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Microsoft Surface first reviews recap: the reaction is a mixed bag

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Microsoft Surface first reviews recap: the reaction is a mixed bag
The Microsoft Surface reviews are out. This is a monumental moment for Microsoft as the company is making a PC of its own for the first time in its decades of history.

It needs the positive reviews to get the attention of people, so does it get them? Well, not exactly. Most reviewers agree that the Surface is likeable, but not all would recommend it and even those who do, do so with a couple of words of caution. Summing the Microsoft Surface all up in one phrase would be “it is different.”

Here is the feeling we got about the tablet from reading all sources with their different perspectives: from the businessy Wall Street Journal, the techy AnandTech, the fun and concise Gizmodo to the gadget lovers from TheVerge.

First, everyone admits that design is beautiful and build quality is extremely sturdy on the Microsoft Surface. Also, get the type cover. Both the touch and type covers snap quick and easy, but with the tactile keys on the type one you can reach almost your regular typing speed.

Hardware performance is mostly okay, not stellar. The screen is a mixed bag - good for watching movies, but not so good for reading. The cameras are crap, but they are there.

In software, Windows RT is misleading with its extremely limited destkop mode, Microsoft didn’t explain well what it really is. The Windows app store is a ghost town with no basic apps like Facebook or Twitter.

Finally, the Surface can’t replace your laptop but comes the closest from all tablets. It’s not all that comfortable for media consumption, but it’s great for typing and for Office guys. Hit the slideshow below for all the juicy details, spicy metaphors and more conclusions.

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posted on 24 Oct 2012, 04:27 19

1. absolete (Posts: 12; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)

Yea.. I didn't expect much from the RT version, but wait for the win8pro i5 version... That will be much more useful than any tablet (for executive functions especially) and much more portable than a lot of laptops for it's price

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 06:06 1

13. MeoCao (unregistered)

I read a review which said Surface is laggy and that is surprise as Windows RT is supposed to be smoother than JB :(

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 06:52 2

17. edxlucero (Posts: 2; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)

Surface RT's sunspider score is more than 2x than the current android tegra 3.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 07:56 6

23. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

You are a known troll. Stop spreading lies.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 21:05

44. MeoCao (unregistered)

I just say about the review I read in the Verge, have you read that 1?

It's not me who is troll but that's you are a pity blind WP fanboy.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 08:00 4

24. The.Dark.Knight.Rises (banned) (Posts: 72; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

See. I was right. The surface sucks balls. Ipad 4, galaxy note 10.1 and transformer infinity 700 are the best tablets available.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 08:10

26. The.Dark.Knight.Rises (banned) (Posts: 72; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

Also add transformer prime, Xperia tablet S. this is the 9-10 inch category,

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 12:23

36. Whodaboss (Posts: 176; Member since: 18 Nov 2011)

And similarly I read where it's NOT laggy. That said I'll be the judge for myself. Relying on someone else review it's like someone telling me how great a movie is and when I see it it's peice of junk.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 21:08

45. MeoCao (unregistered)

well at lease the reviewer has played with the real thing and we have not. But of course you have the right to distrust some1.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 07:52 3

21. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

Why the flying fudge do people want apps for stuff that is done ON THE INTERNET? Launching an app takes as much time as launching a link to the related website, but l, surprise, the website has even MORE functionality because it is a WEBSITE, not some poorly written program to mimic what the website does because the native browser of the device is incapable of working correctly with the website (looking at you, ios). The only "apps" one would have a desire for would be things to be used offline, like games and programs, like word processing (included) or a calculator (included), PhotoShop, etc, but even those are mostly unnecessary with online versions of the same (Google Docs, OpenOffice, online photo editors, etc) with the exception of those that need the full paid installable versions for their tasks (CAD programs, feature-film-length videos, etc). So whoever is complaining about no Facebook or Twitter apps, put a link yo their website on the Start screen and STFU.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 07:56

22. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Sounds like something of a work-in-progress. Maybe wait for the v. 2.0 (Pro) edition?

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 08:14

28. The.Dark.Knight.Rises (banned) (Posts: 72; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

That's more of a PC than a mobile device. It's really thick and heavy.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 08:20

29. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

Interesting way for identification, brick is also thick and heavy so according to you brick is also PC...

