users.  Now all are just Windows 8/8.1 tablet users where their iPad's have gone to children or sold.

Now, as related to the subject regarding LTE.  I simply enabled Internet Sharing on my phone and I have data anywhere.  Granted, there is a loss of convenience as the phone has to be near but that has hardly turned into a major issue.  On the flip side it has financial benefits.  Adding the Internet Sharing onto my phone cost $10 additional per month.  An Enterprise data plan was $30 per month for a tablet.  Not a tremendous amount of savings but when multiplied by ten users, does start to add up for a small business like ourselves.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
3/18/2014 | 2:24:49 PM
Re: Surface and the IPAD
Thanks for sharing your experience. It is great to hear stories about tablets rooted in experience rather than visceral dislike for apple or microsoft. what was the feedback from your small business users? did they miss the ipads?
scalbert
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scalbert,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/18/2014 | 3:01:17 PM
Re: Surface and the IPAD
Not one has said they missed the iPad.  Nor did any have any real complaints with it either.  We all knew what it was good for and its limits as a tool. That is not to say that many of us had tried to stretch the limits of use of the iPad.  All of us knew we had to eventually return to a laptop or desktop to get real work done in an efficient manner.  And I say efficient as much of what our people do could be done on an iPad.  But it was often laborious.  The lack of a cursor for selection, cut and paste, etc. makes routine tasks more difficult.  It was just easier to switch to a laptop/desktop and knock out the same work in half the time.  I tried to expand the use of VM's for access via RDP but again, the lack or an input device made things difficult.

In our case, I supposed most are not app crazy and use the minimal available which may be one of the reasons why we have fewer issues.  Hence why with the Windows tablets with Office 2013 installed, there is little need for apps.  And in the cases where we need to install an application from one of our partners, we can.

As one simple example.  Shortly after getting the first Windows 8 tablet, we were having our annual sales meeting.  We had one of our partners in town and he asked me if I could upload some presentations and product datasheets to our documents system (mapped drive which is also accessible via FTP).  He gave me his USB flash drive to which I simply plugged it into the Samsung tablet I had at the time, switched to the desktop, opened Windows Explorer and copied the files to the share.  Pretty simple but had I had an iPad, I would have had to walk back to my office to my desktop.  I then went back to using it as a tablet with the mail app, etc.

We still have a couple of our sales people using iPad's and that is fine if they want to as they are comfortable and understand they will need to go back to a laptop at times.

I read about the issues some have with the "schizophrenic" nature of the OS.  I suppose we have been able to embrace it to allow for a lesser number of devices to rely upon.  Going back to using just two, phone and tablet, is a nice and simplistic change.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
3/17/2014 | 10:25:58 PM
Re: Surface and the IPAD
The Surface 2 Pro can be used as a fully functioning PC.  The Surface 2 LTE (the topic of this article) is just Windows RT.  Once again, Microsoft's marketing confusion claims another victim.


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