Kitchen Remodel 2014 Part 1

This is the progression of the first part of our kitchen remodel this year. 

We started off with white laminate countertops, original cabinets which were painted, track lighting, paper backsplash, and popcorn ceiling.

We updated to American Woodmark Newport Maple Glaze cabinets, granite countertops (Ferro Gold), recessed and pendant lighting, undermount sink, glass tile backsplash, and removed popcorn ceiling.

iPhone 6 Plus

From iOS to Android and back again

Back in April I took my second voyage into the world of Android. This time, I was happy to stay for a while. The reason I made the move was because I was convinced I wanted a larger phone. In April, Apple's larger iPhones were still mere rumors. My only and best choice at the time was the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

I lived with the Note 3 comfortably for the last 5 months. All the while, in the back of my mind, I knew that if Apple created a larger similarly sized iPhone, I would head right back. While the Note 3 and Android afforded me things I could not get in iOS, I prefer the inherent elegance of iOS, notably since iOS 7. It does not hurt that I have years upon years of dollars spent in the iOS app store.

Google is working on that inherent elegance with Android L. It gets complicated after that because while HTC, Samsung, and others make hardware that is well designed and desirable, the absolute garbage software and bloatware that these companies decide to shoehorn into Android is terrible and it is holding the operating system back. Google knows this. I believe eventually something will be worked out, but there is a bit of myopia going on with the big picture.

One Handed

Contrary to opinions I have read, I can use this phone one handed. I can actually use this phone with one hand better than the Note 3 because of its narrower dimension. I also do no think I have large hands. One of the first settings I shut off? Reachability. It is not perfect, but I climb my hand up the back of the phone so I can reach most of its screen. This is an adaptive grip that I am sure many people develop who end up with larger phones.


What is the iPhone 6 Plus? It is a beautifully designed larger iPhone and that is what so many people wanted. Anytime I showed my Note 3 to people, I would always get "This is the size phone I want". Previous to that, when I saw my sister's Note 2, I was the one saying such things.

The design of the new iPhone 6 Plus is very similar to that of the iPad Air, which I love. It makes absolute sense. It feels great in my hand but I have cased it for purposes of working with my iMagnet car holder. Just as I wonder how I ever was able to read text on a 3.5" screen, I also wonder why Apple ever deviated from the original iPhone shape, which makes its welcomed return here. The phone rides in my front left jeans and slacks pocket everyday. I did not get the feeling it would bend and it has not bent thus far.

From the perspective of a Note 3 user, this is not a big phone. This is a Note 3 sized iPhone, which is exactly what I wanted in April. Yet now knowing that this larger form factor is what I consider "perfect" for my hands, it is probably what I wanted all along. If the original iPhone had a 5.5" screen in 2007, my hands and eyes would have been grateful. Regardless, good things come to those who wait...on a long enough timeline.


This camera is very good. The more I use it, the more I like it and the more it surprises me. It absolutely can manage lower light shots better than any other phone camera I have used. The slow motion at 240FPS works very well. I noticed very little stutter or slowness when opening the camera from the home screen or the lock screen. 

iOS 8

iOS 8 speaks for itself as an evolutionary successor to iOS 7. Perhaps evolution came quicker for some as many apps have not been updated to look proper on the 6 Plus screen. The trickle of common sense features in iOS can feel revolutionary because we have waited so long for them such as 3rd party keyboards or the ability to reply to a text without leaving an app (This was possible on a jailbroken iPhone 3g around 2009). iOS 8 is beautiful and continues the uniform elegance we have come to expect from Apple. That elegance is one of the main aspects that sets the iPhone apart from its competition. It says something when an OS inspires a developer to redesign their app to mesh that much better with the overall aesthetic.


The battery seems fine, but until someone can manufacturer a phone battery that lasts a week under heavy usage, there will always be something to be desired here. When a company like Apple makes such a great phone, it makes people want to use it more, for everything. A blessing and a curse. In fact, I have been neglecting my iPad.

Like with previous iPhones and Android phones, in order for me to find the battery acceptable, I had to turn off several settings. In addition, I cannot use the phone at the brightness setting that works for my eyes best at all times which is around 75%. If I did, the battery would drain much faster. For now I am sticking with Auto Brightness.

