I reserved a new Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Professional at my local mall in Long Island today and will be able to pick it up Saturday morning. According to the salesperson who helped me, the Microsoft store in Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York, is being asked to reserve the tablet/laptop about once an hour and I was the 30th
person to pre-order the device at the store since this past weekend when Microsoft announced that some retail locations would accept pre-orders.
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about the new device and remain excited about it after playing with it for about 30 minutes at the store.
Surface Pro is a “convertible,” a tablet that replaces a laptop PC, a revolutionary new device for business users. Instead of owning a laptop and a tablet, all you need is this one device. The Surface Pro, which costs $1100 when purchased with a cover that doubles as a keyboard and 128GB of storage, comes with a two-core Core i5 Intel processor that runs at up to 2.6 GHz.
It is the first tablet aimed at business users, powerful enough to run Microsoft Office 64-bit version and other apps like a PC, but mobile enough to replace your current tablet. For security-conscious advisors, it offers the same level of security you can get from a corporate Windows laptop and—most importantly—full-disk encryption, which encrypts everything on a hard drive using a new type of 128-bit AES encryption. Full-disk encryption is what advisors want because even if the device is lost or stolen, cracking it would take a long time--long enough fro you to wipe data from it before hackers can have any chance of getting your data.
In addition, Surface Pro comes with Intel’s next generation Core i5 processor and 1920x1080 HD display. Its Mini HDMI DisplayPort can drive an external display up to 2560X1440 resolution, the new standard that provides much higher resolution than monitors used by advisors now. Plus, it has a USB 3.0 port, which offer data transfer at 10 times the speed of USB 2.0.
To be clear, an iPad offers no USB port or display port. It does not offer full-disk encryption, and it won’t run Microsoft Office. It’s not a PC-replacement.
Holding the Surface Pro tablet in your hand, it is obviously heavier than an iPad. While Surface Pro, at two pounds, only weighs a half-pound more than an iPad, the difference is noticeable. But that’s a small price to pay for all the other features.
Another drawback is that Surface Pro does not come with an 4G connectivity. It will connect to Wi-Fi in your office or house. However, to connect from the road with your wireless service provider, you must use your smart phone as a “hot spot” and connect through that device.
My salesperson, who was knowledgeable, said the hot spot connection runs as fast as your smart phone. On the bright side, if you have 4G or LTE service, you should be fine, and you won’t need to open a separate wireless account to run your Surface Pro like you do with an iPad.
Because I knew I would be buying the Surface Pro, I recently bought a powerful desktop with an eight-Core i7 processor to replace my ultraportable laptop. While the laptop has a Core i7 2.8 GHz dual core processor that runs at a top turbo speed of 3.3 GHz and 8GB or RAM, it is not powerful enough for video editing and serious multitasking. So having a workstation that is so powerful is a fantastic upgrade in speed and stability. Plus, I’ve shared a folder on my desktop’s drive so I can access documents I use daily over the Web from anywhere.
Financially, I'm also ahead. The Sony Vaio Z ultra-portable laptop costs about $4,000 with a docking station, Core i7 processor, 256GB solid state hard drive and three-year service plan, while the desktop, which has the power of a server, costs about $3000. With the purchase of the Surface Pro for $1100, I not only have a workstation that’s literally five times more powerful than my expensive laptop, but I have a laptop and tablet. And it is all more secure and better able to take advantage of the cloud than my old set up. That’s incredibly cool.