1. vincelac's Avatar
    I'm going in to my junior year of college and I am considering purchasing a Surface RT. I would ideally like a Pro, but if I can pick an RT up off craigslist with a keyboard for around 300 then I might be okay with that... as long as the product is worth the price. My only info on the Surface RT has been from a few reviews here and there, but those seemed to knock it for the high price, low number of apps, and lack of fluidity and power when operating. The price dropped, but I don't want to buy something that isn't going to help me out with what I would need it for (MS Office, on the go internet browsing, video calls, lo-fi sound recording). Can the RT do all of these things and do them well? Would it be worth it if I can get the device and keyboard at around 300-350? And if I buy used and factory reset, would I have to repurchase MS Office? (also on a side note, the Office that comes with the Surface RT, is that just a one year subscription or what?)

    Apologies if there is another thread similar to this.
    08-08-2013 01:05 PM
  2. rchillin's Avatar
    All Surface RTs come with Office Student/Home edition pre-installed so there's no need to repurchase a license. The only thing I can't speak on is lo-fi sound recording. I'm not sure you'll get the high fidelity you may be looking for but you can look up some drivers and see if there may be some compatibility with Surface. Speaking of a tablet though, I'm not sure how much sound recording quality you'll get out of any tablet for that matter. As for your other requirements, easy breezy.
    08-08-2013 01:38 PM
  3. inteller's Avatar
    Sound recorder is coming with 8.1 so lo-fi recording will be met then.
    08-08-2013 02:42 PM
  4. Guzzler3's Avatar
    The one thing IMHO the PRO has over the RT for school, is the Pen. I too am thinking of going back to school, and I currently have an RT, but playing with a PRO at the MSFT store, the Pen makes it nice.

    But as others have said, with the PRO you have to purchase Office, where-as the RT has the student version already installed (you can do a factory reset and Office stays with the system).

    Oh, get the Type cover instead of the Touch cover for either for school use.
    valeriolucciola likes this.
    08-08-2013 02:51 PM
  5. Reflexx's Avatar
    Battery life is a lot better on the RT. It also doesn't get hot like the Pro can.

    I find that if I'm doing something simple, I'd much rather use the RT. It's lighter, cooler, and lasts longer.

    I use the Pro when I need to use desktop applications or the pen.

    Though with the RT you could still use those pens that work on an iPad. It's not as thin and you dont get pressure sensitivity though.

    Having free Office is huge. To me, that makes RT worth it even if the app store only had 100 apps in it.
    08-08-2013 03:12 PM
  6. Slater_GS's Avatar
    It wouldn't make sense to sell you on the RT if it didn't fit your needs, but in your case I think it is a very viable option (from your brief post).
    I don't understand all of the hate towards it but maybe it is because people haven't really used it or people don't know how to learn new things?

    I pre-ordered the Surface RT and my wife and I love it. There were some minor quirks with wifi and audio when we first got it, but those were ironed out with software updates. Sure I wish it were $350 when we bought it, but it is an awesome piece of hardware and the software runs fantastic. I feel it is a bit selfish to think that Microsoft should be selling these for that cheap upon release. It is a great product and they put a lot of effort into it.

    We Skype, use it for the office applications, she uses it for her blogging, and we use it for a lot of video viewing (mainly stream from my plex server) and youtube. It would have been a great companion during college, OneNote is great.
    The only thing I feel is missing with the RT (for our purposes) is VLC (which is coming).

    As stated by rchillin, factory reset has Office preinstalled so no worries there.
    I would think lo-fi recording can be achieved, but I don't know really. Google? If that is a requirement for you and it doesn't support it, then you have your answer.

    I'm not sure what all of your needs are, but for us, this is NOT a desktop replacement. For that matter, I wouldn't really consider any tablet (even Pro) as a desktop replacement. That is why I underlined companion up above. Some people can get by with just a tablet or a laptop, we cannot.
    My main problem that I have had in recommending the Surface RT is the cost vs some other full W8 tablets available. Now that it has come down to $350, it is a bit easier.

