Replace my laptop and iPad with one device?
When I travel I have a camera bag stuffed with 2 pro bodies, batteries, charger, 3 -4 lens one being the huge 500mm and other necessary items for a successful safari or workshop. Along with that one piece of carryon I need to have a laptop bag that has my phone, laptop, charger, iPad, iPod, chargers, and all the electronic items necessary for the trip. This bag gets pretty heavy and bloated by the time it travel time. For playing movies on long flights and music I can rely on the iPod or IPad for this chore but for basic computer needs I still need a good laptop capable of running software to copy photos from my CF cards each night organize them make a copy for safe keeping. The iPad is pretty much useless for doing any kind of work with RAW images and has limited storage and connections for adding additional outside storage.
A few years ago I purchased one of the first touch screen laptops running windows 7. This laptop allows me to download all my images for the day to one external 1TB hard drive and using software make a mirrored copy of those images to a second hard drive. Overkill, well when you spend thousands of dollars to travel around the world one needs to take every precaution not to lose a single image and at the same time act as a touch screen with no need to open the cover while on an airplane. But notebooks come with a price a heavy price. That laptop with its power supply weighs a little over 5 ½ lbs., weight that could easily be used for camera equipment and accessories. Well my dream device is right around the corner; in fact it will be available on February 9th.
The device I am speaking about is the new Microsoft Surface Pro. This tablet/laptop/desktop/iPad has no real category to fit into. It looks and feels like an iPad but weighs about 8 ounces more. It has REAL connectors and has a slot for adding Micro SDHC cards. True it may not be as powerful as a desktop or a top of the line Ultra book but it does run a REAL OS Windows 8 Pro vs. an toy OS like android or iOS.
I have listened and read most of the detractors and maybe I am wishing for more than I will really get but only time will tell and my field testing on the road will prove if this was a dream or this device is the real road warrior I have searched for a long time. I hope to have one on Saturday Feb. 9th so check back and see what I really think of this device.
UPDATE February 13, 2013
Well it looks like Microsoft really blew this launch. Most stores got one unit or none and the Microsoft Online store never has had them in stock. Can you say VAPORWARE!
UPDATE February 27, 2013
It is on it's way! I received an email this morning that the Surface Pro is shipping from Microsoft today. I will have my first report early next week.