"Why would I need an iPad again?" Surface blog showcases user who ditched iPad

IDC states that just 900,000 Surface tablets were shipped worldwide in the first quarter of this year, but Microsoft's newest hardware product certainly has its fans. Today, Microsoft updated its Surface blog with a new entry that it says will be the start of a monthly series focusing on how Surface devices are used by their owners.

The blog post is mostly written by Philip De Rop, a quality assurance manager at Arkieva, a software company based in Wilmington, Delaware. However, De Rop is based in Belgium and travels frequently between Belgium and the US. He tells the tale of how he had to handle an iPad from Apple, an unnamed laptop and a mobile phone while in airports or on a plane just a few months ago.

De Rop states he had to take up between two and three power outlets at the airport with such a setup. He also could not do any work on the cramped plane with the 14-inch laptop but that trying to work on the iPad with its touchscreen keyboard was "difficult."

De Rop writes that all that changed when he got his Surface Pro. He says he was able to ditch the iPad and laptop in favor of the Surface when traveling and was able to use the Touch Cover keyboard on the airplane. The Surface charger can charge both the tablet and his Windows Phone, taking up just one power outlet.

He's also replaced his laptop with the Surface Pro in his office as he finds it can run any application he needs. De Rop even hooks up the Surface to two 24 inch monitors via a docking station, along with a full sized keyboard and mouse. De Rop ends his post by saying simply, "Why would I ever need an iPad again?" 

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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Congrats you just spent almost one thousand dollars on a tablet and then you plug it into a monitor. /sigh now that's smart way to waste money

CaptainBeno said,
Congrats you just spent almost one thousand dollars on a tablet and then you plug it into a monitor. /sigh now that's smart way to waste money

Right, so you are saying that the portability of the Surface is a non-plus. I would like to see you carring a bulky desktop and a monitor and use it on a plane.

this has nothing to do with a plane this guy in the picture was using the surface with two large monitors when he should have just kept his desktop its ridiculous

Wow, way to completely miss the point champion. The point is that he doesn't have to swap computers to do his work, it's all on the same device, and he can use it on a desk, he can use it on a plane and he can use it sitting down in a lounge. He uses one device in all these environments, not the two (Or three if you consider a desktop computer at the office as you do). That's pretty cool and a very nice example of portable, yet powerful computing.

BTW, it has everything to do with the plane, that's one of the major points of his experience.

I thought, not having a GPS/3G SIMM card on my Surface Pro would be bad, however it is not a problem at all, since I ALWAYS have my phone with me. When traveling I buy a chip from T-Mobile with a good data plan for maybe $40 for the week. I tell you, it beats any roaming bill when you're traveling. So the GPS on my phone I use in the car for driving directions (so now my Garmin GPS is on eBay for sale). And I can tether my Surface to my phone when there is no Wi-Fi (on the road while driving). All I have to buy still is a car-cigarette charger (can't find it yet, but it will come) and this whole 5 hour limit will become a non-issue. So Yes, I totally agree that the Surface Pro is the ultimate Travel PC, once you know decide to think outside the iPad box

While the surface pro in theory solved his issues, this can't be the same for other users. I was in the airport earlier this week and saw plenty of people managing what he claimed as to be so difficult. I saw a few users with an ipad with a keyboard attached to it or some with a netbook. What is great about the surface though is that it comes with its own keyboard attachment unlike the ipad. His problems are definitely a real issue, but maybe exaggerated a bit. The Surface pro also isn't a mobile phone replacement either.

Why would I need an iPad? Longer battery life, richer selection of apps, looks prettier, GPS and mobile broadband and peace of mind that Apple will not pull a 'Windows 8' on it to turn it into a wholly different product. They will introduce it as another product.

The guy is using it for work, not play, so the "richer selection of apps" doesn't work here. Also you missed that he is talking about the pro, that is basically a PC, so any windows application works on that thing.

But battery life and 3g is a good plus... but again, he is travelling via plane and they have electricity sockets, so there is no real reason for the extra battery for him.


i'm in a mixed status, i need 3g (no dongle), when i'm on the road. and not all planes have the electricity socket... but i do miss windows as full working environment that the ipad simply cannot be.


UXGaurav said,
Why would I need an iPad? Longer battery life, richer selection of apps, looks prettier, GPS and mobile broadband and peace of mind that Apple will not pull a 'Windows 8' on it to turn it into a wholly different product. They will introduce it as another product.

Even the Surface RT is a much better choice as it has great battery life. 90 percent of the time you don't need the app selection andyou have the powerhouse that is office. and as to that the ipad looks pretier? you kidding me right? both are great looking product but I don't see the ipad as a better design product regardless.

OK. Considering RT is locked down. If 90% of the time you don't use apps, what exactly are you doing with it? Admiring the kick stand?

Richer selection of apps? WTF, the Surface pro is a PC it can literally run millions more applications than are available on the apple app store. The number of applications available to a real windows pc crushes the apps on the app store.

swanlee said,
Richer selection of apps? WTF, the Surface pro is a PC it can literally run millions more applications than are available on the apple app store. The number of applications available to a real windows pc crushes the apps on the app store.

I believe he is probably talking about RT.

Joswin said,
OK. Considering RT is locked down. If 90% of the time you don't use apps, what exactly are you doing with it? Admiring the kick stand?

Surface has around 60K apps. Some are missing, though not required as the browser is much more versatile than the ipad and can bridge that gap until apps are released.

Joswin said,
OK. Considering RT is locked down. If 90% of the time you don't use apps, what exactly are you doing with it? Admiring the kick stand?

