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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