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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wow..!
I was a bit sceptical of buying a tablet for the money this cost, but I am glad I did!

I was using the folks Kindle fire, and their Google Nexus tablet, and they were quite good, but I couldn't get on with them. I find Ice Cream Sandwich a bit clunky these days, multitasking hasn't really been tackled properly on iOS and Android (or hasn't been revisited for a...
Published 19 months ago by Yokomoko

versus
54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Potentially great little product, with some issues, let down by Windows 8 limitations
First of all, this is a really nice-looking and feeling bit of kit. However, the keyboard sold with the computer was hard to use (I made error after error and they didn't stop coming). So I had to buy the upgraded keyboard, which worked fine - but the price made my eyes water.

Second, bluetooth pairing is eccentric to say the least. I bought a bluetooth mouse...
Published 18 months ago by D. Ballard


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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Potentially great little product, with some issues, let down by Windows 8 limitations, 15 Feb 2013
By 
D. Ballard (Ramsbury Wiltshire UK) - See all my reviews
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First of all, this is a really nice-looking and feeling bit of kit. However, the keyboard sold with the computer was hard to use (I made error after error and they didn't stop coming). So I had to buy the upgraded keyboard, which worked fine - but the price made my eyes water.

Second, bluetooth pairing is eccentric to say the least. I bought a bluetooth mouse to save the USB port but although it paired, it won't stay paired. A hassle.

It is now a joy to type on (just as well at the additional price!) and the battery life is amazing. A whole day no problems. HOWEVER if there is a 'hibernate' option I couldn't find it so it can run down unexpectedly.

But why no 3G slot? It seems very strange to have a PC that depends 100% on cloud access and then not to give 3g connectivity (more on this below). And I find the WiFi connectivity - e.g. to my iPhone personal hotspot or even to a Vodafone hotspot - very poor. So I find myself frustrated and offline much more often than I'd have thought necessary (I work on the train all the time these days, worse luck!).

Being able to run Word, Excel and PowerPoint is great. This is why I bought the Surface and they work just fine. However here come the problems, and they are big ones for a professional person.

MS are not (not yet at least) allowing you to synch cloud storage with local storage on the device itself. For instance, the version of SkyDrive does not give the option of keeping files both in the Cloud or on the PC. Nor does the DropBox version available (or at least not the one that is yet available). This is a huge problem away from the office - and in any event, who wants to go to the online DropBox when it's so much easier to navigate through local files?

Now the expansion SD slot is great - but what's the point if you can't store and synch your working files there? A real black spot.

There is also no Outlook and the email programme sucks. Also unavailable for working when not accessing the cloud: you can't work offline.

Now it may be that these problems are temporary - my PC guru (who had to reassure me that I was not being stupid with the above) tells me that one day DropBox will issue an app that synchs to the local drive and that when they do MicroSoft will have no option but to allow their SkyDrive also to synch. His view is that MS have not really got their heads around the reality of life in the UK away from the connected city. He also says that the eventual proper version of Office 2013 may address these issues. But these issues were not clear before buying (you look on the MS site and see who mentions them) and they seem perverse - why on earth would anyone hobble their product so that you can't use the excellent local storage.

These turn a fantastic bit of kit into a bit of a problem. I bought early and would probably have been better to wait until MicroSoft came to their senses with a bit of market feedback. When they do, it will be really great.

But I think that there must be someone really stubborn responsible for product policy at MicroSoft.

In the meantime, I am sorry to say that I would wait or buy something else. You just need to be able to work when offline if you are a professional person.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good and under rated product, 27 April 2014
By 
João (Lisboa, Portugal) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Microsoft Surface with Windows RT 32GB Tablet ONLY
I bought this one with the touch keyboard about 6 months ago and I feel that I'm now ready to review it properly. I won't create my review based on the specs of the device itself, which you may find anywhere, instead I will give you my personal thoughts about the tablet and my personal feelings about it. That being said I'll try to make it as short as possible.

1 - Design/Build Quality/Hardware

The tablet is pretty solid and you really get the feeling of a high end product once you have it in your hands. It is a bit on the heavy side but not too much although it is clearly intended to use with both hands. The kickstand is sturdy and closes with a nice clic, once again you get an overall feel of quality when handling the device. The back and kickstand are made of 'vapormag' a good quality kind of plastic - don't get fooled by all the advertizing around it, it's not metal, just high quality plastic.
The screen is a bit reflecting but I find it not as much as the ipad ones. It is quite sharp and has enough resolution to navigate the web, watch movies and view pictures perfectly. Of course that there are better ones in the market but for the average user I find this one pretty acceptable. The viewing angles are also pretty good, once again, not the best but pretty reasonable.
On the sides you get two speakers and stereo sound. The sound quality is ok I think, not great once again, but fairly good amoung competition. The headphone jack works as expected although you get an annoyong iss once you plug them in. It is not noticed at first but its there. I also realized that the problem is not specifically from the jack but from the audio card used, it seems that it is of low quality and that shows through the audio decoding quality. So, don't get me wrong, the audio card is bad but the speakers do a good job masking that, once you plug in the headphones you get to see (or hear) the audio cards true colors.
The usb port works very well and was a nice surprise for me. I connected pen drives of 16gb and external hard drives of 500gb with no problem in the performance.

