1. MPdeH's Avatar
    After years of faithful usage, I have bought myself a new tablet to replace my good old Windows RT. I got a new Samsung Galaxy Tab S with the official keyboard attachment.
    After a month working on the Android tablet, I really started missing some of the functions that made the Surface RT such a great device. Therefore, I decided to use it as a daily driver, for a 2018 review. To see how it still holds up today against a modern Android tablet.

    When the Surface RT arrived it was a revolutionary device. While the iPad and Galaxy Tab's were mainly used at the kitchen table for media consumption, Microsoft launched a product that could replace the laptop with much more versatility. The Surface RT combined with the official Type Cover made it a productive machine.

    Still, the Surface RT flopped. Mainly because of it running Windows RT, a scaled down version of Windows 8 Pro, specially made for ARM. Only official Windows apps from the Store, no legacy x86 apps.

    I still believe it is mainly due to the negative media coverage that it flopped. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with Windows RT. I still believe it is a great and well thought concept. Yes, it still ran this 'useless' desktop mode, but I believe it was MS's plan to eventually get rid of it.

    When using the Surface RT in 2018, I cannot escpe the feeling this device deserved so much more. It still holds up today. While my Surface RT gor quite slow, a hard factory reset solved most of the problems. With Office RT and OneDrive preinstalled, it is still a far more productive device than the iPad Pro, or Galaxy Tab S. Battery life is amazing. The screen is only 720p, but still beautiful to look at. This is a high quality panel. It still runs Netflix and oher videos in the browser. Besides productivity, the Surface RT is still a great multimedia machine.

    Performance is still solid, if you don't expect too much. While the old Tegra 3 was already considered underpowered back then, it still holds up quite well when running multiple apps on the background. Multitasking between office apps, the browser and video's is not a problem and still better on Windows RT 8.1 than on Android Nougat 7.1 or iOS 11.

    The Vapor Mag coating gives the Surface RT an extremly solid feel. After all these years, people are still impressed by it. Its a pity that the kickstand only has one stand though.

    So while the Surface RT, still holds up quite well in 2018, it has some severe problems preventing it from being used as a daily driver. The first and biggest problem is the browser. I think Internet Explorer 11 is a fine browser, but on the years old Surface, it sometimes gives problems. Some websites are fast and fluid like they should be, while others are a disaster. Loading Windows Central took ages and even crashed at some point. It is really a pity that a more fast and fluid browser like Edge hasn't made it to Windows RT.

    Which brings me to the next problem: apps. The Windows 8 Store is a graveyard. While I honestly don't care much about apps, as I mostly have all my social media and news needs in the browser, it does sting that certain apps are not (or no longer) available such as Spotify which is also not able to run in IE11 for some reason.

    Another downside for me is the form factor. The Surface RThas 16:9 aspect ratio, and I still do not understand why Microsoft chose for this. Yes, it looks better when watching films but when using the Surface in tablet mode, it feels awkward especially in portrait mode. The Surface RT was meant as a productive tablet, not a multimedia device. Therefore I think the 16:9 ratio was a big mistake. There is a reason the Surface 3 changed this.

    Concludingly, the Surface RT still holds up quite well in 2018, despite only receiving security support from Microsoft. The hardware is still impressive and with the Type Cover (I have the Type Cover 2 with backlight) it could still be used as a Chromebook type laptop replacement. The major downside is the unrelaible performance in the browser, the lacking app support and the somewhat awkward form factor of 16:9. I replaced my Surface RT and I am now typing this on Samsung device. A great replacement, as the new Surface Pro is just too expensive for me. I hoped Microsoft would continue the regular Surface line, besides the Pro, but apparantly there is no viable business case there for MS.

    What do you think? Do you still use the Surface RT? Where do you feel it still holds up? And where is it sorrowly lacking? And are there any ways to improve performance, in the browser for example? I look forward to hearing your feedback!
    02-24-2018 04:58 AM
  2. RTGent's Avatar
    After years of faithful usage, I have bought myself a new tablet to replace my good old Windows RT. I got a new Samsung Galaxy Tab S with the official keyboard attachment.
    After a month working on the Android tablet, I really started missing some of the functions that made the Surface RT such a great device. Therefore, I decided to use it as a daily driver, for a 2018 review. To see how it still holds up today against a modern Android tablet.

    When the Surface RT arrived it was a revolutionary device. While the iPad and Galaxy Tab's were mainly used at the kitchen table for media consumption, Microsoft launched a product that could replace the laptop with much more versatility. The Surface RT combined with the official Type Cover made it a productive machine.

    Still, the Surface RT flopped. Mainly because of it running Windows RT, a scaled down version of Windows 8 Pro, specially made for ARM. Only official Windows apps from the Store, no legacy x86 apps.

    I still believe it is mainly due to the negative media coverage that it flopped. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with Windows RT. I still believe it is a great and well thought concept. Yes, it still ran this 'useless' desktop mode, but I believe it was MS's plan to eventually get rid of it.

