All NFL teams are required to use Surface Pro Tablets during games
New England Patriots Coaches will use Surface Pro Tablets despite frustrations with performance

With the Super Bowl arriving in less than two weeks, Microsoft and the NFL must ensure their will be no malfunctions on the sidelines with the Surface Pro 4; otherwise New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick might make everyone aware of them.

Surface Pro tablets have forced their way onto NFL sidelines and coaching booths in recent years. In 2013, The NFL signed a 5-year, $400 million deal with Microsoft requiring players and coaches to use Surface Pro tablets to strategize and review what is occurring during the game. Since then, prolific members of the NFL have had run ins with the tablets due to malfunctioning or frustration with on-field situations.

Microsoft upgraded the NFL to Surface Pro 4 before the start of the 2016 NFL season in hopes that any previous technical issues would be solved. The Surface Pro 4 is supposed to "perform reliably in tough conditions from the frozen tundra of Green Bay, to the 120 degree turf of Miami, through torrential rainstorms and blustery snowstorms,” said Microsoft VP Yusef Mehdi in a statement.

The NFL Surface 4 tablets are equipped with a special software that allows live game feed to be streamed onto the tablets. When coaches see something important, they can pause or highlight certain aspects of the play and send them directly to the tablets players are using on the sideline. Players can then see notes or highlights the coaches made, all within a matter of seconds. There is also a feature on the tablet that allows coaches and players to save a certain play to review at a different time.

The tablets are 15 times faster than the previous method used by coaches on the sidelines. Before the deal with Microsoft, coaches in the booths would make notes, print them out, and have someone run them down to the sideline. These were often disorganized and difficult to dissect in the time between plays.

Like most technology, however, the Surface Pro 4 tablets can fail when they’re most necessary. Last year, Michelle Mckenna Doyle, NFL CIO took extra precautions before the Super Bowl by checking the network within Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., and is expected to do so again in NRG Stadium in Houston.