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Monday, November 12, 2012

A Trip to the Microsoft pop-up store to see the Surface RT tablet

First, the Microsoft pop-up store. It’s a simple square with a tall sign showing the new Microsoft logo. I saw the sign as I walked through the JC Penny close to the MS store. The MS Store itself is set up in the middle of the floor in front of JC Penny at the Glendale Galleria.

I saw several Surface tablets set up. The tablet is set up on the tablet in landscape orientation. The cover that doubles as a keyboard came attached to it in front.

Face it, it’s a netbook with a touch screen. I didn’t want to buy it. With the cover with molded keys, it felt like trying to type on a brick.

The young sales associate who answered my questions was totally professional. MS, the problem is not the people; it’s how you set up the product. You don’t set up a tablet for display by attaching a mediocre keyboard to it. You attach a lanyard to it and let people touch it.

I asked how the Surface connected to a printer. The sales associate told me that you would use a USB wired connection or a Bluetooth pairing. I asked about using a Wi-Fi printer with it. They said it would work, but I did not feel satisfied.

I saw another person looking at the tablet, so I excused myself and headed up to the Apple store.

Second, The Apple Store at the Glendale Galleria. Now this place was busy. Not too busy to answer my question, “Where’s the iPad Mini?”

It was right behind me. I saw it when I entered the store, but I expected the iPad Mini to be much smaller and heavier. I’m thinking of my iPad Classic’s size and weight.

To my delight, the device has a much bigger screen than I anticipated and it weighed much less than I feared. I fell in love with it. I want one. If I had the money, I would have taken whatever they had in stock.

I overheard conversation between the staff. They only had the black 32 Gb model left. Jump on it, people. People are falling in love with this cute little fella at first touch.

I still remember that correspondent at a loss for words about the iPad Mini. What would people use it for? Just take them up to the nearest Apple Store, put an iPad Mini in their hands, and stand back.

Now excuse me, I have a game of Tiny Wings to get back to.

Tom Briant

Editor and Media Manager, MacValley UG

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