    When using the Surface RT in 2018, I cannot escpe the feeling this device deserved so much more. It still holds up today. While my Surface RT gor quite slow, a hard factory reset solved most of the problems. With Office RT and OneDrive preinstalled, it is still a far more productive device than the iPad Pro, or Galaxy Tab S. Battery life is amazing. The screen is only 720p, but still beautiful to look at. This is a high quality panel. It still runs Netflix and oher videos in the browser. Besides productivity, the Surface RT is still a great multimedia machine.

    Performance is still solid, if you don't expect too much. While the old Tegra 3 was already considered underpowered back then, it still holds up quite well when running multiple apps on the background. Multitasking between office apps, the browser and video's is not a problem and still better on Windows RT 8.1 than on Android Nougat 7.1 or iOS 11.

    The Vapor Mag coating gives the Surface RT an extremly solid feel. After all these years, people are still impressed by it. Its a pity that the kickstand only has one stand though.

    So while the Surface RT, still holds up quite well in 2018, it has some severe problems preventing it from being used as a daily driver. The first and biggest problem is the browser. I think Internet Explorer 11 is a fine browser, but on the years old Surface, it sometimes gives problems. Some websites are fast and fluid like they should be, while others are a disaster. Loading Windows Central took ages and even crashed at some point. It is really a pity that a more fast and fluid browser like Edge hasn't made it to Windows RT.

    Which brings me to the next problem: apps. The Windows 8 Store is a graveyard. While I honestly don't care much about apps, as I mostly have all my social media and news needs in the browser, it does sting that certain apps are not (or no longer) available such as Spotify which is also not able to run in IE11 for some reason.

    Another downside for me is the form factor. The Surface RThas 16:9 aspect ratio, and I still do not understand why Microsoft chose for this. Yes, it looks better when watching films but when using the Surface in tablet mode, it feels awkward especially in portrait mode. The Surface RT was meant as a productive tablet, not a multimedia device. Therefore I think the 16:9 ratio was a big mistake. There is a reason the Surface 3 changed this.

    Concludingly, the Surface RT still holds up quite well in 2018, despite only receiving security support from Microsoft. The hardware is still impressive and with the Type Cover (I have the Type Cover 2 with backlight) it could still be used as a Chromebook type laptop replacement. The major downside is the unrelaible performance in the browser, the lacking app support and the somewhat awkward form factor of 16:9. I replaced my Surface RT and I am now typing this on Samsung device. A great replacement, as the new Surface Pro is just too expensive for me. I hoped Microsoft would continue the regular Surface line, besides the Pro, but apparantly there is no viable business case there for MS.

    What do you think? Do you still use the Surface RT? Where do you feel it still holds up? And where is it sorrowly lacking? And are there any ways to improve performance, in the browser for example? I look forward to hearing your feedback!
    Belated response: I still use my RT nearly every day, for what I've always used it: browsing, and downloading and viewing films/videos. I also have had a Surface Pro 2 since its release, and more recently, an exquisite Lenovo Yoga Book. The latter meet my Windows 10 needs, and the portability of the Yoga Book is peerless. All my screens are and will be 16" by 9"; no interest in anything else: Only qualification is that I'm not sure what the ratios are on my 2 Fire 7" tablets. My RT just installed updates last night, as it does every month or two, and I look forward, with earned confidence, to it serving as my upstairs tablet and frequent road companion for years to come. Thank you Microsoft.
    HeyCori likes this.
    07-12-2018 03:44 PM
  3. Scylintknight's Avatar
    Fair review. We still use our Surface RT 2 on a daily basis and I would agree it has been one of my best tech buys in terms of value for money.

    For us the biggest problem over the years has been the lack of storage space on the 32GB version. With my original windows account it simply can't handle all of the data syncing, esp from my OneNote. So I've had to do a couple of hard resets/refreshes over the years, as the system seems to get clogged up. In fact I last went through this exercise last week, and tbh it was pretty painful! I won't go into the details, but it all started with Netflix not running due to lack of storage space, even though I'd un-installed all apps and deleted all user files on the machine. Long story short, I wiped the drive, set up a new windows account, and reinstalled windows and all the updates.. then struggled with getting the store to work. Finally everything we need works and the drive has about 15 GB free. I'm definitely keeping an eye on storage space now, and will research how best to clear Netflix cache because I can't see myself going though this whole process again.

    The lack of apps was never an issue for us until fairly recently. Earlier this year we were thinking of trying Amazon video and HBO but of course neither has an app in the RT's store. Having said that, we prefer the Netflix app on the RT to the regular windows 10 version.

    We also have the backlit keyboard but I made the mistake of folding it backwards and under the stand once, which damaged the connection. The keyboard receives power and is detected by the surface but refuses to type. But that's rarely a big deal as the on-screen keyboard is ok for most browsing tasks. I might get around to replacing it with a 3rd party keyboard but I'm not sure its worth the effort as I can plug a regular usb keyboard in if needed. The magnetic connector to power supply was also damaged by one of my kids last year, but finding a replacement was easy.

