The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT has been available for about a month now, and the reviews of the tablet’s performance are starting to roll in. The Surface, priced between $500 and $700 depending on the features and storage space, is Microsoft’s response to similar devices in the existing market, including the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Toshiba Excite. Surface with Windows 8 Pro, a similar but slightly larger device with greater storage space and a different operating system, is due out soon.
If you’re still trying to decide whether Microsoft Surface will be your next device, here’s what a couple of people in the industry have to say about it:
Mathew Honan over at Wired Magazine called the Surface “one of the most exciting pieces of hardware I’ve ever used” and complimented the tablet’s design and hybrid nature, saying it is “neither fully a desktop nor mobile device.” The Surface’s kickstand proved to be fairly durable despite Honan’s multiple attempts to snap it (which he eventually succeeded in doing, but only after leaning his entire weight onto the tablet).
Regarding the Touch Cover keyboard, a thin, pressure-sensitive keyboard that also serves as a cover for the Surface display, Honan noted some initial difficulty with typos but adjusted after a few days of typing on the device. He does write that he could not attain the same typing speed as on a full-sized keyboard, and the Touch Cover did not stay closed consistently. Honan also reviewed the Type Cover, a $130 add-on that is more of a keyboard, and seemed less than impressed by it.
Honan rates the Surface RT at 8 out of 10, saying that it is a great device that could act as a primary computer, thought he would personally not use it as his only computer. Among his plus-sides he listed the long battery life, “amazingly fluid gesture-driven interface,” and its ability to act as a functional laptop, while the negatives were slow program loads, no 3G or LTE, and a lack of good applications.
Jason Evangelho at Forbes also commented on how the Surface is a hybrid between a laptop and a tablet, calling it “snappy, elegant, and intuitive.” Evangelho agrees with Honan that the Surface would not be his primary computer, saying “it’ll be a long journey before my Surface can completely replace my Nexus 7 or iPad” yet “I look enthusiastically forward to the day that it can” (emphasis Evangelho’s).
Evangelho claims that users may initially feel “uncomfortable, lost in an unfamiliar digital environment of tiles and gestures,” but that after a few days users will love the Surface. In Evangelho’s review, pros of the Surface include the Touch Cover, the battery life, and the UI, while cons include the camera and omissions in applications (“No Facebook, no official Twitter client, no LinkedIn. No alternative browsers, no cable network streaming apps beyond Hulu Plus and Netflix, and no Flipboard.”) Overall, though, it seems Evangelho walks away with a positive opinion on the Surface.
Have you purchased or used Microsoft Surface RT yet? We would love to hear your opinion on it – share your thoughts in the comments section!