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  1. polbit's Avatar
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       #1  
    I've had my Surface for 3 days now, using it as much as possible. I bought it because I wanted to try something new, and wanted to give my impressions so far:

    PROs:
    1. UI is genuinely fresh and exciting to use. Kudos to MS for thinking outside the box.
    2. Having almost full office really helps, I've been able to work on quite a few work spreadsheets without firing up the laptop.
    3. Touch cover is great, I can type one it much faster than I thought possible.
    4. Full USB port - ingenious! Have used it more than once for memory sticks and a mouse.

    CONs:
    1. Screen... While better than resolution would suggest and good enough in general use, it's pretty fuzzy next to a new iPad or Nexus 10. I understand why MS went with a low-res display especially considering the memory bandwidth issues of Tegra 3, but there is just no denying that I really wish the dpi was higher.
    2. App load times... This is a major annoyance and makes the tablet feel slower than it is. Waiting 5-10 seconds feels like eternity, especially when the same app is basically instantaneous on other devices.
    3. Lack of apps... I know I'm beating a dead horse here, and that pinning websites alleviates some of the issues, but it's still not the same. And some of the apps that are there aren't the best, like Kindle or Pulse. I hope this will improve over time, however it doesn't help me now.
    4. Lack of status bar...Having to swipe just to see time and battery life seems cumbersome after being conditioned for years to just looking up at the status bar on other devices. Not a major issue, but annoying.
    5. Lack of Google support... I'm currently heavily dependent on Google, which is a problem, especially considering their recent statements.

    Overall, I'm having a lot of fun using it, but I don't see how it could be my primary tablet at the moment. I'm going to give it full two weeks though, and decide what to do then.
  2. inteller's Avatar
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    #2  
    you need to get off Google first of all, it is a company of advertising spies. the apps issue is quickly rectifying itself.
  3. DougB541#CB's Avatar
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    #3  
    Meh I use a lot of google services and i don't feel like i am missing much using the Surface. I'd be a bit different if it was my phone perhaps....the fact google calender doesn't sync all your calenders except your main one on the surface is annoying though.
  4. NickA's Avatar
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    #4  
    Agree what @inteller said about the app "issue". Every day I look there is something new that I'm interested in. The Sports Illustrated app just came out and it's awesome. So is the Amazon app. I know I could just go to the web site, but for me that Amazon app is way better than the web site when I just need to quickly look at something and order it.

    I think it's funny when some people talk about the screen resolution and compare it to a retina display, and how that's a negative point of the Surface. But when it come to the iPad Mini, it's a "feature" and much better than anyone would have thought. I'm not picking on the OP, just an observation when people talk about the Surface RT resolution.

    The Google thing is a tough one for me too. Once you've been in the Google system for years, it's hard to break out. The whole dropping of EAS support has people saying to simply switch to Outlook.com. Easier said than done. I have so many online accounts and usernames tied to my GMail address it's ridiculous.

    And I'm not sure what to say about the app load times; I'm dumbfounded as well. I guess that's just Windows. The nice thing is I can leave all the apps I use multiple times throughout the day opened, so they are always available. Performance is affected for me.
  5. DougB541#CB's Avatar
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    #5  
    Yeah i've noticed the same resolution issue. Is it top of class resolution wise? No...but how outlets pretend that the resolution is impossible to look at is just laughable.

    Yeah app opening time is weirdly long...but as you point out, its no an issue once your commonly used apps are all in memory. Even if it drops out (like when the screen has a quick black splash screen) it loads up faster than first load. But it can only get faster from here..reminds me of windows phone 7.5 to now Windows phone 8....app start up times are night and day.
  6. Dewg's Avatar
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    #6  
    I wonder if apps have some splash-screen timer in them. A few apps I've downloaded (My Country for one) have absolutely no load-time. I press the icon, and it starts the app up nearly instantly. Perhaps we'll see other apps change their load times on future versions.
  7. inteller's Avatar
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    #7  
    I saw something interesting with the SI.com app at launch that I liked. Instead of sitting there with the spinning circle animation, it faded in UI elements which transitioned into the app as a menu when loaded. That to me goes a LONG way towards relieving the app load issue and also introduces the user to that apps UI paradigm. NBCNews does this sort of too by transitoning the logo up into the app when done. There are lots of ways to utilize the app startup screen if you have a lot of resources to load.
  8. polbit's Avatar
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       #8  
    The resolution issue is definitely not a deal breaker for a lot of uses - but for reading it does matter. As en example, I read a lot of books using Kindle app on the iPad, and there is just no comparision - sharp text, fluid and animated page turns, and 2-page landscape mode. Everything that the Surface Kindle app lacks. I would hope that Amazon will update it but there is no guarantee and as it stands right now it is basically unusable - too tall in portait mode, and too wide in landscape with single lines spanning the entire screen.

    As some of you have said, it's hard to wean yourself off of Google services once you have used them for years. Very similar to iTunes for music. Is it doable? Yes. Is it worth it? At this point I'm not sure. Microsoft is in a tough spot here, but at the same time it's great to see them as the innovators in the field against the likes of Apple and Google.
  9. inteller's Avatar
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    #9  
    animated page turns? We need LESS skeumorphic design not MORE.

    Getting off of Google is only as tough as your willpower is weak.
  10. stephen_az's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by polbit View Post
    The resolution issue is definitely not a deal breaker for a lot of uses - but for reading it does matter. As en example, I read a lot of books using Kindle app on the iPad, and there is just no comparision - sharp text, fluid and animated page turns, and 2-page landscape mode. Everything that the Surface Kindle app lacks. I would hope that Amazon will update it but there is no guarantee and as it stands right now it is basically unusable - too tall in portait mode, and too wide in landscape with single lines spanning the entire screen.

    As some of you have said, it's hard to wean yourself off of Google services once you have used them for years. Very similar to iTunes for music. Is it doable? Yes. Is it worth it? At this point I'm not sure. Microsoft is in a tough spot here, but at the same time it's great to see them as the innovators in the field against the likes of Apple and Google.
    Personally my opinion is the opposite when it comes to screen resolution and reading text in the Kindle app. Screen readability is actually one of the things in which Surface scores very high in actual tests (higher than the iPad in some). It is obviously a matter of preference though and younwill never satisfy everyone. As for animated page turning, don't bet on ever seeing that on Surface RT. Apple was awarded a (very justified) patent and I doubt either Microsoft or Amazon will be interested in paying additional royalties.
  11. erasure25's Avatar
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    #11  
    4. Full USB port - ingenious! Have used it more than once for memory sticks and a mouse.

    Also, it will work with Logitech's unifying receiver to connect multiple devices at once. I have a logitech mouse and number key pad that use the unifying receiver, and both worked at the same time with no set up (you might have to pair them to the receiver first on a PC... not sure, since I had already done that previously). The key pad comes in handy for me for Excel since I deal with lots of numbers.
  12. inteller's Avatar
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    #12  
    That's pretty impressive!
  13. polbit's Avatar
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       #13  
    Thanks everyone, its been fun trying the Surface RT out. In the end it just didn't make sense for my usage but I've come away impressed by a lot of the features. I'll definitely check out 2nd generation when it comes out.
  14. smoledman's Avatar
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    #14  
    All those are either 1st gen hardware not being up to spec, young ecosystem(lack of apps) and just try out Microsoft's ecoystem(Outlook.com) or use Google through the browser. Bottom line is the next Surface RT will be a lot better, there will be lot more apps and everyone will be happy.

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