The Surface Pro hits the shops in Australia tomorrow, 30 May, for the first time. The Surface Pro is the version of Surface that gives you a full PC as well as a touch-tablet. Which means that for teachers and students, they can run all of their existing Windows software, and use their curriculum resources that are based around that – as well as the new touch-based apps for Windows 8.
But the Surface Pro has already been available in North America for a while, so there are plenty of reviews that you can look at for opinions. One that’s particularly interesting for education customers is the ‘CIO Road Test’, written by Kevin Pashuk, the CIO of Appleby College in Canada. As he says in his introduction:
|As someone charged with identifying future technology trends that may impact education in particular and IT in general, I find it valuable to actually get my (or my team’s) hands on a particular piece of technology rather than just read about it in an article.|
One of his early observations is that he often finds that people end up carrying three devices – a laptop for working, a tablet (like an iPad or Android) for browsing and quick reference, and their phone. So he set out to see whether he could use a Surface Pro to reduce the need for so many devices – and that’s exactly what he found.
As a slate user myself (I’m a fan of my old Samsung Series 7 slate) I’ve found the breakthrough is having a touch device when I’m out and about, and then a mouse-and-keyboard experience when I’m in the office, connected up to external screens etc.