Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

My Surface RT review

  1. #1


    Posts : 138
    Windows 8 Pro

    My Surface RT review


    So, Iíve had my Surface RT for a couple of weeks and I wanted to lay out mythoughts/impressions about the device. Hopefully itíll be an interesting read.

    HARDWARE
    The Surfaceis a beautiful device. Everything aboutthe hardware design and feel speaks volumes about the care, precision and attention to detail that MS put into Surface. As much as itís an overstated feature, the Touch Cover is amazing. It does take a bit of time to get used to(Iím probably 70-80% there), but it really works well. Itís mind-blowing that they could make it something. It feels so nice too.

    I also loved the Windows button on the front of the device. The haptic feedback was a cool thing and a surprise to me, I hadnít read anything about that. The Surface itself feels lovely in the hand. The VaporMG casing is so different to touch than any other tablet Iíve ever held.

    The screen is great. I laugh when I read or hear people griping over the Ďlack of a Retina displayí. The screen is excellent, and very bright.

    Another overstated feature is the Kickstand. I really, really like it. I thought it would be only good for when I want to use the Surface in Ďlaptop modeí, but actually I find myself using it a lot and it works well.

    My one knock on the hardware is the small creak it makes if you squeeze it near the rear camera.


    SOFTWARE
    WindowsRT. Iím sure weíve all read a pile of opinions and reviews about Windows RT. Alot of the opinion seems to be negative. I really donít understand why. Sure, RT doesnít have x86 compatibility. So what? The vast majority of us have access to a computer. Most x86 programs suck to run on small screens anyway, and a lot of them suck for touch. Iím amazed that people drool over the iPad and consider it to be Ďcutting edgeí despite the fact that it lacks many of the features and capabilities of Mac OS, however the Surface RT (whichis a FAR more capable device than the iPad) is somehow too limited because it canít run x86 programs. I think thatís crazy.

    I think Windows RT is excellent. The ĎModern UIí(horrible name) is beautiful and very easy to navigate. The Microsoft Store is still pretty bare, butthere is a pretty good number of good apps to download. The Store interface is poor however. The ĎNew Releasesí are updated very rarely,so its easy to miss the release of really good apps because theyíre not hilighted at all. Microsoft needs to work on the store a bit.

    Thereís no lag on Surface RT. I tried out anexperiment a few days ago. I opened literally every app on my Start screen (about 40) and then tried playing RiptideGP, a pretty graphically intense game. There was no stuttering or lag. Icanít say I noticed it missing frames like crazy either. It was very smooth. I think thatís amazing. I still close apps out of habit, but its hardly necessary.

    To be honest my biggest nitpick about the OS is the desktop. I wish it wasnít there at all. The Office applications work great, and they are a really powerful feature that other tablets canít match IMO, but I wish theyíd been rewritten asĎModerní apps. I wish the same about the File Manager and the Libraries. I thinktheyíre powerful features, but I wish I didnít have to leave thee tile interface to use them.

    So there youhave it.

    Surface RT is an excellent tablet. And as the Store grows and matures itís only going to get better. Surface feels right I the hand. Itís a beautiful device both hardware-wiseand software-wise. Iím really happy with it.

    Thanks for reading. Cheers.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,127
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I agree with many of your points. I've only used the Surface RT for a few hours so I don't have the experience you do. But for what it's intended (a tablet that has a great Office 2013 suite and has hardware support for printers, scanners, etc.), it's pretty cool. I'd still prefer the Surface Pro. I just love that package. Battery life is not key for me. I'm used to a 1.5 hour battery with my old monster 17" laptop that was a gaming beast. And I'm not a trackpad lover so that's not a dealbreak with me. I prefer a trackball, supplemented by touch and a stylus.

    And the big thing I will agree with is how Microsoft needs to rework the store to discover software titles more easily. It's hard to sift through the iOS store and the Android stores because they have so many apps. But sifting through the Microsoft store is tedious because you have these tiny tiles with very little description. Tiles works fine when you have maybe at most a few hundred apps on an individual's PC (many of which you can hide away from your main view of the Start screen).

    But when you're having to deal with thousands of apps, a sea of tiles is not the best thing. It would help if the search engine was better as well. And most of all, there needs to be sorting functions. These generic categories are way too encompassing. "Social" needs to be broken up into many more categories, for example. The only category that has good differentiation is gaming (action, adventure, shooter, casino, card, etc.) and that's probably because they have the Xbox division which probably already divided up all the game categories. I think if all the general categories like Entertainment were finely differentiated like Games, it'd be a better situation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Oregon
    Posts : 214
    Windows 8 Pro w/Media Center, Windows RT


    Quote Originally Posted by sashlon View Post
    Windows RT. I’m sure we’ve all read a pile of opinions and reviews about Windows RT. Alot of the opinion seems to be negative. I really don’t understand why. Sure, RT doesn’t have x86 compatibility. So what? The vast majority of us have access to a computer. Most x86 programs suck to run on small screens anyway, and a lot of them suck for touch. I’m amazed that people drool over the iPad and consider it to be ‘cutting edge’ despite the fact that it lacks many of the features and capabilities of Mac OS, however the Surface RT (whichis a FAR more capable device than the iPad) is somehow too limited because it can’t run x86 programs. I think that’s crazy.

    I think Windows RT is excellent. The ‘Modern UI’ (horrible name) is beautiful and very easy to navigate. The Microsoft Store is still pretty bare, but there is a pretty good number of good apps to download. The Store interface is poor however. The ‘New Releases’ are updated very rarely, so its easy to miss the release of really good apps because they’re not highlighted at all. Microsoft needs to work on the store a bit.
    I completely agree with you that Windows RT is excellent. It is a joy to use and is far more useful than my Android based tabs for getting work done, staying in touch, and having access to work and client related documents. There are lots of good apps in the Store with many new ones added daily. Apps are being updated to improve them also. For example, Evernotes just did a nice upgrade today.

    BTW, to see a complete list of new apps in the store, just do a search in the Store using only an asterisk "*". Then sort by newest. This will give you a list of all 21,000+ apps with the newest first.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    It irks me when people say, "retina display." It's such an idiotic term and I bet most of them don't even understand what it is. My trial Nokia Lumia 920's screen is better than that, mainly because of the 60Hz refresh rate and supreme outdoor viewability.

    I'd like to run Desktop software though, but I do agree that File Manager, Control Panel, Office, and the Task Manager should had been rewritten and designed for the immersive metro style. Although to use the Desktop easily with touch, one would need to adjust the DPI and such, and it becomes nicer to use without needing a stylus all the time.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 534
    Windows 7, Windows 8 RP


    I picked one up in November and it's been a great tablet. I modified my desktop DPI and made adjustments to Office and can easily navigate everything by touch with no issues. I've also made a registry change so I get 4 rows of tiles as opposed to 3 for my start screen which is great. Also, I don't get any creaking sound when I squeeze around the camera.

    Lately I've been reliving my SNES days with the SNES Emulator which works great with my Xbox Controller.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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