First impressions of Surface RT


Posted on October 22, 2013

So I have lived with the Windows Surface RT for a few days now and here are my initial thoughts.

Disclaimer
I am not an Apple OR Microsoft fan boy, I have phones, laptops and tablets from both companies and use the devices specific to my need.

Price
I decided to get a Surface RT as they have been reduced in price due to the launch of the Surface 2.
I think the base price is very reasonable at £279 and picked up one that came with a touch cover for £319. I am a little disappointed in the unnecessarily inflated prices of the touch and type keyboards when sold separately (£65 and £105 respectively).

Touch Cover
The bundled touch cover feels a little cheap to me and I'm surprised they normally retail for £65.
The lack of feedback from the keyboard is disconcerting but acceptable if I have the volume on and can hear the reassuring sound of key presses through the surface speakers. I don't tend to use it most of the time because the on-screen keyboard is so good (better than the ipads on-screen keypad in my opinion) but it's good to know I have it in just in case I need it. I refuse to spend over a £100 for the type cover (though I've heard it's much better).

Storage
The 32 GB version only has about 15GB space free after the OS. But as I don't intend on keeping my music collection on there or anything space intensive, that's fine for me. Plus the MicroSD slot means I have been able to plug in a 32GB MicroSD card to gain some more storage space if I need it.

Apps
I assumed people were exaggerating but there are unfortunately a lack of apps in the store.
Fortunately the main ones I use are all there like Trello, Pluralsight and Twitter. But this is fine by me as there is more scope to develop, publish and profit from Windows 8 apps myself.

Windows 8.1
I intended to update to windows 8.1 but wouldn't you know that was when Microsoft decided to pull the update from the App Store last weekend due to a bug. I hope it will be available soon as I like Windows 8.1 on my laptop.

Battery
I've not been impressed by the battery life on the Surface. It pales in comparison to the ipad in my opinion.

Kick Stand
Is just that. People rave about the kick stand, I don't understand, it's just a kickstand. It does the job.

Screen
Fine. Quite crisp actually. Not even sure how it has been improved upon in the Surface 2 but apparently it has.

USB port
Should come in handy. I can't say I ever missed a USB port on the iPad however.

Performance
Seems pretty smooth to me.

Overall
Despite some of it's short comings (mainly apps, keyboard price & battery), I love the surface. It brings a lot to the table and shows how serious Microsoft is about the tablet market. I'm excited at the prospect at developing apps for it especially as I have already identified gaps in the current app offering.

Would I recommend it? Yes almost certainly.