WP Central

Microsoft’s Surface reviews start to go out, we round them up

With launch day and general availability of Surface devices set to begin in a few short days the reviews have started to appear. After months of speculation and mountains of questions about price and specs, we’re finally at the end of this saga. Microsoft have dished out Surface devices to the great and the good for some pre-release exclusives.

Surface represents a few key things for Microsoft, firstly it will be the public face of Windows 8, and secondly it is designed to showcase ARM devices and the new WinRT touch interface. From the moment it was announced this was going to be such a critical element for the entire launch of Windows 8. How well it’s received depends on not only the hardware but also the software. Check out our roundup after the break..

Essentially the reviews are broken down in to two distinct parts, the hardware and the software with the wrap up on how well they form a whole, lets see how it breaks down.

WP Central

The Hardware

The good news here is that the hardware and build quality get some good feedback, here are a few choice quotes from some critics.

“In terms of build quality, it really is top notch, its really one of the most precious things I have held in recent weeks or months” – Dana Wollman – Engadget

“The Surface feels really well made when you’re holding it and I would say the construction is on par with the iPad” Joshua Topolsky – The Verge

Overall, almost everyone seems to agree on one thing, the hardware is top notch with a few reservations here and there about the size or how the kickstand works. These generally seem like minor quibbles and as with all devices much is down to personal taste. Most seem to agree that to use the device with the kick stand and the keyboard it can’t be on your lap, which might disappoint some that were hoping to get more road warrior with this tiny Windows Machine. The Verge found the actual form factor to be a little ungainly in both landscape and not desirable at all in portrait orientations.

The keyboard options too were also generally well received, some being surprised at how well they actually worked. We also see some nice videos of swinging the laptop about on its magnets by holding it by the keyboard. That’s looking pretty solid and will please many.

Battery times on the device are looking very healthy indeed for the Surface, even though they don’t seem to best the iPad we’re seeing 10 hours video playback and 9 hours of internet browsing. Not bad for a device that does a heck of a lot more than other tablets. In one test conducted by Anandtech, the Surface beats out the iPad 3rd gen by a fair margin. Essential stuff for a device that will be doing lots of content consumption.

WP Central Microsoft’s Surface reviews start to go out and we round them up

The Operating System

Windows 8 was always going to be a tricky transition, it's brave and daring. We now have the new WinRT environment with its secure apps and store experience and on the other side we have the traditional desktop which we all know and love (no not as the case may be). Windows RT has these two environments but differs from Intel based designs by lacking the ability to use anything other than the pre-installed Office 2013 applications. There is simply no way to install the vast back catalogue of Windows applications onto the desktop. Lets dive in and see what they thought..

On the new touch screen, WinRT interface:

“The actual interface — the tiled environment — is a joy to use. It's really, really cool. I found myself legitimately delighted by some of its functionality, particularly its multitasking and side-by-side apps concept.” - Joshua Topolsky – The Verge

“Switching between applications is faster on Surface/Windows RT than any competing mobile platform. There’s no double tapping of anything, no pressing and holding, just an edge gesture swipe like you’re flipping through pages of a virtual book.” - Anand Lal Shimpi – Anandtech

To be honest, it’s a mixed bag but on the whole the new touch screen UI is winning out here. Folks are liking the docked apps and being able to quickly swipe between apps. There seems to be genuine pleasure in using this new UI and that is very positive indeed. WinRT is very much a work in progress and we’re going to see many changes are this new concept is fleshed out. In short, looks like Microsoft have given little to the critics to grumble about.

Windows RT comes with Office installed through the old desktop environment, this of course is not meant to be used primarily with touch. As such its going to get used with the kick stand and keyboard, there is some positive traction around this. Office comes pre-loaded, what’s not to like? Some also liked the familiar desktop environment for file management, which really might ease the transition for many users.

WP Central Apps Microsoft’s Surface reviews start to go out and we round them up

The Apps

This part of the reviews section is going to read in a very familiar way to many of us Windows Phone users. Unless Microsoft has lots of announcement at launch time, there will be a lack of first party WinRT apps for Surface available in the Store. The list is quite long right now, there isn’t a Facebook app or even a Twitter app. All of the reviewers are highlighting this and it’s of little surprise, we have been wondering about app support for some time. Let’s hope MS can tidy this up sooner rather than later.


Wrap Up

On the whole reading the reviews it looks to be positive, new UI is getting some kudos and people are liking the hardware and baked in Office. They even seem to like having the good old desktop there for file management when it’s needed. Windows RT Surface is a machine with compromises, how well that works out for people will vary. The Surface Pro machines without the compromises will be available a little later and many will likely need this type of machine more.

We’ll no doubt be sharing our views on the new device and OS soon enough so keep an eye out.



There are 208 comments. Sign in to comment

stumpy1570 says:

I hope this succeeds... We will find out soon. Maybe those people that just found put their ipad3 is out of date will buy it. Nobody even blinked an eye apple just boned them

I have heard of this.. Can you elaborate more please on new iPad being out of date?

aubreyq says:

The New iPad (also known as iPad 3) revealed in the spring had an A5 processor and the 30-pin connector. Yesterday a 4th generation iPad was revealed, with an A6 processor and the new Lightning connector.
In reality the New iPad (iPad 3) is not "out of date." It'll still take iOS 6, etc. It just doesn't have the same processor and connector as the iPad 4.

welsbloke says:

Made me laugh though seeing adverts for the new Ipad knowing this is the old Ipad. To be honest this incremental release is a strange one. On the one hand iPhone 5 users benefit due to the lighting on the other it introduces unnecessary confusion.