That's not what he said. He said "90 percent of the time you don't need the app selection andyou have the powerhouse that is office."

Seems pretty logical to me. 90% of the time, he's using Office and the built-in apps - Internet Explorer, News, Finance, Weather, etc. 10% of the time, he's using apps that are not built-in.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,
"IDC states that just 900,000 Surface tablets were shipped worldwide in the first quarter of this year"

It's still hardly available anywhere, especially the Pro.

I disagree - Surface (Windows RT) is being shipped to more places but right now Surface Pro (Windows 8) is very restrictive; I have a feeling that Microsoft doesn't want to annoy their OEM partners but quite frankly they need to 'grow a pair' and just ship them without any regard for the OEM's because frankly the OEM's have been a hinderance to Microsoft than beneficial.

The RT is a better iPad than the iPad, and for light users, is probably every bit as good as a PC as an iMac. I know that excluding gaming and software development, my RT is my main device.

Microsoft has a major winner on their hands, they just need apps.....

to Necrosis and Virtorio: yes you are right, but he is comparing not a tablet vs a pc. he is comparing the usage of a tool. While for people like us, techie enough to know the difference, other people don't care, for them they are both tablets (as form factor), and the while costs are different, the explanation goes simply as his blog posted.

virtorio said,
So, a real laptop (such as the Surface Pro) > a tablet (such as the iPad and Surface).

Who knew? Oh yeah, EVERYBODY.

To be fair, the blog says he was moving from an iPad AND a laptop along with a mobile phone to just a Surface pro and Windows phone.

So really you should be saying a Real laptop (such as the surface pro) > a laptop AND tablet.
That's assuming the two mobiles cancel each other out... but keep in mind that the surface charger does power both the surface and windows phone for charging as well, as the post suggested this kept the use of power sockets down to just 1 rather then the max of 3 he was using before.

It's roughly the same type of form factor/size, thats all that matters to many people.

Or if you go by price, you can compare something like the Samsung ATIV Smart PC to the iPad (128GB).

Edited by W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E, May 2 2013, 8:51am :

necrosis said,
So he is comparing a (what is basically) a full blown computer to an iPad?

Unfair much?

Nope - he is comparing a Surface Pro to an iPad AND a 14" laptop. That's not unfair at all is it?

necrosis said,
So he is comparing a (what is basically) a full blown computer to an iPad?

Unfair much?

Not really... it's a 2 in 1 solution, but the form factor and size is the same. The price is the same (ish).

I don't think we need a blog to tell us the Surface PRO is a better device than an iPad... the RT on the other hand can be more favourably compared.. i personally don't like the idea of other devices until developers catch up.. 99.9999% of apps releases all come with "available on apple" stickers, android is starting to make an appearance beside apple but windows rt? i've not seen a single instance of it yet.

Tell that to the zombies fanatics.

Also Surface is way more usable than the Ipad as I see no reason why even with all the apps the ipad has that it would serve as a better product as the ipad is only a consumption device.

i was actually thinking the same, currently i've a 15" mbp and an ipad, but with the second one can't really do much work, excel (numbers) is just not as good on the ipad, and except reply emails, can't do anything else. The surface pro is a full pc, so, while is not a mac and i would miss Keynote (similar to powerpoint but better, at least for me), the surface would be a perfect companion.

This is exactly what I have done, as well. I used to bring a MBP and an iPad to work. Now I just carry around a Surface Pro. Much nicer when I have to empty out my entire bag at the more secure airports (Tel-Aviv, for example). I feel you though... I definitely miss some Mac exclusive apps.

2 monitors, a keyboard and a mouse eh?

Some people will do ANYTHING to pretend a low powered surface can do the same work as a PC.

looks like he's doing everything in DESKTOP mode too. No metro apps/interface there!

Some people will do ANYTHING to pretend a low powered surface can do the same work as a PC.

A low powered surface? You do realize the surface pro is a PC right? It has a core i5 and it runs desktop apps. Sure its not some gaming / media powerhouse but for productivity work it's pretty dam good.

dvb2000 said,
2 monitors, a keyboard and a mouse eh?

Some people will do ANYTHING to pretend a low powered surface can do the same work as a PC.

DING, you're out my friend. Surface PRO _IS_ a PC complete with display port connection. FUll blown i5 Ivy Bridge CPU and the profits that come with it.

The blogpost shows exactly why the Pro is so much more useful and productive tool when compared to the iPad. (mentions iPad has no USB, no external video, no SD card, no CHOICE to use the desktop, not able to run any productivity software available on OSX or Windows)

dvb2000 said,
2 monitors, a keyboard and a mouse eh?

Some people will do ANYTHING to pretend a low powered surface can do the same work as a PC.

looks like he's doing everything in DESKTOP mode too. No metro apps/interface there!

Yes, yes.. even my low powered RT can be hooked up to my 1920*1200 24" monitor at work or my 1920*1080 40" monitor (TV) at home with a mouse, keyboard, gamepad, external blu-ray drive, printer, bla bla. When hooked up, it feels like a real computer.

It's great when staying on a hotel and just hook it up to the TV with mini hdmi and run the netflix app (or any video i any format on disk) and actually be able to control the interface with a mouse from a distance also.

dvb2000 said,
2 monitors, a keyboard and a mouse eh?

Some people will do ANYTHING to pretend a low powered surface can do the same work as a PC.

looks like he's doing everything in DESKTOP mode too. No metro apps/interface there!

Seriously?