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.
- 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?)
- 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.
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.