NickA says:

Apparently stumpy1570 has never owned an Android phone.  The thing is out of date the minute you walk out the door with it, and a new model is just around the corner.

kflo411 says:

Apparently, you can't think very far.. =\
An android device is a pastry amongst 1000 pastries. OEMs licensing an OS.
An apple device is 1 candy apple on a stick. Their unique, exclusive platform.
The new (spring) ipad was a freshly dipped candy apple.. sucks for the purchasers, that it was lightly dipped and stale. A new thickly covered candy apple just came out.
Apple doesn't do this. ever.
It's pretty obvious: why now.

DaveGx says:

Ill be waiting for the next version. Id rather have 3G built in. No use not having that if I want to use it out and about, since not all places I go have WIFI.

ealexand#CB says:

I understand what you're saying, but now that im on new Verizon share plan with free tethering, I dont need to spend extra $ for 3g/4g version.

nizzon says:

Why do you need 3G when you have a phone with Internet sharing?

DaveGx says:

I can't tether anymore. Not without paying extra. I get an error now directing me to a link to pay more.

heulfryn says:

if you get 3G version don't you have to pay for more data and the extra cost 3G tablet

aubreyq says:

I believe so.

Internet tethering isn't all that on Verizon, If you're constantly get phone calls (I know, old fashioned, but a lot of people still love to chat and do business this way). I think its only $10 more month to add a tablet / 4G data only device to the sharing plan. No GPS is also maddening. Were they aware of the competition? And what's up with no Outlook for the included MS Office? That takes the cake, because all WinRT devices suffer from that.

fdesa12 says:

They were aware.  But since they used vapormag as the casing, they knew there would be signal problems in regards to both GPS and 3G/4G.  I'm guessing they were going for a durable, premium feel.  I'm also guessing they thought it would be better than to add those features/components in to get everybody hyped up even more, only to have consumers become disappointed that there are signal problems.  This kind of disappointment can bring down expectations and plans to purchase a product.
One of the Asus Transformer android tablets suffered from this problem (I believe their 1st generation of that line) and the only way to fix it was to use a dongle.  Not many people were happy that a built-in GPS should have worked from the start, but didn't.  Definitely stopped me from considering it no matter how nice it looked.  It gave me a negative impression of the device. 
We don't exactly know the layout of the internal components, so it may also be possible that there just wasn't a space to place it without having signal interference from the metal casing. 

Joelist says:

Your scenario is actually not an issue. I use Verizon and get calls all the time while being tethered. I answer them just like normal and even can keepv using my network connection while doing so.

Sifilone says:

 You could always stick a USB 3G dongle in it, no? so you won't need a separate contract with your cell phone provider. And of course the tethering is always an option.

inteller says:

3G built in tablet modems are the biggest scam ever perpetrated by the telco industry.  You are an idiot to sign on contract with those data limiting shysters.  I have yet to go anywhere that didn't have even basic WiFi to get done what I needed.  Microsoft did their homework and determined that only a third of people ever activated 3G modems in their tablets.

vitaliano says:

I think they said 1/6 overall.

jsnod25 says:

Yeah your right 1/3rd activated and half of then ended up canceling them shortly after. If you just tether your existing cell phone plan for $20 a month, you get alot more for less then the cost of a new or additional plan.

JotaKa says:

inteller - Best, most truthful comment ever!   :-)

pallentx says:

I can live without 3G/4G connection, but no GPS is a tough one...

erasure25 says:

I think its not that big of a deal.  iPad (wifi) model does not have GPS.  Surface can locate you by triangulation.  If you need directions, why not use your WP?

Royalmage says:

buy a wireless dongle and plug it into the USB port... Come on man, this is cheaper and you can move it from device to device...

Kind of defeats the purpose of a hassle-free ultra-portable device.

MaulerX says:

And yet, the option is still there. These things are small and cost way cheaper than if they would have included it.

fdesa12 says:

But it should save you lots of disappointment. 
The Microsoft team thought if it, then said no because of the metal casing's interference with the signals will likely cause problems with connection.

tonyfreak215 says:

Good thing you ignored the Gizmodo review. I have never seen such a biased review.

holzlondon says:

To be fair though, the Gizmodo review is being slated by its own readers.  Someone called it a "reverse iPad review". 
Remember maybe that Gizomo refused to even review the Nokia N8, which went on to be a very popular niche device, one of Symbian's last. 
I personally don't even read Gizmodo (US) reviews anymore, because they seem so fruit-biased.

mr_lima says:

Gizmodo is fanboy site, I can not take seriously what the guy wrote there, one thing is certain gizmodo (U.S. or BR) spent away from my browser, now find strange is that the people criticizing the visualization mode I got an iPad for example is use he never in landscape mode portrait that's my personal taste.

volcane2004 says:

Agreed! They review it too much like an iPad. Of course it will have less apps than something that's in its fourth iteration! Even some of the reviewer's colleagues disagree in the comments.

I am completely done with their site after reading their review last night.  So much Apple propaganda over there it makes my head hurt.
I was glad to see that most of the readers were upset about its bias though.

Alfetta159 says:

Gizmodo is just bitter because Microsoft didn't fabricate a prototype lost in a bar scandal...

