alright! this is the access technologyteam, national federation of the blind. we arefilming the unboxing of the brand new surface slate that wejust got from microsoft amy mason is doing the unboxing clara van gerven is doing the holding ofthe ipad 3 which is what we're using to film this just as an extra piece of making this a slate face-off. go!
to unbox we are going to involve the box cutter just a little bit a little bit more. but while i'm unboxing this i can tell you a little bit about the microsoft slate this will be the rt model so it'sgot an arm processor inside the box if all goes as planned we should have some lovely goodies
above and beyond the slate itself, including the keyboard which i'm very excited to see. i fail at opening boxes. there we go. gently remove the inner box. it's shiny. it's a big white box that says surface on it cvg: let me come and zoom in in blue writing and in a separate panel out of the box ihave received the, uh, keyboard case
and it just slips out of its carrier like that i think there's something else in here it doesn't want to come out very good. paper giblet about the surface. that appears to possibly be everything in that little section anything else in the box? oh. it slid out of its inner box coming out of the big box in the first place the outer box is actually black with white surface on it
so, since that's helped me in the unboxing already, we're going to see about popping him to the actual main event here. ah. ok. cvg: amy, you did some testing before handwith the beta software while you're unboxing you want to tell us a little bit about your experience about that so we can set the stage for what people should expect am: microsoft has made big strides in narrator functionality, and it rather impressively
works with for microsoft rather impressively works now with touch gestures. what i tended to find was that a lot of the big strokes, a lot of thebig ideas were really there. really logical, really well laid out some of the fine points still need some tweaking. cvg: alright now, there's the surface
am: this is the surface itself. it feels nice and solid in your hands. take the plastic safety cover off. oh, that feels really nice. really it does feel just as nice as any ipad or the nexus 7. physically it's great feeling hardware. cvg: i see that there's two slots onthe bottom where the keyboard slots in. could you move the plastic, amy?
am: otherwise in the box we've got a power cord. that appears... cvg: usb? am: it is...cvg: or regular?am: it is... not a usb power cord. it looks like it acts a lot like one of the mac power cords, where it has the plug that actually pops out the side and then it's actually a magnetic connection to the side of the device. looks to be like that would connect...right about here i think.
cvg: that's on the bottom right hand side?. left hand side? bottom right? am: bottom right. and there it is. on the back it has a little kickstand that is actually included in thedevice cvg: nice.am: opens up, shuts nicely. allows us to set it up on its front and stare at us.
so that's rather nice actually. is there anything else in the bin of the box? nope, cardboard. right, so let's go ahead and connect it to the keyboard and turn this puppy on. and see what we can learn. the keyboard, by the way, is an extra cost add-on but it's also one that microsoft recommends very highly. oh, um, there we are. so let's turn this bad boy on cvg: can you do a quick description of thekeyboard and what buttons are, um, on the actual surface?
am: the keyboard is on what feels very much like similar to a smart cover work for an apple device with literally almost an etched feel for each of the keys. they have no tactile feedback in that when you press them, they don't press back. they don't give at all.
and unfortunately they also don't have the little bumps for f and j so i'm having a little difficulty finding my beginner points on the actual keyboard piece itself. on the tablet, the surface itself, we have a volume rocker on the left hand side and the windows key, well there's a windows logo
that's possibly the windows key. on the tablet that we tested on there was a physical windows key in the center of the bezel, which was a samsung series 7 this, however is there's a visual windows logo graphically painted on the screen here but nothing tactile to discern it.
so that could be interesting. cvg: start it up! am: let start her up... there, maybe that's her power button on the top. yeah, there we go. cvg: the screen is now just reading surface. nothing else ishappening yet. there's a little icon that indicates that it's loading. am: first load must be a little be of a lengthy process.
cvg: so we have the first visual uh... configuration screen. see if we can kick it into narrator. am: because they are slightly more tactile i'm going to actually be using the windows key on the keyboard here, with the uh... up volume key we can turn on narrator. and we're having none of that so see if i can find my windows key.
as i'm pressing the windows key on the actual device the surface is vibrating just a little bit. cvg so there's some haptic feedback that... it's not actually starting there either. am: oh, there we go.cvg: there goes narrator. all right. narrator just gave us some basicinstructions on how to get started. a triple tap with ...i forgot what it said! it was either a triple tap with four fingers
or a quadruple tap with three fingers. but we're going to try triple tap with four fingers and i'll let you know if that works. there we go. that allowed us to actually... yes, stop reading... tap once with two fingers. that allowed us to get into its narrator setup. so that's kind of nice. we can do the flick gesture similar to what we do on ios.
and it's actually running me through the different gestures. this being a windows device, it has some different ways of handling its interactions. for example, like with a physical standard windows machine with a mouse thereare secondary actions available for different things that you can tap on. so instead of tapping on them with one finger, you actually would hold with one and tapwith another two.
it's just a different way of handling it. i've got to admit not in love with not having a physical start button. one can get used to it, but... cvg: shall we try to set it up and... am: yeah, we'll give it a shot. yeah cvg: and in keeping with the voicethere's also a visual highlighter box
that tracks the gestures, or tracks the focus. am: sorry about that. didn't mean to have him interrupt you. [narrator talks in the background] let's try english. there we go. non-selected? cvg: now visually it's actuallyselected, so not sure why it doesn't read that. am: we're going to accept that. because we don't get to move on withoutaccepting the license terms for using windows. button?
