Surface RT - Worth it?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by MathBunny123, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. MathBunny123 macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hello, I was wondering if it's worth purchasing the older generation Surface RT, and can I use the new type cover on it?

    One more question, is the battery life better on the second Surface RT? (#2)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

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    #2
    At this point I would probably say no on the 1st gen. The tegra 3 is getting slow and thanks to ARM and Windows RT you're extremely limited with it's desktop functionality. I would look into getting something like a Transformer book or something else with in Intel or AMD x86 chip.
     
  3. MathBunny123 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Are those good options if I want to keep it cheap? The sooner / cheaper the price is the better, because I have to wait ~4 months for every $100 I go up.
     
  4. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #4
    I purchased a 32GB manufacturer refurb Surface RT in Sept bundled with the TouchCover for $199. I couldn't pass it up for that price. I have a variety of tablets, including quite a few Android, and a 64GB iPad 4, and I have found the Surface RT to be quite useful. So much so, that I purchased the new gen purple TypeCover 2. THAT is an amazing keyboard cover.

    For using MS Office apps, including OneNote, it is quite excellent. The ability to use the built-in touchpad (on the TypeCover) is nice, but even better to use a bluetooth mouse. Using an Adonit Jot stylus delivers acceptable results for drawing and inking.

    I'm quite pleased with the device. The connectivity of a full sized usb port, support for every USB device I've attached to id, support for every networked printer I ran into (none of them AirPrint capable), microHDMI, microSD, etc. It is quite a little powerhouse. I was quite impressed the first time I connected the RT to my 60" HDTV via the HDMI port and the RT drove the TV at the full resolution as a 2nd monitor.

    The only downside, and it is a major downside, is the lack of quality apps for the device. The situation is improving, but be warned.
    Take a look at this video of the Surface RT (1st generation Surface):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VYf5MWyTn8

    Personally, from what I've seen of the Surface 2, I wouldn't buy a Surface 2. They're more expensive and have a lower build quality than the RT. Performance is not a problem on the RT running Win RT 8.1. The update to 8.1 did quite a bit to juice up the performance. Battery life, I'm getting over 9 hours of pretty solid usage... in comparison, the same usage on my iPad 4 yields about 12 hours.

    If you understand the Windows RT situation, and go in with your eyes open, and can get a good price on the RT, I think that you'll be pleased.
     
  5. laserfox macrumors 6502

    laserfox

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    #5
    How does the surface 2 have a lower build quality than the original RT? It has a higher res screen with better color reproduction, 2 stage kickstand, improved Tegra 4 chip which means its much much faster than the RT.

    In any event, despite 8.1 making my surface rt a bit faster it was still to slow. I sold it and got the dell venue 8 pro and the difference is night and day. The Dell Venue FLIES! I loved my RT but it was just too slow.
     
  6. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #6
    Technical specifications have absolutely nothing to do with build quality. Based on anecdotal data, the Surface 2 has a significantly higher occurrence of manufacturing defects than the Surface RT.

    The Dell Venue 8 Pro is the new darling device. However, it is missing a few elements that make it suitable in the same way that a Surface RT w/TypeCover is suitable.

    While supporting legacy x86 apps sounds appealing in theory, in practice it is barely useable on a tablet. People complained about the "desktop" mode on an 10.6" Surface RT and yet magically, desktop mode is just fine on an 8" Dell. :confused:

    Another difference between WinRT and Win 8 on a tablet is that tablets like the Dell Venue 8 Pro require all of the system maintenance that a notebook or desktop PC require.... including AntiVirus and optimizers. Battery life on the Dell Venue 8 Pro is still a bit of a crapshoot... running apps that are not tablet-aware result in dramatically reduced battery life.

    The DV8 Pro is a nice device, but it is in a different class than the Surface RT.
     
  7. MathBunny123 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Thank you. Boy did you get a good deal with the Surface RT @ 200$. :D

    I'll probably look into such a deal currently, I live up in Canada so I'm wondering if it'll come here any time soon.
     
  8. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #8
    Agreed, I woukdnt get the Surface RT at this point.
     
  9. MathBunny123 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Are Atom tablets worth it?
     
  10. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

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    #10
    For me? Yes. For someone who needs more power? Probably not. It depends which category you fall into.
     
