1. TeknoBlast's Avatar
    This is a good article about the decision to get a Windows RT device.

    LINK--> OMG! They

    I know, I know; everyone has declared Windows RT dead and is having the grave dug as you read this. No one wants it, needs, it, or has any use for it. Personally, I have a lot of tablets and the one that currently sees the most use is a Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 LTE (Im a fan of the Samsung mobile devices). I never even bothered to purchase an RT device because I couldnt see any need for it in the way I work.

    So when my son told me he wanted a tablet for use at college I went through the common decision tree with him. He had recently switched from an Apple iPhone 4S to a Samsung Galaxy S4, so he had weaned himself off the Apple ecosystem, but he still gave my 4th generation iPad a chance. Equipped with a Zagg Bluetooth keyboard case it seemed like it would be a good choice for note taking and general scholastic use.


    He decided the iPad wasnt the best choice for him, at least in this configuration. The case didnt lend itself to laptop note taking and configuring the Citrix client, while not difficult, meant that he had to have access to the school network to access the materials he was using for his summer classes, much of which were provided in PowerPoint format.

    Realizing that an Android tablet would have the same problems, I asked him if he just wanted a notebook for school. He gave it some thought and told me that he would prefer a tablet and that some of his classmates were using Windows tablets. I pointed out that a Windows Pro tablet would be about twice the price of any of the other alternatives, but if he wanted to pay the difference it was OK with me. He told me he would think about it.

    A few days later he told me that his classmates tablets were the same price as an iPad. It turned out that they were all using Windows RT devices. Apparently, the way the school worked really lent itself well to RT and the built-in office apps. Word was the preferred document format, and teaching handouts and collateral materials were distributed as PowerPoint files. Students were expected to turn in presentations and such as PowerPoint documents (hence the Citrix client availability for students who didnt own the software). While these policies started when the vast majority of students were using laptops or the schools computers, there hadnt been any changes since other technologies became commonplace. And with an Enterprise Citrix deployment making access to the required applications possible from just about any device, there isnt a lot of motivation to make changes.

    I gave my son a brief background on the current status of Windows RT, but he was still interested in trying it out, so off we went to a local store so he could get some face time with a Surface RT tablet. He pulled out a USB drive with his schoolwork, plugged it in, and was able to do everything he needed to do, even on the demo machine at the local store.

    As this coincided with Microsofts recent price drop, it looked like the price of the tablet and Type keyboard was in line with what I had expected to spend on an iPad (I hadnt realized how quickly my son had weaned himself off the Apple ecosystem after having been an iPhone user since the introduction of the iPhone 3. I guess it actually is possible when the choice was between a Galaxy S4 and the uninspiring iPhone 5). But as we looked at other Windows RT options he found that he liked the keyboard tablet combo of the Asus VivioTab RT better.


    With a certain sense of kismet, it turned out that my cellular provider, AT&T, had dropped the price of the 32 GB Asus device with 4G LTE and the keyboard dock to a total of $299. Adding the new tablet to my data sharing plan added only the $10/month to my bill and gave him the added flexibility of LTE connectivity. Additional costs for a 32 GB micro SD card and a case still kept the total price to the same point as buying the Surface RT tablet alone.

    So a week into his experience he has moved all of his work from a USB key to the Vivio RT and the cloud, has had no problem using or creating PowerPoint documents, transcribed pages of written notes, and installed some of his favorite time killing apps (Netflix, Hulu, a texting app, and a few others) from the Windows store, connected my Xbox Music account, and is just enjoying his new tablet experience.

    The Windows RT tablet meets his needs perfectly. He had the option of any of the tablet choices currently available and this one just works for him, and apparently many of his classmates. While RT hasnt taken off like Microsoft had hoped, it isnt the dog that many would like to make it out to be. Once again, suitability to task has made it the right choice, at least in this situation, for the next generation who will be business users in a few years and remember this experience.
    07-26-2013 03:18 PM
  2. BIGPADDY's Avatar
    Great article about the practically of the Windows RT.
    07-26-2013 04:12 PM
  3. WanderingTraveler's Avatar
    Functionality.

    The one reason I actually want an RT tablet.

    And, this is perfect proof. (Also, not needing to splurge $150 on a copy for Office)
    BIGPADDY and HeyCori like this.
    07-26-2013 08:43 PM
  4. bilzkh's Avatar
    The student market is a natural destination for Windows RT. If I were Microsoft I'd seek out partnerships with key software vendors involved in education, e.g. the companies that design statistical software, design software, etc. and get those apps ported to Windows RT.
    07-27-2013 11:52 AM
  5. Kellzea's Avatar
    I honestly don't get the doom and gloomers that dislike rt. It runs windows 8 apps...........

