- 07-20-2013, 05:12 PM #1
I just purchased the Surface 32gig RT. I also loaded the 8.1 preview. So far I have a highly functional device that does some interesting things, some of them well. What I find curious is the amount and intensity of harsh criticism regarding RT overall. Tech blogs just rip it apart no matter what...Reviews pan the Surface RT across the board it seems however in many ways I think they may be missing the point. The design aesthetics pretty much required compromise on many levels and while execution overall isn't great, the RT is capable. Btw why do so many people. HATE the desktop so much?
07-20-2013, 05:41 PM #2
- 15 Posts
I have an RT tablet too and I think it's great. I can consume all manner of media, control my desktop and Xbox, work with documents and print without effort. I think one reason the RT gets a bad rap is because it is unable to run desktop programs like the Windows 8 Pro tablet. The inclusion of a desktop environment in RT kind of invites this comparison, but it's still incorrect in my mind. The RT should be compared to the iPad, which isn't criticized for not running Mac programs. Even Paul Thurrott knocked RT for not being Pro, which I just don't get.
My own personal opinion... I think it's also because Microsoft has an image problem. For years, Microsoft was the only option for a PC OS, and people still associate it with crashes and data loss and all the headaches of being a PC user. Now there are alternatives out there like Google and Apple that are very popular, and people who spent years blaming Microsoft for every BSOD just aren't willing to give them the time of day anymore if they don't have to. Microsoft has become the brand that a great number of people love to hate.
Lastly, I think the Surface deserves some of the criticism it gets. It's still a little rough around the edges, lacks apps, and requires a desktop environment that is confusing, difficult to use with a touch screen and only seems to be there because a pure Metro experience wasn't yet ready for prime time when RT launched. That said, I still think the RT is more than worth the money. Especially after the price drops.
- 07-20-2013, 10:20 PM #3
I appreciate the feedback Johnny! I have the 8.1 preview up & humming and can it be a little snappier? Sure. However it has been a pleasure to use, (desktop) included. I'm not using the device with preconceived notions of tablet/laptop hybrid perfection. I'm taking it for what its worth, limitations and all. End result? Pretty nice piece of kit!
07-21-2013, 12:21 AM #4
- 26 Posts
I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy my Surface RT. It's not a perfect device, however I've yet to see the perfect consumer device. It could be faster. But the fact that I can modify docs in Excel and Word and still play games in tablet mode while my brother can just play games on his ipad tells me I have the better device.
If Microsoft ever learns how to market, they could become dangerous again. The Bing ad campaign suggest to me that they are slowly learning. Until then the hate will continue.
- 07-21-2013, 12:55 AM #5
I honestly don't understand all the hate either. Just got mine today and I'm loving it. I went online to talk about how much I loved it, but all I could find was hate. I found this thread by searching "why hate Windows RT?"
I hope the price cut of the Surface helps it become more widespread and quells all the hatred. I think it's definitely more useful than an ipad or android tablet, that's for sure.
Where is the love? Let's hope we get some soon!
07-21-2013, 12:56 AM #6
- 21 Posts
I have the RT as well and have been nothing but pleased with it.
The RT bashers are the usual Microsoft haters. Also, they fail to recognize the overall strategy of Microsoft to unify phone/tablet/pc for the User. Microsoft has leap-frogged the tablet era and the bashers are either too stupid or too stubborn to see it.
For offline use (traveling), obviously videos and music work great and the SD gives plenty of storage for this. Also, you have complete Office to work with offline. There's Kindle for books, but the best App I have found is Next Issue which is an offline magazine app. It's a monthly subscription of $9.99 but I find it well worth it. Particularly when I'm on a plane.
The number one thing I use the Surface RT for is remoting (yes spell check, it's a word) into all of my other computers. This actually allows me to use any of my programs on them and get changed files via Sky Drive if needed. So no more lugging the laptop around, just remote in and the RT becomes that laptop.
07-21-2013, 01:02 AM #7
- 112 Posts
I could be wrong because I've not tried it, but two things come to mind.
As a whole package it may have been competitive on price when you include things like office etc, but people have lots of choices from nexus, iPad, up to surface pro. They were both established also, and the pro is basically a full laptop.
As for specs you could pic up a nexus for cheap with reasonable specs (talking soc etc for the price), rt just wasn't as smooth and fast as the price dictated it should be.
