Surface Windows 8 Pro 128 GB Review Part 3 – Hardware

I had so many gripes about Windows 8 that I thought it would be prudent to keep my hardware and software thoughts separate. Here are my impressions on the hardware for Surface Pro. I can boil this down to two words. It’s nice. Every blog imaginable has written about the specs and the performance and by and large I can agree with the consensus that Surface is fast and can run all my Windows software with ease. But, this is expected anyway because this machine has laptop parts. If it didn’t perform as well as the latest generation laptops then that would be news.

Microsoft has done a fantastic job of squeezing laptop hardware into this package. But, my feelings on the hardware are much like my feelings about Windows 8 in that, to me, it feels a couple years behind. I say this even though there is no keyboard like the touch cover, the palm recognition while using the pen is excellent, Surface is relatively thin and light when comparing to a laptop (although NOT thinner and lighter than my Samsung Series 9 11.6″ laptop), the touch screen is extremely responsive, and the materials used are strong and sturdy.

My reasons for saying it feels a couple years behind is that I’ve been using a Nook Color (rooted with stock Android installed) since it was first released (2010), I replaced that with a Nook Tablet ( in 2011, also rooted with stock Android installed), and then last year I was using a Nexus 7. The tablet skin on an OS, as popularized by Apple, is old hat now and is what we expect when using something in a tablet form factor.  The Surface is simply too big and too heavy. The device is 12.5″ diagonally and roughly 10.75″ x 6.75″ and weighing in at a whopping 2.5 lbs. I don’t want to carry around something this big anymore.

I think personal computing devices have progressed enough where we should have full Windows compatible computers in a device as small as our phones and that can dock with a full keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Devices as small as an ultrabook are now too big.

I do have some real gripes on the hardware. The pen feels sooooo cheap. It feels like something picked up from the discount bin at the dollar store. I’ve heard nothing but raves about using the pen across all the blogs. But, I still don’t think the video is processing pen input fast enough. When using the pen for handwriting you can see that the ink is trailing the pen by a split second. It’s not much but for someone like me who writes fast in a herky jerky fashion it is not an optimal experience. I’m often starting on the next letter a split second before the last letter is drawn. My handwriting is bad enough and made worse by this lag.

Much has been said about how the pen attaches to the AC adapter port on the Surface. It’s pointless and not strong enough to hold the pen in place when slipping it into a case or bag. I’m repeating and agreeing with this. With Surface being such a tightly built machine I don’t think there is any practical way to carry the pen. It will most likely get left behind.

The AC adapter brick is too big and the cord is too short. The laptop I was using prior to the Surface was a Samsung Series 9 with an 11.6″ screen. The AC adapter is 2/3 to 1/2 the size of the Surface’s adapter and has a single cord where the Surface adapter requires one cord to plug into the outlet on one side of the brick and another cord that connects to the Surface on the other side of the brick. If this is to be a true portable device the AC adapter needs to be smaller. It will take up too much space inside my bag when travelling.

When using Surface as I do my laptop the fan runs constantly. It’s not loud but it’s not imperceptible either. The fan is running because Surface is noticeably warm to the touch. This is because I’m using it as I would my laptop. When I use my laptop with the AC plugged in I prefer to keep the display from turning off unless there is no activity for 30 minutes and the sleep function disabled. I don’t like the inconvenience of having to swipe to unlock or some other gesture in order to use the device. I can put up with that when it’s unplugged as I need to save the battery in order to get sufficient hours of use out of it but I don’t see the sense while it’s plugged in. Perhaps I will need to change the way I use these types of devices as keeping it running is not the inconvenience it use to be with other versions of Windows since waking up from sleep mode is nearly instantaneous.

I mentioned the touch cover earlier and I really like the touch cover over the type cover. Typing on it will take some getting used to but the touch cover makes Surface look more like a finished device. The type cover, however, creates a funky looking gap between keyboard and screen when closed. It doesn’t look nice in my opinion. Typing on the type cover is easier, at first, than typing on the touch cover. I’m getting better and better and typing on the touch cover the more I use it. I haven’t found any problems with it not being sensitive enough. What I don’t like about both the type and touch covers is the cheap felt-like fabric on the back. Why did Microsoft go with this type of material? It’s not protecting anything as it is not facing the screen and it looks plain-Jane (apologies to the non-plain-Janes of the world).