Here are just some of the settings I tweaked for better battery performance:

General>Accessibility>Reduce Motion>On (Parallax Effects)

Mail, Contacts, Calendars> Fetch New Mail>Push>Off (This one kills me in this day and age, but I use an Exchange account which always seems to be extra taxing on batteries.)

Mail, Contacts, Calendars> Fetch New Mail>Everything set to Fetch/Manual

Spotlight Search>Uncheck All

Suggested Apps>Uncheck My Apps, Uncheck App Store

Privacy>Share My Location>Off

Privacy>Location Services>Make certain apps 'Never'

Privacy>Location Services>System Services>Uncheck Compass Calibration, Find My iPhone, Location-Based Alerts, Location-Based iAds, Share My Location, Diagnostics & Usage, Popular Near Me, Traffic

iCloud>Find My iPhone>Off

iCloud>Photos>Photostream>Off (I use Google Drive and IFTTT)


On Verizon in my area, I noticed quickly that the iPhone 6 Plus does a much better job at handing off data from LTE to 3G to Wifi to 1X and back again. It was noticeably better at doing this than the Note 3 and the iPhone 5 for that matter. In areas where I would have one bar of LTE on the Note 3 or iPhone 5, the 6 Plus seemed to make an executive decision to switch and stay on 3g which had a better signal.


I had specific unresolved bugs that would infuriate me on Android that I do not experience in iOS. An example of this would be the Rdio app which is my main source of music every day. In the Android version, the music would stop regularly seemingly due to network inconsistencies. In iOS, the app seems to stay up and streaming regardless of my signal. I imagine that this is a clear case of iOS apps getting more and first attention over Android versions.


A feature I did not realize I had access to was Voice over LTE or 'VoLTE' so I turned it on. I have not noticed increased call quality, but I am happy that I at least have access to the feature. I look forward to Verizon unlocking Wifi calling next year as well.

Wrap Up

If I could have had the power of a soothsayer I would have said long ago that this is the phone or mobile device I have wanted for a long time (of course with a super battery that does not exist yet). I have not felt that sentiment about any phone up until this point. Can something come along and change my mind? Anything is possible. I have no brand loyalty so I will jump to whatever platform produces what I consider the best. For the foreseeable future, I will be content with using the iPhone 6 Plus a ton. I will definitely get my money's worth. 

Tennis - Ritual in Repeat

Ever since their debut album, Cape Dory, I always look forward to anything new from Tennis. Their sound is a blend of enchanting pop hooks with elements and traces of music from days past. As it goes, I feel that their albums have actually gotten better each time. This being their third full length album, Ritual in Repeat is quite literally the band's best effort to date. 

This is a front to back, cover to cover release. Every song stands strong on its own yet completely belongs to the overall collection of compositions. For my money, there have not been enough albums this year in which every song will grab your attention. This is one of the reasons Ritual in Repeat is so refreshing and welcome. 

The album opens up with a prodding thumper called "Nightvision". This is about as slow as any track takes to get started. Once the chorus kicks in, you know you are in for a treat. When you hear "I knew all the love songs", it is music magic. The only thing you will find here are sounds that move your soul. 

There is no nonsense or filler on this album. Only three tracks go over the 4 minute mark. Everything else is shorter. The first song that started to get stuck in my head was the upbeat pop number "I'm Callin". It borders on being campy but that is absolutely ok. It is written perfectly and will haunt your mind when the music stops.

"Timothy" is another standout track. With the reverb turned up, when Alaina sings "quick to judge", the reverb rolls off of those syllables perfectly. Hearing the nuance in that phrase in combination with the reverb effect has also gotten stuck in my head. Whether done on purpose or accidental, it stands out and gives the song texture. The "ahhs" sung in the background are enchanting as hell and then the backbeat kicks in. Forget it. The fact that the album finishes so strong after this is truly a feat.

The only time this album stops for a breather is for the "Wounded Heart". At a track time of 1:49, I am not sure if there was a shorter song that could convey such emotion so quickly and beautifully. It is a slow acoustic gem and it helps balance everything out.

The way Tennis decided to end this album was interesting. "Meter and Line" could be one of the best songs here and it is the last track. It clocks in at a mere 2:31 and ends abruptly leaving the listener wanting more. Listening to the entire album over again is a great way to get back to listening to "Meter and Line" once more.

Ritual in Repeat may very well be the apex of Tennis. They have hit their stride and in my opinion they hit all of the right notes with each song and with each note they decided to play. This album will be very hard to top. Until this band gives that a go with a fourth release, I will have this album on repeat. 


