Am I a techie? No way. But I deal with technology (at least what some would consider tech) quite a bit with my “day job” and even when it comes to preaching. When it comes to tech, if it’s useful I think it should be used.
My latest tech experience with the new Window’s Tablet called “Surface” has been less than enjoyable. My wife and in-laws got it for me as a surprise because I expressed some interest in it while seeing the TV commercials. The price (which is way more affordable than Apple products) and the connectivity with Window products/programs such as Word (which is what I have done all my sermon outlines on) made the Surface an attractive piece of tech to me personally. After all, being able to type up my sermon outlines outside of my office, being able save paper by using a digital copy of my outline and at the same time being able to have a Bible app on the same device made everything seem like a win-win! Unfortunately it really hasn’t been.
For anyone who is used to using Apple products such as the iPhone or iPad, figuring out the layout and functionality of the Surface is not a very user-friendly task. The Surface uses a very odd and an almost seemingly unorthodox mixture of apps, tablet and PC functionality that makes the device feel like it’s full of oil and water – if you get what I’m saying. Instead of a couple “clicks” to get where you need to be, often times, especially when you’re dealing with the Word program and PDFs, it takes a few clicks and a couple of turns in multiple directions to get where you need to be. To those who aren’t familiar with an Apple product this may sound like nothing, but let me put it like this – my two-year old (literally 2 years old) had the functionality of an iPhone (which is practically the same as an iPad tablet) down in no time…this isn’t going to happen with the Surface. One top of that, I have found that the apps (particularly the ones dealing with the Bible) in the Window’s store are woefully lacking compared to the ones that are found in Apple’s iStore. And for those of you who like being able to connect to the Internet via ways other than Wi-Fi the Surface is not for you.
The only positive thing(s) that I can say about the Surface is that it is cheaper, and that I do like being able to automatically have every outline that I have ever written at my finger tips due to the heavy dependence upon Microsoft Word without having to go through the whole download rigmarole that would be necessary on other devices. Once you convert the outline to a PDF you’re ready to go; although the text size on the screen may be an issue with some.
Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, when it comes Microsoft’s Surface and my experience – I give it a 1 1/2.
P.S. – this review in no way reflects upon the thoughtfulness and love of my family; I’m blessed beyond measure in that area 🙂
- See comments for another positive that can be said about the Surface tablet