I don’t have as many complaints as I did with the software because in all honesty the Surface is indeed a well built machine.

Surface Windows 8 Pro 128 GB Review Part 2 – Software

Overall impressions:

This is a device that should have come out 2 years ago. It feels like it’s behind because the tablet aspect of Windows 8 isn’t complete and it tries to trap me in the Microsoft/Windows universe. I mostly live in Google’s world now and there aren’t the necessary apps available on the tile interface in Windows 8 to make it useful. I can live in the browser like I do with a traditional computer but Windows 8 is too much of a hybrid and needs to make the tile interface more useful.

Before I started using Windows 8 I thought I would want to stay away from the tile interface and mostly use the desktop but after some use I can see that the desktop is no longer necessary. I think that Microsoft should have really bit the bullet and jettisoned the desktop altogether. As long as I can open full Windows applications from the tile interface, open multiple windows (which is not an available feature in the tile interface), and have access to my file system why do I need the desktop? Essentially the Start screen should be the new desktop. Microsoft has done a good job of providing just about everything a normal user would need from the tile interface. So far I can’t think of anything that I can’t get to from the Start screen. It just seems ridiculous for Windows to stay in desktop mode after I launch something from the Start screen. The only thing I can really do on the desktop that I can’t do on the Start screen is have more than two windows open. It’s not necessary on a small screen but it is something I do regularly on a desktop. Perhaps a future version of Windows can enable that functionality even from the start screen only if Surface is connected to an external monitor.

Now for airing of grievances (I got a lot problems with you Windows 8!):

  • How the hell do you delete tiles? There doesn’t seem to be a way to do this without the keyboard attached and I wouldn’t have known how to do that if I didn’t Google it. Seems to me that on a touch interface there should be an option to remove tiles from the Start screen without having to attach a keyboard.
  • I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out why it is that sometimes I could move a tile and other times the stupid tile would not move. I finally figured out that you have to drag the tile up first before you can move it. It doesn’t work like a normal tablet would whereby you would just tap and hold until the icon or tile gives you a visible cue letting you know you can move it and then drag it to where ever you want it to go. I kept dragging to one side or the other and dragging down in frustration until it dawned on me to simply try each direction, one at a time, prior to dragging. Now I figured it out.
  • Everything I’ve heard regarding moving between the desktop and the “Metro” interface is true. When moving in and out of programs it’s not clear exactly where you’ll end up. Sometimes it seems Windows sends you back to the tiles and sometimes you stay on the desktop.
  • Can’t pinch to zoom some applications on the desktop. Namely Chrome. When using a browser on a tablet type device you expect to be able to use your fingers to expand or contract anything in the browser with your fingers. IE 10, Office 2013 applications, I should note, do allow you to use your fingers to pinch to zoom. I guess that’s one way to get me to use IE more.
  • Installed Chrome and the default mode was a full screen mode. Took me a little while to figure out there was a setting in Chrome’s drop down menu where I could change to desktop mode.
  • Accidentally hitting the “Clear” button on the Tiles settings panel certainly does the job instantly. It would have been nice to have a pop up warning asking me if I really meant to do that.
  • Surface is not joining the Homegroup on my home network. I’ve entered the password and the progress circle just keeps on spinning. So I tried to connect to my Homegroup using the Network and Sharing Center and I get the same result except it’s the progress bar that keeps on scooting across the screen. This is a major fail if I can’t get this to join. It will make sharing printers and files difficult.
  • Surface is having difficulties accessing the Internet at my work. What’s odd is that desktop applications can use the Internet but any app from the tile interface can’t. I don’t understand why this is at all. I ended up rebooting the machine and that seemed to solve the issue. I just wish I knew what glitch caused apps from the tile interface to lose Internet connectivity while desktop applications retained it. It makes no sense how such a thing can happen.
  • The tiles seem to have a mind of their own. I try to move a tile where I want but all the other tiles move automatically and rearrange. I wish I could turn off this feature so I can arrange tiles as I see fit.
  • I can’t seem to connect my Google account with the People tile. It rejects my password (which I typed extremely carefully). I also tried designating an application specific password created from my Google account and that didn’t work. I’m baffled by this.
  • In desktop mode there isn’t any consistency as to when you can click things on screen with your finger or when you need to use a mouse. Sometimes while browsing the web and I need to click on a check box I find it easy to just touch the screen but then find that nothing happens and I have to go to the trackpad on the keyboard. This is stupid, not intuitive, and what if I don’t have the stupid keyboard with me?
  • I’m a Dropbox user. I had no idea that you couldn’t install Dropbox on an SD card. So I Googled how to do it and it turns out that all you have to do is go through a few steps to mount the removable storage to the C: drive. Why doesn’t the Dropbox installer just tell you this? Do they have something against removable media? I did install the “Metro” version but I like to have all my documents available offline and using the “Metro” version requires an Internet connection to access those files. To make matters worse Surface is taking an eternity to sync my Dropbox files. It’s been going for 3 days now. Sure, I have 30 GB worth of files to sync but no other machine that I’ve had has taken more than a day or so at most.
  • I would like to save bookmarks as a tile and I couldn’t tell if that’s possible or not so I had to go to Google to find the answer. The reason it was not immediately obvious is because I installed Chrome and made it my default browser. This turned IE into a desktop application and took away the option for me to pin bookmarks to the Start screen as a tile using IE. I’ve searched on how to do the same in Chrome but have not found anything yet. I tried to go back to Chrome as my default browser thinking that any bookmarks saved as tiles would then open in Chrome but Windows deletes your bookmark tiles as soon as IE is no longer the default. That sucks.
  • With IE as the default browser I don’t see where you can get to your bookmarks. There is no bookmark bar and no home button. Both of which I’m accustomed to using in any browser. I can get by with out a home button but I don’t see the sense in not being able to get to your bookmarks without going to desktop mode or back to the start screen and the tiles. Further searching for answers using Google I found out that in the Metro version of IE if you swipe down from the top of the window you’ll find your tabs and if you swipe up from the bottom you’ll find your bookmarks.
  • Being an Android user I’m accustomed to all my apps updating automatically. Most of the time there is nothing I need to do. I just get a notification in the upper left hand corner of my screen that an app has been updated. In Windows 8 you have to tell the OS to update. At least you can select to “update all”.
  • My hatred for mobile browsing continues. IE10 when launched from the tile interface is a stupid mobile browser. How do I know that? I know this because I tried to login to my Slingbox and was rejected. How stupid is this? Now, of course, I can use the desktop version of IE or I can use Chrome, but, how much more convenient is it to just launch it from a tile on the Start screen? This kind of stupidity with mobile browsers needs to stop. Why on Earth are there two different versions of IE running on the same machine in the first place? Why is there ANY kind of mobile browser installed on a full version of Windows?