From an Apple iPhone 5 to a Samsung Galaxy Note 3: A real world account

19 months with the same phone is a new record for me since 2007. I previously got restless with the iPhone 4 and jumped to the Samsung Galaxy S3. That only lasted a couple of months. I cited not being able to see its screen in the sunlight and lack of timely OS updates as reasons to crawl back to Apple. My iPhone 5 had a pretty good run. It is and was a solid phone. I did not give it up because it became a poor performer, though the battery left a bit to be desired. I gave it up for some other reasons.

The first reason was that my step daughter had a phone with a cracked screen and needed a replacement. Second, the iPhone 5 screen, has just become too small for me. The quality of the screen is almost second to none and the text is crisp and clear, but I have a hard time typing on it as it cramps my hands up after a while. This is a real issue. Additionally, I found myself using it less and less for everyday things. I'm getting older. I have to zoom in on text on my 23" monitor sometimes so that I can read more easily. My wife still has an iPhone 4. It is hard to believe so many people made it through on such a tiny screen for so long. When I look at that screen now, it is that much harder for me to see text.

These days, I am the least loyal gadget geek there is. I do not care who makes it, I just care that it does what I want it to. I know the rumors are that Apple will release one or more larger screen iPhones this year. This makes a ton of sense. From now until then, presumably, is about 6 months of wait time and there are no guarantees. Being the impatient person I am, I needed to switch to something for those 6 months, possibly longer.

Enter the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. This marks my second shot at an Android device and I certainly am off to a better start than I was with the Galaxy S3. The first test was to walk outside of the Verizon store and check the screen's ability to display properly in direct sunlight. It passed this test. Though, I need to leave Auto Brightness on for it to be readable. It basically has to turn itself up to 100% brightness in sunlight, but I can at least see the screen which was not the case for the Galaxy S3.

The next test was to verify the battery could at least match the aged iPhone 5 battery I was using. I have had battery disappointment with my iPhone 5 from the beginning. Well, that is not entirely true. The first iPhone 5 I purchased in October of 2012 seemed fine. When I had to get multiple replacements, battery life was never as good as my original. Age and iOS updates furthered my disappointment with the battery. 

The Note 3 appears to have equal or slightly better battery performance than my iPhone 5. Being able to pop in and out a fresh battery at will also helps. There probably is not a smartphone that exists yet that can give me the battery performance I am looking for. As long as a battery can get me through a full day with fairly heavy use, I should be good and that has been the case with the Note 3 thus far. I do dream of the jump in science which will allow increased battery capacity say tenfold (Graphene?). 

With these tests passed, I needed to know more.


The front of the phone is a rectangular screen with one button. The trim is a metal looking plastic band. The back is a black plastic somewhat faux leather design. It will not win any design awards, but it also will not win any ugly awards. More and more phones design is defined by a screen with a button. The only thing that sets them apart are the degree of curves, choice of materials, and thickness. For the most part, I look at the front of my phones, which is the screen. If you take away the button, speaker grill, and any logos and only took a picture of the screens of competing phones, it would be tough to pick one out over another. 

The stitching is unnecessary, but you don't see it with a case on top of it.

The phone is thin enough for sure, even with a slim plastic case attached. The only complaint I have is I wished the headphone jack was at the bottom as I have grown accustomed to that. It is much less jarring than having it on top. Some people might be thrown off by the power button being on the right side as opposed to the top, but I have gotten used to that, mostly.

Pocket sized?:

The Note 3 still seems gargantuan to some people. I am 6 feet tall, so I'm a big guy. While I cannot speak for others, this phone fits in all of my pants pockets just fine without hinderance. Sure, it is a bit more noticeable to me than the iPhone 5 but it does not bother me a bit. It also does not stick out very much because it is fairly thin.


I think the new HTC One M8 is gorgeous and I considered it, but its camera got terrible reviews. The camera on the Note 3 is fantastic. Pictures and videos are super crisp and I really like the default saturation.

An outside shot I took.


I do not use any gestures. Unfortunately, since taking a screenshot the standard way (power and volume button) does not appear to work on the Note 3, I did have to enable palm swipe for screenshot which caused me a bunch of unwanted screenshots on my S3. Hopefully that is not the case this time around.