  11. MathBunny123 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    I will probably only use it for Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer :)D), and possibly Minecraft and Eclipse for Java programming.

    Would it be "good" for me?
     
  12. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #12
    What exactly is your budget? I know it's not readily available in Canada but I'd suggest taking a look at the Asus Transformer Book T100. It's a Baytrail Atom so it's pretty respectable performance-wise, runs full Windows 8.1 and gets terrific battery life. It's display resolution is only 1366x768 but that's the same as the Surface RT you were considering, plus you get a full keyboard dock. Looks like the 32GB model is going for $399 CA.
     
  13. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

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    #13
    I use my Dell Venue 8 Pro mostly for Visual Studio development (ASP.NET websites, C# desktop apps) and the thing just flies. In desktop mode, I mostly use stylus, not finger. It's great.

    Best $99 I've ever spent. :D
     
  14. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #14
    Ok, you KNEW that you couldn't drop the "$99" bomb and not be asked... :D

    What's the backstory on that, how did you get it for that cheap? :)
     
  15. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #15
    IIRC, Microsoft offered a VERY limited supply both online and at their Microsoft Stores around the country on Cyber Monday (I believe) at that price (may 100 online and 10 at each store).
     
  16. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #16
    "RT" should be a cuss word and deemed inappropriate for use in MBR forums.
     
  17. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

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    #17
    Why? Can we say Android or iOS or Windows Phone 8?
     
  18. MathBunny123 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    $99... :O :O :O I also do Visual Studio development, but isn't the size hard on your eyes?

    ----------

    That seems fairly good, I'll be looking when the next update is coming out. In fact my budget is probably extremely low because I want to buy this from my YouTube money, and I get $25 per month so it'll be quite a while until I actual get the tablet (which means I'll probably aim for black friday 2014). Every $100 makes the biggest different because I get the checks in $100 frequncies, so it could make a 4 month difference. :p
     
  19. TacticalDesire, Jan 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014

    TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

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    #19
    I haven't been keeping up as much as I used to but intel might have some new atoms out by then. And I bet there will be a new model out as well.
     
  20. MathBunny123 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Alright, thank you very much everyone!
     
  21. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #21
    That was my sarcastic way of saying "RT" sucks. ;)
     
  22. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

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    #22
    And I thought it was very clever. ;) in case my own sarcasm isn't clear.

    In addition, what is your reasoning for disliking Windows RT? Do you also hate iOS and/or Android?
     
  23. LIVEFRMNYC, Jan 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014

    LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #23
    My reason is, your stuck with only Metro(which is what I still call it). App selection is not that great, and more buggy than on any other OS. I also don't like how slow and unpredictable installing and updating apps can be sometimes. The whole "Tiles" gets old real quick for me, especially for a large screen, phone size screen might be less annoying. My favorite thing is the Email app, I think they did a good job with that. Metro is not that bad in conjunction with W8, but it sucks by itself.

    iOS is a great OS ...... I'm just sick of it. Mainly due to it's restrictions and homescreen(which is nothing more than an app drawer). I'm really hoping for an iPad which has both iOS and OSX. There is rumors of an iPad Pro.

    Android is my favorite mobile OS at the moment, until something better comes along. There is just so much choice and there is always a device that has basically everything you want. Blackberry had a chance with there QNX based OS, but they blew it. I owned the Playbook for a while, it had the best browser on any tablet period and was so damn fluid. The app selection was horrible though and Android apps didn't play well with it.

    My next tablet will most likely be a next gen Surface Pro or the iPad Pro(if rumors are true).
     
  24. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

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    #24
    No, I set the UI scale to 125% and it's fine with the active stylus. Also, you can adjust font sizes in VS editors and other panels.

    I've just spent a few hours on top of a mountain enjoying some sun and C# coding. Being productive wherever I happen to be makes me happy. :)
     
  25. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

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    #25
    Your logic is faulty because IOS and Android actually have a lot of really great Apps and a much more mature and complete ecosystem.

    Compounding the pointlessness of RT is that you can just get a full Windows 8.1 tablet for roughly the same cost and have a few million desktop applications available if you ever need them.
     

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