on September 19, 2013
First off, I need to say that I am fluent in both Macintosh and Windows environments. In my home there are two ipads, a mac, and a windows 7 laptop.
I must say that I purchased this with no small amount of trepidation on 9/14/2013. I did not purchase it from Amazon, rather, I purchased from a reseller on ebay.
After reading so many negative reviews, I was afraid to pull the trigger. But, I went on Youtube and watched RECENT reviews by ACTUAL USERS and they overwhelmingly seemed to indicate that this little tablet was a worthwhile investment.
I knew going into this that Windows 8 "RT" was a "hobbled" version of Windows 8 and I couldn't use old windows 7 programs on this little guy. Only apps that can be downloaded from the Microsoft App store will work. But, if you think about it, this is very similar to the ipad. You cannot use Macintosh programs on the ipad - you can only use those apps which you can download from the Apple App store.
It does help that Microsoft includes, for free, the Microsoft Office 2013 suite on the tablet!
So, when I saw the refurbished 64gb model WITH soft keyboard for $279 shipped on ebay - I took the plunge. I AM SO GLAD I DID!
The build quality is ALMOST on par with Apple standards. Very nicely designed and executed. Feels great in the hand, and the built-in kickstand is a wonderful touch. Stays absolutely cool to the touch, even when plugged in to the charger.
The screen is quite bright, colorful and contrasty. NO, it's not a retina screen, but it's clear and crisp.
The soft touch keyboard works surprisingly well, and you even get audio "clicks" when you type (I'm sure that can be turned off if it bothers you - but I like it)
A lot has been said about the Microsft App store being a barren wasteland. Well, while it does not match the quality and quantity of the Apple App store, it certainly has a lot of great apps and I am very impressed with the growing selection.
Anyways, it has been three days and I am thoroughly enjoying this Surface RT. It allows me to experience the Windows 8 environment at a reasonable price - and more importantly, it's just a lot of fun to use!
If you can get one on the cheap, I wouldn't hesitate to do so. And, with Windows 8.1RT upgrade coming out next month, even more functionality will be added to an already amazing interface.
on July 29, 2013
I work on a freelance basis, mainly as a writer. Wanted something I could keep with me when I travel - even on vacations seems like clients come up with last minute projects. Office RT fine for what I need. Have only had for a week, but notice no difference between this version of Word and what I normally use.
Surface itself is a remarkable machine. Very small and lightweight - 2 lbs w the Type Cover. Plenty fast for Word and Internet. I do appreciate the long battery life. The Type Cover is fine for touch typists - no issue as long as use it on a desk or table.
Now on my lap, a different story. This is not a laptop and the fact that the screen does not stay up is an issue when not at a desk. Interviewed someone in a car the other day - screen just lay flat on my knee and could not see it at all. For apps, that's fine, fold the keyboard behind the screen and use it as a tablet. For touch typing, the major drawback of this system. Other drawback, of course, is the screen size. Fine for working with one document - my dual-screen desktop, or even my laptop, a far better system when I have 3 or 4 (or even 2) documents open so I can refer to reference materials while I write.
Still give it 5 stars, even though I'd prefer a form factor more like the Samsung Windows tablet (which is hinged more like a laptop). It's worth putting up with - half the weight and half the price of that Samsung.
And I guess, to be fair, it IS a tablet - and that convertible form factor, with the keyboard folded behind the screen, does have its uses. Kind of fun at times to use it strictly as a tablet.
Now after 6 weeks, I find I don't really care that much about the form factor. It's fine - figure you need a table if you're going to type much (although I have used it in my lap at the airport - just need to sit in the right position)
I do use it in tablet form quite a lot - read the papers in the morning, play some games at night, surf the Internet. Nice to fold the keyboard out of the way but have it handy when need. Though unlike an Android tablet, you really do need to charge it every night or at best, every other.
Have traveled with it. No problem at all using it an hour at the airport and then through a four hour flight. Still had battery left. And screen size is fine - you do want to maximize your document then click the Word icon at the bottom of the screen to switch from document to document.
on January 16, 2014
About myself: Not much into apps and games. I bought this computer to manage my work life: 1). reading books 2) managing appointments and emails 3) Web browsing 4) Storage in the cloud 5) Portable way to show power point presentations.
What I used or considered before buying: Nook, Samsung Galaxy, Other Android devices, IPAD
Why I am satisfied: 1) Active tiles are very useful. They give you information without a click. No other OS matches this.
2) Screen size is very convenient. Any 7" or 8" device will not work for me.
3) The UI is very fast and fluid. It all appears to be one single application doing different things for you. I think Metro is the best touch interface.
4) I use Kindle to read e-books. This tablet has a beautiful Kindle application that works.
5) There are many subtle things. When you click on a link in an email, the screen automatically splits into two parts, one for the email and other for the browser. Great feature.