S Pen:

I suppose I might be one of the few people who got the Note 3 with no real everyday need for the S Pen. I will say that drawing in an app like Autodesk Sketchbook is an entirely different and more accurate experience than using a finger or large headed stylus on any other device. There is something to be said for the its sharp tip and I believe I will make use of it more and more in the future.




TouchWiz? No! Nova Launcher Prime:

I do not use Touchwiz. Touchwiz is useless. So the first thing I do is install and configure Nova Launcher Prime. This allows me to create a pleasurable and familiar layout for my phone. 


The default Samsung keyboard is ugly.  Swiftkey is beautiful. The keyboard takes up half of your screen a lot of the time so I think it should look nice. Luckily Swiftkey also functions very well. 

System Font:

For me, the system font is important to the look and feel of the phone experience. As such, the fonts that come pre-installed with the Note 3 are not what I prefer. I was able to fix this by purchasing Helvetica Nue.


I actually like the way iOS notifications work on the lock screen in that the screen turns on and you see swipeable items. In order to get a very similar experience, I use Nils Notification Lock Screen and Floating Panel. What I dislike about iOS notifications are all of the other things you have to shut off for each app (badges, etc). In Android, it is simple to turn off notifications in one setting. I really appreciate the all or nothing sensibility.

Lock Screen:

I also grew accustomed to the camera swipe shortcut on the iPhone lockscreen. In order to achieve something similar and beyond, I turned to Widget Locker. With this app, I am able to set many different shortcuts on my lock screen, camera included. 

Custom Ringtones:

There are many ways to add custom ringtones to an Android device and it is arguably much easier to do than iOS. I chose an app called Ringtone Maker. I simply downloaded the .mp3 files I wanted to use from my OneDrive app and set the tones from within Ringtone Maker.


My work email is Microsoft Exchange based. The most modern looking app I found for this was Nine. This allows me to bypass the ugly default email app completely, using the Gmail app for my Gmail account.

SMS/MMS Messages:

In my previous foray into Android, I used GoSMSPro to replace the uninviting Messages app. Google Hangouts now offers to take control of SMS and MMS. I appreciate having a unified system for all messages. My only gripe is that distinguishing between Hangouts and SMS messages are marked by a very small 'SMS' tag. Being able to separate SMS messages into its own tab or something similar, would be very helpful.

Further Battery tweaking:

I noticed I was losing a bit more battery power than I should so I turned off location services for Google Now and turned off push for all email accounts. I am also mindful to open the task manager and clear memory every so often. These few things seemed to get back some valuable juice.

Car Integration/Audio:

A very important benefit of having an iPhone is its easy integration with many automobiles. I was able to plug a lightning cable from my phone to my car usb port and get power, audio, and even song information. My car only supports basic bluetooth audio functionality, not A2DP, but this worked fine side by side with my iPhone for phone calls.

With an Android device, I was not about to plug in a cable to the bottom for power and an audio cable to the top for audio with a mess of wires all over the place. Instead, I purchased this Bluetooth adapter to solve the issue. Now all audio plays through this bluetooth device and I only plug one cable into my phone for power only when necessary. It is not as convenient, but it gets the job done.

I had previously purchased the iMagnet car holder for my iPhone which worked amazingly. It works just as well for the Note 3. I highly recommend this product to everyone regardless of what phone you have.

Wrap Up

With these customizations, I am able to have an Android experience that is very functional, minimal, and pleasing to my eyes. I will admit that it took me a fair amount of time to put it all together and find the right apps and settings. Coming from an OS that is mostly dictated, I feel like an animal uncaged when moving to a platform that lets you do so much. 

 I am pleased with my home screen.

iOS absolutely has a coat of polish and uniform elegance that Android lacks out of the box, but with some effort, I find the Android experience can rank right up there and also be better in different areas because of the vast customization abilities it affords you.

Sure there are a few iOS exclusive apps I will miss like Tweetbot but the reality is I absolutely can get along without them. I will still enjoy those apps on my iPad as I feel the tablet experience on iOS is still unsurpassed. iPads also come in multiple screen sizes. I feel great about being able to make use of several different ecosystems: Windows on a PC, Mac OS on a laptop, Android on a phone, and iOS on a tablet.

I guess I like my technology the same way I like my food: All of it.

Beck - Morning Phase

I always liked Beck's Mellow Gold. I go back and listen to it every so often. Mellow Gold always struck me as moody but very catchy and even a little dark. Other than that, quite honestly, I never got into Beck's other albums even the notable Sea Change, though after enjoying Morning Phase, that has changed, as there are some similarities.

