• Microsoft Surface RT Review

    by  • 2013/01/25 • 8, Hardware, Microsoft, Review, RT • 3 Comments

    Surface-Touch-Covers-all_Web
    I was going to write a full review of the Surface RT but I just couldn’t bring myself to write a review for a device a have no reason to use. Here’s a quick rundown of my thoughts after having the device for a week.

    Pros:

    • Feels nice in the hands (you have to use 2 hands)
    • Touch is really responsive
    • Good screen (angles and colors)
    • Free RDP app (this was the only reason I used the device)
    • Touch cover trackpad was actually good
    • Touch keyboard was more usable than I expected (more on it below)
    • Full size USB (although what do you use it with?)

    Cons:

    • Lack of good apps. Lots of apps, but most of them suck. Coming from iOS I feel like Android apps are 2nd class citizens (especially tablet apps). Windows RT apps are even worse
    • Too big/heavy/awkward to be mobile with it. After using a Nexus 7 for so long this feels huge. And compared to the iPad 2/3/4 it feels too wide and thick.
    • No easy way for video out which makes it hard to use as a full time computer (microHDMI doesn’t count)
    • Lack of Google ecosystem integration. I don’t use Skydrive, Outlook, Office, etc. This made me just use IE10 which isn’t that great when you can’t have any plugins. It also would not pull up the virtual keyboard inside a google doc no matter what I tried.

    Surface-Black-Covers_Web

    Conclusion

    I came to the realization that the Surface was designed by CEOs and directors who spend all day in a board room. The device is too hard to use anywhere else. At a desk, with the keyboard and if you have Citrix or RDP it can be very functional. Outside of that, I never chose to use this over my phone, Nexus 7, or laptop because the apps suck, the hardware is too heavy, and the ergonomics are not good. I wish the keyboard cover was detachable so I could at least set the Surface further away from me so the screen would be at the proper angle (the kickstand is not adjustable). Or it would have been nice to not have the keyboard at all so then I’d use the onscreen keyboard more (when it works). I don’t think the Surface Pro is going to solve any of these issues because the device will be even thicker, heavier, and get worse battery. For $800, the MacBook Air (or almost any other ultrabook) is a much better device plus it has a better keyboard/trackpad.

    Anyone out there have experience with a Surface RT or any other Windows 8 (RT or Pro) tablet. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

    About

    Avid learner with a passion for technology and people. He is always trying new things or taking something apart to make it better.

    http://1n73r.net

    • Taylor Gibb

      Pretty much the same as you dude, bought it but I can’t actually find a good use besides RDP. I prefer kindle on my iPad and Nexus 7 so I guess its just going to collect dust.

    • Justin Garrison

      Hmm…

      The keyboard is detachable, the hardware is more than acceptable, it is a bit big but again its fine to carry around and the ergonomics are good. I accept the software is shit but this review is entirely bias, id even go as far in saying the Surface feels better in the hand than the iPad. E.g. “Full size USB (although what do you use it with?)” ??? if you can not figure out that you can charge a mobile off this device, plug in a usb stick or a mouse then you shouldn’t review anything.

      Christ what a crap review I wrote…

    • vanz

      Ridiculous review. Its far more capable and cheaper than an iPad. Why doesn’t micro hemi count? If you’re such a sissy that you can’t carry a 2 pound device then you might have a problem. Although I’m kind of grateful for people like you who trashed this product so much that it was driven into the ground and eventually sold for $170 on ebay and now I enjoy my device everyday in a wide variety of applications that your unimaginative brain could not comprehend.