All the gripes above are gripes I would have made when going from an operating system I’m familiar with to one that I’m not. Windows 8 has many new gestures and conventions that will take some getting used to. There is a lot to fix and it is my hope that my gripes are the same gripes as most users so these will be the ones that get fixed first.

My Surface Pro Has Arrived

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UPS just delivered my Surface Pro 128. A day early too! This is as far as my un-boxing goes as I will wait until I get home to dive into the machine.

I Have App.net Invites

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If anyone that follows me knows what app.net is and wants an invite I have five. Let me know on facebook or Twitter and I’ll send it out.

Everyone Should Learn to Code

code.org logoI started learning to program computers in BASIC way back around 1981. I had an Atari computer hooked up to my 13″ color TV. My storage medium was a cassette tape (just like the kind we used for music). I spent hour upon hour learning how to make the computer do the things I wanted it to do. I created simple stuff where the computer would draw certain pictures or simple text based games.

I didn’t take it too much further than that as I didn’t know of any place or any person in my neighborhood that held the same interest and there weren’t any resources for someone like me (at least that I knew of) in Chicago. There was no computer club at my high school (maybe I would have stayed!) and no local computer clubs either. So I reached the limit of what I was able to do on my own and didn’t pursue it further. I always kept my interest for computers and technology, though, and would subscribe to PC Magazine, PC World, and others just so I could keep in touch with this new world.

What I gained from that year or two of learning to write computer code was invaluable. It taught me how computers work and demystified all of it. It taught me to think more logically. Later in life, when I finally went back to school to get my bachelor’s degree in computer science I was able to apply all those basics I learned when I was 14 years old. This helped immensely with learning algorithms, SQL, C++, compression and error correction, and more.

When I see where computer technology is going I can’t help but think that people are being further removed from having to know anything about how computers work. Android and iOS devices are more appliance than “computer” and while that’s good in some respects (usability and expansion of the user base) it is detrimental in others (these devices seem “magical” in the words of Steve Jobs).

