1. z33dev33l's Avatar
    First of all I’d like to say that I’m not a fan of tablets as a whole. I had an old elitebook (The one you can rotate the screen on and turn it into a tablet) and honestly, I preferred my thinner, lighter laptop every time and rushed to a decent business laptop instead. I dabbled again with the Asus Transformer and it just felt like an oversized phone. Not to mention the incessant lag and other mess that is Android. I then had a two week stint with an iPad 2nd gen because millions of Apple fans can’t be that wrong right?

    Finally, there was the Nexus 7, I had high hopes here because it was, “Android without the lagware” as some less biased reviewers put it. Low and behold, the lag was present, though admittedly lesser. It still felt like a blown up phone to me without the usefulness. I kept it long enough to beat Dark Meadows but did all my browsing on my Lumia 800, then 920. I think my three year old uses it to watch superhero cartoons now… or maybe as a stepstool, who cares? The point is, I thought I’d never buy a tablet because they were generally blown up phones and nothing more. I won’t lie, I liked the look of the surface series but at the price point, not a chance for something I wouldn’t use… Or so I thought.

    Enter stage left; a two hundred dollar Surface RT complete with touch cover. At that price, whether or not it was decent, it was a snap buy. If nothing else, I had a two hundred dollar SNES emulator, not the worst way I’ve spent money. Oh, I didn’t know how much I’d adore this thing. I have not used my laptop in 5 days and why would I? This thing gets the job done and so efficiently! So, that’s my little history with the tablet world, now for an average Joe review.

    The Hardware:
    Spoiler Alert: You will not find a better built tablet. Everything from the aluminum-blend housing to the gorilla glass screen just feels solid and is! How do I know? It survived my two year old all weekend, a feat not shared by many things. He played a few terrible Batman games that he found nonstop with absolutely no damage to it despite one drop and some heavy use.
    My favorite part about the hardware, it always feels cool to the touch. I don’t know how they pulled it off but I’m pretty sure they took the cool side of a pillow and embedded the exact temperature into this thing on a permanent basis. It feels amazing. Aside from that, the screen, while not the sharpest, has phenomenal viewing angles and a great level of color reproduction. You’re not losing much with those few lost pixels.
    As for the screen, I have to tell you, I love it. I see no definitive loss and the viewing angles are unparalleled. The color reproduction is great and the sunlight readability gets me by for those long SNES sections where I just can’t put it down.

    The speaker has been the only thing I found less than captivating. Sound quality is good enough but the overall volume is underwhelming at best. I’ve left my UR20s plugged in and it’s been decent enough.

    The keyboard, both onscreen and off is great. The touch cover takes a few minutes to get used to but after 10 minutes or so, you don’t even look elsewhere. The response is great and I can regularly type 60+ words per minute on it which is actually quite remarkable for a keyboard like this. I do, on occasion look beyond this though, to a tablet keyboard… Awful as they are and I have to say, very usable. I’m typing this whole review on it. Not only that, I’m typing it in portrait mode which was unbearable on every other tablet I tried and I’m loving it, no real solid complaints at all.

    I won’t go into specs because a person who buys a tablet for its usability rather than specs isn’t going to care (And likely bought a Windows Phone over an Android device for the same reason.) Overall though, astronomical hardware.


    Software:

    I’ll keep this one brief because I only care about the usability of the software. I’ll jump straight to the negative. I hate that Office only exists in Desktop mode. If I could, I’d remove Desktop mode and keep everything in the Metro interface. Desktop Mode’s inclusion is the only thing that killed the tablet a bit for me. It makes it feel like Winmo 6. As far as apps go, I see no real issues. I downloaded a few RPGs and my basic communication apps and while a facebook app would be nice, I get by though and I don’t really feel as though there’s a definitive shortage anywhere. Its advantages heavily outweigh the downsides.

    I love multitasking. Earlier, I was playing Final Fantasy, watching an Ebay item and downloading some torrents simultaneously. All simultaneously on the screen with no performance issues. I think they should really emphasize that feature.

    As for the most important part, the UI itself, it’s the best of its kind. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its fair share of issues but it is unquestionably a higher caliber of operating system, not depending on apps to make it usable.

    The Overall Experience:

    Overall, the tablet has changed my mind. I’m sold 100%. I mean, minus the fact that Office has to be opened in desktop mode, it has been an amazing experience exceeding the quality of every other tablet I’ve ever handled a dozen times over. It is an upgrade to any other Non-Windows tablet and in terms of build is an upgrade over any RT tablet. Even if people aren’t realizing it yet, these are the tablets of the future.
    09-09-2013 06:41 PM
  2. crash1989's Avatar
    Hi,
    It's good to hear you like the Surface RT.