I'm about halfway thru the Gizmodo review and so far it seems like a lot of positives towards the Surface. The Verge review, on the other hand, was pretty harsh.

apoc527 says:

Wait till you get to the end...

Luc4 says:

The Verge reviews are ridiculous. For example:
- Surface Feels thicker than iPad yet on paper it's same thickness
- VivoTab RT: angle. "Asus made a point of how bright the screen is, but I can't say I noticed"
PCMag.com took the effort to test it and it's 40-50% brigher than iPad or Surface (600 nits compared to 400 nits). How can you not notice that?
- VivoTab RT 10.1": "The screen's too small". But Surface is huge at 10.6".
I guess the iPad is just perfectly right.... Well not for watching movies but who cares about that I guess.. Also the VivoTab is lighter than iPad but they don't mention that.
I think so far PCMag.com seems to me most objective and they do at least scientific tests.

Luc4 says:

Just reading AnandTech.com. Great review since it really does a lot of testing and most objective so far. Probably will check all reviews there now...

apoc527 says:

Yea, that was probably the worst review I've ever read. It is entirely inconsistent with itself and all the other reviews I read! Goodbye, Gizmodo!

aubreyq says:

I haven't been to Gizmodo in eons. I'm tempted to check out their Surface review just so I can participate in the discussion but I think I'll pass.

erasure25 says:

Gizmodo is biased, plain and simple.  They are a fan-boi site than a tech news site.  Engadget is somewhat more reasonable, but still suffers a bit from fruit fan-boism from time to time.

I feel like Engadget is pretty objective. They got really hyped during Nokia's Lumia unveilings several weeks ago.

willied says:

They still have a hard on for Apple, but it isn't too bad (most of the time).

jchapman01 says:

Would you say its more of a chubby than a hard on?

Bugbog says:

That Gizmodo review was seemingly written by a Jekyll & Hyde character!
From 0 - 50% it's a thoughtful objective review of the device, then Boom! from 50 -100% it's a hateful, bile-ridden spew-fest with no rhyme or reason behind the rant?!

paulheu says:

Why would you need a facebook app when you can pin touch.facebook.com to the start screen.. voila app done.
MetroTwit is IMO the best Metro twitter app anyway and comes in RT flavour

aubreyq says:

I've seen tweets from tech bloggers practically begging for a Facebook RT app. If they can get something similar to the Facebook app that Windows Phone has on RT, it'll be killer.
Man, they HAVE TO get kick-ass Facebook and Twitter apps on RT. Didn't know MetroTwit was available. Wonder if the blogger community has tried it out.

Alfetta159 says:

Except that the WP FB app really leaves a lot to be desired.  I find myself ending up on the mobile website in order to access some features that are missing from the application.

aubreyq says:

I agree that the WP FB app has its flaws but I've seen the FB apps on other platforms and they have their share of flaws as well. I'm looking forward to the next update of the WP FB app. Hope they have some cool new stuff.

aubreyq says:

Sorry, duplicate post.

RayWP7 says:

I use native integration 99% of the time for FB use. But I personally like the experience if the WP app when I do use it. I bet RT version will look great.

Joelist says:

I don't see the need for either a FB or Twitter app on a 10.1 inch tablet. That's thinking in the Apple siloed way.Just use the People tile and you get everything you need.

robert brand says:

I agree, having a full browser is a great option but people WILL want those apps... RB

ealexand#CB says:

Didn't it take quite a long time before there was a Facebook app for iPad? Fb didn't want to develop one because they wanted people using the website.

robert brand says:


Yes there was no iPad app for ages. May have been more to do with the horrendous conditions FB had to meet to placate Apple more than anything. I hope it doesn’t take so long on Windows 8! RB

SocalBrian says:

What exactly are these "horrendous conditions" you are referring to?

ealexand#CB says:

Why is it that every website we visit has to have its own app? Some are very functional, but I dont want too many apps for casual, single purpose use the browser is way easier. I feel the same about my phone and ipad

Narr says:

The way I see it is that most apps are only there to give offline access and make up for the websites being so horrible on a mobile device.

czk9527 says:

Totally agreed

Odog4ever says:

Could be a combination of a few things:
- The website is too lazy to make a responisive design that scales to mobile devices (The correct way to do it).
- Some mobile app developer showed up with his snake oil kit and convinced the web site that they needed an app (instead of a responsive mobile design of their exisiting site)
- Some big-wig at the top decided they needed an "app" without realizing what they really means
Most of the "website apps" I've seen don't even offer offline functionality and often times are less funtional than the website proper. Seriously unless its a game or can function without a data connection it should just stay a web site...

ladydias says:

Amen. A lot of them just don't want to pay someone to make their site mobile friendly (disgruntled web designer here >_

dandrayan says:

The only reason I would want an app is to add Facebook to the Share charms. This is one of the things my Windows Phone can do much better.

OMG55 says:

Metrotwit works fine in place of twitter, as for FB and other apps, we'll see

the_tyrant says:

WPcentral review please!

Jazmac says:

^^^ What he said

robert brand says:


They are coming! RB ;)

purevibz says:

Been using W8 since developer preview and all the website I use are pinned to my desktop I don't need any special app for that....and I will get my Surface friday...

aethicus says:

I wonder if I can charge the surface via a 2A USB charger like the iPad 2 ?

