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Microsoft Surface RT Reviews

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  • mawcc

    The first reviews of Surface RT are in, and they are not good (see http://www.businessinsider.com/bad-surface-reviews-2012-10 for an overview). I ordered one, despite the initial disappointment about the specs (especially the screen resolution).

    Of course I will pass a final judgment only after I have experienced the device myself (I have an iPad 3rd gen so I will be able to compare), but currently I´m a little bit worried about Windows RT/8 tablets in general, because Surface is such an important device in this category.

  • CaRDiaK

    Bad reviews and now a £200 iPad Mini. 

    Oh deary dear. Surface is too expensive. So disappointing.

    We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.
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  • wastingtime​withforums

    "I actively avoided using the mail app if at all possible."

    No kidding. It doesn't even support POP3 the last time I tried to use it! POP-frigging-3! How can you release a mail-client without the most common mail-client protocol? Have they fixed that yet? And here's a review for the Win 8 Skype app (reads a bit funky because it's an online-translation):

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w8itprogeneral/thread/66b1f93e-ea08-48f7-ad40-15a268f980d0
    ---

    "Unnerved we wanted to switch to another user with an existing Skype account, but unfortunately Microsoft has housed the "Unsubscribe" in the settings menu of the Charms bar where one looks up the first thing is not spontaneous. We have finally found the function already. But why can not intuitive? Who makes these design decisions?

    CHIP Online says:
    Is this really the final version? After all, Skype for Windows 8 appears to coincide with the new operating system, so already on 26 October 2012. Since not much time left. What Microsoft delivers here made ​​in the editorial for shaking their heads in disbelief. How you manage to get the same despite minimal designs such an unintuitive operation is a mystery. Hide important functions in favor of the simple layouts so that they must first seek laboriously, is not comprehensible. The idea that one's parents were sitting in front of this piece of software is funny and sad at the same time. If the new Skype is an indicator of the future of software on Windows 8, then Microsoft has a problem. A great [one]."

    ---

    With castrated apps like these, it's no wonder if there's disappoitment. Couple this with the fact that apps need to be installed per user, and updated per user:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh464929.aspx

    .. Which will be a real fun endeavor if you have more than two people using a computer, together with more limitations like an unpredictable background behavior:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w8itprogeneral/thread/67483335-db7d-4060-8502-4494e234b188

    You've got to be ready for sinking reviews.

  • mawcc

    This one's positive, although not really enthusiastic (8 out of 10): http://www.wired.com/reviews/2012/10/microsoft-surface/

    Still you find sentences like "The 720p HD cameras — front and rear — are junk. There's no other way to put it.". Of course the cameras are not very important in a device like this, but would it have been so hard to include "decent" cameras, not "junk" cameras?

  • cbae

    , mawcc wrote

    This one's positive, although not really enthusiastic (8 out of 10): http://www.wired.com/reviews/2012/10/microsoft-surface/

    Still you find sentences like "The 720p HD cameras — front and rear — are junk. There's no other way to put it.". Of course the cameras are not very important in a device like this, but would it have been so hard to include "decent" cameras, not "junk" cameras?

    8 out of 10 isn't "enthusiastic"? Really?

  • mawcc

    , cbae wrote

    *snip*

    8 out of 10 isn't "enthusiastic"? Really?

    Here's a literally enthusiastic review:

    http://www.zdnet.com/hands-on-with-microsofts-surface-rt-can-it-hit-the-sweet-spot-7000006258/

  • JohnAskew

    I wouldn't worry about the apps too much, they always seem to 'update' themselves into better shape in short order after a major OS launch. Isn't that what you've experienced?

    A Surface RT may be a terrific replacement for that art book on one's coffee table...

    Still waiting for my laptop replacement version...

  • wkempf

    , mawcc wrote

    The first reviews of Surface RT are in, and they are not good (see http://www.businessinsider.com/bad-surface-reviews-2012-10 for an overview). I ordered one, despite the initial disappointment about the specs (especially the screen resolution).

    Of course I will pass a final judgment only after I have experienced the device myself (I have an iPad 3rd gen so I will be able to compare), but currently I´m a little bit worried about Windows RT/8 tablets in general, because Surface is such an important device in this category.

    Sorry, I call BS.

