An actual Microsoft Surface buying experience

Some quick background: I haven’t voluntarily used a PC in 10 years. I have purchased every iPhone and iPad on launch day. However, I think Microsoft has done a great job with the Windows 8 UI. It just seems refreshing to me. In my experience, the iPad is clumsy for actually doing work (mostly email, Word and reviewing PDF documents). A versatile tablet like the Surface intrigued me. So, I decided to go check one out in person.

As I walked to the Microsoft Store in Tysons Corner, Virginia, I noticed a crowd in front of the entrance. It was a family posing with their new Surfaces while a Microsoft employee took their photo. The inside of the store was packed and the excitement over the Surface rivaled any iPad launch I’ve been to. Employees were enthusiastically showing customers features of the Surface. There were a few tables of Surfaces set up for live demos. I had to wait a few minutes before a Surface was available for me to try out.

Despite already reading several reviews of the Surface, I decided to let a salesman explain to me the features of the Surface. I guess I was curious as to whether he knew his stuff. He was very knowledgeable about the device, and patiently showed me the features he thought I would be most interested in and a few I didn’t know of. For example, I didn’t know you could dock the email app next to a Word document, which is something that I would use quite often.

The build quality was fantastic. The TypeCover was very nice as well. I typed some test sentences using it without any errors. The TouchCover was thinner, but more difficult to type on without practice. The UI was surprisingly responsive, maybe because so many reviews wrote that it was sluggish. Before I knew it, I had spent 30 minutes with the Surface. The Steelers game was about to begin and I had to get home. I asked the young man how many Surfaces he had sold that day. He sold three (the store had been opened for about an hour). I told him to make that four, and I walked out with one of the more impressive devices in recent memory.

The moral of the story is that you should go to a store and try out a Surface if it is something that interests you. Don’t listen to other people’s views and opinions. You might hate it. You might like it. Everyone’s needs and expectations are different. I came away impressed and pleased with the experience and the Surface.