    I recently purchased (or assisted in purchasing) an ASUS tablet for a friend that had full W8 and had the added bonus of Office, for $400. Great!
    But now I needed a cover that had a kickstand because it doesn't have a built in one like the Surface RT (which is awesome btw).
    I also needed some type of keyboard. He was only going to use the keyboard and mouse when at his desk at home. So we could get away with a larger size. But a nice Bluetooth set was expensive and it didn't have a full USB port like the Surface RT (which again is very handy). So we ended up buying a mini USB to USB adapter to plug in the wireless receiver for the set. Not ideal, but it works.
    So $475 later he now has a full W8 tablet and what feels (to me anyways) like a cobbled together accessory package. It works, but he is very jealous of how mine all fits together in a really easy package.
    Really it was a good deal, but that tablet feels cheap to my Surface RT, but it does have full Windows functionality (which in my case is unnecessary as I have other things for that).

    I actually haven't been paying attention to any Surface 2 rumors, but my only hesitancy to purchasing a Surface RT now is that the next one should have some beefier specs and 8.1 is around the corner (which also runs fantastic and adds more improvement to the RT)

    tl:dr
    Surface RT is a fantastic product for ME, but is it right for YOU?
    As with any purchase, make a list of the things that you must have and that you can't live without. If it meets those requirements, then go for it. If it doesn't have that ONE app that you must have, then it doesn't fit the bill no matter how much you want it to.

    Good luck!

    Edit: As Guzler3 said, I would probably get the type cover for school. We have the touch cover which actually pretty good once you get the hang of it, but I would not want it for school.
    Pete likes this.
    08-08-2013 03:16 PM
  7. vincelac's Avatar
    Pretty much sold on it. And for the recording I was just wondering if there was an app comparable to garage band or a similar program. Not really needed, it'd just be a nice little plus. Thanks for all the help and recommendations, I'll be picking one up in the next week or two.
    08-09-2013 04:15 AM
  8. infinidim's Avatar
    It wouldn't make sense to sell you on the RT if it didn't fit your needs, but in your case I think it is a very viable option (from your brief post).
    I don't understand all of the hate towards it but maybe it is because people haven't really used it or people don't know how to learn new things?

    I pre-ordered the Surface RT and my wife and I love it. There were some minor quirks with wifi and audio when we first got it, but those were ironed out with software updates. Sure I wish it were $350 when we bought it, but it is an awesome piece of hardware and the software runs fantastic. I feel it is a bit selfish to think that Microsoft should be selling these for that cheap upon release. It is a great product and they put a lot of effort into it.

    We Skype, use it for the office applications, she uses it for her blogging, and we use it for a lot of video viewing (mainly stream from my plex server) and youtube. It would have been a great companion during college, OneNote is great.
    The only thing I feel is missing with the RT (for our purposes) is VLC (which is coming).

    As stated by rchillin, factory reset has Office preinstalled so no worries there.
    I would think lo-fi recording can be achieved, but I don't know really. Google? If that is a requirement for you and it doesn't support it, then you have your answer.

    I'm not sure what all of your needs are, but for us, this is NOT a desktop replacement. For that matter, I wouldn't really consider any tablet (even Pro) as a desktop replacement. That is why I underlined companion up above. Some people can get by with just a tablet or a laptop, we cannot.
    My main problem that I have had in recommending the Surface RT is the cost vs some other full W8 tablets available. Now that it has come down to $350, it is a bit easier.

    I recently purchased (or assisted in purchasing) an ASUS tablet for a friend that had full W8 and had the added bonus of Office, for $400. Great!
    But now I needed a cover that had a kickstand because it doesn't have a built in one like the Surface RT (which is awesome btw).
    I also needed some type of keyboard. He was only going to use the keyboard and mouse when at his desk at home. So we could get away with a larger size. But a nice Bluetooth set was expensive and it didn't have a full USB port like the Surface RT (which again is very handy). So we ended up buying a mini USB to USB adapter to plug in the wireless receiver for the set. Not ideal, but it works.
    So $475 later he now has a full W8 tablet and what feels (to me anyways) like a cobbled together accessory package. It works, but he is very jealous of how mine all fits together in a really easy package.
    Really it was a good deal, but that tablet feels cheap to my Surface RT, but it does have full Windows functionality (which in my case is unnecessary as I have other things for that).

