Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
A good and under rated product
on 27 April 2014
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.