| | 02-06-2013, 02:56 PM #1
So, I’ve had my Surface RT for a couple of weeks and I wanted to lay out my thoughts/impressions about the device. Hopefully it’ll be an interesting read.
The Surface is a beautiful device. Everything about the hardware design and feel speaks volumes about the care, precision and attention to detail that MS put into Surface. As much as it’s an overstated feature, the Touch Cover is amazing. It does take a bit of time to get used to (I’m probably 70-80% there), but it really works well. It’s mind-blowing that they could make it so thin. 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 hadn’t read anything about that. The Surface itself feels lovely in the hand. The VaporMG casing is so different to touch than any other tablet I’ve ever held.
The screen is great. I laugh when I read or hear people griping over the ‘lack of a Retina display’. 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 ‘laptop mode’, 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.
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 (which is a FAR more capable device than the iPad) is somehow too limited because itcan’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.
There’s no lag on Surface RT. I tried out an experiment a few days ago. I opened literally every app on my Start screen (about 40) and then tried playing Riptide GP, a pretty graphically intense game. There was no stuttering or lag. I can’t say I noticed it missing frames like crazy either. It was very smooth. I think that’s 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 wasn’t there at all. The Office applications work great, and they are a really powerful feature that other tablets can’t match IMO, but I wish they’d been rewritten as ‘Modern’ apps. I wish the same about the File Manager and the Libraries. I think they’re powerful features, but I wish I didn’t have to leave the tile interface to use them.
So there you have it.
Surface RT is an excellent tablet. And as the Store grows and matures it’s only going to get better. Surface feels right in the hand. It’s a beautiful device both hardware-wise and software-wise. I’m really happy with it.
Thanks for reading. Cheers.