It doesn't matter if it's unfair or not, true or not, but they needed to release it at the price it is now.
Bit like how the cheap lumias are what's gaining the market share.
With the pro being the l920.
I'm hoping that the drop in price, and the introduction of 7-8" devices will give rt a kick start.
Also maybe more powerful surface rt 2.
Not sure if they could've released it for cheaper, but that's what was necessary.
For the record i wanted a 7-8" rt device for ages, to replace my current one, but their taking so long may end up getting a droid one.
- 07-21-2013, 01:18 AM #8
I'm thinking maybe they should eliminate the desktop in RT. Its only use is for office; so make office an app that runs within the "metro" UI, and remove the desktop completely. It just serves to confuse people and may be leading to all the hatred because people expect that if they have a desktop, they should be able to run desktop apps.
- 07-21-2013, 01:21 AM #9
I don't understand all the hate for the Surface either. I was working today at a Best Buy store and an older customer asks me what is the best tablet for Microsoft Word and just general use. She mentioned to me it was for her husband who was used to Windows environment. She was looking at the Samsung Galaxy tablets. The whole time I thought "The Surface RT is perfect for them!"
I swear the moment I mentioned Microsoft Surface she just literally snapped and went off on how bad Windows 8 was wanted nothing to do with it. She kept insisting on the Tab 10.1 which was $100 more and did not come with actual Office.
I was persistent and I even asked if she ever used Windows 8/RT, said no. I finally convinced her to look at it, she seemed impressed but she just didn't want to admit it. She opened Word and Excel. Her husband just gave me a blank look the whole time. Didn't get the sale. Lol.
Other than that ocassion, the RT sold extremely well today. :)
Last edited by deloa84; 07-21-2013 at 01:35 AM.
07-21-2013, 01:40 AM #10
- 21 Posts
Also, the desktop allows a familiar environment for folder/file manipulation.
- 07-21-2013, 04:36 AM #11
I agree with the thoughts on the price point. When the RT made its debut I absolutely knew that it was over priced. A little research & good sense afforded me the ability to recognize that so I waited for the, (inevitable) price slash. @ $350 it is a much better value when you consider the premium build quality, USB, SD, mini HDMI out, pretty good speakers, sharp display, front & rear cams for Skype video conferencing, Full MS Office support, VERY good browser with flash support, a much more fluid UI with the 8.1 preview update to an OS I already really enjoy and last but not least a very handy kickstand, overall you have very good bang for your buck. Also consider that MS is in no way going to pull support for RT; if the 8.1 preview is any indication MS is working hard to improve the platform on into the future.
The Surface just is able to do more than many of its rivals and when you consider the price it is, again, a nice package. The rampant hate just looks more and more biased & irrational with every passing day.
- 07-21-2013, 09:19 AM #12
Why the RT hate? There is probably no one reason. I believe the the term isheep was born for a reason. I think the majority of people are ignorant when it comes to technology and follow the masses because they don't know what else to do. My wife has said to me a million times, get the iPhone cause everyone loves it. Sorry honey, that isn't a reason to pick a device.
As others have said, Microsoft got a bad name (I believe because they were big) and when a competitor (Apple) was released they took advantage of the negative publicity. Microsoft has an up hill battle but I think they are gaining ground. Revisit this thread in a year and lets see where the RT stands in the skim of things.
- 07-21-2013, 09:49 AM #13
RT is very capable but the fact is it isn't as polished and the ecosystem isn't nearly as good as Android and iOS. There are still gaping holes, like the lack of official Facebook and YouTube apps. Plus the closed ecosystem is contrary to what made Windows successful in the first place. RT was the best choice for me and I think a lot of people would like it if they gave it a chance, but a lot of the criticism is valid.
Microsoft is trying to be like Apple instead of following the template that they used in the past to crush Apple. I don't think they will succeed unless they open up again.
- 07-21-2013, 09:53 AM #14Why so much hate for RT?
The build quality of the Surface is definitely impressive. Its internals are not. Yes, everyone hates the Tegra 3, some with good reason. However, it’s not the worst thing to ever happen to consumer tablets. In fact, I remember the Nexus 7 receiving a ton of praise for its “underpowered chip”. Here’s what the reviewer had to say.
