Join Date: Jul 2006
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The Microsoft Surface is a hybrid laptop/tablet. The keyboard comes as an extra but acts as a cover and snaps on and off via magnets. The stylus can also be stored on the side of the body. I bought a neat Kath Kidson zip case and it's ready to go.
Windows 8 is a huge step from previous windows versions and allows the touch screen facilities but, Windows 7 (or whatever it is) runs in the background so it is possible to access that and work with what is familiar. A mouse can also be connected via the one USB port. If you want more than 1 USB a multi port connector can be purchased but it is more kit to carry about of course. I also have an external CD/DVD drive as there is no internal drive included.
The Surface is however hugely expensive -I bought it for its portable size, ideal when travelling, the superb screen definition (although it is small. It is possible to zoom in on some programs though) and the fact it is possible to use all windows based programs such as WORD. I like to sketch on the surface when I am out and about so the touch screen is essential. I also like to back up my photos on both the Surface and a memory stick using the USB port (not possible with an iPad).
The chief problem with my machine at the moment is that it has become infected with adware. I have tried all instructions to rid it of this garbage but it has now become unusable with the internet. I don't have this problem with other computers in my home so maybe this is a down to Windows 8. I think it is going to have to be cleaned off completely.
Other brands worth considering for their good track record are Acer, Dell and Samsung. My Dell XPS laptop is old, falling to pieces, stuffed with data and heats up like an electric fire but it is still a brilliant every day workhorse.