Fellow doctors, if the current crop of popular slate tablet computers have been letting you down; if you have been loving the form factor but frustrated by what you can’t do with it or run on it; if you or your IT department are increasingly worried about health data privacy and security breaches and the penalties and fines (not to mention the bad PR) associated with them; if you’ve had a hunger for a slate tablet that will also function with the power and performance of a PC whenever you need it, then your day has arrived. The day is February 9th!
As reported today on the official Microsoft Blog—”On February 9th Surface Windows 8 Pro will be available in the U.S. and Canada through all Microsoft retail stores, microsoftstore.com and at Staples and Best Buy in the U.S. as well as from a number of locations in Canada. Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, Surface Windows 8 Pro provides the power and performance of a laptop in a tablet package and will run all Windows 8 applications as well as current Windows 7 desktop applications. Last month, we announced Surface Windows 8 Pro pricing starting at $899 and that it will be available in 64 GB and 128 GB models. A Surface Pen is included and makes for an amazing experience for writers, graphic designers or even engineers, and with Palm Block technology writing and drawing is fun for everyone on Surface Windows 8 Pro.”
Clinicians, don’t overlook the importance of that last bit – about the Surface Pen and Palm Block. For years I have been writing about the challenges of data input in clinical medicine. Doctors and other clinicians need all of the data input options possible including keyboard, mouse, touch, pen and voice. With Surface Pro, you’ll have it all. With EMR solutions and apps that have been optimized for Windows 8, you’ll be able to tap into discrete data fields and enter information (with handwriting to text conversion) using the pen. The pen can also serve as a navigation, tap and dictate tool if you are using voice recognition software. And, when you want a keyboard for your Surface Windows 8 Pro, just fold it over or quick-click it in place.
Many of you early adopters have been cutting your teeth on the Surface RT (right). I must say that I absolutely love using mine! Well, if you’ve been delighted with the RT, you will have a whole lot more to love with Surface Windows 8 Pro. If you have questions on how it will work in your clinical environment, be sure to check with your IT department. Having said that, I cannot imagine why your CIO or IT Director won’t love these devices as much as you will.
For more information about the Surface Windows 8 Pro, visit www.surface.com .
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft
Clinicians be aware that you can buy an ENTRY LEVEL Microsoft Surface Pro ($899) with a Type Cover or Touch Cover ($130 or $120) for $1029, or, buy save $30 and get a MacBook Air instead.
Yes, you could do that, but then you'd be giving up the touch UI and the advantages of a truly convertible and highly mobile slate. If a traditional clamshell device is on your list, I'd highly recommend checking out some really excellent machines running Windows 8 Pro like the Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch or the Asus Zenbook Prime Touch, or several other models from Acer, Dell, and others. It all boils down to personal preference based on work-style, flexibility, security, manageability, the applications you use, and your office or enterprise IT environment.
Bill Crounse, MD
Bill, I run a small practice consulting company, Lake Piso Technology. My clients include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Urology, Cardiology. They are all using EMR systems: PracticeFusion, eClinicalWorks, and AllScripts. Is it possible to have a test of the Surface Pro's usability to provide some measurable metrics across all of these specialties? Please contact me at gkfahnbulleh at lakepiso dot com