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Finally a DECENT full and objective review of surface RT

jimbo45

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Hi everyone

This seems for once a complete (with pics) and unbiased review of the surface RT tablet.

Actually from this it looks far far better than I had imagined --and I'm not really a tablet lover either.

If the PRO (full std W8 version) is as good even I might be sorely tempted.

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT review -- Engadget

enjoy.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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Hopachi

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No tablet-man myself but: Nice review!
:thumbsup:
 

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pparks1

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Thanks for the review. It is disappointing that one of the criticisms of this device is the fact that it's not ideal for content consumption and entertainment....which really is what the world is using tablets for at the present time.

I'm trying to get work to buy one as a proof of concept, but there is no way I'm willing to spend my own money on one.
 

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FSeal

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Thanks for the review. It is disappointing that one of the criticisms of this device is the fact that it's not ideal for content consumption and entertainment....which really is what the world is using tablets for at the present time.

I'm trying to get work to buy one as a proof of concept, but there is no way I'm willing to spend my own money on one.

That is bizarre because the /entire/ point of metro and the RT version of the surface was for that one single reason only. Content Consumption (Well that and advertisements)

But yeah that low rez display is particularly disappointing, I'd only consider the pro version, but I'm afraid that that thing is going to be a high temperature, low battery life, heavy as a brick version of a tablet :(

The final conclusion about "doing serious work" on the RT was a LOL. The HD yes, RT? uh....
 

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Rickkins

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"two new proprietary magnetic connectors. "

Fail.
 

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Tepid

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But it is not about the ability to view content, it is about the availability of it.
As of now, there is Netflix, Hulu and host of other stuff, there are games there as well. The apps etc, will grow, and much faster than people realize.
So, honestly, this may be a slight shortfall right now, it should not be a deal breaker either.

How long did it take for content to fully explode on Android and Apple? days, weeks or months?
 

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Colonel Travis

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Having seen the Surface and messed around with it a little bit I like it. But this review has something that's off, and it's screen display.

Back when Surface for RT was first revealed, Microsoft shied away from confirming the tablet's screen resolution. We can now understand why: if people knew then that it had a 1,366 x 768 pixel count, they might have pooh-poohed it for not having a 1,920 x 1,200 panel, or better. And that would have been a shame; as any digital camera aficionado will tell you, there's more to image quality than resolution.

I like to take photos, and a lot of stuff affects the end result but the lens is the big deal for cameras. The better the lens, the better the photo. This is why when you take a photo from a camera phone it looks fine on the phone, but put it on your computer at full size it looks like garbage (compared to a SLR-type camera).

This is resolution:

house1.jpeg
300x220 image with normal pixel density


house2.jpeg
300x220 image with pixels 10X larger

house3.jpeg
Middle picture BUT with the same pixel density as the first one. You're cramming the pixels into a smaller space, which makes the photo better even though it's smaller. (This is the reverse situation of the camera phone I mentioned.) If you have Photoshop you can actually increase the resolution of a photo, whereby PS makes up some new pixels on its own and stuffs them in there. You have to do this properly otherwise it will look terrible, but it is possible to enlarge a photo and not worry about a loss in image quality because you're fabricating a higher resolution.

1366x768 = definition of Surface RT.
148 PPI = resolution of a Surface RT.

1920x1080 = definition of Surface Pro.
208 PPI = resolution of a Surface Pro.

The RT and the Pro are both on a 10.6 inch screen, which means the Pro is gonna have a better looking display. I'm not saying the RT display is crap because it's not. I've seen it and it looks great. But you put it beside a display with more pixels in the same space, it will look inferior is all I'm saying.

Lesson over, carry on.
 

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jimbo45

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Having seen the Surface and messed around with it a little bit I like it. But this review has something that's off, and it's screen display.

Back when Surface for RT was first revealed, Microsoft shied away from confirming the tablet's screen resolution. We can now understand why: if people knew then that it had a 1,366 x 768 pixel count, they might have pooh-poohed it for not having a 1,920 x 1,200 panel, or better. And that would have been a shame; as any digital camera aficionado will tell you, there's more to image quality than resolution.

I like to take photos, and a lot of stuff affects the end result but the lens is the big deal for cameras. The better the lens, the better the photo. This is why when you take a photo from a camera phone it looks fine on the phone, but put it on your computer at full size it looks like garbage (compared to a SLR-type camera).

This is resolution:

View attachment 10765
300x220 image with normal pixel density


View attachment 10766
300x220 image with pixels 10X larger

View attachment 10767
Middle picture BUT with the same pixel density as the first one. You're cramming the pixels into a smaller space, which makes the photo better even though it's smaller. (This is the reverse situation of the camera phone I mentioned.) If you have Photoshop you can actually increase the resolution of a photo, whereby PS makes up some new pixels on its own and stuffs them in there. You have to do this properly otherwise it will look terrible, but it is possible to enlarge a photo and not worry about a loss in image quality because you're fabricating a higher resolution.

1366x768 = definition of Surface RT.
148 PPI = resolution of a Surface RT.

1920x1080 = definition of Surface Pro.
208 PPI = resolution of a Surface Pro.

