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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The User Manual Microsoft didn't provide
I got my Microsoft Surface & intuitively did the basics but no user guide meant I knew I was missing a lot of features.
I first bought the "Quick & Easy Guide to Microsoft Surface" but that was next to useless as it totally lacked detail on how to do anything. Thankfully Amazon refunded.

Then I got Surface for Dummies (paper format) ... his was just what...
Published on 4 Mar. 2013 by Dave

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3.0 out of 5 stars Weigh up the Value
Surface for Dummies is well-written, simple without being patronising, and packed with detail. As an owner of a Surface RT from launch, I found this book to indeed be the 'missing manual' - there is lots in Windows RT that you kind of discover by accident. A gesture here, or a long-press there that uncovers something useful or cool.

Scan through this book and...
Published 23 months ago by Richard Hammond


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The User Manual Microsoft didn't provide, 4 Mar. 2013
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I got my Microsoft Surface & intuitively did the basics but no user guide meant I knew I was missing a lot of features.
I first bought the "Quick & Easy Guide to Microsoft Surface" but that was next to useless as it totally lacked detail on how to do anything. Thankfully Amazon refunded.

Then I got Surface for Dummies (paper format) ... his was just what I needed .... it is well laid out, easy to reference or read from cover to cover. Lots of tips & details on getting to grips with the Surface & Windows 8 It also notes the limitations of RT. thoroughly recommended
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Windows Tablet Reference, 29 April 2013
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Mr. Stephen Redman (York England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Surface For Dummies (Paperback)
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Whereas this book is aimed specifically at the Microsoft Surface range of tablets it will help anyone with an Acer, Asus, HP or other brand too! The truth is that this book is more about Windows 8 than it is about any particular hardware, so you will learn much about the latest generation of operating systems.

The layout and content fit in with the basic design of other Dummies books, indeed the author Andy Rathbone has written all editions of Windows for Dummies and is a bit of an expert.
Particularly, this new "Windows for Dummies" is tailored to fit the touch screen tablet user rather than a laptop or desktop device. It is also very clear about the differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT (as used on the cheaper Surface models).

The book begins with a chapter on whether you would be best suited to a Surface (Windows RT) or a Surface Pro (Windows 8) and summarises the precise differences.
Much of the book deals with the media applications of Windows tablets, showing how similar they are to an Ipad, but there is also a section of using the dynamic Microsoft Office 2013 (supplied on standard Surface models, and installable on Surface Pro models).

The genuine productivity that is possible with a Surface (especially with the magnetically attachable keyboard cover) is what sets it apart for other products and whereas media functions are just as good on an Ipad, it is the ability to constructively work on a Windows Tablet that is so important.

The author also talks much about the connectivity of the products and how that also sets them apart and does of course expand on the unique features of the Surface.

The book ends with a great troubleshooting section and advice on how to deal with anything that crops up.

This is a good introduction - something to buy the week before your Surface is delivered and a reference that will last you the life of the product.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book about an amazing product, 8 May 2013
By 
John Nunn (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Surface For Dummies (Paperback)
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I am a proud owner of a Microsoft Surface RT, and this book really does act like the missing manual. It covers both the Surface RT and the Surface Pro devices and goes some of the way to explaining the differences between these two devices. The full colour images help yo show the wonderful user interface available in Windows 8.

Whilst the majority of this book is dedicated to the new modern ui applications provided by Windows 8, there is some good coverage of the physical hardware and how to configure the Surface to meet the needs of the user.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book but perhaps not for more-advanced users, 26 Jun. 2013
By 
Mr Gumby "DH" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Surface For Dummies (Paperback)
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This is up to the usual `Dummies' standard and makes a great book for beginners. It might be worth buying in advance, because it starts with a `Surface vs Surface Pro' chapter.

There are plenty of useful guides and tips for more advanced users but perhaps not enough to justify buying the book, especially if you know your way round the OS, because that's where the focus is.

I found it a good read and learned a lot, even though my laptop runs Windows 8. Others may find it long-winded and not worth wading through 228 pages to find the nuggets of value to them. For example, after the `Surface vs Surface Pro' chapter, you get almost three pages on unboxing and two on charging. Many buyers will extract it from its box and have it on charge within 5 minutes of receiving it! It's only on page 39 that you get into `The first walkthrough of Surface'. To be fair, this is a `for Dummies' book, so I'm not really criticising it, just illustrating the point that it won't suit all.

Overall, then, "Surface for Dummies" will be ideal for many, but do use Amazon's `Look inside' facility before ordering.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable resource for those who own one or are about to buy, 27 April 2013
By 
Andy_atGC (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Surface For Dummies (Paperback)
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Microsoft's Surface is a tablet-style portable computer which is designed to run a dedicated edition of Windows 8 and whose features can be broadly compared with those of a typical Android-based tablet or Apple's iPad series although dissimilar to both in various aspects.

The purpose of this book is twofold; to introduce the machine itself and then to also explain its dedicated operating system. The book's format is slightly different than most others of the series and utilises the modern longer and narrower format which is fast becoming the publishers' choice. The machine is new and was introduced and released at around the same times as was Windows 8. The version of Windows 8 used, RT, is only available on this and a few other devices and is slightly different than the standard PC versions as it optimised for use on this style of computer. You cannot buy the RT version as a separate, retail product and it is available only as an installed system on dedicated devices.

In addition to the normal Windows applications, although several are not included in the RT version, there is also included a special RT edition of Microsoft's Office 2013 package. As with Windows RT, this is not available as a separate package and is considered part of the complete RT system.

