Months after I started my quest searching high and low for a modern Surface RT, Microsoft announced the Surface Go. It received a lot of press coverage, and Microsoft largely was pitching it as a completely new product rather than a refinement of the Surface 3. While they have come a long way from the Surface 3, this is not the revolution I was hoping for, and I largely attribute that to the software rather than the hardware. That being said, the Surface Go is still one of the most interesting products of 2018.
If you’ve read my other posts on this site, you might already know that I was a big Microsoft fan a couple years ago. I started my journey when I bought a Surface RT on the launch day in a Microsoft Store. For the next few years, the only computers I purchased were Surfaces. When I purchased my Surface Pro 2, I kept the original RT in my dorm room for some time before passing it down to my mom. My mom used it in tandem with a traditional laptop for a couple years, but never got extensive use out of it. Now, more than 5 years after buying my Surface RT, I have retrieved it from storage, and I plan to tell you what it’s like to use the Surface RT.
Instead of iterating again with a Samsung Gear S4 this year, Samsung took a side step from the Gear S3 Frontier and Classic by releasing the Gear Sport. Instead of replacing the Gear S3, the Sport was made to round out Samsung’s smartwatch line with a smaller, sportier option than the larger Frontier and Classic. Samsung is trying to compete with Apple’s Watch, which is applauded for its exercise tracking abilities. Unlike Apple’s Watch Series 3, Samsung is not offering an LTE model of the Sport. Although Samsung has solidified its smartwatch line, and the Sport may be one of the best smartwatches Samsung has ever made, it’s a good thing they didn’t call it the Gear S4, because it’s quite an iterative upgrade.
After purchasing the Surface RT in October 2012, I was all in on what Windows was calling its Metro UI. The great color scheme, the intuitive touch gestures, and being designed for the Surface were all fantastic indications that Microsoft revolutionized the 2-in-1 market with. Not everyone agreed with me, but the Surface RT was exactly what a college kid needed – lightweight and versatile. A month after my purchase of the Surface RT, I traded in my iPhone 4 for a Nokia Lumia 822, a mid-range Verizon Windows Phone running Windows Phone 8. From then on, I was a total Microsoft fanboy, singing the praises of the Windows 8 ecosystem.
Ah, to be young and naïve…
I have way too many devices. Ask anyone that knows me well, they will probably tell you that I do not need all of the phones, laptops, and smartwatches that I have. The reason I call this blog “Not As I Do” is to stress that I buy products so that you don’t have to. I can inform you about what you need, so you don’t make the same buying mistakes that I have.
That being said, I may be going against the grain when I tell you that you may also need multiple devices. Even if two devices can accomplish the same things, that doesn’t mean that they are complete substitutes for each other. Let me give you an example. The iPad Pro (of any screen size) is one of the most versatile products that Apple has ever made. Along with the Apple Pencil and the dedicated Smart Keyboard, a user can convert the iPad into a pseudo laptop for more productivity.
Don’t be that guy.
It took me some time to try out my first Chromebook. The primary reason was I was so ingrained in the Windows operating system that I didn’t see the benefit of deviating. When I did finally dive in to see what Chromebooks were all about, I started with something simple. My first Chromebook was an 11 inch HP that I got from Best Buy for under $150. I quickly was drawn to the simplicity. Here was a sub-$200 device that did normal tasks better than many $500 devices. And that’s exactly what Chromebooks are best at.
A few years ago, there were probably people who thought that the smartwatch would be the next big thing, and we’d all leave our smartphones at home in favor of something more portable. But here we are, 4 years after the announcement of the original Samsung Galaxy Gear, and I would struggle to list 10 people who wear a smartwatch daily. While they may be more common in other circles, the fact is, smartwatches have nowhere near the gravity that smartphones do. Continue reading “Smartwatches: They’re Useless…And That’s Why I Have 6 of Them”