Learning to write code should be part of the core curriculum of every school in the nation. With some of the tools available today kids as young as 4 or 5 can begin to learn how to control a computer. Can you imagine the possibilities of a nation of people that know how to manipulate the machines they use everyday? Computers, smart phones, and tablets are just machines.  They are comprised of hardware and software. And these machines run the world now. The US needs to lead the world with future generations of hardware and software engineers.

Get your kid started here, code.org:

Argo Not Just Dramatized but Heavily Fictionalized

Argo FakeI came across this editorial by Investors Business Daily regarding the movie Argo.

Yes, a CIA operative (played by Affleck) traveled to Tehran posing as a Hollywood producer.

But the Canadians were responsible for over 90% of the rescue of those U.S. Embassy workers, from safehousing them at the Canadian ambassador’s home to securing their visas to even securing the Swiss Air flight that spirited them out of Iran.

In fact, “Argo’s” final heart-thumping scene at the Tehran airport, where the American diplomats’ cover is almost blown as they race to the gate, never happened. Their exit was a cakewalk.

I thought it was a good movie and I did cringe at seeing former President Jimmy Carter at the end trying to repair the image of his failed presidency. What makes this editorial credible is that Jimmy Carter himself admitted that the Canadians contributed 90% of the ideas and the actions to rescue the Americans. Here’s Jimmy Carter in his own words.

This caused me to look for a few other references to the inaccuracies in the movie and I then came across this article on slate.com.

Actually, though, the trip through the airport was “smooth as silk,” as Mendez himself has written. Most improbably, the teams of carpet weavers that the Iranian government put to work repairing shredded documents (something they actually did!) piece together the face of one of the six Americans right as the group reaches the airport, and those carpet weavers relay the image to their higher-ups in time for armed men to chase down the departing airplane in a jeep and police cars. None of that happened.

I guess it’s no different than some of the details either left out or changed regarding anything in history. But, in 2013, shouldn’t we strive to stop this practice of fictionalizing history just to make it dramatic? Dramatizing is one thing. Some creative license can be given to embellish as story to make it more compelling. But, if a movie is going to be made or a book is going to be written about an historic event then the events, at the very least, need to have happened.

I was hoping that the Internet would curtail the creation of such propaganda simply because of the speed at which falsehoods can be refuted. When will we wise up and question things before we believe?

One more link from USA Today on Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty.

Surface Windows 8 Pro 128 GB Review Part 1 – Pre-conceived Notions

Microsoft Surface Pro

The first part of this review are my pre-conceived notions about the Surface Windows 8 Pro 128 GB (from here on out I will call it the Surface Pro) and Windows 8. These are my opinions based on the plethora of blog posts and reviews about the Surface Pro and Microsoft’s latest version of the Windows operating system. I placed my order for the Surface Pro 128 from the Microsoft Online Store in the morning on February 16th and hopefully I get mine the first week in March. To date I have not seen the Surface Pro nor the Surface RT in person and have not yet installed or used Windows 8 (So I’ll really be talking out my ass). The second part of this review will be my opinions after getting the device in my hands and using it for at least a week or two.

I think the Surface is Microsoft’s vision for Windows 8 and has been their vision for computers for well over a decade. The two are inextricably linked. Most reviews of the device and the operating system have centered around the old way of thinking of computers. Tablets versus laptops versus desktops. I think this is wrong and mis-characterizes what this device is.

Let me start with tablets. They are computers but are dumbed down versions that are purposely hobbled. Why else would the iPad or any Android tablet have these awful mobile browsers (of which I ‘ve complained about ad nauseum in different places) that can’t do simple things like view videos from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Slingbox? There is no good reason. Tablets also won’t run applications and instead run “apps”. Apps are lighter versions of full blown applications that we use everyday in our offices and homes on fully functioning computers (i.e. laptops and desktops). Tablets are essentially giant smart phones without the phone but with the power of a computer.

Laptops and desktops are almost the same device in different clothing these days. I’ve used a laptop as a desktop machine for years until I made the transition from Windows Mobile 6 to the HTC Incredible loaded with FroYo. Why did this have an effect on the type of machines I use? Well with a smart phone I no longer needed to tote a computer around with me. Instead I could purchase less expensive desktop machines and use my smart phone for all the things I used to use my laptop for while going about my day. I could quickly get information online and check my e-mail without having to boot up a machine and without carrying around a 3 lb. beast. The only time I employed the use of a laptop was when travelling because it’s just not practical to lug a desktop machine with you on a plane.

