Me and my gadget: Surface RT tablet

21:33, Feb 20 2013
 Surface RT tablet
Invaluable: Brent Colbert with his Surface RT tablet, which he finds useful for running his new business.

Brent Colbert, director of ID8, tells Chris Gardner his favourite gadget is the Surface RT tablet from Microsoft.

What's your favourite gadget?

After recently going out on my own in business it has to be the Surface RT device. No longer having a work supplied laptop it was decision time. Did I want to be lugging around a heavy laptop with associated power cables? Or do what all the cool kids are doing and get myself a tablet?

While the iPad was a nice option I opted for the Surface RT device from Microsoft as it was actually cheaper (via the US), had more memory (16Gb v 32Gb) and was more expandable as it shipped with USB, Mini SD and HDMI slots.

Having used it in the wild for a while now there are a few things I love about the device. It's very, very light and I'm easily getting a full day with it so no more carrying power cables. It ships with Office 2013 which meant I didn't have to shell out another few hundred dollars and I have the latest versions of PowerPoint, Word, Excel and OneNote at my disposal.

The built in connection to SkyDrive makes it easy to store and share photos and documents with clients.


The Xbox music service that it ships with means I effectively have access to over 30 million songs, which has enabled me to rediscover The Verve among others.

While I loved the colour choices for the Touch Cover keyboard I went for the Type Cover which makes it easier to knock out 120 words a minute. OK, maybe 12 words.

What do you mainly use it for?

Surprisingly, it's not playing Grumpy Birds!

While people may view tablets as great for games and surfing the web I've personally found the Surface RT device to be ideal for actually running a business. The Office 2013 tools work great with either touch or mouse and along with the Ezi-mail app for email and setting up meetings I can effectively do business from any cafe in town.

What would you change to make it better?

The email app that comes with the Surface isn't the greatest. However, Starsoft in Auckland has released the Ezi-Mail app, which is nice and clean and great for ripping through the email. My answers were written on a Surface RT device at the Quay Street Cafe in Auckland while eating fabulous fritters.