Adiliyo says:

it uses a proprietary magnetic port, i haven't seen the other end of the cable but i think in the engadget review they say that it charges pretty quickly

jimski says:

According to the TNW review, takes 2 hours for a full charge, which they considered excellent.

hammerhand says:

I charge my focus on a 2A port, no adverse effects yet.

aubreyq says:

I would really love to have a Surface but realistically I don't think I'll use it that much, which is why I'd love a lower priced, smaller tablet that runs RT (doesn't have to be from MS). Any RT tablets announced that are 7" or so?

ladydias says:

Not yet but I'd like a 7" tablet as well.

calfee20 says:

With GPS.  Better yet with Nokia Drive

robert brand says:


That’s going to be a fringe device form factor, I’d prefer a Note sized Windows Phone 8 device..I even wrote up my thoughts.. Check here http://www.wpcentral.com/windows-8-windows-phone-8-and-7-inch-gap RB

ladydias says:

A note-type WP8 would be nice too. My hands are pretty small and I can't say having a phablet to give me the best of both worlds would be a bad thing. Phablets seem like the spiritual successors to pocket pcs, which I loved back in the day.

aubreyq says:

Samsung was quoted that they will have a "Note offering" for WP8, but not much more has been said about it since then.

aubreyq says:

Thanks for the link. I had forgotten about that post.

calimike1 says:

Surface RT should get update on OS software on Friday, according to Office Depot employee in Woodland Hills, CA last Monday.

cckgz4 says:

The Verge rated the ecosystem a 4. out of all the foolery LMAO.....I mean really

They clearly mean the App Selection... and they're not wrong. They just overlook the whole Services side of what Microsoft is doing... SkyDrive, Xbox, Office 365, etc.

robert brand says:

Tom gave Windows 8 eco system a 9 - Josh gave it lower, that says most of what you need to know.. RB

ThaFunk says:

Well, I think it's wise to differentiate Windows 8 ecosystem from WinRT ecosystem...They are different in significant ways, as WinRT is metro apps only.

clay113 says:

It seems like everytime there is a major MS product launch (Lumia 900, Surface) Josh is the one who will do the review. Considering his previous comments about his dislike for Windows , it's hard for me to ever think he's giving the product he's reviewing a fair shake no matter how good it may or may not be.  I feel he's always gonna look to point out it's flaws even if the same flaws exist in an Apple product that he won't discredit Apple for.  Just the impression I get.  

clay113 says:

Correction, I know the Lumia 900 is a Nokia product but it was launched as a flagship WP7 device.  

MetroTwit for the win on Twitter side. Definitely need a more robust Facebook experience, although, yes... pinning touch.facebook.com is a winning idea. Apps is going to continue to be a big issue. I'm definitely hoping Microsoft has some serious launch title announcements this week. Not liking the size is the same argument people have had against iPad and is why 7" models exist, but it's good to see that people mostly like the design. Having used a Tablet PC for so long, I already know that I will enjoy the form factor size.

Hiiiiiiiii says:

> “The Surface feels really well made when you’re holding it and I would say the construction is on par with the iPad”
LOL, one is made of plastic and wont survive any drop, other is made of metal and can be used as a skateboard.
Dont ever give thevrege any traffic again, fanboys

Aluminum not plastic but still don't compete with surface magnesium metal and I bet gizmoslip will give it a drop test and people will see its tougher then iPad ;)

ebradley says:

I recently saw the results of using an iPad 3 as a Frisbee. Not pretty. Screen cracked to hell.

tigermcm says:

Has anyone read the review on Engadget and phonearena? Engadget started off nice then ended with them basically pissing on the surface. Phonearena was just blah. The surface looks to be the cheapest out of all the win8 tabs so far so i could care less I'm still buying one

volcane2004 says:

Out of all the reviews I've read, Engadget probably had the most informative and unbiased review. I feel they brought up some good points but understood what the Surface actually is. Instead of just focusing on the lack of apps (which will eventually come) and overlooking the design of the OS and hardware.

ealexand#CB says:

BGR was surprisingly positive too

vitaliano says:

Add anandtech to the list.

ealexand#CB says:

Haha yeah.  Just saw Epstein from BGR retweeted the anandtech review

WinFan1 says:

WIRED has a very unbiased review as well i think personally it was the most thought and explicitly detailed what the surface lacked as well as exceeded in.

ealexand#CB says:

unfortunately I think Gizmodo is getting the most views and they tore it apart.  Mostly tore Windows RT apart

mrdeezus says:

No way...that is the king of apple fanboi sites.

clay113 says:

I felt the Engadget article was actually really positive.  They pointed out some things but I didn't read it feeling negative about the product at all.  If anything the only constant is apps that are yet to come.  With this being a major OS I'm confident that gap will fill.  

mane3215 says:

I can't wait to get mine, as I sit in a seminar with hundreds of people I wish they could have got it to me a bit early so I could start talking people into converting. I'm surrounded by ipads!!


Adiliyo says:

while i totally agree that the vapor-mg process msft is using is way beyond the Al unibody process apple uses, i think they were talking in terms of the quality of the finish. they both result in a product that is appealing to the eye and hand.
but yea, stand on both of them and see which breaks first. :P

Lol yea but if u look at an iPad=tube tv square surface=cinema wide modern HDTV

ricardios says:

I was surprised reading the Engadget review. It was a positive one compared to cnet.