    About Office touch, I think I read somewhere office team and the windows team are completely different and they have very different timelines.
    Office optimized for touch is said to be out sometime next year (heard this on windows weekly podcast). By then Microsoft will hopefully have ironed out a lot more issues and Modern UI interface would become the primary interface (also windows phone 8.1 would be better integrated)

    For Facebook in Metro I tried a few apps like Vibe , People Hub too but honestly I prefer it in IE, Facebook is horrible as a site and the apps are bad on every platform. I can't seem to find any facebook app usable.That's just me. Facebook is said to be coming out with an official app sometime (don't know when).
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    09-09-2013 07:19 PM
  3. quantum tao's Avatar
    Nice review.
    09-09-2013 08:45 PM
  4. christenmartin's Avatar
    Sounds good. I'm shopping for one now. I was told on this site the the rt was not very usable and should buy the pro. Your review makes it sound very usable.
    09-09-2013 08:56 PM
  5. z33dev33l's Avatar
    Sounds good. I'm shopping for one now. I was told on this site the the rt was not very usable and should buy the pro. Your review makes it sound very usable.
    Well, if you're buying it to play WoW you'll be disappointed but I've been nothing but pleased.
    aximtreo likes this.
    09-09-2013 11:05 PM
  6. aximtreo's Avatar
    I bought the 199 64gbyte refurb version a few days ago. I must say that I truly love it. I've had every tablet you can mention other than itablets. The only thing keeping me from having it for my daily workhorse is the lack of Outlook but I see it's suppose to be in the 8.1 upgrade soon.

    If you don't give it a try, you are missing a really good experience for as little money as you would imagine,
    09-10-2013 09:24 AM
  7. z33dev33l's Avatar
    I bought the 199 64gbyte refurb version a few days ago. I must say that I truly love it. I've had every tablet you can mention other than itablets. The only thing keeping me from having it for my daily workhorse is the lack of Outlook but I see it's suppose to be in the 8.1 upgrade soon.

    If you don't give it a try, you are missing a really good experience for as little money as you would imagine,
    It's amazing how complete it is without full Windows. Sure, gaming could improve but outside of that it's pretty remarkable.
    09-10-2013 09:39 AM
  8. Funky Cricket's Avatar
    I'm looking at one to replace most of what I do I home. 95% of what I do is in a browser, or playing videos, if VLC comes out for RT, most of what I do will be served. I'll keep my desktop for torrents and saving videos, and a few other things and just RDP to it. Thanks for the review!
    10-01-2013 03:28 PM
  9. Brian McBride's Avatar
    I got on that fire sale on the RT and now that I own one, I am kicking myself for not getting in that Best Buy upgrade program (it was a minimum $200 credit trade-in) so that I could off-set the cost of a newer Surface 2.

    RT is like owning an iPad with a better OS. It isn't going to replace my desktop and I might give my RT to my wife and get myself a PRO. But that's only because there are some legacy apps I'd like to have with me (business apps such as Quicken). And even then I am debating if I want to stick with legacy apps like that anyway and not just move to online systems for accounting anyway.

    But honestly, for 95% of the users, RT is fine.

    Here is one thing that I like better than our iPads: Flash video. Not that Flash is perfect, but I am so happy I don't have to download a -bleeping- app to watch a show online. The other day, I went to thedailyshow.com and just watched the episode. No app, no bull****, just worked. And that's just a popular example. There are so many sites I just played the video on that, on my iPad, would have forced me to download an app to watch.

    And although I do think the desktop mode isn't great on the RT, I like having the file explorer. Right now I am copying over a few movies from my NAS to head out to my hot tub and relax and watch something for a bit. I'd stream them, but I just moved into a new rental and I haven't extended the WiFi to the yard yet. But the nice thing is, I don't have to hook the Surface to iTunes to transfer my media. I just dragged and dropped it right into my videos directory and they are good to go.

    I will say that if someone offers me $200 or more on a trade-in for my Surface here, I'll upgrade to the Surface 2 instantly. I know this isn't a full PC, and neither is my iPad or my Transformer Android tablet. It is a more usable OS though. Multitasking, multiple apps on the screen, and MULTIPLE USERS. Man, it's great to hand my tablet to my wife and she can log into her own account.
    10-27-2013 01:07 AM

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 62
    Last Post: 11-21-2014, 10:57 AM
  2. I'm still not sure how to treat my Surface RT...
    By ajst222 in forum Microsoft Surface Laptop
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-30-2014, 09:52 AM
  3. NFL Game pass for windows phone!!!
    By Parktreeone in forum General Phone Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-11-2013, 06:28 AM
  4. would you choose windows phone 8 over Windows 8 RT ?
    By stalemate1 in forum Other Operating Systems
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-10-2013, 07:16 AM
  5. My experience with the Pro Clip mount for the Lumia 920
    By jwinch2 in forum General Phone Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-09-2013, 10:03 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD