Category Archives: Tablet-PC

Why the Surface 2 is perfect for school, college, university

Is the Surface 2 better suited than the iPad for school or college? Definitely and I can say this without even getting my fingers on the Surface 2, so how can I say that? Easy, I own the Surface 1 (RT) and that already was better for educational use than the iPad. So what factors matter the most:

Multi-Tasking

You do need multi-tasking all the time and I don’t mean checking for Twitter or Facebook in a notification center. You want to browse the web for information and want to be able to enter them in PowerPoint or Word or OneNote. And switching apps isn’t really the answer! Trust me. The great thing about Windows 8.1 which comes preinstalled on the Surface 2 you can chose the ratio between the two apps. I love to have it in the 50-50 mode because you really can work with that. But sometimes it also cool to have 2/3 of the screen for working and 1/3 for a calculator (ok to be honest for the Twitter App :) )

Surface Multi-Tasking

Office

Ok this is actually a no brainer: You get Office Home & Student 2013 for free with the Surface 2. So and this is the real deal, ok I know actually the version is slightly different but I’m 99% sure you won’t even notice. So I think Microsoft didn’t do the best job to explain the difference between RT and the normal Windows but don’t worry just keep in mind the Surface 2 is a mobile device which looks like a computer but isn’t a one. Just remember you can’t run Mac OS software on a iPad either. A yeah and there is one more thing: When you finish school/college/university and you enter the “real life” there is a 80-90% probaillty you’ll end up using a Windows PC with Microsoft Office on it for work. So a Surface 2 prepares you for that and I think that are skills which every kid should know.

Cloud

I love Cloud Computing! I really do and I even wrote my master thesis about that topic. So in short Cloud Computing is and will be a game change. All you need to know for your educational live is that you can safely store your data in SkyDrive (which comes with 7GB automatically together with your Microsoft Account) and share it with others. The share feature is neat but the real blast is the collaboration possibilities. I believe that teamwork should be a major learning objective for school/college/university and SkyDrive really makes it easy to collaborate with others. There is nothing better than a shared OneNote notebook. Nothing! And all of that comes for free with the Surface 2

 

So I could really go on but I don’t want to stress your patience and provoke a TL:DR. One last thing I want to share with you is the new Surface Youtube spot. I really think it gets some of the points right. BUT it misses the most important one in my opinion. The Surface 2 is cool and perfect for schools but the Surface 2 Pro that takes the cake as it has the Pen which rocks as I showed you earlier.

Why the Surface Pro pen rocks

So I always notice that many people don’t know what to do with the pen of the Surface Pro. So I decided to make a short video where I show why I love the pen so much.

I think I probably won’t ever buy a tablet without pen again. I’m really sad that Apple didn’t get how important the pen actually is.

Before you start: Yeah I know that there are pens for Tablets like the Surface but they don’t even come close to what a pen on a Windows Tablet means. This is because an iPad can’t distinguish between the tip of the pen and your hand. This means you can’t rest your palm on the screen while writing.

The Surface however can distinguish and you write on it like on normal paper but better. Because that pen has every color and size you want.

How to use an iPad for College

The answer is leave it at home. I have an iPad myself and I consider myself to be an Apple fan, there was even a time in my past where I was a hardcore fanboy. At some point you realize that other mothers also have beautiful daughters. This is especially true in college or in the university life.

iPad ist nur Papier 2.0

When I refer to a Tablet-PC I usually emphasize the pen and that’s a thing the iPad is missing. There are “pen” for the iPad but the problem is that those devices (and that’s also true for a lot of the Android tablets) can’t distinguish between your palm and the pen. The result of this is that you hold your hand in an awkward position while writing and drawing. That’s the reason I always say that an iPad is only Paper 2.0 not Pen & Paper 2.0. There is this nice Windows 8 ad that shows how a normal Windows 8 notebook outperforms iPads in the college.

You have to choose a device which is fit for the operation and a pen based tablet would be even better. My experience showed me that I can humiliate a iPad user with an 5 year old Tablet-PC like an ThinkPad x201 tablet inside a university.

What experiences did you make?

Real life screenshots

You know that situation. You are sitting in the university or more general in a talk and the speaker didn’t share his slides in advance, or doesn’t bother sharing at all? I really hate that but I have a got a pretty neat solution for that problem.

I use my Surface Pro most of the time and if I find myself in that situation I use the Win8 camera app and take a photo, crop it and insert it into OneNote.

OneNote Kamera

The reason why I do this because I have made the experience that you can best memorize content if you add information to it. Of cause you could do it like all the people how use regular paper but you will definitely have an advantage if your notes link to the slide of the speaker.

So if you use the OneNote [Windows Store] App (I really think they should find a better name for that) it’s even a lot quicker as you just have to press on the radial menu -> chose camera and you can take a photo from the OneNote app, which is a super-fast way to do it.

If you want to add an high quality picture because the speaker uses font size 8 on his slides a way often do is: I take a picture with my Lumia and upload it to SkyDrive (manually). The advantage is you’ll find the picture pretty fast in the “uploads from mobile devices” –folder and can insert it.

OneNote is digital paper

One blog post ago I said that Tablet-PCs are Pen&Paper2.0. So to explain this a little bit more I want you to take a look at this video I made a year ago. It’s a great start for all the people who don’t know what OneNote actually is, so probably 90% of all PC-users.

I think after you watched the video you have a first idea what OneNote actually is. So in this Blog I’ll often give you some real life examples, because I think that’s the best way for you to get some ideas of your own where you could start to use OneNote.

A one more thing please feel free to ask me questions or have requests, I’m more than happy to answer.

Pen&Paper 2.0

Although you can find a lot of this information in the About section of this blog I thought that in my first real blog post I should tell you a little bit more about what you can expect here and what my motivation is.

So my name is Mark and I’m from Germany. In short I think the most important things you should know about me is that I work in a family owned business and that you could call me a serial student. I’m from a region in Germany which is called the Rhineland next to the city Cologne, and I think I’ll have to make an own blog post because growing up here influenced me a lot.  If you want to know more about me I suggest you visit my about.me page.

I’m struggling to call myself lazy but I often look for a solution which minimizes my workload while maximizing the outcome, therefore I will concentrate on the topic how technology is going to change the way we work now and in the future.

I’m a huge fan of tablet-pcs and of cloud computing as I think those two technologies will have a huge impact on our society. Surprisingly those technologies are around for some years already but are largely unnoticed. And I hope to change this.

Pen&Paper2.0

In this blog I will often refer to Tablet-PCs as Pen & Paper 2.0 and I hope after reading this blog for a while you will understand why. I don’t want to spill the beans right now.