Oh I gave up on CNET

robert brand says:


There really isn’t much bad they can say about Windows RT or the device, even though some of them might have threw a few stones, overall they were positive in most cases. RB

Wait till the pro comes what negative will they say lol u can't its an i5 and 4gig ram right that's a beast tablet

cool8man says:

Anyone who uses a Twitter client other than Tweetro is clueless. Tweetro has a web browser built into it for Christ sake, the thing is damn near perfect. Twitter need not ever release an app. It is better for the Windows users that Twitter never releases an app and distracts people away from using Lazy Worm's Tweetro.

Hoekie says:

Clueless is a bit rude, but Tweetro is definitely the twitter app to beat.

sepatown says:

Yes, I totally agree (not the clueless part). Initially, I was using Metrotwit (another awesome twitter app), but I decided to try Tweetro and boy was my mind blown. I don't see any reason for the official twitter app to be honest.

aubreyq says:

Bummer. For a moment I thought Tweetro was available for WP but it's only for W8.

Gmotagi says:

The verge review was typical iSheep verge trash talk, qualifying a low score with Josh's typical "I really wanted to like this" statement.  The verge will always up mark iPhone and downgrade MS products.

JamesDax3 says:

The Verge and Gizmodo are both homes to the iSheep and no ones worst then Josh.

MastrMeatWad says:

agreed.  Gismodo is the worst.  The reviewer went on CNN I believe and called it a "flop".  Stated it is designed well but basically just dogged the OS.    How it is "buggy" and slow and blah blah.  The strange thing is other reviews stated just the opposite. Hmmm..  MS should have released the PRO along with the RT.  That way there is a clear understanding of what the RT can and cannot do when it sits next to the Pro counterpart. 

Hiiiiiiiii says:

Have you seen their ipad mini event? It's sickening, they are now crying because of the small ipad
11:03:06 AM PDT 

I feel myself having an irrational need to buy this product right now.

11:03:12 AM PDT 

Shut up and take my money.

11:08:37 AM PDT 

Tears of joy.

11:08:45 AM PDT 

Huge applause.

11:08:47 AM PDT 


aubreyq says:

I went to their liveblog as well (side note: The Verge's liveblogs flow really nice). What you posted above were exactly the same comments that made me think "Geez, stop it with the fanboyism, guys!"

willied says:

HAHAHAHA. How can anyone be such a loser?

WilliamC1972 says:

Can't wait to get one. However, if Microsoft wants the Surface to do better sales wise they must have major stores selling the product. The apps will come, so that's no concern to me. I just want quality apps.

robert brand says:


That will come but also don’t forget they have others making Windows RT devices and Windows 8 devices and hybrids. RB

purevibz says:

If you notice Josh from the verge alway want to do the Microsoft reviews so that he can piss on them...and check those reviews and you will see the same line "I really want to love this device" we know he don't like microsoft so cut the BS! 

laserfloyd says:

At least Tom Warren gave Windows 8 an 8.8.  I actually think the initial review is a little premature since it's not even available yet.  Nonetheless any review of Win8 or RT will score low in the ecosystem area until they get up over 100k apps or so or at least get huge name apps.   They will come. :)

I have a feeling that all the negative ecosystem comments are going to look really stupid in less than a week.  The number of apps in the store has increased significantly in the last week and apps are updating on a regular basis.
I expect a barrage of new apps on Friday when the devices and OS launch.

Nakazul says:

The only way for Windows 8 and hardware to break on through and turn around the techpress is that the consumers like it. If the W8 products starts selling like hot cake and have reasonable happy users all over the world, they will snap out of it, but not till that happen. So MSFT and partners need to get this in to the hands in customers and it needs to find a market. Apps have been a issue and in a long run, it might be the thing that makes or breaks these devices, and how customers view them. If they look at surface and think iPad, I belive its a though sell. If they look at it from any other angle then the iPad angle, its gonna work.

robert brand says:


Few things to remember here:

Regardless of Surface sales or hybrid touch device sales Windows 8 will be on every computer sold next year = Result is Microsoft Store is going to be on a staggering number of PCs – as a developer could you afford to ignore that market?

Microsoft are making a major bet here to recapture lost sales to consumers that have been ditching their PCs for lightweight computing devices like smartphones and tablets. If they are unable to turn this trend around now, then there will be trouble.

Help is at hand, Microsoft are providing SUPER CHEAP upgrades to existing users – Result = even more potential users for those Microsoft Store apps and happier, less likely to flee user base.. (the hope anyway).


WinFan1 says:

"we dont think so different you and i robert" :D you can quote me on that

Nakazul says:

im with you on the big impact W8 will have and thats what i hope will make W8 work the way its supposed in the end. And boy i sure hope it work.
Now the problem that im afraid of is this: Because of not enough apps, people might drop out for good as they buy or try W8, people drop out as fast as they come in, and RT is sensitive to that (still touch devices im talking here). Now on bigger PC`s they might just turn to the desktop and ignore the Metro inviroment (worse, never really use it) and that might hurt more then it should. If people get a somewhat bad impression at first there are possble they might not return and the idea with W8 fails.
Well, lets see how it goes and hope for the best, but MSFT sure will need to hammer in the difference of Pro and RT or risk people feel fool`d. I hate to be the skeptic, but im trying to not my love for this old company not hnder me from seeing a bigger picture.
I sure appreciate you taking the time RB to answer my thought.

wpb211 says:

I love not having apps if Windows RT will integrate feeds and messaging like on the Windows Phone. I prefer not to launch a browser session. Windows is making an operating system that overturns "it's all about the apps." I love it and hope they continue this way. I don't want to visit Twitter.com or facebook.com or anything.com. Bring the info to me - don't make me chase it.