The book is a very recent and totally new addition to the extensive, reliable and respected 'For Dummies' series of titles. This book shares its author with several others within the same series and which relate to the more extensive PC/Laptop Windows 8 editions and shares much of the same look, some of the same or very similar illustrations, and some of its main content with one or more of these other books. Even several of the Chapter titles are shared with other books within the series. However, this book is exclusively about the Surface tablets and is intended for those who may already own one or are considering the purchase of one.

As a portable device, without a separate keyboard and mouse that may be otherwise needed for data input, it relies upon its touch screen both for display and for input. It uses many of the same 'touch gestures' that are recognised on some laptops and some desktops with their own touch screens to navigate around the screen and through its two user interfaces, one of which is much the same as the 'traditional' Windows desktop and the other is the so-called 'Metro' interface with its many objects that are reminiscent of those to be seen on most smart phones and tablet devices.

Although you may be able to obtain some answers to Surface-specific questions from one or several alternate and more general Windows 8 titles, despite some intrinsic hardware differences between the Surface on the one hand and other PCs and the different versions of Windows 8 they may use, there are very few alternative titles that are specific to either the Surface or Windows RT. The book is therefore an excellent introduction to the device and its software and is strongly recommended. It has been said that this is the manual that Microsoft should have included with the Surface but did not, and that is also true of some of its companion titles and in relation to the Windows 8 laptops and desktops that were sold without one or other.

An easy and obvious choice at a hard-to-refuse price!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surface Explained, 18 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Surface For Dummies (Paperback)
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For much of the time I found my Microsoft Surface easy and intuitive to use, but as it was my first tablet, there were a few things I got a bit stuck on, and this is where this book came in useful. There is a section on choosing the best Surface for you (RT edition vs Pro) but as I had already made my purchase I didn't need that part. I have also learnt a few tips and tricks by just picking up the book and browsing it. If you own the device (or are seriously considering purchasing one) then I can recommend this book as I think even the most competent tablet users will find something that they didn't know in the book, and for us `regular' people, we can answer those questions that we have come stuck on and really get the most out of our piece of equipment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Touching the future, 23 May 2013
By 
AlanMusicMan (North Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Surface For Dummies (Paperback)
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Okay, so as a primarily keyboard and mouse man I HATED the Windows 8 user interface. On a regular PC it makes very bad use of the screen space and it looks like the very cheapest most basic kiddies kiosk UI in a small town museum. Microsoft's arrogance in making that the ONLY UI (at least in the released version of W8) was breathtaking - a monumentally crazy direction that everybody knew they would have to rethink.

However, I do often use a friend's Surface RT for a project we're working on. I still don't like the graphical quality of the interface, but and have found that, on a touch screen, the interface functional aspects ARE very suitable. Of course once you get beyond the obvious functions you need decent embedded help in order to do more ambitious things using the UI. Microsoft's spectacular shift from providing some of the best IT product documentation up until the mid noughties to their current status as providers of "worst documentation ever" ensures that it's hard to get decent help from the product itself.

You could consult the "Quick and Easy" guide from MS, but to be honest that's very lightweight and doesn't really cover much more than what you could figure out for yourself with an half hour of playing around with a Surface. So, that's where you need a book like this to fill the gap. This book gives you - in a well thought out and logical progression - all the info you need to become an expert Surface user. When - as I plan to - I buy my own Surface, I shall be very glad to have this book to hand.

Alan T
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4.0 out of 5 stars More than scratches the Surface!, 26 Jun. 2013
By 
pacem et amorem (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Surface For Dummies (Paperback)
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Surface has been a bit of a puzzle for many users. A completely new experience from Windows, it left many out of their comfort zone, in unfamiliar territory and in need of a guiding hand to help them through this new Microsoft maze.
This book is the guiding light that many were crying out for when they first got their brand new Surface tech and which was unavailable. With wonderful pictures to help you see what you need to do, this is a great way to get to know what this wonderful new system is capable of and how to get the most fulfilling user experience. I know of some people who were ready to throw their tech at the wall when they couldn't find a way to do what had previously been so easy. Had they had this, such violent tech destruction born out of sheer frustration would never have been contemplated.
Some people may have issues with buying a book aimed at 'dummies' but those who have used 'dummies' books before will know that this is not the case. If you are struggling with your new tech and have barely scratched the surface of what Surface has promised to offer, then this is the book for you. If you know of someone who has issues, be a good Samaritan and buy them this book or at least tell them it's out there so they can buy it themselves. Spread the word about this great little guide and maybe everyone can have the satisfying Surface experience they deserve.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surface best guide, 11 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Surface For Dummies (Paperback)
As someone new to tablets this has helped me become an expert and able to enjoy hi tech in no time. You cannot be without a copy. Full marks to all dummies!!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surface For Dummies, 24 May 2014
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This review is from: Surface For Dummies (Paperback)
The book is still serving its purpose. Used as recommended, I have been able to use my Surface reasonably effectively by dipping into the sections I have needed at any given moment. I am struggling with the use of the stylus but all other questions have been answered as I have gone along. When time permits I am confident this manual will help me become an effective user of this technology. Mr Rathbone treats his readers as reasonably intelligent ignoramuses who can pick it up as long s he doesn't miss a step! His direct style and flashes of humour keep the reader focussed, entertained and quite happy to go over it a couple of times until understanding dawns.
The book lives in my case with my Surface ready to go into action when I hit another 'blind spot'.
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Surface For Dummies
Surface For Dummies by Andy Rathbone (Paperback - 8 Feb. 2013)
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