Truth in advertising and the new MS Surface Commercial

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I just saw a MS Surface commercial where someone used it comfortably on an airplane tray table. They must be in mega first class because I’ve seen people try to use them on “real” tray tables. It’s hilarious. The keyboard sticks out over the too-small space between your body and the tray table, and the backend comically and continuously falls off the other edge.

The kickstand was literally the stupidest thing on the first version of that product. It was fine if you wanted to watch a movie, but it wasn’t even at a good angle for that most of the time. With the Surface vertical you can’t type on it, although with its’ weird aspect ratio, you can’t comfortably type on it anyway. Since the device wasn’t really useful without the keyboard, essentially you ended up having a laptop without a hinge. That laptop hinge has survived for decades for a reason. The reason is that it works, and it works well.

Try and use a Surface on your lap. You can’t type on the screen, and you need to be nearly horizontal (or amazingly long limbed) to even fit it with the keyboard on your lap. Did Microsoft only test this on tables? Just bad, bad, bad design.

With the second version of the Surface, they kept the kickstand, but they are now marketing it as a device for doing work instead of entertainment. Now the design is even stupider. The kickstand on the surface2 seems to have two positions, which is a slight improvement, but it is still worthless without a keyboard, and it still won’t fit on a tray table or your lap.

I can’t believe they are doubling-down on this.

For the record, at one time I had TWO surface RTs. I had my company purchase one for me when they were first launched. I seriously tried to use it and gave up after a couple weeks of frustration. The second was given to me by Microsoft when I attended the Microsoft MIX conference. That one I never took out of the box and eventually gave it away since I knew I would never use it.

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