Unboxing the Microsoft Surface

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The Surface is a revolutionary new tablet computing device released by Microsoft. Find out what the Microsoft Surface looks like out of the box with help from your friends at eHow Tech in this free video clip.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dave Johnson, editor of eHow's Tech channel, and let's unbox a Microsoft Surface. So this is it. This is the Surface RT, which is the tablet or slate or iPad competitor, or however you want to describe it, that was unveiled a few months ago and is running Windows 8, the newest version of Microsoft operating system. All eyes are on this thing. It's pretty cool. So let's open it up and take a look. And my first thought when I popped this guy open, is that the packaging is really elegant. It's almost Apple like and hopefully Microsoft learned its lesson from the terrible packaging from Windows Vista that you actually had to read a help topic to understand how to open. So pull back this tape and look at that. We've got the surface, the power cord, and we'll talk about that in a moment. They helpfully put that tab there so you can get it out and then hiding underneath is some getting started materials. So close that up, and then also I've got the keyboard, which you'll definitely want to get this as well. It either comes with or is optional, depending on which model you buy and it comes in a variety of different colors. So let's get this guy open. And we have a Windows button there that actually turns it on and it gives you a little vibration when you do that. There's also a power button up here on the top. There's some connectors here. That's where the power goes and this is cool. This is awesome. I have to show you this. This is the power connection, and it's magnetic. So it kind of snaps in to place. It's not a plug that inserts like the USB cable, it's just sitting on the surface but it's magnetic. So I think that's really neat. There's a USB port and a volume control on the other side, that sort of thing. So when we're getting ready to set this thing up, you should also know that there's a kickstand built in. You do that, it sits there. So now let's open up the keyboard. Keyboard pops out, and this is kind of fun, there's a little quick start guide for the keyboard sitting in there. And now this connects in much the same way as the power connector. Get ready for this. Isn't that awesome? Let's just do that again because this is just so much fun. Just magnetically snaps in to place. And now I've got the full keyboard experience like it's a laptop, or I can disconnect and I can just use it as a touch device. So let's just go ahead and this is the initial start up so we need to say I'm speaking English, next. I agree to the license. And then you can personalize it. So you can choose the background color that you want. They want you to give it a name. And then you can set up the wireless WiFi connection. So I can say connect, it's going to want a Wi-Fi password. Now at this stage, it wants you to sign in to your Microsoft account. And what this is, is it's sort of like the ID that you use if you have an Apple iOS device. What the really cool thing that using this sign in does, is it actually lets you use the same settings on all of your Windows 8 devices. So if you set up backgrounds and a particular color scheme and that sort of thing, it will be consistent whether you have the surface device or a PC on your desktop running Windows 8. So I'll go ahead and sign in. If you don't have a Microsoft account, there is a link here that let's you sign up for one. Now after you finish implementing your Microsoft account, it's going to give you a quick tutorial on how to use the device. So you just have to sit through this. It just takes a couple of moments. OK so after the final set up, you get your initial start screen. And it's the color that you chose, and if you notice there, it's a picture of my dog because that happens to be the avatar that I've selected on my Microsoft account and that's also on my home PC running Windows 8. So how do you use this new operating system? Well swipe, pinch, zoom, all the same ways that you would normally control say an iPad or an iPhone. If you pinch the start screen, you can get a bird's eye view of all the apps you have installed. Or you can tap anywhere and it will zoom back in. Just tap an app and it'll launch. So this is a calender app. And you can press the home button to go back to the start screen. Or if you have multiple apps running, well for example I've got this app running here. Now I can drag in from the side and keep switching between the apps. I can press that to go back to where I was. Also I can pull it out and see a list of all the apps that are running and just tap the one that I want. Something else that you should know that if you swipe in from this side, you get what's called the charms bar. And this is what gives you access to all the really cool stuff like settings. If you want to configure Windows or make other changes. You can also print from here. You can search from here. So if I tap that, I can type, for example, help to find help and support, all the help topics for the device. Anything that you would normally type in the search box, you can get to from here from the search bar. Or you can just start typing as well on the keyboard and it'll let you search in start as well. So there's still the good old fashioned desktop. As you might guess I can still open the desktop and run programs here and in fact this comes with Microsoft Office that's been optimized for this device. So you can run stuff here and also you can get to that modern experience as well and run them side by side. And again get back to the start button that way. So that's the Surface in a nutshell. One last comment that I want to make sure you recognize the fact that this Surface device, the one that you can buy this holiday season is what's called the Surface RT. And that means that it doesn't run all the old desktop apps that you probably already have from Windows. If you have Photoshop, if you have a bunch of games, they're not going to run on here because it's running a different kind of processor. In fact just about the only thing you can really do on the desktop right now is that optimized version of Microsoft Office. If you wait until early 2013, you'll be able to buy the Surface Pro which will run all your old desktop apps and the new stuff, these new modern apps as well. But the battery life probably won't be as good. This behaves a lot more like an iPad. You get all day battery life out of it. So you need to choose which of devices you want, but once you choose, it works the same way.

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