2 - Performance/Software

Here I have mixed feelings. There are things that work rather well although you sometimes see your application crash with no apparent reason. The internet for instance, is quick enough, render the pages with ease, plays flash and is a joy to use, overall. However, youtube has several bugs and even go back on a page may be a problem. Sometimes you really think 'this is really a microsoft device - buggy'. Although some things are annoying and could be quite better, there aren't, in my oppinion, real reasons for me to quit on the surface. As a whole it offers a good experience of use despite the small disappointing surprises it sometimes presents to you.
I am not a microsoft fan boy, and I don't want to start comparing this to the ipad but I must say that compared to it I find the surface quicker, more versatile (with full flash and real multitasking) an better experience of use.
That being said, if you want a tablet for downloading apps, look elsewhere, this one is not for you. The microsoft store has much less offers than the ipad and android ones. However if, like me, your main interest in a tablet is internet, music and videos, the surface is great.
The tablet also has a camera of 2mp which is crap really. It will only sufice for skype use, for photographing it is in my oppinion useless... In my oppinion however, I would rather photograph with my camera or phone. Photographing with a tablet is somehow unpractical and a bit silly.
Batery lifetime is good but not as much as advertized which is almost always the case in electronic devices.

I believe that the surface is a great device with some problems that should be resolved. The youtube sufing, the audio quality, the bugs on overall use and the lack of apps (including other browsers and not only the ie) are all things that could use some help. Despite all this, the web experience, screen and build quality, the multitasking, office application, real usb port and keyboard are all things that are a joy to use and characteristics that makes ghe surface rt worthy of 4 stars.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now my family doesn't need a laptop or an iPad - all in one and better, 5 Dec 2012
By 
General

The feel of the device is that of a premium, quality product.
the focus is the screen - unlike other tablets, where the screen vs. bezel seem out of proportion, this is perfect.

Hardware

Screen is bright, colours are great. The touch responsiveness is excellent - image depth under the surface of the glass seems really narrow - which is great. Other tablets I've handled have a similar resolution, but the pixels are evident, plus the image is deep under the touch screen and seems almost disconnected with the finger
Kick stand - so useful and really tough - not a gimmick
Touch keyboard - It's been handled by my kids daily, passed around the office and their families - no sign of a split. easy to clean.
I've easily paired a Bluetooth mouse, if that's what you prefer - but regular keyboards/mice can work with the USB port
32GB - most tablets announce how much memory they have, not necessarily available - you c
USB support
Micro SD card support - expand it if you need more anyway
Earphone - socket, obviously
micro HDMI - socket for full HD external monitor TV
Click-In - (magnetic attaching of keyboards) is not a gimmick - really cool and we use a lot.
Camera's - front facing, rear facing. really nice images, couldn't fault them - they are web cam's though - Skype integrates well.

Software

Remember - It is Windows 8 baked down to a tablet NOT a phone beefed up to be a tablet. Bluetooth/home networking/VPN/Printing/screen handling and all the serious OS systems work as usual. So each member of the family can have a login - and they can have their own picture password. They can't mess the device up for others as the windows 8 apps are 'sandboxed' - only the first user ('Administrator') can do some of the more serious stuff.
Stability - It has never crashed on me, although once or twice I've needed to quit a program (just swipe down from the top to the bottom to 'close' a program)
Store - smooth, easy to navigate, growing fast
calendar/mail/people/messaging - OK. generally keeping up-to-date the people hub works well.
Xbox Music - great selection - tried with trial music pass and with the free streaming. Works OK, sometimes didn't seem responsive though
Xbox games - brilliant choice and the library is growing daily
Xbox video - same selection as on the xbox, haven't tried it with SmartGlass onto the Xbox yet
Office 2013 - full Office on a tablet - brilliant. works efficiently with SkyDrive (7GB free online storage)

Extra's
Xbox 360 integration - SmartGlass - signed straight in and showed me all my Halo 4 stats, controlled the xbox and looked around the xbox 360 store to play a video. opened the picture library and I easy sent the image to the xbox, flicked through the images on the tablet and show the next photo I chose - really cool
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars May not be for everyone but ticks my boxes, 2 Jan 2014
This review is from: Microsoft Surface with Windows RT 32GB Tablet ONLY
I plumped for the Surface RT after a lot of research and matching my requirements to the products on the market. I discovered that my "perfect" tablet did not exist, so I had to accept that no matter what I went for, it would be a compromise. I just had to make sure that my priorities were best served.