The Surface Pro, in my mind, is finally the melding of the desktop, laptop, and tablet into one device. It is my hope that Microsoft doesn’t stop there and continues this melding of devices right down to the smart phone, whereby, my smart phone then takes the place of a phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop. The Surface Pro is in a category unto itself in that it is the only device that appears to successfully have nailed the form factor. I contend that if one looks at this device as unique then you will find that Microsoft’s claim of computing without comprises holds true. And that’s the main problem with most reviews since the Surface Pro made into people’s hands. They are looking at this device and comparing it to a laptop (which it’s not) and then comparing it to a tablet (which it’s not). Heck, why didn’t they compare it to a desktop and a smart phone too? They may as well since a Surface Pro is neither of those devices either.

So what is a Surface Pro? It’s a new form factor for a computer. The evolution of where computers have been headed for about two decades. It has the power of a desktop machine, the portability of a laptop, and the convenience of a tablet. It has all these things in one. But comparing it to any of them would be like comparing a tablet or laptop to a desktop and vice versa. This device has the potential of being the only computer you need. I say potential because there needs to be a decent docking solution so you can connect it to a full size monitor, keyboard, and mouse. For the first time since IBM created the PC I think a device has been created that actually lives up to the moniker of Personal Computer. And, that’s what the Surface Pro is. It’s the first genuine Personal Computer and it’s the type of device I’ve been waiting to get my hands on since I purchased a Compaq TC1000 about 10 years ago .

I’m sure it has short comings. What device doesn’t. Nothing is perfect. Some faults that already come to mind are the small solid state drive, only 4 GB of RAM, the inability for a user to upgrade the former, and the inability for a user to swap out a battery. One thing I haven’t listed as a fault yet is the reported battery life. If I can get 4 hours of battery life with the Surface Pro I’m sure I’ll be plenty happy. It’s not a tablet so I don’t expect tablet like battery life. But I’ll leave that opinion open to change as it’s not a laptop either and through normal use it may be that it needs a minimum of 6 hours to be useful. I’ll reserve that for later.

I really want Microsoft to succeed with the Surface Pro and I really want them to expand this concept to smaller devices (my belief is that a 5″ to 5.5″ device running full Windows would be just about perfect). I never liked the direction Apple took computers with the iPad and I grudgingly use a Nexus 7. But I’m tired of using these compromised and dumbed down devices and can’t wait to start using a real Personal Computer again.

Microsoft Will Push People Away from Office

Office 365

Office 365I’ve been a Microsoft Office user for as long as I can remember. I moved to Word and Excel when Wordperfect and Lotus 1-2-3 were still the top dogs in word processing and spreadsheet software.  But now, the move to a subscription model for the new Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium (what a mouthful so I will refer to this as “Office 2013” in the rest of my screed) has me seriously considering abandoning the product (for the most part).

To start, I don’t like subscribing for things that I have traditionally owned in the past because I know at some point in time I may want to stop paying. With subscription models for software once you stop paying you are cut off. You lose a great deal of the software’s functionality. Today, what I just heard on the Windows Weekly podcast with Paul Thurott and Mary Jo Foley is that with Office 2013 users will not lose the ability to read files but will lose the ability to edit them. At least we’d have that going for us.

Subscribing to products at these prices is just wrong and not the same as subscribing to a service. Services are something you inherently can’t own because it’s ephemeral. It’s there when you use it and gone as soon as you stop.

Consider the difference between Office 2010, which I have been using since the middle of 2010,  and Office 2013. With Office 2010 I own the product and have it installed on four of my computers (two desktops and two laptops). I have no real need to upgrade. The software already has more functionality than I can possibly use. Why would I want to change to Office 2013 that has the power to cut me off once I stop paying? What’s the incentive?

Skydrive is certainly not an incentive as I’ve been using Dropbox for years. I have about 40 GB of documents and various files stored with the service. It costs me $100/year for 100 GB of storage and I use it across all my devices. What’s my incentive to switch all this over to Skydrive? Nothing. Now, the argument might be, “Hey, you’re subscribing to Dropbox what’s the difference?” Well the difference is that when I stop paying Dropbox the only thing I lose is the syncing services across devices. I don’t lose the ability to access my files as they reside on several different machines. Because Dropbox is a service that I pay for like cell phone, Internet connection, and electricity. Office 2013 is a product and not a service. Why would I pay into a product for years and own nothing?

