28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
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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