I considered an IPad as I liked the high res screen and and knew about the large range of apps available. The negatives were the high price, the closed nature of the system particularly the lack of USB or SD slots. I considered the Nexus 10 but got tired waiting on the new model coming out.

I went for the Surface in the end for a number of reasons. It was greatly reduced in price at the time (due to the launch of the Surface 2)and came with the touch keyboard bundled for £259 from Tesco. I knew about the free OS upgrade to 8.1 RT and that it addressed glitches and came with Outlook which allowed for POP email connection - the lack of which had been a justifiable criticism in the past. It came with Office applications which would enable me to do some work if I so chose. I braced myself for a lack of apps but have found nearly all the ones I need. I am not interested in playing games so the lack of gaming apps is not an issue for me. I knew that you didn't get the full 32Gb due to the OS requirements. However, there is the expandable storage facility to offset this.

Its not perfect - the screen resolution could be better (although it still looks pretty decent). The Windows store is still lagging behind on the apps front when compared to Google or apple (again, no a huge issue for me personally but might be for others). The SD card slot is useful but requires a workaround for music, photos and videos to play from libraries in the native apps. Fiddly charger cable connection. 16:9 ratio is good for movies but is less suited to portrait reading than the 4x3 IPad. Landscape reading has not been a problem though.

However, there are some really great positives - multiple screen splits allow for a pc-like working experience which I believe is unique to the Surface. The ability to connect a USB stick or devices such as mice, printers etc make this more versatile than other tablets. The tile interface is a breeze to use. The alternative Windows desktop seems to irritate some folks but I quite like being able to set preferences and interrogate the familiar Windows control panel features. The fact that Office metro tiles lead to the alternative desktop to open the applications is a non-issue for me. I've found the touch keyboard cover an excellent design feature.

I bought this knowing it was not a laptop but also realising that the other tablets on the market were not laptops either. So, unlike some, I have not been overly critical in this respect. To do so is missing the point. Such a comparison is understandable with the more expensive Surface Pro tablet, but not the RT. The RT is great for occasional productivity usage which is exactly what I wanted. It will certainly feel and behave a lot more like a laptop than other tablets.

In conclusion, I am very happy with my Surface RT and would not change it for anything else.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far so good for me, 8 July 2014
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First time buyer for purchasing a tablet. Spent a few weeks mulling over different types and prices and this purchase for me came out on top, even though some reviews mentioned teeny weeny hiccups. What I can say (as a novice) is it lives up to all my expectations and is very user friendly (part of this will be due to the fact I have a Samsung phone). Apart from my research on the viability of purchasing this model, the key factor was the having microsoft installation which allows me to use the tablet as a practical tool for business/work purposes.
So far so good for me. I would recommend to any one especially individuals like myself who use this equipment for practical day to day tasks and well as for leisure activities.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 26 Mar 2013
By 
Stephen Campbell (UK) - See all my reviews
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The ‘bottom line’ is that this a beautifully made and very useful device which I’ve come to love and depend upon.
I’ve now had my Surface RT (64GB) for about 4 months and I’d just like to pass on a handful of observations about the device. There’s an abundance of journalistic shoddiness in the IT world and if you’ve followed breaking stories on the web about developments or devices you may well have noticed blatant plagiarising and bone-idle laziness of assorted bloggers and self-alleged IT journalists. Track something using Google Alerts over time and you’ll see what I mean.

You want a tablet, so you go online and read up on the choices. You’re interested in the Surface RT but you read about the lack of apps and the inability to run ‘full-fat’ PC programs on the RT….. those journalists have to type something for their living I suppose but in essence they’re simply off the mark. Microsoft are pitching the RT against the iPad, NOT a laptop. The iPad doesn’t run full-fat programs but ‘only’ apps. They’re both tablets. That’s what tablets do. Compare like with like.

Microsoft invented the tablet but showed no flair in designing or promoting the concept and Apple came along and produced a ground-breaking device. Now Microsoft have somewhat belatedly produced a tablet themselves, seemingly in order to set a benchmark for other hardware manufacturers who want to run Windows RT & Windows 8; I’m guessing that MS had got tired of the sometimes lacklustre devices produced for their software; and with touch based devices being the future wanted to get the standard set appropriately high.