Adiliyo says:

windows 8 does aggregate a lot of data similar to windows phone, messaging is there with Fb integration, and the people tile shows fb/twitter notifications.

ebradley says:

No FB app. So what. You pin the IE shortcut to the start screen and the FB icon is on the shortcut. It looks like an app. Many other sites do this same thing.
From what I understand, web based games, like what my son plays, cannot be played on RT. (ie... Wizard101)
I was planning to get him one for Christmas.
Am I wrong?

inteller says:

FB app is going to hit Friday, Microsoft is doing a grand app rollout at their presser.
But really, FB apps are so yesterday, I dont even have it installed on my phone, People Hub and Me Tile do everything I need. Same thing with Windows RT.

robert brand says:


FB is so like yesteryear I agree, but perception counts, lets hope MS pull out the stops for the launch event! I have no trouble pining apps/favourites etc, neither to most of the commenters here, it’s the general public we’re talking about. They likes thems apps! RB

ThaFunk says:

What about a WPCentral metro app?! :)

WinFan1 says:

^THIS BY A MILLION i need my wpcentral app guys dont take too long to release one ok  :D

tgr42 says:

Speaking of magnesium, has anyone tried setting a Surface on fire?

Nakazul says:

Hahaha, that was my thought on the announcment. It will probably not be as easy to set on fire, but what happens under serius tempratures? I guess some nut with to much money will answer that in due time =-)

berty6294 says:

If we connect our windows phone to our surface rt using Bluetooth will we be able to text through the tablet?

Nakazul says:

we dont know anything really at all about WP8 and WP7.8 on W8...mostly because MSFT wont say. I guess on the 26 we will really know more, and on the 29 we will defenitly know...hopfully.

inteller says:

no mention of the Slashgear review.  It may well be one of the most unbiased reviews of ANYTHING I have read in years, and I'm being very serious about that.  Slashgear is the anti-EnVerget

Arun3 says:

Would like to know Dan's and Jay's review of the Surface... :)

surfacenerd says:

There are two great Twitter apps that are available for WinRT. They are both made by the great Liquid Daffodil. They are called Cowlick and Gleek! I have them both and would highly recommend them.

hammerhand says:

I'm confused, this article mentioned the desktop environment- I thought WinRT didn't have that?

Adiliyo says:

RT does have a desktop, but it's mainly used for file explorer and office. you still can't run legacy apps on RT.

glassadam says:

Why even have the desktop at all on RT then? You can still have office and regular IE10, just get there from the tiled interface. Desktop mode on RT for 2 apps just seems pointless and confusing. But hey, I haven't used it myself yet... Maybe it works out great!

wpguy says:

All the reviews point out the abysmal lack of apps. But I remember reading awhile ago that Windows Phone 8 apps would run on Windows 8/RT. Is that still true?

wpguy says:

Looks like it's a "will be possible in the future" kind of thing. http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/winphone/forum/wp7-wpapps/will-windows-rt-tablet-run-windows-phone-7-apps/9f6e025d-4cae-4eec-a631-3193bd370718

So not now, which is a little disappointing, but oh well...

cefuller12 says:

Vincent Nguyen, the Surface reviewer at Slash Gear said it best:
In the end, it all comes down to ecosystem. If you’re already invested in Microsoft then it’s a good solution: if you’re a Windows Phone user, or an Xbox 360 gamer, or simply have a background with Windows 7, then Surface will likely fit into your world more smoothly than an iPad or Android tablet might.
Everyone uses Windows.  Many housholds own an Xbox.  There's absolutely no reason to think that a majority of Apple iPad users won't switch to a Surface, There's absolutely no reason to think that a majority of Apple iPhone users won't switch to a Windows Phone. I did. 
The fact that both Apple and Google wrapped heavy product announcements around the Windows OS/Phone 8 releases are small indications of this.

Nakazul says:

The bigg issue is people are using Gmail and will miss out, maybe not understand the greatness and richness to gain by an outlook account.

People complain about the lack of apps.
Bring up Office and it's functionality.
Response, what do I need Office for, I have Google Docs.

ealexand#CB says:

I spend about 80% of my day in Excel (and the other 20% in word) and Google Docs just isn't up to snuff yet.  They're working on it, but it's not there yet.

harchestr says:

I can not wait til they do a Surface vs Ipad battle. Then we will see if what tablet will reign supreme... Probably sites like the Verge won't bother because they do not want to know the outcome lol.

No mention of the chipset performance in this summary is interesting. A desktop class OS running on ARM chipsets is something completely new. Im interested in hearing how the multitasking holds up as you load more and more apps. I wonder if Tegra is up to the challenge, especially when crunching excel spreadsheets and huge powerpoint presentations with a game sitting in the background and a YouTube video downloading.

robert brand says:


It was a roundup of impressions, thanks for reading, please go and take a look at the source reviews for more. We’ll be doing a full review for some time next week with follow ups. RB

ScRePt says:

Reviews were quite possitive??? Really?
One compared it to the iPad's size and the other compared it to a 15" x64 Laptop ...
They all are comparing to the wrong things to make it sound old-news.
And they are all complaining about the RT vs non-RT versions being hard to understand. What is hard?
You want legacy programs ? Get PRO. No? Get the other one. Other than that THEY ARE THE SAME.
They wanted the stand to feel more steady, they wanted it to sit on their lap, with the stand! (?)
They wanted it to be smaller. Guess what 9" is PATENTED. 8" and they would say it's small.
I remember the iSheep telling me that I do not like MacOS because I am used to something else not because it is unusable (yeah, try to delete a file without mouse ... still not found. I know I press DEL and there is nothing more to get used to). Now it's time to hear this back. And accept it.