The RT and the Pro are both on a 10.6 inch screen, which means the Pro is gonna have a better looking display. I'm not saying the RT display is crap because it's not. I've seen it and it looks great. But you put it beside a display with more pixels in the same space, it will look inferior is all I'm saying.

Lesson over, carry on.

I HATE phone cameras or even the tourist point and shoot digital cameras.

I ALWAYS USE A real DSLR such as a canon 5D full frame where you can get a proper DOF . Phone cameras irrespective of the megapixel resolution always have NO DOF whatsoever -- looks like Tourist snap shots -:zip:- everything in focus from the subject to infinity -- not good photography.

However it's good to see people at least READING the review.

cheers
jimbo
 

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pparks1

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Yeah, DSLR user here myself for the good photos. Use my phone camera in a pinch.
 

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Colonel Travis

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Camera phones have gotten better. We used to use a tiny point and shoot for some stuff and now that just sits in a drawer and I use my camera phone for spontaneous stuff all the time.

Anyone got any info. about what the camera on the Surface produces?
 

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Rickkins

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The camera on my G-S3 ain't too bad, for a phone camera.
 

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R0bR

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Thanks for the review. It is disappointing that one of the criticisms of this device is the fact that it's not ideal for content consumption and entertainment....which really is what the world is using tablets for at the present time.

It doesn't say it's not ideal for content consumption and entertainment, it says that it's currently lacking due to shortage of Apps.
 

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jimbo45

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Hi there
Don't forget that these tablets can output to larger screens too - movies for example are quite viewable in 1366 X 768 on a 32 inch screen.

Often laptops only have 1366 X 768 as their native screen resolution too (Macbook excepted). For example some of the SONY VAIO range has this screen resolution -- although the HDMI out will deliver higher resolution to a better quality external screen.

I'm not sure what the video card in the PRO version will deliver for its output to an external screen but native 1920 X 1080 is full HD TV definition so should be more than adequate for 99% of the population.

Testing the RT tablet with an external monitor I was able to log in to a work VPN and work just as if I was on a workstation.

IMO the PRO model will be just fine for people who like the idea of a tablet and want just a bit more --USB3 slot, micro SD card and HDMI output makes all the difference.

As for the lack of a LAN -- that's no problem -- you use a USB3 multi hub and then have a cheap USB===>Lan connector if you want to enable fixed LAN to your tablet (PRO only -- remember it's running full windows 8 !!) -- however even on the RT the Wifi connection to the office LAN was more than sufficient for my sort of work

Cheers
jimbo
 

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Coke Robot

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They say the best camera is the one you have on you. If that's a DSLR, awesome. If a camera phone, ok. If it's a Nokia Lumia 920 with PureView and Optical Image Stabilization, fantastic! :D

I read today an article about how a guy accidently put his Surface RT on the top of his car and drove away and it fell off the roof and literally tumbled away with people gasping, and car running it over. He went back, picked it up, screen is totally ok and everything works and is in place. The only thing that happened to it were some noticeable scratches on the VaporMag coating. That things is built with balls!

But setting that aside, I'm putting my money still on the Surface Pro. Some leaked info from the UK I think or Germany has it starting at 809 Euros, which will probably be 800 US. Seems about right for a 64 gig model. I'm really tempted to buy a tablet PC right now, they are definitely product of the year! I want to use the onscreen touch keyboard on the Surface, as it seems like it might be also very great to use. It seems exception to use with a 13 inch screen. I'm really impressed with it overall given every other touch keyboard out there on other platforms.

There is that, along with 1080p resolution, Wacom stylus that clicks onto the tablet, USB 3, an i5 processor with Intel HD 4000 graphics, and optional touch or type covers make the Surface Pro literally THE BEST tablet PC out there so far. I've yet to see other wise.

But bullocks, I've yet to play around with a Windows RT tablet! My local best buy doesn't have one on display, but I think I'll have my chance this Friday with att. By the way, you can always use Remote Desktop with Windows RT to a more powerful machine. :)
 

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jimbo45

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Hi there
I was using one all last week (RT version) connecting to office VPN (via Wireless) and external monitor ---- everything worked fine
rather amusing seeing the XP screen on the tablet !!! but our office is changing (slowly) to W7 --- but if the PRO tablet takes off and isn't too expensive - I'd probably pay up to about 650 GBP / 800 USD / 720 EUR for one of these things -- and use it at work irrespective of WHAT OS is at the office back end.

Tablets are good for displaying presentations -- now we've got a tablet that can actually MAKE them too -- Ipad users tend to moan about lack of OFFICE on the Ipad -- the Ms tablets (even RT) has Office. Great Ipad killer these will be.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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pparks1

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Thanks for the review. It is disappointing that one of the criticisms of this device is the fact that it's not ideal for content consumption and entertainment....which really is what the world is using tablets for at the present time.

It doesn't say it's not ideal for content consumption and entertainment, it says that it's currently lacking due to shortage of Apps.

Yes, you are correct. I'll rephrase.

It's disappointing at the present time that the device lacks the ability to playback a wide variety of video formats and such for content consumption. At this point, it's a matter of waiting to see if apps become available from the MS store to address this issue. On the other hand, one might simply elect to skip RT altogether and just save up some more money for the Pro version of the device when available which will have the 3rd party support at launch.
 

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