Microsoft Surface tablets: Content creation devices?

Summary:While I have been using an iPad as a content creation device for a good while, there are many who believe it is not a capable gadget for that purpose. Will Surface tablets break through the image of consumption only devices?

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Tablets have held the distinction of content consumption devices since the appearance of the iPad. Even though I have written about my ability to create lots of content with the iPad (and Android tablets), I often hear from folks that tablets are not good for content creation. Will the Surface tablets from Microsoft have to deal with the "not a content creator" fallacy?

The resistance I get to the iPad as a content creation tool is usually centered around two areas: the OS and the lack of a physical keyboard. Never mind that I have detailed how I use an external keyboard with the iPad to create content. The resistors tell me that is cheating, that using a "real" keyboard only proves the tablet is not good for creating content.

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Some tell me that the OS, either iOS or Android, is not designed for creating content and all the functions required to do that easily. They tell me that tablets will never be content creation tools for that reason. Well, that and the lack of a physical keyboard.

This argument sets me back on my heels, as I've made it clear I think any device can be a good tool for content creation if it works for that. I am usually hit with "just because you create content with it doesn't mean it's a content creation tool". I have to concede I have no comeback at that point.

The typical debate (in email or on Twitter) goes like this:

Me: I write 2,000 words per day on the iPad/Android tablet, so for me the tablet is a content creation device.

Other: No it's not, you have to use a keyboard for that.

Me: So? It's easy to do it that way and I like it. It works for me.

Other: But it's still not a content creation device. 

At that point I usually give up, as to continue the debate would get nowhere.

Interestingly, some of the same people debating with me that tablets aren't content creation devices are anxiously waiting for the availability of the Surface tablets from Microsoft. I've been told by quite a few that the inclusion of Windows, a real OS, and the special keyboard covers make these the perfect portable content creation devices.

Since these keyboard covers are included with the Surface and designed by the tablet maker (Microsoft), they don't count as extra parts like the iPad/Android counterparts. They are there by design and thus augment the tablet "naturally". This plus the fact the Surface will have Windows running things makes them real computers, and content creation tools as a result.

I wonder if there will be those who slam the Surface as a content creation tool once it's available, or will the Windows sticker on the bezel settle the debate? 

I personally believe if I create content with any device that makes it a content creation tool, but that's just me. And my friend Harry McCracken also believes that

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, Microsoft, Tablets

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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