Okay, so a 35-second boot time does leave a little bit to be desired, but once you're inside the OS, applications load quickly and respond briskly, even graphics-heavy ones like the Google Play magazine app. Webpages are rendered promptly and swiping through them is snappy.
But remember that the Nexus 7 came out in June 2012. Everyone really seemed to like the Tegra 3 back then. Jump ahead to the release of the Surface RT and suddenly it’s the worst possible thing to ever happen to tablets.
So what made the Tegra 3 powered Nexus 7 so palatable and not the Surface? Probably the $300 dollar price difference!
The Nexus 7 launched at $200. You could even argue that the Nexus 7 was too cheap. That Google would have been justified if they sold it at $250-$300. But try selling the Nexus 7 at $500 and it doesn’t really work. Unlike Apple’s incredibly powerful A5 chips, or the Samsung Exynos 5250, the Tegra 3 was starting to show its age. So, $200 seems like a completely justifiable price. And to give the Tegra 3 some credit, it’s not completely useless. From the article above,
On Geekbench, a cross-platform benchmark that measures raw processing power rather than graphics, the quad-core Tegra 3 blew its competitor way as it achieved an overall score of 1,571 to the A5X’s 692.
The Surface RT is probably the best tablet to ever take advantage of the Tegra’s processing power. As I’m typing this right now, I’m running 8.1 while outputting to a 1080p monitor, using Microsoft Word and IE11 with 8 tabs open. I also have Xbox Music docked to the right and it’s streaming my music from the cloud. Hate the Tegra 3 as much as you want but that multitasking should not be underestimated. I tried multitasking on the “more powerful” Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and the browser could barely handle two tabs (it froze on me). So even though the Tegra 3 is good, it’s just not $500 dollars good. Especially not in 2013 money.
Do you remember the prices that manufacturers said their tablets were going to cost? Like when Lenovo said RT tablets would launch at 300 dollars.
A $300 Tegra 3 powered Surface RT sounded reasonable, right? NOPE! The prices for initial RT tablets were insane. The Surface launched at $500, and in many places you could only buy it bundled with a touchcover for $600+. Other RT tablets launched around the same price point. You cannot launch Windows RT tablets at the same price point as full blown Windows 8 tablets and laptops. The one advantage that RT was supposed to bring was cost and Microsoft took that away.
Windows RT’s problem is that for $500 dollars there was always a superior product next to it. Android tablets offered similar hardware to RT tablets but are far cheaper. The iPad is expensive but has the impressive A5 chip and retina display. Windows 8 tablets/laptops gave you full blown Windows and that’s just hard to beat for the asking price.
Flat out, RT tablets should have never launched above $350. That was supposed to be the trade-off that everyone was expecting. You pay a lot less but in return you get a slimmed down version of Windows that has a longer battery life and isn’t plagued with the same problems of x86 computers.
Yes, Microsoft needed to do a better job explaining the differences between RT and Windows 8. But even if Microsoft did, even if the public knew the differences, even if there was no desktop mode, Microsoft (and OEMs) were still charging way too much money for an inferior product. Plus they waited too long to drop the price. Now the Surface RT is $350 and Microsoft should do the right thing and launch a brand new marketing campaign to explain why the Surface RT is worth the asking price.
07-21-2013, 10:01 AM #15
- 20 Posts
I own a Lumia 920 & Vaio Duo. Since I enjoy the Metro design so much, I decided to take the plunge with RT after the recent price cut. So far, it is doing what I have expected it to be doing. A bit laggy compared to my Vaio/Lumia particularly when reading magazines using Zinio. Otherwise, it is perfect for me. Good size as well as good battery life. I do miss the stylus capability of my Vaio though.
- 07-21-2013, 11:34 AM #16
In addition to price issue mentioned by others, I think market confusion plays a role. By this I mean the Windows name implies the ability to use any Windows program to most people. By calling the OS Windows RT, Microsoft confused potential customers and did a poor job of explaining the difference between RT and Windows 8.
I think they should have differentiated the RT OS more clearly from Windows. Maybe call it Surface OS. Then focus the marketing campaign on strengths of this OS and how it integrates with the Windows OS you use on your laptop.
Last thing they could have done better is get the product into channel fast. There were not enough Microsoft store locations to launch a new product like this and most customers prefer to see before they buy. Microsoft needed to get the Surface into Best Buy and other partners hands much faster than they did.