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 09:46

33. The.Dark.Knight.Rises (banned) (Posts: 72; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

Dude you're ridiculous.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 12:32

38. joseph98 (Posts: 167; Member since: 03 Feb 2012)

I am waiting for the surface with win 8 pro, but also might get samsung slate or other oem but sure win 8 pro is a winner with intel i5 cpu.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 04:27

2. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)

Hm. Maybe we'd all be better off with the Pro version, lol.
Hope Microsoft steps up the app game.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 06:11 2

14. lubba (Posts: 1313; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)

price of RT is already steep. pro version might be beyond average consumers budget.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 06:24 3

16. MeoCao (unregistered)

And the Pro is way too heavy and big to be used comfortably as a tablet.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 14:27

41. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)

Yeah, probably so.
I have to say, I like the Asus Vivo Tab a lot better.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 14:33

42. blattlaus (Posts: 70; Member since: 12 Dec 2010)

You can get Atom powered Pro versions for the same price as an RT.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 11:48

34. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

Samsung's pricing its WP8 tablets at $1000+, I wouldn't expect much less from Microsoft. Let's face it, not too many people are going to shill out $1000 for what will basically be a $700 laptop with a touchscreen... although that's what people do with Macbooks, so I could be wrong...

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 04:31 4

3. StreetNerd (Posts: 836; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)

Topolsky is a MS hater nuff said

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 05:25 4

8. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)

I noticed that too, its like he doesnt want to like it just like his Lumia 900 review. It seems he hates the damn thing.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 05:34 3

10. StreetNerd (Posts: 836; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)

its known that the verge are apple fanbois

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 18:09

43. CannedKarma (Posts: 19; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)

Did you read the same review I did?

Josh said plenty of good things about the Surface, and all his complaints were legitimate ones. Why would he praise software that has a pitifully small ecosystem, apps that don't run anywhere near as well as they should, and an OS that provides an inconsistent experience? That has nothing to do with hating Microsoft and everything to do with common sense.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 04:34 2

4. scnix (Posts: 41; Member since: 01 Jul 2010)

Whose bright idea was it to say that Windows Surface RT was meant to replace the laptop? 'Cause it's not suppose to. Windows Surface Pro on the other hand....

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 09:04

31. KingShango (Posts: 89; Member since: 16 May 2012)

I totally agree. All the negative reviews seem to review it as a laptop replacement where it clearly comes up short. While all the postive reviews treat it as a tablet with some added desktop features. Either way that lack of apps is disapointing but with a brand new OS thats to be expected. They'll come with time.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 04:38

5. pongkie (Posts: 655; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)

nah i'll pass till the intel haswell version

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 04:41 3

6. schinnak (Posts: 102; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

RT was never meant to replace laptops. Its the more economical version of the two to compete with other lousy tablets out there. Yes, I mean really lousy! If you have a high end android phone with a big screen, why would anyone buy a tablet that offers you the same? Its just a smart phone with a big screen. Beats me!

Which is why I am eagerly waiting for surface pro. The specs are on part with competent mid range laptops today. If pro clicks, it will not just be an ipad killer; its gonna be a laptop killer and thats what I am waiting for!

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 04:58 1

7. sony_timescape (Posts: 4; Member since: 27 Jun 2012)

Surface will win against other tablet in the foreseeable future especially the Pro version where we can install and use most of our daily used real software on laptop & desktop not the apps version.

The most important factor that will make Surface (pro) will win at the end against iOS & Android is that people can use their software which normally installed on their Laptop or Desktop on Surface too.

There are always software we use them frequently and we cannot find them on apps stores neither we want to use alternatives because for example we use them in our daily computer usage in home or in work, so Surface will not be only a tablet but also a normal (High Ultra) computer with strong hardware relatively. As a web developer I just need to use my FTP client software plus the Sublime editor, maybe some other adobe products like InDesign for other purposes, so I can have control on my job wherever my Surface Pro will be with me.

The Big advantage for Microsoft against their competitors that with Surface Pro they can use the very big library of software which have been produced originally for Computers. Other tablet could be useful for fan, chatting, bla bla bla, but not really for business & production environment.

This argument is based on the ability to install normal software on the Surface Pro which I think it is possible.

Good job Microsoft.

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