Microsoft Surface tablet review: Available with Windows RT
The great manufacturers have continued creating something unique for its users and so using the technology is turning more exciting. Microsoft after a long time has entered in the tablet competition with its first ever created device that worth exploring. It is the Surface tablet has we have taken up to review for our vivid readers. Read the entire Microsoft Surface tablet review and find out whether or not this device suits your need of require improvisation.
After Apple and Google, it is time for Microsoft to show what it possesses. No wonder, when it is Microsoft, you know its Windows operating system won’t disappoint you as it runs on most of the world’s computers, especially in corporate sector.
The Microsoft Surface is the first attempt to offer a computer for general purposes. The company earlier was into software development and now the fast rising tablet market has forced Microsoft to enter the game.
The device has received amazing external keyboards with different colors. The manufacturer has made available a useful kick-stand. It is best for those who wish to use Windows 8. The Surface is a stylish looking device and provides premium feel.
Surface has poor selection of apps and the display stands on standard level. The graphic performance is not good and it weighs more than iPad 4.
Price and Availability
Microsoft Surface tablet comes for a price tag of $499 just the same as the new full-screen iPad. However, if you are willing to buy one then you might like to add extra $100 or more for optional cover that comes with a dramatic keyboard. For $499, you will get the 32 GB version. Buy a touch cover for $100 and a type cover with real keys will charge additional $130.
If you want to buy the 64 GB version then the device is all yours for a price tag of $699 along with a Touch Cover.
The Surface is only available at Microsoft’s stores and its website.
Design and Display
The Surface features a distinctive design which makes it look like a premium model, though it is so. What is most impressive is its external colorful keyboard covers that perfectly matches the 10-6-inch widescreen display of this device. It runs Microsoft’s Windows 8 which is the new and most popular OS on the earth. However, there are several flaws that still can be considered if the users are ready to compromise for this beauty.
The device weighs more than the iPad and we had expected it to be lighter. However, at 9.4 mm thick, the surfaced goes draw with the iPad 4. It looks squary and boxy, but the freshly added magnesium ‘VaporMg’ coating is something enchanting. It weighs 690 gram and is noticeably heavier as compared to its rivals. This could annoy some owners who want this device specially to use most of the time while traveling. However, the Surface looks richer than iPad for its extra space where iPad lacks for reducing the screen size. The screen ratio is 16:9 and lets user multitask their apps and snap simultaneously. This makes you feel like you are using a laptop and that is a real hybrid experience.
The rear of the device is made of metal. The screen is 10.6-inch wutg 1366 by 768 IPS panel. This resolution falls short of the full HD displays offered to Asus Taichi and Sony Vaio Duo 11, but it still carries clear and crispy visual which is more important.
Though this device will not win any awards for its vibrant screen, but it’s enough for users who want it for work related purpose more than multimedia experience.
The Surface under its hood carries a powerful NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor that perfectly blends with ARM technology. This drives the new Windows RT OS. This is the same engine that has been found in high-end Android tablets like Google Nexus 7 as well as Asus Transformer Prime. The device features a 2GB RAM. What we have found in this device is that the Tegra literally struggles in Windows. The system seemed responsive while navigating, but apps moved on their splash screens for some time.
The screen showed no jerks or hangs, but sometimes it gets lethargic and you may realize it more while in rush.
We have also tested the 64GB version that offers huge storage space and lets you add another 64GB space. This is one great thing that becomes more important than the money paid to get this device. It at least offers you the option of inserting a memory stick, giving a good alternative to the new iPad.
One of the appealing features is the Touch Cover which is the clip-on keyboard, letting users use it in either tablet form or laptop form. It is very light in weight and seems like made of cardboard. The keys of this keyboard are very sensitive and let user type speedily without much error. The keyboard features a multitouch trackpad that gives you option of choosing the traditional type mouse in Windows interface. The Touch Cover of this device is a real energy booster and we would recommend using it for comfortable typing. It not only offers good experience of typing, but also reveals the most spacious tablet keyboard accessories we have every used. However, for this good comfort, you have to shell out extra £110.
As far as the interface is concerned, it has Start-screen menu that many commonly see in their Windows based PC. The big tiles that provide push emails and news headlines are very touch-friendly. One rumor that made people believe is that the traditional desktop is not available in the new Windows RT, but the fact is it can be accessed through the desktop tile located on the Start screen.
The on-screen keyboard is also very big and easy to use. Though it’s not that smart like those of third-party keyboards provided by Android, but typing with two hands are quick and accurate. The system is responsive and functions smoothly. However, several apps were found to be slow, taking load with slow screens. Also the 1080p playback was running few frames per second short from the accurate number. Multitasking apps were good and loading those graphical apps and movies were stressful for processor. In fact, some of the basic games were running at a bit low frame rate.
Coming to the browser, the device runs Internet Explorer 10 that comes in two versions – one is the traditional desktop version and other is the ‘metro’ or ‘Modern UI’ version that functions within Windows RT’s HTML 5 start screen. The new Windows 8 version features a touch-friendly interface. While using, some sites have been found unresponsive and sometimes few elements fail to load in Internet Explorer. We hope that Microsoft will soon solve this problem as it comes in between the distraction. Pinch-and-zoom of the screen is also very quick and fonts of texts also render instantly.
Due to the built-in flash support, the tablet is being able to provide best browsing experience in tablet category. You are free to try other browsers, but in Windows RT, you only have those offered in Windows Store. At present, Mozilla is preparing Firefox and Google Chrome or Opera is not yet available.
One of the popular features of Windows 8 is use of apps. The Windows Store includes Google Play and App Store.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has not been able to launch Windows Store with anything like enough apps to call its store a success. However, Microsoft has to work out for making its Windows Store a real store full of apps.
For gaming, Microsoft is already potent and the Surface is strong in performance. But for games, the device is still not considered to be a compatible one. At least, you can play some games in this device, which does not feature best graphics.
The camera of this device captures 720p (16:9) video and in to 800p it captures 16:10 video. This spec is low for a high-end tablet and the pictures turn out slightly grainy. Close-up images don’t come properly in focus and if you click in dim lighting conditions, the shots come noisy.
The battery life of this device has made this tablet a great success. It worth the money you will put for Surface. With one full charge, the tablet runs at a stretch of three days in moderate use.
The Microsoft Surface tablet is a winner in its own way, but compared to Apple’s product, it has to improve in some areas. The device has good battery, processor and screen quality, but the camera resolution needs to be improved. The Surface went on sale starting from October 26 along with Windows Rt and now the device has achieved good attention from owners, especially for its extended battery life. The software needs to improve and the apps have to expand for calling the Windows Store a real big store.