pc name? right, i'm going to try this keyboard. unfortunately to do that i have to turn the device away from the viewership at least a little. i i'm trying! [hits different keys on the keyboard] cvg: now are you having trouble finding thekeys or are they just not responsive? am: a little of both. mostly finding the right keys is a bit of a problemwithout any kind of a tactile nub to give me my f and j. cvg: ok am: they're actually more responsive than i'm giving them credit for, i think, but it's very
off-putting to type on a keyboard without any kind of tactile feedback at all. i'm not sure how hard to hit to make it accept them because i'm actually able to move my fingers across it without starting things. microsoft's claiming that that's going to actually besomething that people get faster at. ok, select whozit, that'd be lovely. cvg: ok, so you're selecting a wireless network. [narrator talking] am: this is a little tricky with the setup
because of course explore by touch you're going to have to explore everyinch of the screen to find that ok button. and that's a little difficult to do when essentially working over the device's shoulder, so to speak. so i apologize for any wait. cvg: so you can't flick to that control? am: i would have had to flick through
all of the wireless networks list first. that might have been an easier option but i have found that it really depends. sometimes it'll flick to the controls properly, sometimes it wasn't doing so great in earlier tests using the beta software. cvg: ok am: it's asking for the password.cvg: for that actually i'm going to pause. cvg: all right, so we're now connected to the network am: we're back on, let's see what we've got. [narrator speaking]
lovely. express settings. we'd like to see. are you asking me do these things? or i'm a little confused as to what it's asking me here.cvg: visually it looks like it's just a list.am: oh good. then we'll pass that list!cvg: obviously for a blind user that's going to be very puzzling. aha!
i don't want to do that right now,friends. really? yes, the old way. that is what i'd like to do my little friend. why did it take me back to the top? i apologize, friends, i am slightly confused here as well. it appears to have taken me back to the topof the page when i want to get back down to my buttons at the bottom. yes, local account.
narrator: microsoft account button. local account button. doubletap to activate. am: ok it's told me to double tap the local account to activate it, so i double tap it. it works this time. earlier it was telling me "there is noprimary action for that" it's an interesting device. beautiful hardware. cvg: again, this is not the most interesting, so let me pauze it for a moment.
all right, we're back. visually it's giving some sort of uh... startup screen for which there is no audio at all. it's telling you a little bit about how it works. uhm but yes, no audio whatsoever there.
am: absolutely nothing, even when i interact with the screen. cvg: so at this point the visuals are cycling uh... but it gives no indication ofprogress. visually now after about five minutes it's saying we're getting your pcready but no audio indication whatsoever thatit isn't just broken. am: it's really quite frustrating. welcome back!
our friend the surface has returned, and we have, what have we got going on? ah. let's get rid of you. cvg: so by default the first thing it brings up are the narrator settings before you even get to the am: before you can get to the start screen or the home screen. i guess it's called the start screen in windows actually. in what used to be called metro and they're now calling window 8 ui. no. yes and that, once we found the right button actually worked as planned. so what we have here in there...there we go
are what they call live tiles. they are, shush live tiles which are essentially both an icon and a information container. they literally are large boxes on the screen that are fairly brightly colored with big icons within them that are interactable. as things are set up on the tablet the weather will, instead of showing some random weather icon, possibly clouds and a sun,
i'm not sure, it would actually give us a basic weather report. or something along the lines of it's 72 degrees and sunny in baltimore. cvg: and that's available to narrator? am: that is available to narrator, at least it was during the beta. getting that set up was a little tricky, because the actual next level interface although it worked, was somewhat counter-intuitive. cvg: can we go to it now and see whether it would bring anything up by default?
cause certainly potentially it could recognize the location without any further prompting. am: indeed. let's see if we can find the weather. there we are. oh well it's picked... cvg so it's rotating through a number of weather forecasts for different places. am: albeit that's interesting
i am exploring the window with my finger here to see what i can learn. we're going to start flick gestures to see if we can learn anything more definitive. [coughs] pardon me friends. and it just asked me if we wanted to turn onon location services which we did. and hopefully that means we're going to find out that the weather here is 50 degrees.
that doesn't tell me a lot, guys. it came up with the web address. didn't sound like anything i wanted to care about. and it's giving us the weather report for the week. let's go ahead and go back to our home screen. ok, that's going to get on my nerves. at the moment i am trying to discover the start button and not having a great deal of cvg: is there a start button on the...am: there is, we're going to use that now. ah, that start button [on the keyboard] works
reliably at least for now and since it's at least tactually outlined, it's slightly easier to find. cvg: all right, any last comments before we wrap up theseinitial impressions? am: i think that the surface is going to be an interesting device but not for the faint of heart. it's got of a lot of quirks yet and something you've got to remember especially about the rt version whichis the one we have here running an
arm processor. it's meant to be a tablet first andforemost, not a full-blown windows pc and it's not going to run any other screen access package or any legacy software. if you go for a surface tablet uh... that's available right now this is all you can get. the pro version will be running windows 8. it's out later this year or early next. and then it may be a different ballgame.
interesting but not my tablet of choice yet, to be honest. cvg: all right. thanks amy. this is access technology signing off from baltimore, maryland!