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Review: Microsoft Surface RT  
Review: Microsoft Surface RT

Bruce Warren took a Microsoft Surface RT with him during a recent two-week study tour of Korea. How did he go with it? Does he see a need for this sort of device?

My first impressions were positive. I liked the design: the size; the black metal feel; the widescreen depth of colours; the realistic feel of the type cover keyboard; the weight; the kickstand; the preloaded Office software; and the easy connectivity to Wi-Fi, so that I could catch up on Facebook and email on the go.

The trip consisted of lectures and travel around the country. I used OneNote for organising all my notes and readings, and the angled rear camera easily captured presentation slides. I used my smartphone for photos and downloaded them via USB port. I could then use them in a PowerPoint presentation I delivered on the Surface connected via USB/ VGA to a projector.

 

A preferred and handy device

When configured to connect automatically, the Surface RT finds Wi-Fi networks quickly and because the battery life is so good it is always on. I was particularly impressed with the synching to SkyDrive. Having two applications on the screen at once – like OneNote and PowerPoint – also worked well.

As an Android user, I found the mapping tool below par but was able to use Google maps around the country with my phone as a hot spot. I visited the Microsoft App Store and found several free ones: The New Zealand Herald; a Tour de France app; Bing (for Super 15 updates!); TED Talks; and an English-Korean translation tool.

Many times I was pleased I had the Surface RT, as I would not have lugged my hefty laptop from the hotel to lectures. Other educators were equally impressed. Now that I’ve returned, I find I use it at home to browse the web, check email and Facebook updates.

I could see it becoming a preferred device at our school by staff and students. It’s excellent for meetings outside of the office and would be a welcome companion on future travels. It’s so easy to have at hand.

 

Bruce Warren is Principal at Mairangi Bay School in Auckland.

 

Special offer to schools for Surface RT

Until the end of September, schools can purchase through authorised resellers Microsoft’s new Surface RT at a reduced price. For more information go to http://blogs.technet.com/b/nzedu/archive/2013/07/18/the-surface-rt-offer-for-education-institutions-has-been-extended.aspx

 

 © INTERFACE Magazine, September 2013

 

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