Nakazul says:

The problem with the lack of knowledge and understanding is only MSFT` own fault.

elisaur says:

Im a little concerned about performance. Most reviews complained about some hiccups and lag. I really hope this isn't the case. I already preordered mine and I hope that gets fixed.

robert brand says:


From what I saw in the videos, the Surface RT is performing much better than my Lenovo X200 laptop with an SSD, 4GB RAM.. Time will tell but nobody called out performance in any meaningful way. RB

elisaur says:

that's comforting to know. I just hope developers catch in quick and develops a ton of quality apps to ease the compromise of legacy apps.

The only lag I have seen in videos is with going between multiple apps one after another.  Something you can't do on any other tablet.  Instead of praising the abiltity to truly fly between apps they complain that it isn't quick enough.

MastrMeatWad says:

This is the complaints I have read as well.  The lag between applications.  I keep hearing the buzzword "bugs" and "buggy' from gizmodo guy that calls it a fail.  However, he does not elaborate, what bugs, what is buggy?  I always find it so strange how some of these so called writers and journalists are given a pass on being vague and non descript on reviews.  If it is buggy, well I want to know what and how. 
The lag with apps is something I get on my ipad2 as well at times.  The comparison that ipads do not lag at all is hyperbole.  However, the crisp swipes and load times on the ipad is what I love about it.  If the surface is on par with that experience I would be happy.  Still waiting for the Pro to price and release before I commit.

Andrew L says:

I am concerned about reading in portrait, it does look like it may be ungainly and awkward.
The Verge said it didn't feel right in both portrait and landscape.
I can't wait to put my hands on one myself.

omagic82 says:

Is anyone seeing a shipping email from MS for their Surface order? I'm in Pensacola, FL and mine still syays "In Process" as of 9:30am Wednesday morning. I ordered mine as soon as the preorders site went live.

layfnatu2 says:

I'm seeing the same thing as you and I preordered early on the first day as well. So you're not alone

I would bet that the Surface pre-orders are just sitting staged at UPS delivery locations.  Most addresses are less than two days from the distribution centers and there are likely packages staged in the metro hubs.

Mr. Brown says:

Well, I just got shipping confirmation for 1 of the Surface HD Digital AV Adapters. Says 3-7 day shipping. :(
I placed 2 separate orders for a 64GB surface and adapters. Now I just hope the Surfaces ship!

bb_gonzo says:

I have a Blackberry PlayBook and i agree that the app switching by swiping in from the bezel is the fastest and most intuitive way of multitasking. A lot of UI elemnts Windows RT uses seem to originate from the RIM tablet OS. I wonder if Microsoft is paying some kind of licensing fees or something to RIM. Really looking forward to the surface though. Are the hardware specs known yet? I am a bit concerend about the size. Generally i prefere smaller tablets. Say 8.9 inch is the maximum i would want to use as a tablet. For laptops everything below 11.6 inches doesn't makes sense for me (poor eyesight). Since this is a completely new concept i wonder if it will be the best of both worlds or my fears will become true and it will be too big a tablet and to small a laptop. I will try it out though and until i am hopefull for the former. 

ladydias says:

I once thought about getting a playbook. Was it any good?

bb_gonzo says:

Well, yes and no. It depends what you are using it for. I was well aware of the limited app selection and not quite polished os. So that doesn't bother me because mainly use it for watching videos or browsing. Before the Galaxy Nexus and the Kindle tablet it was a bargain for 199. I wouldn't recomend it though. It does everything i want it to do but that's just me. For most people i would say get a Nexus or better yet a Win RT tablet. It crashes a lot, the OS is beautiful i think and very intuitive but unfortunately very unpolished. 

GT2010 says:

Whoohoo Go Microsoft :P
Surface Tablet buy buy :D
Lumia 920 :DD
sorry no HTC i dont buy rippoffs ahhahah

Dethzilla says:

I've been dissappointed by the reviews... I mean you say they've been wholly positive but most of them end with... Hold off on purchasing this thing now... wait and see.
I almost want to wait until MS is like... "oh, it'll be compatible with Windows 9 RT also."  Then that would make things a lot easier.

glassadam says:

I'm not sure why you'd want a Facebook app.... I'd rather just use the real website whenever I can. On a phone, an app makes sense. On a tablet/laptop? Not so much. Or maybe I'm missing something?

aubreyq says:

I suppose it comes down to the app's interface.