    I try to avoid working outside office hours these days, so now we mainly use the RT for streaming Netflix, browsing and reading pdf's. I have to say that with the continued absence of any viable/affordable colour e-ink pdf reader on the market, the RT is pretty good for reading PDFs.. so long as you store the files on an SD card.

    At the end of the day, we love the RT. The screen res is fine and viewing angles compared to my wife's Lenovo Yoga are so much better. Battery life is great too, especially for a 6ish year old machine. Wifi reception is good, certainly better than my android phone, and bluetooth for headphones is similarly robust. And I'll say again - its really good for viewing PDf's - although some kind of stand for viewing in portrait mode would have been genius :-)
    HeyCori likes this.
    12-20-2018 03:42 AM
  4. Ryujingt3's Avatar
    I had a Surface RT but the app gap put me off using it as did the storage space, sadly, so I sold it. I now have and use an old Surface Pro 2 and it's fine for me. If the Surface RT still meets your needs then that's great and is the main thing here.
    12-31-2018 05:54 AM
  5. solaceiam's Avatar
    After years of faithful usage, I have bought myself a new tablet to replace my good old Windows RT. I got a new Samsung Galaxy Tab S with the official keyboard attachment.
    After a month working on the Android tablet, I really started missing some of the functions that made the Surface RT such a great device. Therefore, I decided to use it as a daily driver, for a 2018 review. To see how it still holds up today against a modern Android tablet.

    When the Surface RT arrived it was a revolutionary device. While the iPad and Galaxy Tab's were mainly used at the kitchen table for media consumption, Microsoft launched a product that could replace the laptop with much more versatility. The Surface RT combined with the official Type Cover made it a productive machine.

    Still, the Surface RT flopped. Mainly because of it running Windows RT, a scaled down version of Windows 8 Pro, specially made for ARM. Only official Windows apps from the Store, no legacy x86 apps.

    I still believe it is mainly due to the negative media coverage that it flopped. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with Windows RT. I still believe it is a great and well thought concept. Yes, it still ran this 'useless' desktop mode, but I believe it was MS's plan to eventually get rid of it.

    When using the Surface RT in 2018, I cannot escpe the feeling this device deserved so much more. It still holds up today. While my Surface RT gor quite slow, a hard factory reset solved most of the problems. With Office RT and OneDrive preinstalled, it is still a far more productive device than the iPad Pro, or Galaxy Tab S. Battery life is amazing. The screen is only 720p, but still beautiful to look at. This is a high quality panel. It still runs Netflix and oher videos in the browser. Besides productivity, the Surface RT is still a great multimedia machine.

    Performance is still solid, if you don't expect too much. While the old Tegra 3 was already considered underpowered back then, it still holds up quite well when running multiple apps on the background. Multitasking between office apps, the browser and video's is not a problem and still better on Windows RT 8.1 than on Android Nougat 7.1 or iOS 11.

    The Vapor Mag coating gives the Surface RT an extremly solid feel. After all these years, people are still impressed by it. Its a pity that the kickstand only has one stand though.

    So while the Surface RT, still holds up quite well in 2018, it has some severe problems preventing it from being used as a daily driver. The first and biggest problem is the browser. I think Internet Explorer 11 is a fine browser, but on the years old Surface, it sometimes gives problems. Some websites are fast and fluid like they should be, while others are a disaster. Loading Windows Central took ages and even crashed at some point. It is really a pity that a more fast and fluid browser like Edge hasn't made it to Windows RT.

    Which brings me to the next problem: apps. The Windows 8 Store is a graveyard. While I honestly don't care much about apps, as I mostly have all my social media and news needs in the browser, it does sting that certain apps are not (or no longer) available such as Spotify which is also not able to run in IE11 for some reason.

    Another downside for me is the form factor. The Surface RThas 16:9 aspect ratio, and I still do not understand why Microsoft chose for this. Yes, it looks better when watching films but when using the Surface in tablet mode, it feels awkward especially in portrait mode. The Surface RT was meant as a productive tablet, not a multimedia device. Therefore I think the 16:9 ratio was a big mistake. There is a reason the Surface 3 changed this.

    Concludingly, the Surface RT still holds up quite well in 2018, despite only receiving security support from Microsoft. The hardware is still impressive and with the Type Cover (I have the Type Cover 2 with backlight) it could still be used as a Chromebook type laptop replacement. The major downside is the unrelaible performance in the browser, the lacking app support and the somewhat awkward form factor of 16:9. I replaced my Surface RT and I am now typing this on Samsung device. A great replacement, as the new Surface Pro is just too expensive for me. I hoped Microsoft would continue the regular Surface line, besides the Pro, but apparantly there is no viable business case there for MS.

    What do you think? Do you still use the Surface RT? Where do you feel it still holds up? And where is it sorrowly lacking? And are there any ways to improve performance, in the browser for example? I look forward to hearing your feedback!

    I'm actually using it right now to type this out :D
    ven07 likes this.
    01-04-2019 07:47 PM

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