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My Review of Surface RT

Apr 15

Written by:
Monday, April 15, 2013 7:53 PM  RssIcon

Spoiler alert, I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!image  Here is my geek interpretation of my Surface RT.

A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to have my work loan me a Microsoft Surface RT.  WOW!  “Very cool!” I thought, BUT it’s been getting some bad reviews, “I wonder if I’m going to like it?” I thought.  After one night, I loved it!  After two, I still loved it, after two weeks, yup, I STILL LOVE IT!  Here’s why!!!!

CEO Summary

  • It’s, small, light, instant-on, information gathering machine!
  • NO power brick, I repeat, no power brick (yes, there is a power ADAPTER but no laptop-like power-bar-brick)

DEV Details =

We were given an opportunity to choose a tablet, to help test our software at work.  I picked the RT, and a few others picked the Surface Pro.  The reasons they want a Pro is to run “Windows apps.”  Myself, on the other hand, want a way to read blogs and twitter feeds at night, read the paper over morning coffee, look at emails and friends websites while I have a spare moment.

If you’re THINKING you spot a trend, me too!  The biggest difference is, to me, people use their machines for either information “production” or “consumption”.  What I mean is, if your creating/editing programs/presentations/documents/RFPs/videos, then you really need a powerful laptop/desktop.  Me?  I have a laptop/desktop for writing code.  At night, weekends or just spare time, I wanted to absorb/consume information, book flights, book camping trips, something a tablet is PERFECT FOR!  It just works on my Surface RT!  WOW!  Very cool!  And to all those detractors out there…this thing is FREAK’N AWESOME!

The BIGGEST problem I find with a laptop (and home desktop) is the hindrance to getting something you need/want NOW!!!!  I want to find out if a movie’s playing this afternoon?  Public skating schedule for today, catch up on my twitter feed…all things I’ve done and LOVED to do on a moments notice with my RT.  I HATE waiting 2/3/4 minutes waiting for a laptop to boot up and sign in, or walk downstairs to turn on my desktop away from the kitchen where everyone is already!  These are real scenarios I’ve already experienced and LOVED the INSTANT ON that a tablet gives me!  Oh man, I cannot over emphasis enough just how much I ADORE the instant on!  When I want something NOW, I do it NOW, not in 5m, NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The second problem I find with laptops and desktops is their size and weight.  Ok, ok, putting a desktop on your lap isn’t funny!  But most laptops are too big to really just “kick back in front of the fireplace to catch up on some blogs/twitter/facebook.”  The Surface is awesome in this regard.  The screen size is GREAT, and the width is NARROW.  And light!  I have no probs with this on my lap or reading in a chair.  And even without a fan (nope, there’s no fan on this bad boy) it still does NOT make your hands sweat (my iPod Touch did that).

The Pro on the other hand does have a fan, and does need to have vents.  You can see them in this profile pic (top middle right by my thumb).

image

How does the depth of the RT compare to the Pro, well, see that pic above?  Roughly, if you shave off the gap of the vent, what’s leftover to the right (where the volume rocker is) that’s the depth of the RT.  In other words, VERY THIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, as you can guess, I LOVE MY RT! LOL BUT!  There is one draw back…for me.  The Touch keyboard is taking some getting used to, but it’s ok, and the magnet is BEAUTIFUL!  You approach it, even wildly off base, and CLICK, it finds it’s home.  EXACTLY like the “click” commercials!  The problem is the power adaptor doesn’t have the same power draw (excuse the pun) that the keyboard has!  AND since the sides are beveled, I find, A LOT OF TIMES, TOO MANY TIMES, I have to “double check my work” to see if I actually GOT the thing connected properly!

Beveled Edge

image

Attempts at connecting power adaptor.  Notice the silver?  That’s the connector.  If this were the keyboard it would have CLICKED into place.  These magnets aren’t nearly as powerful (as I think they should be, IMHO).

imageimage

When you GET it connected properly, it looks like this.  There’s a small LED that lights up upon a proper connection, but it does take 2/3 seconds to light up.  I would prefer the resounding and comforting CLICK instead.

image

Ok, now back to another point I LOVE about the RT.  One of my partners at work LOVES his PRO, but something he doesn’t like, is the Pro power brick.  Here’s two pics of the power supplies.  The left is the RT and the right is the Pro.  I can assure you, the one on the left is smaller and easier to carry than the one on the right.

imageimage

 

SO you’ve probably read a lot of the headlines about how RT can’t run Windows apps, right?  Ok, if you have a CD of some game, or a USB key with Microsoft FrontPage on it, yaaaaaaaaaaaaa ok, you can’t run that!  You can only install and run apps from the Microsoft Store.  But let’s be realistic here!  If you’re creating content, then you REALLY SHOULD be using a laptop or desktop IMHO!  If you’re editing videos, NO tablet is going to suffice!  If you’re creating code, then you should have an i5 or i7 processor and some ARM chip.  Yup, my coworker is editing vids and will try on his Pro.

If you’re consuming information, there’s nothing better than a tablet!  And the more I use my RT, the more I prove to myself that’s right!

OH!  And ya, the games that are available is GREAT IMHO!!!!!  I don’t need 75,000 titles to wade through!!!!!!  I need/want some big hitters and my kids are always asking to use my tablet when I get home from work or on the weekend!  Actually, they stopped asking to use my phone and prefer the tablet!

“So Peter, after AAAAAALL that, wouldn’t that mean RTs biggest competitor isn’t the Pro, but the iPad or one of those green robot tablets?”  Yup, that’s exactly what I’m saying!  Unfortunately this is where MS is dropping the ball (if you’re from MS and you’re reading my blog, I apologize, but read on and I think you’ll understand my position).

When MS announced the Surface, they said they would be competitive with other tablets.  Come on, who are we kidding?  They were GUNNING for the Apple iPad here!  Well, they match the iPad.  As of tonight, the latest price for a 32GB Surface RT, AND a 16GB iPad are $499 (both prices CA and at OEMs websites tonight).  Nope, both don’t have a keyboard, trying to be fair and compare apple to apples (ok THAT pun was intended LOL).  So the RT has the edge there, BUT the keyboard IS the advantage to the RT, and that add $100.  HHMM at the $600 + HST, you’re into laptop territory!  And I don’t know too many people willing to pay $600-700+ for a TABLET!  If Microsoft REALLY wants to start blowing these things off the shelves, they really need to drop the price!  And I don’t mean by a token drop, I mean enough to entice mothers and fathers to get them!  Ok, ok, I’m not naïve enough to think Microsoft will drop them down to Android’s $300 range, BUT they do need to be less than $600 (Touch keyboard model).

Ok, so having said all this, what’s my verdict?  I LOVE MY Surface RT and will only be using it more!!!!!!  Now that I’ve told you how I feel, I hope you stick around long enough to leave my your comments.  Now it’s time to grab a coffee and get coding!

 

Resources

Microsoft Store: Microsoft Surface RT

Microsoft Store: Surface Pro

Microsoft Windows Store

Microsoft Store: 32 GB Surface RT

Apple: 16 GB iPad

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1 comment(s) so far...


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Re: My Review of Surface RT

Showcased on Jason Haley's Interesting Finds: jasonhaley.com/blog/post/2013/04/15/Interesting-Finds-April-15-2013.aspx Many thanks Jason.

By Peter Henry on   Tuesday, April 23, 2013 12:51 PM

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