My 2week report with MS Surface RT

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by mm1250, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. mm1250 macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2007
    I've been using the iPad since day 1. I currently have the iPad 3. So when MS Surface came out I initially ignored but than I read a few reports stating how nice it was. Considering I was getting ready to upgrade my work desktop to Win8 I figured having a connected ecosystem with tablet + PC would have some advantages. I currently have a iPhone, iPad & MBP for home. I have become tied into the Apple iTunes+iCloud ecosystem. I figured if MS Win8 can match Apple in this respect, they might have a fighting chance.

    1st I decided if I was truly going to give Surface a fair chance, I had to hide my iPad. So I placed it aside and only used very very rarely.

    I found some Pros and Cons of the Surface:

    -Apps are sorely lacking. While I understand new apps are arriving everyday, there are some that I sorely miss. I find if MS can't fix this problem relatively soon than there is no chance to succeed.
    - App load times are pretty slow
    - No integrated Ecosystem like the iTunes+iCloud (unless i'm missing something)
    - Screen resolution not Retina like iPad. It shows when you zoom in on text.
    - Not crazy about the Mail app. vs iPad's mail app.

    - Device is pretty neat, built with great quality
    - Kickstand is nice with touchpad keyboard
    - I plugged in wireless mouse and essentially can use touchpad keyboard and mouse like a real PC.
    - Love the live tiles. Really breaks away from Apple's antiquated icons.
    - Gestures are very cool and more intuitive than iPad's. Example, swipe right to go back to previous page in IE.
    - USB nice to attach storage and SD card slot makes cheap storage addons
    - MS Office big plus.

    After being an avid iOS guy since 2007 (iphone1). I find Surface has Just Enough substance to move forward.

    With the above mentioned, I'm trying to decide to continue to use my iPad or use my Surface, they both have their strengths and weaknesses .
  2. Eddie Bombay macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2011
    Heard that multitasking boggles the RT. Lot of lag.
  3. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    Thanks for sharing; I guess I will skip the RT, but the PRO still interests me. That should solve the software issue; but is also a bit more expensive.
  4. nickftw8686 macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2011
    I am typing this on my Surface with the touch keyboard and I can say that with the latest update I do not experience lag when multitasking. Also there might be a lack of apps right now I have found that ie10 is nice enough that I just use it instead of apps for most things.

    I also likes how it syncs my tablet across my pc and phone as well. I am currently using this device as a basic laptop replacement and so far so good. I have my desktop and work laptop for my x86 apps and doing real work. although the office suite is nice and I use it for my personal work stuff.

    the screen is nice and the 16:9 ratio is great in landscape mode. Also I can get a good day and a half of heavy use out of it so the battery life is good for my personal use.

    Overall I am really enjoying it so far and cant wait to see what apps and updates are to come. Just remember when the first ipad came out there wasn't a ton of apps for it either right away and os needed some help as well.
  5. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I never felt that way about iPad apps or OS. I felt that the OS worked smoothly right from the start, and at least half of the apps I had been using on my iPod touch were quickly updated for the iPad, or I found iPad apps that did the same thing. And all the iPhone apps worked perfectly on the iPad, even though their look and feel weren't optimized for the iPad's larger screen.
  6. Rodster macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2007
    Nice impressions OP. I had found the RT tablet at Best Buy to be pretty slick. I loved the UI gestures and the live tiles. Windows 8 is a really nice OS on touch devices. :cool:
  7. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    My advice is to play wait and see. Really need to do that since one is at the mercy of the app store to install. And The price might even drop which is probable in the near future if sales don't spike up.
  8. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    Does the Surface behave like other tablets using a button to go to standby and wake up?
  9. batting1000 macrumors 604

    Sep 4, 2011
    How's performance? I've watched several videos on Youtube by Chris Pirillo (Lockergnome) and he wasn't impressed with performance at all (he returned his Surface). I have a friend who has a Surface and hasn't had any issues with performance.
  10. nickftw8686 macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2011
    Performance has been great on mine, people need to make sure they update it and I hear it fixes performance issues I updated mine soon as I opened it so can't report on preupdate performance.
  11. pesos macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2006
    Performance is fine. Early reviewers either hadn't run the initial update (yes MS should have had this installed from the factory, but hey) or had an axe to grind.
  12. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Nice review.

    I agree about the lack of apps, and an Engadget reviewer signs on to that same feeling and even goes as far as mentioning that if Google doesn't get on board, the Surface and Windows Mobile 8 may go nowhere.

    From what I've experienced, the full version of Windows 8 is a breathtaking release from a once stale market, and the OS works beautifully on even the cheapest of PCs.

