The Microsoft Surface- the end of the Laptop?

Here in the Dabs office, we’re all very excited. And when I say we’re all very excited, what I really mean is I’m very excited. The tech-nerd in me has risen right to the top today as I have discovered Microsoft’s first ever tablet and answer to the iPad has been unveiled- the Microsoft Surface.

So why am I excited? Well, it’s about time we had genuine competition for the Apple iPad that the tablet world desperately needs and I think this could well be it.

So on the surface of the Surface (ha ha!) it does look a little like it’s all style over substance, and as not a right lot is known about it yet in terms of spec, I do hope that this is not the case.  What we do know is that there will be two versions; a Windows RT version designed to run on ARM processors which are typically found in smartphones and other tablets, and will be the thinner and lighter of the models. The other version will be the Windows 8 Pro version running on Intel processors, more powerful and as a result will have a bigger price tag. Both versions will have a lovely sleek looking detachable keyboard, an integrated kickstand and two cameras called ‘LifeCams.’ So, by the information that we know, it seems that the Surface is more than your traditional tablet.  If it has everything you need from browsing to games to Office software, will it render the laptop obsolete?

My opinion? I’m not sure. The Windows 8 Pro version may be a strong contender as it will feature a full version of the Windows 8 operating system and Intel processors. They’ll be as dear as an average Ultrabook but perhaps the unique selling point of it being more portable and lightweight will prevail. The less powerful Windows RT version I can’t see being competent enough to be a decent alternative for a good value laptop. Similarly to the Chromebook, It may be best used for light browsing and app use and not as a laptop replacement, just on account of it not being powerful enough.

Whatever happens I don’t think this will be a failure, there’s a sense that this time round it feels a little like Microsoft are beginning a new chapter and are genuinely trying to go beyond being just a competitor and are becoming an innovator. It seems to signal a new era in computing where the boundary between laptop and tablet are becoming increasingly more blurred. Pretty soon we’ll start seeing tablets which when docked will become fully fledged laptops, laptops with two screens, laptops with flippable screens as well as laptops with slide-out keyboards.  A greater emphasis will be placed on being lighter and more portable while being more powerful and having the ability to multitask and do the job of several devices.

 What do you guys think? Is this the dawn of a new age of computing or just another tablet? We’d love to hear from you.


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