As we well know, mobility is essential in construction. Keeping all project stakeholders connected in real time in an environment that is continuously changing and moving is tough. Finding a robust mobile device that can move seamlessly from the office to the field could be even tougher. Jobsite recently spoke with David Alexander, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft’s Surface, about the Surface Go and how it’s helping construction workers save time and money all while offering seamless field-to-office connectivity.
Jobsite: What makes Surface Go particularly well suited to the construction industry?
DA: Surface Go’s portability makes it move easily from the office to the field. What’s more, its tablet-to-laptop flexibility with the signature built-in Kickstand offers workers the ability to use it as a tablet with touch or Surface Pen*. It can also be used as a laptop with a mechanical keyset when they attach the Surface Go Type Cover*.
Surface Go with LTE Advanced also helps reduce dependence on Wi-Fi at jobsites. For example, construction project managers can input real-time assessments and photos of contractor progress into their cloud system, sign off on completed work, and drive insights back into the company systems in real time without waiting to reconnect in the site office or back at home.
For example, construction project managers can input real-time assessments and photos of contractor progress into their cloud system, sign off on completed work, and drive insights back into the company systems in real time without waiting to reconnect in the site office or back at home.
J: How can it be ruggedized for use on construction sites?
DA: Because of the highly specialized nature of many mobile field worker use cases across industries, like construction, the Surface team works with many third-party accessories manufacturers worldwide to produce a wide variety of accessories to enable numerous device scenarios. Through what we call the Designed for Surface program, this close partnership ensures the fit and applicability of the accessories with our Surface devices. The Designed for Surface logo thereby provides our joint customers with confidence that they’ll have a high-quality experience with the accessories that meets the high standards the Surface team applies to our 1st party hardware.
One of the primary types of Surface Go accessories included in the Designed for Surface catalogue are protective cases from a variety of manufacturers which can be used to ruggedize the device and prepare it for the conditions at a construction site. Additionally, screen protectors, vehicle mounts, vehicle chargers, charging carts, sleeves, enclosures and more offer robust additional accessory options depending on the worker type and jobsite needs.
J: What are the must-have accessories for construction companies incorporating the Surface Go into their workflows?
DA: Surface Go transforms from tablet to laptop when you add the Surface Go Type Cover* or Surface Go Signature Type Cover* for a full-keyboard experience. Customers should also consider adding Surface Pen* which is twice as accurate as the previous version, with precision ink on one end and a rubber eraser on the other — plus tilt for shading, greater sensitivity, and virtually no lag. It’s a must-have accessory for digital note taking, annotations, and onsite signatures.
J: How is it superior to competitors?
DA: Surface Go offers the 2-in-1 tablet-to-laptop flexibility with the signature built-in Kickstand. And while being incredibly thin, light, portable and versatile, Surface Go commercial models still run full Windows 10 Pro. This means Surface Go powers full desktop applications like Office and keeps you connected with the desktop-based line-of-business apps or industry standard third party apps your organization depends on.
Also, as a full Windows 10 device, Surface Go does not constrain users to a mobile-focused operating system and offers a full mouse and trackpad experience, along with a robust mechanical (not Bluetooth-connected) full-keyboard experience*. Surface Go can even become a full desktop PC workstation when customers connect it to Surface Dock*. Then they can view work on up to two external monitors, charge their Surface device, and connect a keyboard, mouse, and more.
This no-compromises nature means that many mobile field workers can use Surface Go to function both as their tablet and laptop, often helping them replace a two-or-more device setup with a single device that meets their needs.
J: Besides price, what makes the Surface Go a unique entry to the Surface line?
DA: Surface Go is our lightest, most compact Surface ever, starting at just 1.15 pounds with a 10” screen. With a Pentium Gold processor, it’s the perfect balance of performance and portability. Business customers tell us that they love Surface Go because it is compact, performant, manageable, affordable, and – like all Surface for Business devices – it offers advanced security with Windows 10 Pro.
For businesses, Surface Go is a great device for Firstline Workers. These employees are often the first point of contact with customers and the first to represent a company’s brand as they perform their jobs behind the counter, in the clinics, on the shop floor, and in the field. At over 2 billion workers worldwide, Firstline Workers – also known as “frontline” workers – are the world’s largest workforce, and often the most underserved by technology in the commercial space. Surface Go offers businesses a more affordable way to enable these workers at scale with a premium device that can help them feel invested in and better represent the organization’s brand. And, with optional LTE Advanced, Surface Go addresses the growing demand for a highly-portable yet performant LTE-connected device with no compromises that helps Firstline Workers in the field get their work done anytime, anywhere without worrying about the security of public Wi-Fi networks.
To learn more about the Procore for Windows app and how you can access project information using any Windows 10 device, including your Surface Go click here.