Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dare 2 Compare

Two weeks ago, I attended a HerCampus and Microsoft Surface 2 Event where my friend, Bianca, and I received the new Surface 2 to test out for a month! At the event, we learned how to use the device with the help of the friendly Microsoft crew, mingled with fellow Boston bloggers, had a dance party playing along to Just Dance 4, and the HerCampus team spoiled us with an awesome goodie bag!

Admittedly, I'm not much of a tech guru, but Bianca is kind of a tech wiz. Together, we've made a list of pros and cons about the new Microsoft Surface 2 based on our technical and practical points of view. 

1) It's user-friendly, really.
Personally, I tend to quickly lose interest with any kind of technology that's difficult for me to use (I'm the girl who runs to her engineering friends whenever my printer starts to act up). The Surface 2 was intimidating at first, but I quickly caught on.
Bianca lovingly likes to joke, "It's so easy– even a caveman Tia can do it."

2) The camera's features are AMAZING.
Compared to the original Surface, Bianca thinks the camera has improved a lot.
"While playing around with the camera, I noticed that the camera takes a bunch of frames in the split second it took for you to hit the shutter button," she said. "This way you can pick the best shot out of all the frames or delete the ones where you blinked or didn't catch your 'good side'. Also, the Surface 2 has this awesome Panorama feature where you move the camera around and it 
'pieces the picture together'."

Watch our videos using the camera below!
(I apologize for my poor filming skills!)

3) It's lightweight and compact.
I love my laptop, but I hate lugging it around all day from class to internship to library to cafe and dorm. The Surface 2 is the perfect size to fit inside a tote bag or large purse, but its screen also isn't too small for people like me that are far sighted.

4) The attached keyboard has its glitches.
While the Surface 2 is a touch screen, you can also get an attached keyboard that makes taking notes in class much easier. Bianca did encounter some problems with hers though. "Sometimes my keyboard would start to do crazy things like type the letter ‘h’ when I would hit 'enter'," she explained. "The problem was easy to fix by just detaching and reattaching the keyboard, but it's still an annoyance when you're trying to keep up with your professor's slideshow!"  Bianca was also quick to point out thought that the problem could be because her Surface 2 was perhaps a prototype with a 'not for sale' label on the back. In comparison, mine is just labeled 64 GB on the back. 

5) Multitasking is a breeze. 
I'm a big multitasker, so the Surface 2's multiple tasking capabilities is easily my favorite feature. I love being able to have the video open and recording on the left side of the screen and my word document open on the right side which allows me to utilize and see both simultaneously without constantly switching between the two. It's perfect for college students during lectures! 

6) Users be warned- there's only Internet Explorer.
The biggest downside of the Surface 2 for Bianca was the lack of Firefox, Chrome, or Adblock. "It pains me to only be able to use Internet Explorer," she said. "It’s a small setback, but it could be improved for the next Surface!" I myself also noticed the Surface 2 was slow to connect to the Internet and sometimes couldn't connect in specific areas on campus. Bianca agreed this sometimes happened to her as well, even in places off campus.

While we're sure the next Surface 3 is going to be mind blowing one day, we're overall head over heels in love with these little tablets (How far away is Christmas, again?!) The Surface 2 may have some minor downsides, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. It really does have the best of both worlds on a technical and practical level.  

If you're looking for the perfect spot to use your Surface 2, we recommend your favorite little cafe. Warning though, you may get stopped 7 times by curious coffee consumers asking if the Surface 2 is "too good to be true". 


Thanks again to HerCampus & Microsoft for the awesome opportunity!

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