6). The "desk top" or hidden PC is extremely convenient. Essentially this tablet is a PC and a tablet in one.
7) "Reading list" is a great feature. Any time you don't have enough time to finish reading something you can add it to read offline in your "reading list". A very neat version of this thing will be available to you offline when you want it.
All in all the number of times I turn my laptop on has gone down by almost ten folds since I bought this device. Some of the features that I have written above may be available in other devices as well.
What is lacking:
1) The device took some time to set up. Multiple windows update (until I finally upgraded to WIndows 8.1). All free though.
2) My bank's App still does not run on this device. It seems Wells Fargo still does not have an app for Windows 8.1.
3) The device stopped responding at least on one occasion. I had to reboot it.
on May 7, 2014
I love this tablet and use it when I need something with more power than my ipad mini. Here are some things I like about it:
1. It has a beautiful screen. It's bright and sharp and the colours look amazing.
2. It has expandable storge via the micro sd card slot in the back. I use a SanDisk 64GB micro SD card in addition to the in-built 64GB storage. Works like a charm.
3. It has a full size USB port. This is probably the best part as it makes transferring files super easy. This is where I prefer this over my Ipad mini.
4. It has a kick stand. This comes in handy for easy viewing as it holds the tablet up without issues.
5. It's got a solid build. It does not feel cheap.
6. It's powerful! My ipad mini cannot play full hd videos that have been shot with my Canon 5d mark II camera, but this tablet handles it fine! This alone makes it stand out.
7. You can connect an XBOX 360 wired controller to this tablet for gaming and it just works! No need to install any drivers or anything. It simply recognizes the remote.
8. The best part is that you can play Super Nintendo games on this using the xbox remote. Simply download the SNES emulator app, and just do a google search on how to get the games. Also, some of the other games ( aside from the super nintendo) also work with the controller. This makes it a great portable gaming device....
Now here are the things I disliked:
1. The battery life is not great in standby mode. Unlike the Ipad mini which seems to last forever in standby mode, the windows surface RT will only last about a week in Standby mode. However, do note that in practical use, it lasts about 8 hours. This standy issue can easily be avoided by simply turning the tablet off when not using it instead of using the sleep function....
2. It's a bit heavy. But then again it's packing decent power and a USB interface....
3. Windows is terrible for apps!!!! The same apps available on the Ipad or Android devices seem to cost money on the Windows device. This is not fair or right. Furthermore, the apps are just lacking..... Every device seems to cater mainly to apple or android devices, and windows usually gets left in the dust....
4. The sound quality of the built in speakers could be better.... But it's not that bad as is.
Overall, this is a great tablet with plenty of power for playing back HD videos and so forth. The display is crisp and clear. Hopefully the apps will catch up soon. Definitely worth the price.
on September 21, 2013
I looked into a few well known tablets out there, but because I am going to school this seemed like a great choice. I loved that it came with word, power point, and one note. I loved that it is powerful enough to watch Netflix... I loved that it has a usb port making it compatible with usb keyboards, usb flash drives, and the like. This tablet has a nice big screen and its bright too. The keyboard is great to type on, and understands what I'm trying to type well. It also can keep up just fine when I have 20 different tabs open. For how small the speakers are I was surprised at how much, and clear the sound is on the surface Rt. I love how small and portable it is and I have used it many times in class. Its web capabilities are wonderful. I was surprised at all the cool apps Microsoft 8 had attached to it, I have always only used android.
So why not a 5 star?
I also bought this tablet because I wanted a camera/recorder with me at all times... I always forget mine at home.
This camera have very bad resolution.... takes bad pictures and I was disappointed
Another reason was that when I bought it I did not know you could not download anything on this thing. No Google chrome... I need to have Google chrome to watch pencast from my math teacher. No mincraft... etc...
One more thing...not all things with flash will play on the surface Rt . IT has a white list on websites it will play. Some of the tv websites I used to watch won't play. I found on utube how to add the websites onto the white list but it was a pain to do.
Overall I paid 268.00 total for my Rt...not with the keyboard... I bought the Logitech keyboard with built in mouse at WalMart for 25.00 its cheaply made but works well on the surface. What do you expect for 25.00 though. I am very impressed with this tablet and to be honest its minor issues were not all that bad if I could give it a 4.5 I would
P.s it holds its charge for 8+ hours and charges fast
on April 22, 2014
I recently purchased this tablet after giving my iPad to my wife. I also have a Kindle Fire, which I have used as a tablet when necessary. I received the iPad as part of a class I enrolled in, and tried it briefly, but could not get comfortable using it. Having a Windows 8 phone and a Windows 8 laptop, it just seemed natural to use a Windows 8 tablet. The Microsoft Surface has been great.