Combined with more aggressive pricing and I would bet the sales would have been stronger.
- 07-21-2013, 11:54 AM #17
I'm really glad to see that so many people are enjoying their RTs and even more glad to see that so many of them are new purchases since the price drop.
I'm not going to lie, it's a relief to see so many people enjoying the machine and to hear (from a post above) that Microsoft is still committed to the platform. I was a but nervous that I might purchase a fire sale item at the end of its support cycle.
Lack of Facebook and YouTube apps, to me, is a non-issue, considering the fluidity of the browser and its capabilities.
Anyways, glad to hear from all of you. You've put my mind to ease.
- 07-21-2013, 11:54 AM #18
Cause RT is better than ipad or android tablets but isn't as good as full windows 8.
People wants FULL windows 8 tablet, they don't want copy of android, ipad.
For me RT seems like a good deal, but for most of people it is a ripoff.
- 07-21-2013, 01:13 PM #20
I agree with a lot of what has been said here. The RT platform is an iPad-type tablet with improved productivity options. Although the price drop is a big thing, there are a few other things I think MS needs to do to make RT more successful:
First: Improve access to my company office! MS got some stuff right. The inclusion of Office apps (and now Outlook in 8.1) and the inclusion of the Remote Desktop client in RT are big wins for people who want to add a little productivity to how they use their tablet. But they are hampered by the failure to include decent 3rd VPN tools needed to connect to many company networks remotely like "Cisco AnyConnect". If you can't get into your company net, what's the point? Surface Pro addresses both of these things since it is a full Windows implementation that supports current VPN apps, but RT only offers MS VPN access and very few companies use that. Many VPN options are available on the iPhone and iPad, and they need to be available on RT.
Second: Improve the ecosystem for content consumption! This is the main area where Apple wins hands down and people who call Apple users "iSheep" are simply choosing to be blind . They are showing ignorance and using derogatory labels because they don't have anything constructive to add. The short form is that the content consumption tools on Surface (and Windows 8 in general) are just not as good or smooth as those Apple offers. So here are some constructive criticisms: Although it's great that RT has SD card support and USB mass storage support, it requires a registry hack to get your library to see the content on the SD card and include it for relatively clean use in the Metro apps. You can use the Explorer and manually launch content, but that is really clumsy compared to how it works on an iPad. MS - Make the discovery and viewing of to content smoother and more consistent! Along these lines, Apple supports the playback of embedded soft subtitles. MS video does not (although there are 3rd party apps for externally loading this content). Again - it speaks to the smoothness of the process. This should also be improved.
Third: More Metro apps! So many apps just aren't there yet (many already mentioned by others) and MS doesn't seem to be doing anything to get them there. On the Windows Phone side of the house, Nokia is doing a lot to get apps ported to the platform, but I don't see the same commitment from MS (or anyone else) on the RT platform. I think MS needs to drive and publicize apps that are being brought to Metro (and RT) to show people that it is a completely viable platform. For me, right now, I'm missing things like my banking app (a major national bank), Cisco AnyConnect (VPN app), many popular games that are available on iOS and Android like "Words with Friends" (on Windows Phone, but not RT/Metro), Plants v Zombies, Infinity Blade, Civilization Revolution, Facebook, FlightTrack Pro, Lync 2010, my primary Airline app, etc. There are product categories like language education, and commercial apps (store apps) that are weak as well, but those often don't fill in until late in the game.
Fourth: If you are going to have a desktop then make it actually useful. Right now there isn't a good reason to show the desktop and it confuses people into thinking they should be able to run standard desktop apps, which they can't. This speaks to the larger, kind of disjointed feel between Metro and the desktop as well. Again, when you are using a tablet, it is all about a cleaner, smoother user experience. 8.1 preview smoothened many things, but not everything - there is more to do!
Fifth (and last): Differentiate RT! I said publicly at the announcement of RT that the name was a horrible choice that would only confuse people and I think the evidence shows I was right. People think they should be able to run standard apps on RT and they can't and it gives RT devices a black eye that they don't deserve. The name of the OS should have been different and MS should do a MUCH better job differentiating this platform for what it is and what it does well. Oh - and stop focusing on the keyboard! There are $100 options for the iPad that are better than either the touch or type keyboards MS offers. Focusing on the keyboard is not impressing anyone!