    The Surface blows the iPad and iOS out of the water save for the missing apps and the ecosystem niggles. Heavy Google integration may get the Surface over the ecosystem hump, but the apps side is as always going to come from the developer's wallet side of the fence.

    With that being said, one would have to get the Pro to really get a worthwhile tablet, and of course pay the ultrabook price for it.
  13. jrswizzle macrumors 603


    Aug 23, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    This is minor - but I'm curious what you mean by more intuitive gestures on the MS Surface? The example you gave works within Safari on an iPad as well. Or is the number of fingers you swipe with that causes the issue?

    I'm not trolling - legitimately asking. I'm curious about all these things, but not so much as to spend money I don't have buying various devices to simply toy around with :p

    I'm also very attached to my iDevices.
  14. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    I'm a heavy iOS user myself, and to me, all the griping I've read about WinRT and the gestures all boils down to this:

    iOS isn't nearly as "intuitive" as people make it out to be. The multifinger gestures make sense when you learn about them, but aren't exactly something you'd just pick up on naturally.

    The Surface gestures are about the same. You won't magically know every single one of them as soon as you pick up the device. But like iOS, they're easy to learn, and make sense.

    Really, anyone that bashes WinRT due to it's "overly arcane" gestures, and claims iOS is immediately usable as soon as you first lay eyes on it is pretty much full of it. They're both pretty good, and both have a little bit of a learning curve.
  15. TheHateMachine macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2012
    Santa Fe, TX
    Have not had any performance issues on mine with the exception of the load time for apps after a fresh boot. Takes a few extra seconds. Everything else is smooth. I think Chris bought the surface with the full intention of returning it anyways. Guy has somewhat of a anti Microsoft hard-on I am afraid.


    The only example I can honestly think of would be the swiping left and right on webpages to go back and forward. Even then you have to learn to do a really short "long press" to enable the feature instead of scrolling left to right.
  16. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    Nice way to poison the well.

    Now folks will ignore those axe grinders when they read their nasty reviews of the Surface RT. [insert eyeroll here].
  17. mm1250 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2007
    1. I haven't had any performance issues thus far. (though I feel in internet browsing (Safari renders quicker)

    2. Gestures are 1-finger vs with iPad I found that 3, 4 finger gestures to feel out of place vs when doing them on the Surface.

    3. I got Xbox music and still kinda playing with that. I notice it syncs music that I get from Surface to my Win8 box and vise versa.

    4. Microsoft Account syncs backgrounds, app settings from Surface to my Win8 Desktop (example, added bunch of stock quotes in the Stock app on Surface, it syncs with my Win8 Desktop.) PRetty much the same with all Metro apps it seems. Very good +

    5. Another + I found is that I can multi-task, Have both email and browser open on one screen (and email re-displays in a compact format (pretty cool)
  18. LeoFio macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2008
    New York
    I've been using my Surface RT for a couple weeks now and love it. I have an iPhone, so I felt an iPad would be a bit redundant. If you're all about games and strictly entertainment, an iPad is for you. If you want to actually be productive and get stuff done on a device that has a true multi-task environment, Office that can do what most people need it to do, an exposed file system for easy editing and sharing, a USB input for a range of possibilities, and much more, than a Surface warrants serious consideration.

    -The UI is fresh, modern, and consistent. For example, in any app, to change settings or search for something, all you need to do is swipe from the right.
    -Performance hasn't been an issue. I can use Skype on half the screen and surf the internet on the other half no problem
    -The 16:9 screen makes using split screen views very easy. I don't mind never using it in portrait mode since there's no need. Plus with the horizontal nature of the live tile system, I can see more of it at once with the wider screen.
    -I'll admit that using Excel with touch only can be a bit cumbersome, but it is doable. If not, then flip over the excellent touch keyboard. While using the keyboard in your lap is not ideal, it's still doable and perfect for quick things that would be too cumbersome to use touch with.
    -The flip out keyboard and kickstand is a killer feature. One minute I can be swiping around with my fingers using it as a tablet, the next I can have it opened up like a mini laptop on my desk and typing an essay in Word. Oh and then I can find that file in a documents folder just like regular Windows, put it on a thumbdrive, and bring it somewhere else. Or I can store the file (and many other file types) on SkyDrive and live sync it across multiple computers (Mac, Windows, Surface, etc) for easy editing no matter where I am. Try doing that with iCloud.

    While the iPad may have reinvented the tablet market, the Surface takes it to a whole new level that places it somewhere between an iPad and laptop, and it should be getting the praise it deserves.

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