I read quite a few reviews prior to purchasing this tablet, to be sure that I would be satisfied. Having used the Apple/iPad, Android, and Windows formats, I find the Windows 8 the easiest to use. I noticed that many of the negative reviews complained about the Windows RT/8 format, but once I both updated the device and upgraded to Windows 8.1, the Surface becomes far easier to use than either the Android or the Apple formats. One of the features I like is that I have easy access to all the apps I want quick access to on the main screen, and the lesser used apps I can move to the "secondary" screen, which is easily accessible. I also noticed complaints about not being able to use programs. But, just like any other tablet, Android of Apple, it is made for only apps. That said, the Surface comes with a recent version of Microsoft Office, which the iPad only offered poor imitations of.
My only disappointment was the charger. I will say that I have a hard time understanding why some people had such difficulty with the fit, as I am no tech wiz, and had it connected and charging on about three seconds. My disappointment comes from Microsoft using some odd connector, rather than a micro USB like most devices.
All in all, this is a great tablet. If you're looking for a "tablet" that runs programs, like a laptop, then I'd say purchase a Surface Pro. But, you're just looking for a user friendly, functional tablet, the Surface works great, especially for the price.
on August 20, 2014
There are over 200 reviews so i'll keep mine simple. When you order this please be sure to order the Type 2 keyboard. It is more helpful then the colored Type 1 boards. The Type 2 is backlit and that is a bonus.
When you get the Surface I suggest before you download apps you fully charge it. Without it fully charged you will not be able to update it to 8.1. There will be over 70 updates needed for this tablet and it will take it hours to finish.
So make sure you have a day to waste and pay attention to the updates.
I would suggest you go to the desktop portion and then go to the control panel section to find the Check for updates option. It will show you the percentage of how much is done and displays the amount still left for download.
I had an issue where mine was stuck at 44% for an hour so I cancelled it and I restarted the tablet. I'm sure you've seen it when you may shut down or power up a pc and before you can get to the desktop it'll say updating and show you a percentage as to how much more is needed. That's what happened when I cancelled and did a restart. When it was done I went back to the desktop portion, control panel, and then looked for updates again. It will continue the update which will take hours to finish. I have Fios Quantum speeds and it still took a long time.
Once it’s done it will finally be 8.1.
I went back to check for updates and there was another 15 waiting for me. I assume these were for the full version of Microsoft Excel, Word, Power Point, etc…
It works fine. I have had no issue with it so far. I would suggest you go to Youtube and look for Tips & Tricks for the Surface RT cause there are no instructions. I found out how to do a lot of simple things to make the experience even better. I have no regrets for buying this.
It’s a really good product if you are in school. If you are looking for gaming or other types of entertainment then you should go with a more expensive laptop or pc. You can watch Netflix, hulu, youtube, skype, but remember it’s not a google product so there may be somethings that aren’t 100% compatible since this is a Microsoft tablet.
on February 9, 2014
If you want a wonderful device for internet browsing and getting work done, this is it. I don't download a lot, and just use the internet and Microsoft Word functions and for that it's just what I was looking for. Awesome.
on February 6, 2014
This was purchased for my husband. We found it through Amazon at a better price than we would have been able to get it locally. In fact, one store didn't even have them in stock and couldn't promise when they would be available. He uses it every day and purchased the keyboard as well. Great packaging, great product and good price.
on January 20, 2014
I bought this a few days ago, so I'm still getting acquainted with it. I went to the store considering a Kindle Fire hdx or a Dell Venue 8, but bought this because it has a full USB port in addition to a micro USB and a charging port. I don't have any Apple products, so I didn't consider an i-pad.
This will do what I want it to, which is carry my Powerpoint presentation when I speak, and allow me to use it as a reference when I am within wifi range. It comes with Office - Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. I have already loaded up some photos from USB drives I have, and attached a portable hard drive that held other photos and documents. There was only a $20 difference between the 32 gb and the 64, so I got the 64, although I don't know if I'll come close to using that much.
The keyboard seems unnecessary to me so far, because the on screen keyboard is easy enough to use for short messages and doing web searches. Even though I first was looking for something smaller, I think this will be more useful when I'm working a booth or giving a talk, as it will be easier for people to see. I'm hoping to be able to use it with a projector. It has Bluetooth, so that's a plus. I downloaded Kindle and have already read a short book on it. You can adjust the brightness so save power and makes it adaptable to various lighting situations.
Trying to used the traditional desktop without a keyboard or mouse was somewhat challenging. I used the desktop to organize my photos into folders. I had trouble making the screen larger and it was difficult to touch accurately on the tiny print. With the USB port, I could easily attach a mouse.
My desktop used Vista, so there is some learning curve to get used to Windows 8, but it's not that difficult. I like using the stand to read while eating lunch. Just, don't swipe the screen with messy fingers.
I didn't give 5 stars because I'm a hard grader. If we could give halves, I give it a 4.5. And don't expect a manual. You'll have to go online for directions. There are tutorials on Youtube.
I feel this tablet is a good value. I plan to order a cover from Amazon - a keyboard, maybe in the future if I need it.