1. firedancer1189's Avatar
    Hey all!

    Total tablet virgin here. Really am an anti-apple guy and just haven't ever had the desire to be one of the countless iSheep out there. Besides, Apple's IOS has always more or less bored me.

    The new Windows 8 tablets look exciting and refreshing compared to the iPad and Android tablets. My laptop is ancient and I really love the idea of having a decent keyboard for input on the Surface.

    My questions are the following:

    Do I get the first generation hardware? Most people always say "wait till they work the bugs out etc" Do you think that I should follow suit with this as well? I realize that in the tech world anything you buy will be outdated and old in six months anyway so maybe it really doesn't matter at this point?


    I am understanding that Microsoft makes the Surface? However there are other companies like Samsung and Asus also producing tablets running Windows 8? Is the Surface the only one that has the keyboard cover? Is there a benefit to getting something made by Samsung or Asus?

    Finally the Microsoft website does an absolutely awful job of showing the difference between the Touch cover and the Type cover. They are too small graphics that you can't enlarge and the Type cover is a color that is so bad you can't discern any keys on it at all. Is the only difference a row of function keys on the Type cover? Does that mean the rest of the keys are smaller so they are able to fit in that row of function keys?


    I know it's a lot of questions but any help would be appreciated!
    10-16-2012 08:00 PM
  2. jdevenberg's Avatar
    For the Difference between the touch and type covers, see thus video.
    Microsoft posts video tour of the new Surface RT highlighting features | wpcentral | Windows Phone News, Forums, and Reviews

    The surface keyboards are covers that act as keyboards. You will notice Microsoft never she's anyone using a surface with its kickstand and keyboard on their lap. The Samsung and Asus keyboards are docks that turn the tablets into a more traditional laptop, extending battery life and adding Ports. They are more versatile, but are much heavier and thicker than either if the surface keyboard covers.
    10-16-2012 08:10 PM
  3. Coreldan's Avatar
    Also if you want to seriously consider a non-Surface, check out the Acer W510 (if you want a tablet with a keyboard, that is)
    10-17-2012 04:28 AM
  4. mparker's Avatar
    Do I get the first generation hardware? Most people always say "wait till they work the bugs out etc" Do you think that I should follow suit with this as well? I realize that in the tech world anything you buy will be outdated and old in six months anyway so maybe it really doesn't matter at this point?
    The hardware should be ok. The weak point would be the hinge for the kickstand and it sounds like Microsoft really sweated the details on that.

    Finally the Microsoft website does an absolutely awful job of showing the difference between the Touch cover and the Type cover. They are too small graphics that you can't enlarge and the Type cover is a color that is so bad you can't discern any keys on it at all. Is the only difference a row of function keys on the Type cover? Does that mean the rest of the keys are smaller so they are able to fit in that row of function keys?
    If you click on the pictures you get a larger version. The "Type" keyboard is much thicker but has real moving keys (or at least real-ish keys - compared to the IBM Model M keyboard I'm typing this on all other keyboards are toys).

    I got the Touch keyboard with my Surface RT. I've been using Win8 since January on a Lenovo X220T convertible tablet (converts between a touchscreen laptop and a touchscreen tablet), so I've got a fair bit of experience using Win8 in both modes. IMO the WinRT version of Win8 is a pretty direct shot at the iPad and is primarily aimed at consumption and not creation. Office comes on it so you can do some work on it on occasion, but that's not really what it's aimed at. I suspect the keyboard will mostly be used for things like this - typing comments on web forums, typing up quick emails, entering passwords, etc - *not* for serious typing chores. I think Office will mostly be used for checking presentations, reviewing and marking up documents more than it will be used for creating the presentations and documents in the first place. So I think for the WinRT version the touch keyboard is much more apropos. For the Pro version (x86-based) I think the Type keyboard is the one to get, because that lets you run the full Win8 operating system and apps. You'll notice that Microsoft includes the Touch keyboard with the WinRT Surface tablets, and they have mentioned that the Surface Pro will come standard with the Type keyboard.

    Edit: The one demographic I could see doing lots of typing on this device would be students; the lighter weight is a major boon when you're walking five miles every day between classes. I would have killed for one of these things when I was in college, and the Type keyboard might be a better choice for somebody like that even with the moderate size and weight gain.
    10-17-2012 07:17 AM
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