There’s a lot of excitement this week for Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet which recently became available to pre-order with availability coming October 26th. Actually, the pre-orders for the $499 32Gb version sold out the day they became available. The 32Gb or 64Gb with touch keyboard bundles are still available, but the rumors are that Microsoft has only made an initial run of 3 to 5 million. That’s not a whole lot compared to the sales Apple gets with their iOS devices, and pre-orders are probably going to sell out by the end of the week. So, besides the shiny newness of the Microsoft Surface RT and potential lack of stock come launch day, what are a few other good reasons to order one right now?
- It’s Microsoft’s first PC. Microsoft has always been known for making software for other hardware manufacturers, however when they do make hardware, they do it really well. You’d know this if you’ve ever owned a Zune, or any of the Microsoft-made keyboards and mouse options out there. The Surface RT hardware is sure to be very impressive, high quality, and eye catching.
- Smart Glass for Xbox. Sure, any Windows 8 tablet will work with Smart Glass on the Xbox 360 and there will be versions of this software for other platforms like Windows Phone, iOS and Android, but the Windows 8 will surely have better support and more features in their Smart Glass offering, and the Surface RT will have the added benefit of reason number 3. Being able to control your web browser on a large TV screen connected to an Xbox 360 while you pinch and gesture your way around a touch screen tablet could finally make large-screen web browsing usable.
- Battery life. The Surface RT is running on an ARM processor as opposed to the usual x86/x64 processors that Windows PCs usually use. ARM processors are primarily designed for mobile devices with low power requirements. That means more efficient processing and better battery life.
- Integrated Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft will be putting a lot of effort into adding interesting apps, services, and functionality to their new Windows tablets. The free music streaming part of Xbox Music is only going to be available on Windows 8 and Windows RT, so that will be pretty nice to have. Plus there will be the cloud sync capability so that you can play music from your other PCs. You’ll also see some great apps for Bing related content including custom news feeds, sports, Bing search, travel information, finance, etc. Xbox integration will be a great advantage as well.
- The touch keyboard. We haven’t actually had the chance to use that extremely thin touch keyboard cover that you can get with the Surface RT, but it definitely looks like some significant innovation went into making it so thin. I kind of want to buy one just to try out that keyboard.
Have you pre-ordered a Microsoft Surface yet? What made you pull the trigger?