    The main critisism of it seems to be that it wont run x86 programs, but as no other tablet os does either, what's the problem?

    Are the nexus 7 or iPad 3 rubbish because they dont run x86 legacy programs? No.

    The os is smooth, reliable, quick and pretty. It runs windows 8 apps, all of them, and ontop of that it comes with office and has a file manager and plug and play device support.

    It takes external hdds and data sticks, memory cards and has a very very, very powerful browser.

    What's not to like?
    4hab likes this.
    07-27-2013 12:10 PM
  6. jaimeastin's Avatar
    I love the RT. A lot of people do not see it for what it is, they focus on what it is not... As a tablet compared to all the others, it little comparison for work and school use.

    I recent went back to school and everyone see that my tablet does all I need... The ipads lack and there are days I just do not need to take my laptop at all. People are always asking about my Windows tablet.

    People make a big deal about installing other applications like they really need them on this screen... Yet they will buy another tablet that can't I stall that app at all... I have many computers... Powerful desktop and laptop down to my mobile and portable machines. I work in the IT industry administration and programming/development. I can do all I need while mobile if needed.

    I I take this tablet everywhere I go. I sold my iPad when I purchased my launch surface. I purchased a 64GB rt after my 32GB was stolen.

    I could easily purchase or purchased the pro, but it was just not justified in what I wanted out of a tablet... The pro is nice, but my 13 unltrabook fits that bill better than the pro did and that is "laptop".

    Real life work and play scenarios both at work, home, class, or anywhere else continue to garner attention from others about my surface and my windows phone. I am always getting apple peoples attention. Theny they ask me about it... I tell them that I upgrade my iPhone and iPad to windows. It would sound crazy to them if they had not first saw the reason and performance before hand.

    Apple iPad and others have been constantly making people redefine they way they work due to limitations... My surface gave me a lot of power back and people who would like that power notice it.

    Shoot, congrats to your son for making an unbiased decision bases on his needs and not being a sheep. shoot, he didn't even get the surface, kudos to him!!! I have a classmate picking up a windows tablet this weekend be because I am never in a helpless position with my tablet. From note taking, work, file access, etc... The windows rt is a solid choice for Students and pros.
    07-27-2013 12:34 PM
  7. CDiS99's Avatar
    ^ all of that and everything else above it.
    07-30-2013 10:55 AM
  8. Coreldan's Avatar
    Great article indeed. I'm in a similar situation. My Surface RT works perfect for me. Before for university I used a netbook, which had pretty terrible performance running full Windows 7 (thus IMO also requiring some level of antivir/firewall), not a very good battery life and just the usual netbook problems. When it broke I thought I would hit two birds with one stone. I didn't have a tablet before and I knew Surface RT would perfectly fit my on-the-go needs. I don't need support for legacy apps while I'm on the move, more so some solid word processing etc tools.. well, basically just Microsoft Office! So, on the go my Surface RT does everything my netbook used to but just better while also doubling as just a tablet (also in uni and train trips) but also home where I can just remotely control my desktop PC and have any and every imaginable legacy app working on my tablet while I'm home.

    I paid the full price during launch for my Surface RT, but I don't regret it. Especially now there's little to no excuse to not get a Surface RT if it just suits your needs. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who mostly plays games on tablet (although Halo: Spartan Assault will probably trump 90% of games available on iPad) or someone who needs legacy app support (some educations require special software), but for me the Surface RT is just about perfect and I'm planning to buy the next-gen Surface in a few years when I feel I could use an upgrade. Naturally I wouldn't mind more powerful HW and digital inking on my RT, but the HW is sufficient for what it is!

    I feel sorry when I see all the iPad/Android tablet users at uni or in the train when they try to take memos and have their device wedged either with a book or something or then with some aftermarket clumsy stand, usually with an even clumsier keyboard (even worse if they are using onscreen KB). Then when there are some group things I've quuuuite often heard the "I couldnt get this open on my <insert Apple product> for some reason>". Then we have the people who just consume stuff while they have a break from classes or in the train on the way home who have to hold the device in their hand the whole time or once again use a clumsy stand. The Surface, especially in it's physical design, is outright amazing and IMO trumps any other tablet I've seen (except the Surface Pro maybe :D)
    07-30-2013 11:52 AM
  9. 4hab's Avatar
    Great article!