What is s good replacement for Office 2013? How about Google Drive. Sure, it’s not as full featured as Office 2013 but it has “good enough” functionality and my documents will be backed up twice to Google’s cloud and Dropbox. And it’s FREE. I can start using that for most of my work and utilize Office 2010 when I need something more advanced like revision tracking in Word. How about Open Office? That’s free too. There are many options available today that are “good enough” to do most of the work that people do. If Google had a killer instinct they would pour resources into Google Drive to increase it’s functionality just enough to where only true power users would need Office.

I’m halfway to this conversion away from Office already as I stopped using Outlook in the middle of 2012. I stopped using it because my phone OS is Android and Outlook was becoming an impediment to how I work. It is so easy and smooth to use Google Contacts, Calendar, and Gmail for all my communications and appointments. I don’t have to sync with a computer EVER. I login and it’s just there.

All this could change if the pricing models would change. Right now it’s far too expensive to pay $10 monthly (this seems to be the psychological sweet point) for software, music, and movies in addition to all the other things that are true necessities. I’m quite confident I can get by with Office 2010 for the foreseeable future. If Office 2013 were maybe 75% or even 50% cheaper and I can use it on any device where I’m logged into my Microsoft account then that might be compelling. But at the current price I’ll be dragged kicking and screaming into using the new version. I won’t use it until I absolutely positively have no  other choice.

Update to My Samsung Galaxy S III Review

Samsung Galaxy S3

I posted a review of the Samsung Galaxy S III a little over a month ago. My initial reaction was that I was fairly impressed but not overwhelmed by anything. Overall I felt it was a good upgrade of hardware and software but not anything spectacular.

What’s changed in a month’s time is my impression after over 30 days of daily use. There are many things that bother me about this phone now that cannot be discovered by just using it for a day.

To start, Samsung’s Touchwiz skin is disappointing compared to HTC Sense. There is much more functionality with Sense. Sense gives me the ability to control any audio that I have playing right from the lock screen. No need to swipe to control. All the player buttons and volume controls just work from the lock screen. Touchwiz requires that I tap to bring the screen to life, swipe to unlock the phone and only then can I access the player to pause. The several seconds this takes doesn’t seem like a lot when you talk about it but try listening to something and have someone walk in your office to talk to you and have to wait 3, 4, or 5 seconds before you can silence the damn phone.

In the first week the Touchwiz skin constantly crashed. It got so bad that I downloaded a new skin just to stop the damn thing from constantly crashing. This shouldn’t happen with any phone especially one that is brand new and literally just out of the box. I don’t know if Samsung pushed an update or not but I reverted back to the Touchwiz skin and the phone no longer crashes like it use to.

There are performance issues that crop up from time to time. When trying to unlock the phone sometimes nothing happens. In the past month this has happened at least a dozen times. I swipe to unlock the phone and nothing happens. No unlock no nothing. Just my lock screen. If I wait 30 seconds to 1 minute the phone catches up to what I’m doing and unlocks like a ghost is fiddling with my phone.

Recently I went to make a phone call using Google Voice. I’ve been using Google Voice on my old HTC Incredible with no trouble that I can recall. On this day I dialed the number and chose to make the call with Google Voice and then nothing. The phone just froze on the dial screen. The call doesn’t go through, it doesn’t drop, it doesn’t do anything. I had to reboot the phone in order to get it to work again.

The sleep/awake button placed exactly opposite the volume rocker remains a problem. I don’t like this button placement. I think it would have been better to put the sleep/awake button on the top of the phone. Far too many times in the last month I’ve totally muted my phone without realizing it. I pull out my phone to check on something and low and behold there are calls and text messages missed.

I don’t know if the software problems with this phone are caused by Samsung or by Google’s Android but regardless of who is responsible the problems are annoying. I tend to lean on the side of Samsung being the culprit. Largely because I also have a Nexus 7 tablet running stock JellyBean and it has been near flawless. I realize these two devices use different versions of the Android OS but the Nexus 7 is not skinned in any way where the Galaxy S III has Samsung splattered all over it.