Anyway, to the RT:
Build quality: built to an impeccable standard, using a magnesium metallic shell (‘VaporMg’) and with the ‘Gorilla Glass’ (very highly resistant to scratches) for the screen. The kickstand is set to a good angle to view movies and used with the Touch Cover or Type Cover makes an extremely useful laptop-like device, which is still a tablet.

Apps: the app store is growing and contains everything I’ve needed so far. For me the killer ‘app’ is the inclusion of the new MS Office 2013 absolutely free with the RT; this is the full program/app ported to run on ARM processors and not a cut down app. You get Word 2013, Excel 2013, One Note 2013 and PowerPoint 2013. I’ve spent the last 2 months on a trip round the globe and used the RT as my sole device (not including my phone) and I was able to write copiously and deal with all my email (from several accounts). I used a simple FTP app and a little code writing app, both of which stood in adequately enough.

Connectivity is enhanced by a USB2 and a mini HDMI port; better than the iPad currently.

I improved the storage on my 64GB RT with a 64GB Kingston micro SD card.

With my usage pattern I get about 9 hours out of the battery.

As you can guess I’m extremely happy with the Surface RT and highly recommend it.

(When I demonstrated the RT to a friend, who’s in charge of IT within her firm, she said that she would wait for the Surface Pro (as her staff need to run a certain program) but would then replace all their current ‘leading-brand’ tablets with it, as she felt the Surface implementation was markedly superior.)
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant tablet and iPad alternative, 31 July 2013
This review is from: Microsoft Surface with Windows RT 32GB Tablet ONLY
I've never been into apple products but I've always loved gadgets, which has always restricted my purchases. When everybody ran around with iPods, I always attempted to find an alternative. I despise itunes and I find ipods/iphones/ipads to be simply dull to use, along with android which looks the same. I finally found my perfect mp3 player with the zune HD (which I still own, now over 5 years old working perfectly) and finally my perfect smart phone, with my Nokia Lumia 800.

I was delighted to see that Microsoft decided to go with this interface for their next OS and as I already own I perfectly good Windows 7 laptop, I decided to get a surface instead. Baffleingly, the RT model has been critised for a lack of versitility when its level of function at least matches and in some cases exceeds that of the iPad. Admittedly, the marketplace is slightly barebones (AT THE MOMENT) but it still has most of the essential apps you would need on a tablet. I already have a laptop, so I feel no need to be able to install any program on my surface (something the surface Pro can do) and I use it just to mess around with.

Windows 8 is a joy to use. The home screen is gorgeous, with live tiles constantly updating and apps designed to fit in with the asthetics of the rest of the OS (something neither apple or android can claim). Internet Explorer works suprisingly well, is quick and responsive (unlike some of the desktop versions) and the other built in apps are just as good, such as Skype and full versions of Microsoft Office 2013 (word, PP, Excel and onenote). The ability to sync with twitter and facebook is also extremely useful. Windows 8 has been critised for having a steep learning curve, but I dismiss this as a critism. Once the basics are learnt (which are simply swipe from the edges of the screen to bring up various menus) the OS is quick, easy and fun to navigate.

The hardware itself is lovely to look at and hold. The brushed aluminum back gives it a high quility finish with the incredibly useful built-in kickstand. The USB port is great to have as well as HDMI output. The cameras do leave a little to be desired. The front-facing camera is absolutely fine for video-calling (which is pretty much all you need it for) but I doubt anyone will be taking many pictures with the back-facing camera which is unusually poor (but then again most people have seperate cameras for good photo quality).

Overall I would recommend this product immediately to anyone already familiar to this new wave of Microsoft OS (zune HD or Windows Phone) as it will instantly feel famililar. To anyone who is sick of apple or android and needs an alternative. And finally to anyone who is just looking for a tablet and it easily stands shoulder to shoulder with any (in the same price-bracket) on the market.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really fits my needs!! Light, long battery, windows office, sits like a laptop and it's a slim tablet., 4 April 2013
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when traveling all the time you need to consider weight limit and lots of logistics. I like the surface because it's light, slim, does not take any space in my hand bag, long battery and it really sits like a laptop thanks to the keyboard. The fact that it has office allows you to actually work. It's a practical tool. Image is great, sound is really good and the keyboard is actually quicker than I thought.

Overall, I'm really happy with it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best App based tablet (/computer!!), 28 Jan 2013
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I LOVE this product. It does everything I want it to and more. I use it for doing Uni work, watching films, playing music and games. It has taken over from my old laptop and does everything that my old laptop does!!! I would recommend Surface RT to anyone who wants an application based computer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surface Tablet, 27 Jan 2013
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Bought this as a christmas present for our daughter she loves it. Admittedly not as many apps available as an android tablet at this moment but would expect that to change in the near future. Also comes in very handy for her homework looks great with the MiTAB leather case cover.
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