    "The most scathing of the reviews we've read so far comes from Josh Topolsky at  The Verge

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/bad-surface-reviews-2012-10#ixzz2ADoJMXsU"

    So, the "most scathing of the reviews" comes from someone known to be anti-microsoft, but that "scathing review" gives a numerical 7/10 rating. That's a respectable score, and hardly scathing. So, ignore the score and read the article. Unless you're cherry picking, which Business Insider did, I see no way to read the review as scathing based on what he said. Again, this from a reviewer we should all expect to have been biased. Sorry, that's NOT a bad review.

    Over all, the reviews are actually pretty good. Not "Apple good", but if you expected to get those kind of reviews I'm not sure where you've been the last 8 years or so. Anyone claiming the reviews are bad is only showing their extreme (and I do mean extreme) bias. Again, the most scathing review is a 7/10, and thus the reviews are bad?!?!!!

  • mawcc

    @wkempf:I didn't say that the reviews are bad. I said that they are not good. And I fully expected them to be good, even "Apple good". I guess Microsoft itself expects no less, because who else do they want to compete with. Android?

  • wkempf

    @mawcc: Many people wanted it to be "Apple good", but most of those people didn't actually expect it to work out that way. I'll bet you money that no one at Microsoft really expected the initial reviews to be "Apple good". After all, even the Nexus 7 doesn't get "Apple good" reviews, and it's several generations down the line.

  • rhm

    What I read in the reviews is people trying to be positive about Surface when considered as a piece of tech in isolation, but with the underlying tone of "we can't really recommend you buy this because as good as it is, it's still not as good as an iPad and there's f-all software for it".

  • mawcc

    MJF has a good, probably more balanced roundup of reviews than Business Insider: http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-surface-rt-a-review-roundup-7000006319/

     

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    In my book not "Apple Good" equals "Also Ran". I'd only hope Microsoft can do better then Android so it doesn't end up being another Zune. And there's always the Chrome Book that Microsoft can say it's better than. Smiley There are no words to describe what a failure the Chrome Book is especially at the price points they are asking.

    Glad to see with things like the Skype app that the "No Chrome Even if it Hurts" campaign Microsoft is on is getting some notice. "Windows 8: More Clicks in Every Box..." Hopefully Microsoft will issue a course correction on this in an update to their UI/UX guidelines (and then say it never intended the interface to be so unintuitive in the first place Smiley )

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • spivonious

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6385/microsoft-surface-review

    Anand said it's the best mobile OS yet, and the hardware is great aside from average cameras, a poorly designed charging port, and horrible HDMI output.

    He also alluded that Office 2013 Preview tends to max out the CPU, but he didn't notice any other perf problems.

    A Windows RT OS review is forthcoming, so no comments on the software.

     

    I admit I was disappointed to see much better performance numbers from the Atom-based tablets running Windows 8. It makes me wonder why MS priced the Surface at $500 when Atom-based tablets are around the same price with the full x86 compatibility.

  • JeremyJ

    @mawcc: Actually the reviews I have read have been good (7-8/10 is a good score).  The biggest ding they are giving it is the lack of apps.  I personally think that is a silly thing to knock it for since that is just a temporary problem.  It has done well in the reviews because the people want to hate it because it is not an iPad and it is a quality piece of hardware.

    The dumbest review I have read was the Gizmodo one where they gave it a 2.  Gizmodo hasn't really had any credibility in a long time anyway.

  • spivonious

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2012886/review-surface-rt-microsofts-bid-for-a-thing-of-its-own.html

    PC World gives it 3.5/5. Biggest complaint is the quality of the bundled apps.

    The more I read, the more I want to wait for Surface Pro.

  • wkempf

    @spivonious: I'm not convinced even the Surface Pro is the device I want at this point. I may go with one of the other devices, but none of them are what they could be. I'll be getting a Windows 8 device, no doubt, just not convinced yet which one will fit my needs best. At this point, price might be the biggest factor in my decision, just because I'll be compromising with any device.

  • spivonious

    That Gizmodo review is pretty amateur. A one page blurb complaining about the lack of a Facebook app and how the TouchCover isn't great. No details on the hardware, no comparison with iPad or Android tablets, no opinion on Office 2013.

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