Customer Review

561 of 619 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surface is perfect, Windows RT is almost there, November 8, 2012
I ordered this directly from Microsoft, and not from Amazon.

The Surface itself is flawless. The touch keyboard is a feature unrivaled by any other tablet and I can't think of any products I will have to buy besides this one to make my Surface more usable. The kickstand is a great feature for being built into the tablet. The only problem with the kickstand is the angle when on your lap. Every other time it is the perfect angle, and that's more important anyway, IMO.

Windows RT is almost perfect. The multitasking is brilliant and I've been able to do almost everything I wanted without ever thinking about loading times... I just click and it's there. There are some slip-ups though that I assume will be fixed eventually, namely: The Music app itself, which came with the tablet already, is very buggy and crashes often. Very unpolished but there are other apps for music if it becomes a big deal. EDIT: They have updated the Music app and it is now problem-free. Thanks Microsoft! Also, flash only works on pre-approved websites. So, say you're like me, and frequent a forum that allows for embedding of YouTube videos, you won't be able to click the video unless it's a common forum that Microsoft has approved. It's not a huge deal, but it's noticeable. You can't see battery life until you go to the desktop and do it as you would on a Windows-based PC. This also doesn't give you an estimated battery time though, just percentage. IMO, RT should be able to handle something like that. I shouldn't have to go to the desktop for anything....

Except Office, which is understandable since it will be the same office between multiple platforms and I understand. It works very well with the touchscreen and Excel is finally usable on a tablet. I've run versions of Excel on various touchscreens before and it's never been this great.

I have used the Remote Desktop as well, and it pairs brilliantly with my laptop also running Windows 8 Pro. This allowed me to get on Spotify since it isn't available for Windows RT yet.

Every app except Music has worked very well for me. The interface that is pretty much integrated into 90% of the apps that I've tried is absolutely gorgeous and unlike anything I've seen on the iPad or Android applications. In effect, it never feels like I'm entering a new app. It just feels like I'm on my one Surface and it has a multitude of things it can do itself. I don't know if that explanation does it justice, but really I never feel like I'm leaving one app to go to another. It never enters my mind.

IE 10, the browser used on RT, is very fluid and very fast, but I do like choices. I don't even think I'd choose anything else... but I'd like choices. Speaking of choices, though, if you want to delete virtually any app that was preinstalled with the device, go ahead! It lets you! And then you can turn around and download it again for free out of the store if you miss it. This is a feature that should be in every single operating system, and it's ridiculous it has taken this long.

In conclusion, the Surface device could not have been designed any better, period. Windows RT will take some fine tuning, but it does overall seem incredibly polished, enough for me to give it a 4/5. The app selection feels small, but then play with an iPad and ask yourself exactly what you're using that isn't on RT. I can think of some small things, but nothing that I'd use a lot except Spotify, which is the only app I'm really missing right now. Everything put together I'd give it a 4.5/5, but I can't do halves on Amazon. I don't think it deserves a 4/5 because I've never been this happy with a large purchase that I've made. So, 5/5 it is.

I hope that gave enough information. If you have any specific questions, ask away. I tried to refrain from being redundant on some features because they're easily found on other reviews on the page, but if you still have questions beyond the other reviews I'll be happy to answer them.
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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 25 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 8, 2012 3:52:51 PM PST
Hi Brennan

Thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough review and for pointing out what you like about the surface.

I note that the surface has Bluetooth 4 and wonder if you happen to know whether a bluetooth keyboard can be used with it instead of the type pad or touch pad?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 6:04:05 PM PST
Brennan says:
I wish I could help you out with this, hopefully somebody else chimes in. As it sits, I actually don't own a single Bluetooth device. If I see anyone using a Bluetooth keyboard for any other tablet I'll ask them if I can test it on this.

I don't see any reason why it wouldn't, though.

Sorry I couldn't help more.

By the way, I'm typing this on the touch keyboard that I bought with Amazon. In my opinion, the Surface is made by the keyboard. If you already own a keyboard, you might want to look into a cheaper alternative. The convenience of having a cover/keyboard all in one that snaps on magnetically was probably 40% of the reason I bought the Surface over any other tablet.

Good luck!

Posted on Nov 9, 2012 11:29:05 AM PST
K. Ripple says:

I was wondering if you could comment on the ability to take handwritten notes on the surface. I checked it out in-store and wasn't impressed, but maybe I didn't give myself enough time to figure it out. The ability to take handwritten notes with a stylus is very important to me.


Posted on Nov 9, 2012 11:31:52 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 9, 2012 1:00:48 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012 12:41:23 PM PST
Brennan says:
K. Ripple,

I opened up OneNote, and used the handwriting keyboard with just my fingers. I write in cursive, and it recognized everything without error except for "I'm" while writing out a few paragraphs. Considering this was my finger and I have a very unique style to my cursive, I was incredibly impressed. I thought it was easy to pick up on. This is not something I'll use a lot because I type much faster than I write.

Now, on the other hand, I went to pure drawing notes, and found it to be pretty laggy and lackluster. My handwriting wasn't very legible, though I consider that to be more to do with using my fingers than anything else. It felt like a SmartBoard, if you have ever used one of those. With a stylus, I imagine this to have accuracy, but you might find yourself frustrated if you are trying to do the notes quickly.

I hope this helps!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012 1:00:14 PM PST
K. Ripple says:
It does, thank you. I'm an engineering student, so I take a lot of non-text notes on a regular basis. I really wanted the surface to work for this, and I still have hope that microsoft will add an app to suit my needs, but for now I'm sticking with the galaxy note 10.1.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012 7:42:56 PM PST
Brennan says:
I'm an engineering student at well, and didn't even consider that use. I was thinking more text-based notes. I just went and installed an app called "DrawWorkNotes" that works brilliantly. It was very responsive and I was able to draw diagrams and save them as different names.

I think it will suit your needs perfectly. I will also be using it! I didn't even consider doing that for notes.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 8:21:08 AM PST
K. Ripple says:
Thanks for looking into that. For myself I'll be deciding between the Note 10.1 and the Surface Pro in January. I've heard that there will be more support for a stylus in the pro version.

Posted on Nov 22, 2012 1:36:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 22, 2012 1:37:36 PM PST
KennyGI7 says:
Hey Brennan,
I'm also a college student and I tend to use Microsoft word, excel and power point to either download or create documents. Would you recommend that I get the surface pro or the surface that's out right now? I'm not really sure about the major differences between the two, but I'm definitely looking for something that will support my use of these programs. I'm a marine biology student but I'm required to take physics and calculus and all of those classes so I need a lot of programs that will allow me to open and create a lot of different types of documents. I also saw that the pro will have a stylus and other capabilities but again, not sure what they are. I love the surface and will definitely get it in the near future but I would greatly appreciate your input. Thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 10:42:53 AM PST
Brennan says:
Sorry it has taken so long getting to you; Thanksgiving was a busy time for me.

I recommend just the Surface RT. Microsoft Office is fully usable on my Surface. Also, my Surface RT supports a stylus so you will be good there.

There are a lot of articles labeling the differences between WinRT and Win8. From what you're telling me, you definitely don't need the Surface Pro and will be more than happy with the Surface RT. However, just to make sure, I'd look online at the differences for yourself to make the decision.

And as always if you have more specific questions, feel free to ask.
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