    I actually haven't been paying attention to any Surface 2 rumors, but my only hesitancy to purchasing a Surface RT now is that the next one should have some beefier specs and 8.1 is around the corner (which also runs fantastic and adds more improvement to the RT)

    tl:dr
    Surface RT is a fantastic product for ME, but is it right for YOU?
    As with any purchase, make a list of the things that you must have and that you can't live without. If it meets those requirements, then go for it. If it doesn't have that ONE app that you must have, then it doesn't fit the bill no matter how much you want it to.

    Good luck!

    Edit: As Guzler3 said, I would probably get the type cover for school. We have the touch cover which actually pretty good once you get the hang of it, but I would not want it for school.
    Slater_GS - I think you have put the case for the Surface RT very well above. Both my wife and I also have Surface RT's and we love them. With the update to 8.1 it makes it even better. There were a few issue back in October last year when we first got them but every issue that we had has been fixed so far. There are a few little niggles but from what I have tested and seen of 8.1 these will be fixed in that soon.
    08-09-2013 07:05 AM
  9. Slater_GS's Avatar
    FYI there is a good deal on some manufacturer refurbished units here:
    32GB Microsoft Surface RT Tablet 0885370528411 | eBay

    1 year warranty on a refurb is pretty awesome and at $250 you can't beat the price. I kind of want to pick up another lol.
    08-09-2013 07:35 AM
  10. techiedude007's Avatar
    I've seen lots of hate towards RT simply because it doesn't run legacy apps. Um, ok...next! iPads don't run Mac apps (for which Apple is probably grateful) so where's the problem? For your specific situation, I came across an article that would probably be a great (and quick) read:

    OMG! They're using Windows RT! | ZDNet

    and

    Surface RT & Windows RT REAL Review: PLEASE, Tell me WHY a Windows RT Tablet should run Windows Legacy Applications !!

    I've got a Surface RT for my son and he uses it for school and home learning and loves it. It's amazing how well a 7 yr old can adapt compared to some of the neophyte tech reviewers out there...

    And I'll second/third thumbs-up getting the Type cover instead of the Touch cover. I have both and like both but if you're gonna be typing for extended periods, the Type cover makes more sense.

    Also, if you're in school and want the RT, visit your school's book store or computer store (whichever sells tech to students/faculty/staff). They should be able to order a 32GB Surface RT with Touch cover right now for $289 (and add your own 64GB microSDXC card for more storage). This special EDU price expires Aug 31st I believe so jump on it quickly. I've got lots of co-workers who have done this (I work for a university) and they are loving their Start screen now :) (FWIW, you might also be able to order accessories at a discount if you're EDU; can't recall if it's 10%, 25% or if the offer's been discontinued, but it's worth looking into.)

    Hope this helps...
    Slater_GS likes this.
    08-09-2013 07:39 AM
  11. Slater_GS's Avatar
    Also, if you're in school and want the RT, visit your school's book store or computer store (whichever sells tech to students/faculty/staff). They should be able to order a 32GB Surface RT with Touch cover right now for $289 (and add your own 64GB microSDXC card for more storage). This special EDU price expires Aug 31st I believe so jump on it quickly.
    Great post and DANG that is an awesome discount/deal. Much better than what I just posted and definitely worth checking into. I might have to check with my brother-in-law and see if he can pick me one up lol
    techiedude007 likes this.
    08-09-2013 07:50 AM
  12. techiedude007's Avatar
    Great post and DANG that is an awesome discount/deal. Much better than what I just posted and definitely worth checking into. I might have to check with my brother-in-law and see if he can pick me one up lol
    Glad you liked ; also something else to consider: since the tablet will be "making the rounds" and traveling a lot with you, you might want to consider the extended warranty for $99 (even less if they still have the 10% EDU discount). For less than $50/year, if something is wrong that can't be fixed or if it's broken, go into any MS Store with it and they'll reach into the inventory and give you a replacement (no refurbs or waiting for it to be fixed).

    Here's the bits/bytes:
    Surface RT - Microsoft Store

    I'll actually be getting a 32GB RT with Type Cover for my niece using the EDU discount - she can't wait
    Slater_GS likes this.
    08-09-2013 08:04 AM
  13. blackhawk556's Avatar
    Hey dude I have a surface RT 32gb for sale for $350 with the black touch keyboard. Its running W8.1. If you're interested in a 32gb model let me know.
    08-11-2013 06:49 PM

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