I was on board with this album as I began listening to "Blue Moon" released as a single before the album came out. I really liked what I heard but I had no idea where the rest of the album would go and how it would unfold. Filled with acoustic guitars, reverb, piano, and warm tones, this album does a lot to earn my affection that similar albums have not been able to do. It is noticeable that Morning Phase is slow in terms of tempo but its tone and mood are what make it stand out. This album is relaxing and it provokes thought. It has been a while since a mellow album could do this for me while keeping my interest the entire way through. Morning Phase revolves around themes of self-reflection, the beauty of any given morning, and the kind of observations and symbolism you might find in a Longfellow poem.

Beck does something that I appreciate in music. The emotion feels like it comes from the melodies, arrangements, and the atmosphere before the lyrics steer it away with anything too obvious. The lyrics are very complimentary and pair well with all of the other sounds. In "Blue moon" Beck sings "...I'm so tired of being alone". I almost do not believe him. Even with the isolation chanting in "Wave", it seems as if the reflection on loneliness and pain comes from a strong place instead of coming undone or giving in to any negativity or weakness. I have read other reviews of this album that claim this album is indifferent or too neutral. I highly disagree. These songs make me feel content. The divisiveness of opinion is one of the clear signs of a great album, that so many people can reach such different interpretations.

The song that stands out the most is "Country Down". According to, I have listened to this song 41 times. If I had to pick an all-time Beck favorite, this would be #1. If I had to pick the absolute strongest song on the album, it would be "Country Down". It is filled with powerful melodies, emotion, and just the slightest bit of country feel. It is the first song in a long time that gave me proper chills down my spine.


While the album is enveloped by a uniform dreaminess, it stays conscious before getting too flighty. I have and will continue to listen to this entire album front to back on repeat for the foreseeable future. It is one of those albums where my favorite song changes and then changes back again.

As this long winter comes to an end, I have been daydreaming of sitting around outside relaxing come Spring. This album is a friend, with a piece of straw in its mouth, lying in the hammock in the backyard under a vivid blue sky waiting to share a drink and reflect on life and the warmer, beautiful days ahead. That is something only truly good music can illicit.

When this year commences, two things are certain: This album will be among the best of the year and I will own it on vinyl (an honor reserved for my absolute favorites). This album is undoubtedly my favorite of 2014 so far.

I will not be buying a new console this year

I have been around for several console launches. Based on my last console launch purchases, one might mistake me for an Xbox fanboy. 

As I have grown older, I have become more discerning as a consumer. ‘Shiny and new’ is no longer good enough to guarantee that my wads of cash will flow through the system, at least on Day One.

We have come to learn that it is a near foregone conclusion that most things that require online services during a large scale launch will fail on some level for some customers on Day One. This was certainly the case last night for some new PS4 owners and I am sure some Xbox One customers will not be lucky enough to go completely unscathed in some fashion next week.

With these two new consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One, there really is no single system selling game, at least for my money. Everything is a mishmash of games available on PC, previous generation consoles (Call of Duty, Battlefield), or just standard launch title fare (Knack, Ryse). If Ryse ends up being a 10 out of 10 classic, I will have no problem eating my words. Take away shiny, new, and fanboyism and I do not see any compelling reason to slam down my hard earned cash for either system.

It is then not surprising, the move I made this week. I took the money I had set aside for the console launch (read: Xbox One pre-order) and diverted it to a much needed gaming PC upgrade.

This is the first time I ever changed direction so quickly, decisively, and so late in the game at a console launch, but I have to admit it was an easy decision considering the facts, or lack thereof.

Fact 1. Microsoft has been very mum, to a fault, about sharing information and specific details about its new console. So much so, that I could not tell you if I would be happy with it out of the box or not. I suspect I might, but too many questions were left unanswered. Some answers have been found, but most of them were not available on Microsoft's own website. I guess no one really cares about the IR Blaster's full capabilities? Microsoft could really benefit from writing up an Ultimate FAQ like Sony did. Instead, Microsoft has slowly trickled out tidbits here and there in videos. Why the holding back of such vital details?

Fact 2. What game is actually worth playing on either console?  Resogun? And on the Xbox side, take into consideration the resolution limitations for the currently available titles. Is that really next gen? Sure, games still probably looks impressive, but there is something about knowing a game is running at 720p and wondering why I would not just play it on a 360 or PC. A few extra textures? At this point, I expect each generation to be magical somehow. It needs to wow me (Saying "Xbox on" is not enough), or what would be the point for the next 8-10 years? Regardless, it is tough finding the point on Day One this go around.

Fact 3. I have spent the most money on games this year via Steam. The biggest reason for this is that Steam has ridiculous sales that save gamers tons of cash. In addition, halfway through the year, I stopped buying things on the Xbox Live Marketplace knowing I would not be able to carry my library forward to the ‘One’. You will notice an Xbox Marketplace launch game Powerstar Golf that is retailing for $20. I cannot tell you if this game will be worth $20. I also cannot tell you how much value that $20 will give me in a couple weeks during the Steam Sale, but I can venture to guess I will be able to buy at least 5 “known great” games that I actually want.

With these ideas in mind, I could not come up with a good reason to justify buying either console on Day One. The PS4 was a longshot from the beginning and looking at its unorganized UI (I am certain a 'sort by' feature will be added to the games list in a future update), I could not imagine myself using it as is. I am sure I will eventually get an Xbox One (unless Titanfall underwhelms, although playing Titanfall on PC is always a viable option).

So I wonder, what could have all but assured that myself and other people like me would have plunked down the cash for something shiny and new on Day One this year?

1. Some form of backwards compatibility (even severely limited). I would have been happy playing older, good games on a new console (read: Meatboy, Geometry Wars, etc.)

2. The proper and detailed divulging of details that would allow consumers to make an informed decision on an unknown and unproven piece of hardware. I had to scour the internet to find answers to my questions and some of them are still remain answered.

3. Better launch titles. Everything that seemed remotely interesting to me will not be available until at least next year. Watchdogs, Titanfall, Thief, The Division, etc., ad nauseam.

Both consoles appear to have a somewhat bright future, but for now, I am absolutely convinced that I am not missing out on anything... yet.


The Bronx - "IV" - One of the best rock records I have heard this year

I discovered IV by The Bronx on Rdio this week as it showed up in my Heavy Rotation section, which highlights albums listened to the most by people I follow there.. Released earlier this year, this is the band's fourth album and I have never heard of them. I clicked play and instantaneously thought this is the type of album that I search and wait for constantly. This is pure, honest, energetic rock. This album sounds like a cage match between Middle Class Rut and The Vines which is then interrupted by White Lung and then bombarded by and finished off by, earlier Local H.

There is nothing fancy on this album. It is straight ahead, straight forward rock driven by great raw melodies and bite sized hooks. While it is easy to recommend IV as a whole, there is a 1,2,3 punch that stands out to me with "Youth Wasted", "Too Many Devils", and "Pilot Light". Those three songs in a row comprise a good meaty portion of what this album has to offer. This album does not relent and I would not want it any other way. 

I am  glad that bands are still creating albums like this. With this album, The Bronx have earned a spot on my running playlist, Best of 2013.

Turn it loud up on Rdio.

Or use my Amazon affiliate link to buy the vinyl version. 

The Bronx (IV)
By The Bronx

Who is the Microsoft Surface for?

This is my question of the day.

The quick answer is: It is not for me. That is for sure. I have used the current gen Surface Pro and an RT. They are thick, heavy, and in the case of the Pro, expensive. Microsoft admits up front that they barely expect you to use the Surface as a tablet since they push their keyboard accessories quite heavily. To me, these accessories essentially make it a laptop. Additionally, some of those keyboards cost almost as much as a Kindle Fire

The only logical answer I can conclude is that the Surface is for artists who cannot get the precision or software they require from other tablets and wish to be mobile. Again, take mobility out of that equation and an artist has choices with something like a Wacom Cintiq 13HD which can run anywhere from $999 to $1100, well within the price range of a Surface Pro and keyboard.

What I really do not understand is the price point for both the RT and the Pro. Both can be seen as transformable touch laptops that run Windows 8. However, for around $450.00, you can get a non-transformable Windows 8 touch laptop. This type of laptop is only $100 more than the Surface RT and you can run any kind of Windows app. At $450 less than a Surface Pro, well, it's $450 less than a Surface Pro.

My personal tablet needs are based on price and form factor (small, light, and cheap). Right now, the iPad Mini suits my needs. If I had to buy a new tablet, the Surface would not make my list.