How Windows RT Lightened One Email-Addicted NVIDIAN’s Load

by Brian Burke

Oh $#!%.

It was 6:55 in the morning and I was in an airport parking lot. I was about to embark on a business trip and had just given my backpack a hard tug and unexpectedly yanked it into my face. I quickly realized it was missing something: my laptop. My stomach hurt.

Then I remembered I hadn’t forgotten my laptop. I had replaced it –  with a tiny tablet/notebook hybrid, Microsoft’s new Surface RT. This lighter load would take getting used to. This trip would be the first time in 12 years I had left the office without a laptop.

A little about me: I double dip in my PR role here at NVIDIA, getting the story out about our notebook GPUs and the Windows RT devices that use NVIDIA’s Tegra processors.  So, on my latest road trip to talk about GeForce Experience I decided to put my Surface RT to the test. In tech we call this ‘eating your own dog food.’

Eating The Dog Food

Brian's backpack looking quite empty without his laptop.
Big bag, tiny tablet.

And I was about to take an awfully big bite. NVIDIA is a very ‘email-centric’ company. People who join NVIDIA are often overwhelmed by the volume of email. Hundreds of notes come in each day. Smartphones can’t handle it. So can an email-addicted PR guy survive without his trusted laptop?  After that scare in the parking lot, my trip got better. When the plane took off, I reached for my Surface RT. Where did I get all this space? The laptop backpack I had come to love was now grossly oversized. My Surface RT looked ridiculous in there, like it was hiding in a wizard’s sleeve.

My flight had Wi-Fi, so I checked the weather, read some sports updates and hit my favorite websites.  Now off to work, as I’m knee deep in email already. Answering all those messages was a breeze thanks to the Surface’s type cover. My tray table was plenty big enough even with the dude in front of me reclining.

My email revealed a new embargo date for GeForce Experience.  Windows RT tablets come preinstalled with Office, so I opened my PowerPoint presentation and made the edit.  You can’t do that with just any tablet. Excited that I had just become a case study for Windows RT tablets, I opened Word and started this blog post.  I even squeezed in an episode of Freaks and Geeks on Netflix before we landed.

Upon arrival at the hotel for set-up I learned that my colleague had the presentation on his MacBook Pro, but did not have the proprietary cable needed to display it on a TV.  No problem, I have a mini HDMI port on my Surface RT.  Using it in tablet mode to present was awesome.  I never had to look away from our guests, so I was more engaged, and I could see the upcoming slide and even cheat by referring to my presentation notes to get my specs right. Perfect.

Brian and his Surface RT.
Surface RT turned out to be the perfect portable presentation tool. 

A Battery Life Measured In Days

Wednesday was a full day of presentations, and about half way through my Surface was down to 16 percent battery life, so I plugged it in between meetings.  An editor for CNET noticed, so I explained that the last time I plugged it in was Monday night.  It had handled a heavy workload for a day and half, and still had some battery left.

I loved traveling without a notebook, but I am adding a messenger bag to my Christmas list. I’m not going to risk bonking myself in the face again.