    But still, Windows RT needs CiscoVPN compatibility. A lot of people, especially students complain about that, since lots of university networks are based on the CiscoVPN infrastructure.

    And it would have been way way way better if Microsoft let the students order Surface RT by themselves for 199$ instead of letting the schools and universities do that for them. My request to the college management is unanswered till today. :(
    07-31-2013 08:17 AM
  10. drtek's Avatar
    Talk to Cisco about that
    Last edited by gamo62; 08-04-2013 at 03:57 AM.
    07-31-2013 08:21 AM
  11. 4hab's Avatar
    Cisco already talked about that due to requests users. They claimed MS doesnt offer the neccessary APIs to create a proper client. That makes sense, since CIscoVPN by nature is a desktop application and needs deeper integrated interfaces to work, than the Store-APIs (RT depends on these only!) can offer. As long as MS doesnt open these sources for third parties, they cant develop.
    07-31-2013 08:28 AM
  12. Kellzea's Avatar
    Great article!

    But still, Windows RT needs CiscoVPN compatibility. A lot of people, especially students complain about that, since lots of university networks are based on the CiscoVPN infrastructure.

    And it would have been way way way better if Microsoft let the students order Surface RT by themselves for 199$ instead of letting the schools and universities do that for them. My request to the college management is unanswered till today. :(
    you can buy one from the Microsoft website at the student prices. Simple quick and easy to submit your student identity number.
    08-01-2013 02:18 PM
  13. 4hab's Avatar
    you can buy one from the Microsoft website at the student prices. Simple quick and easy to submit your student identity number.
    You are kidding, arent you...

    Edit: its not 199€, but 296€. Its cheaper, but not 199-cheap.
    08-02-2013 08:10 AM
  14. nasellok's Avatar
    Cisco already talked about that due to requests users. They claimed MS doesnt offer the neccessary APIs to create a proper client. That makes sense, since CIscoVPN by nature is a desktop application and needs deeper integrated interfaces to work, than the Store-APIs (RT depends on these only!) can offer. As long as MS doesnt open these sources for third parties, they cant develop.
    I call BS on this - how is there a Citrix application then? My wife works in finance, and she can access her server, work PC via the citrix application, while im stuck using Teamviewer cause Cisco is a lazy POS company that doesn't want to convert their app to the modern UI.
    08-02-2013 04:50 PM
  15. blzr409's Avatar
    I actually had a very similar experience with a friend of mine who is a college student and was looking to pick up a tablet. I'm kind of the go to person for tech questions among my friends so she came to me for some advice about what to get now that she had her money all saved up. She has a MacBook Pro and an Android Phone, so I kind of immediately started telling her about iPads, Galaxy Tabs, Galaxy Notes, Nexus 7, etc. I told her to look over what's out there and let me know what features are most important and I could let her know what's out there. She looked at a lot of info online and even went to get her hands on a few in the store, then eventually came back to me these basic requirements:

    10 inch screen preferred
    Dual cameras
    Skype
    Netflix
    Ability to easily transfer pictures, music, etc. between her computer, phone, and tablet
    Some basic games
    Potentially some light school work, especially note taking
    Priced ~$400 or under

    I thought about it for a bit, went over a few options, then asked if she'd considered Windows RT. She really didn't know much at all about it, but we discussed the Surface RT and a couple other options available and she went off and did her own research. She was kind of blown away by what it could do at the current price point, and was especially excited about the built in Office programs and all the ways they could help her in class.

    She still had a few concerns about adding a third ecosystem when she's already using OSX and Android, but she went out yesterday and played around with Surface RT and the Galaxy Tab 3 for a bit and ended up pulling the trigger on the Surface RT. There were (and likely still will be) some growing pains coming into Windows RT blind, but she seems very pleased with what it offers. I helped her get up and running with SkyDrive on her Mac and her Android phone, showed her around OneNote a bit, found IM+ so she could continue to use the Google Chat, and went over some of the basics of resizing and moving tiles, swiping in from different sides, etc. She seems very excited about all of it.
    WanderingTraveler likes this.
    08-19-2013 01:09 PM
  16. HeyCori's Avatar
    You should let her know there's a major update coming in October that will greatly enhance the functionality of her Surface RT.
    WanderingTraveler likes this.
    08-19-2013 04:04 PM

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