I think if MS would take even a couple of these points seriously, they would make better inroads with the RT product line.
07-22-2013, 01:25 AM #21
- 1 Posts
Yes, you can use Office on the RT tablets, but that is not what all / most people do on their tablets. IN fact that is one of the lesser concerns of people on tablets. iOS is filled with many main stream entertainment focused apps, a very decent ecosystem (iTunes, other well integrated devices etc.,), a considerable amount of productivity apps (usually specialised for varying industries and professions) that make the iPad a perfect choice for most. Office doesnīt cut it. Being able to browse the internet doesn't cut it. Being able to stick a USB key in it, is not enough to make it a worthwhile option.
In my opinion, the Surface tablets, (more so the Pro than the RT) have the potential to be best thing since slice bread, but MSFT needs to widen their vision, they need to wake up and home in on what people need the devices for. They need to start with their app selection.
Last edited by zcientizt; 07-22-2013 at 01:56 AM.
- 07-22-2013, 03:12 AM #22
All very good points! Keep in mind that the apps will eventually get up to par as they are on WP8. In the meantime the browser is powerful and is quite capable to make up for the loss if a handful of apps.
Also keep in mind the new price point & what it was designed to do. Look at the surface PRO. No matter how many legacy programs it can run, its bulky, runs hot & is expensive as hell. As far as value for the money the RT is actually the better choice between the two right now.
There are more than a few things that can be and will continue to be improved with RT. The current chipset, while nit the most powerful strikes a pretty good balance between performance & battery life efficiency. RT will only get better and even if the hardware gets a little dated I think its up to the task of implementing the planned improvements.
The fit feel and finish of the device are excellent and with 8.1 loaded my surface runs very smoothly. It simply does what I ask it to do & does it well.
It doesn't have to be what so many naysayers insist that it should. It doesn't have to try to be something its not. Just run with what its been given & for me that is plenty enough.
07-22-2013, 04:19 AM #23
- 4,060 Posts
I believe that the technology blogs are mainly to blame for the hate. They should have the expertise to acknowledge RT for what it is (a tablet OS), but instead chose to pitch it as a crippled version of Windows with various features not working or sub-standard. Lazy journalism wants to compare any tablets to iPad, Android, or touch-enabled Windows ultrabooks.
And because the source of many tech site's articles are other tech sites, the misinformation spreads.
07-22-2013, 04:42 AM #24
- 55 Posts
I looked at the RT when it came out but price point, and the lack of Outlook in the bundled Office suite, turned me away. I'd seen and used the native W8 mail app! But with the price drop and the inclusion on Outlook in the 8.1 preview I, like a few others on here it seems, took the plunge last week.
I think MS did mis-sell what RT was. Think of it as iPad + (limited) desktop and you''ll be fine. And for me that limited desktop with Office was what held my interest. I think we will ultimately see a Metro version of Office, but given the long history of Office on the desktop I cannot see MS abandoning that. The use cases for Office currently are far too complicated to be easily replicated in a tiled environment, certainly for me.
Apps don't really worry me. I find 100% of the apps I really need/actually use and around 75% of the others. When I drew up a iPad->Surface app spreadsheet last week to identify replacements, I found a myriad of apps I'd downloaded but never used/could not recall what they were for. I do understand that apps are key for some though, but for me it's: Outlook, IE, occasional key apps, and Office in that order.
The remote desktop works well with my W8 desktop and SVR2012 NAS. And I've added a tile to do a remote WOL to the former when I'm out and about. So although the RT lacks grunt, I have access to a dual Xeon quad-core/16GB machine back home if I need some other desktops apps and, as someone mentioned earlier, transfer the results via SkyDrive. The remote app works really well with W8/SVR2012 gestures.
So ... so far so good. My only gripe, and it is minor ... I bought the RT sight unseen, and I hadn't realised just how tiny the fonts on the desktop were! They can be a stretch for my eyes.
- 07-22-2013, 07:55 AM #25
When comparing this first generation of RT's to the first generation of iPads, RT > iPad. The newest iPad is better than the RT but people forget that Apple has had a 4 year head start on this. My largest complaint with the RT is the screen resolution. Nothing compares to my iPad 4th gen retina display. Sorry, but it's true. I will however, be pulling the trigger on the Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2 this Christmas, depending on their prices. Can't wait.
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