Iconoclysm says:

A native app on the tablet usually can leverage other apps and data storage that the browser is sandboxed away from.

ealexand#CB says:

apple resisted making an ipad app for quite a while because the thing is bigenough to use the website.  It's not as pretty, but it will be fine until there's an app

someoneinwa says:

A couple of reviews no one has mentioned yet:
Mossberg: Wow, I had to doublecheck that it was really him. Walt Mossberg really likes the Surface RT. I found his few nits to be reasonable and unlike some of his reviews, he appears to have actually used the device this time. Unlike some much younger reviewers, he didn't get all wigged out by the presence of the desktop on the RT.
TechCrunch: OMG! I swear most of the review was complaining that the Surface is too big. Too hard to hold, too heavy, takes up too much space, iPad is better, what's wrong with letterboxing?....blah, blah, blah.
Like many of you, I saw what I've sadly come to expect from places the Verge and gizmodo. Engadget's review seemed to be written by two different people. Are there any reviews that have surprised you like Mossberg surprised me?

Lobbie1978 says:

There IS a Twitter app, and a quite decent one too: Tweetro. I use it for some time now and it's brilliant :)

Lobbie1978 says:

There is a nice comparison between the iPad 3 and the Surface RT here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZB3mm7Egeo

WinFan1 says:

that is a terrible comparison. :(

taarkan says:

I'm glad they are getting good reviews. Hopefully this will propel Windows 8. I'm particularly looking forward to something like the HP Envy X2. If I'm going to spend $500 plus on a tablet then I can spend a few more bucks on a full hybrid. Best of both worlds!

taarkan says:

I'm glad they are getting good reviews. Hopefully this will propel Windows 8. I'm particularly looking forward to something like the HP Envy X2. If I'm going to spend $500 plus on a tablet then I can spend a few more bucks on a full hybrid. Best of both worlds!

ayejay0601 says:

No, its not odd at all.  This iPad was released for one reason only.  To ensure that the Surface doesn't eat into their market share.  This is a purely defensive move.  They could have waited to release this in the Spring, but they were concerned the surface would actually gain traction.  They know that the surface is the biggest threat their pad franchise faces.
Question:  If they release a super large version of the iPad next, will it be called the maxipad?

alukard says:

Facebook and Twitter is built into windows 8 just like windows phone, its in the People app.

ejlee072006 says:

Men I thought this will work like my WP.. I want people hub integrated to Facebook and twitter if this two options are not there im not buying it. Im not gonna type Facebook.com all the time.. I ain't doing that crap anymore..

kingkoopa09 says:

It does it just doesn't have a dedicated official twitter or Facebook app

alukard says:

There are many twitter apps, Metrotwit, Rowi, and one of the best Tweetro.  People hub of windows 8 can do everything the windows phone poeple hub can do and more.  do more research, there is alot of wrong information from the reviews.

kingkoopa09 says:

Yea I love tweetro Facebook is unnecessary with people hub and when u need to look anything it brings up full Facebook page

alukard says:

wait for the full official launch of windows 8 on friday 29th before you make decisions.

Hankerin says:

While you might have to go the 3G route with the iPad if you don't have tethering capabilites, I would never get it were it offered on a Surface.  You're tied into a carrier plan whether you're using it or not.  I was given a company iPad with 3G that had been used in some trial applications and figured what the heck, I'll swap out the SIM card from my iPhone 4.  NOT.  Doesn't work!  So it's Wi-Fi with tethering if there isn't something else available.  With the Surface, I can use the built in Wi-Fi when that's availabe or my USBConnect device (which I can use on both my ThinkPad and my MacBook Pro, too).  Or I can tether my iPhone or my Lumia 900.  The only devices where it makes sense are those with free 3G limited to downloading books as on Nooks and Kindles.

mrdeezus says:

Ok my review of ipad then: Kickstand-na= score 0 HDMI out-na=0 16×9 resolution-na=score 0 USB port-na=score 0 Micro sd slot-na=score 0 So, in conclusion I give all ipads a 0 rating. Too bad though because this tablet had promise. See, anyone can do a biased uninformed review. Why rate the screen or speed of device or quality of the apps available. I have a Surface so ,I mean like, yea this ipad blows. listen, im ok with you saying in your review that the app selection is low and the screen is not as good as the ipads or it doesn’t have backwards compatibility ( which cant be a negative because its not a feature) but to make asinine comments like he did is embarrassing for a supposed tech guy.I reposted this from the verge.

scdkad says:

Really need to read the mainstream press reviews-they are what most non tech geeks would be reading. CNN, USAT, WSJ, etc.
Also noticed not much mention of how W8 was derived mostly from WP8..

Hankerin says:

USA had a review today written by Edward Baig - pretty empty but I got a kick out of this.  "Any versions of Office you have on any other Windows computers you own, or any other PC software for that matter, are not compatible with RT."  Now he might have meant that you can't load a copy of the software on the RT but the inference is that documents, spreadsheets and presentations that you've worked on on another device wouldn't work.  But then he might not have had a chance to review his piece given that he was busy "lusting after an iPad Mini!"

lonelycafe says:

You only round up the good comments about the surface,  but alot of reviews suggest holding onto your money,  because the market lacks quality apps.  There was alot of negatives about the software.  I really want surface to succeed as i love this live tiles concept,  windows 8 and windows phone 8 so much. God dam it live tiles is so much more than an icon. 

lonelycafe says:

Please succeed 

EpidemikE says:

So buy in brah!
Ill be getting a Surface Pro in 3 months to replace my corporate work desktop (Dell Optiplex 970) and I will not look back.

I really don't see why we should have a fb or twitter app cuz I was really imagining myself using my surface rt as a computer in terms of using accounts on the internet, and plus I would only want a fb app for notifying me or something but we're already gonna have a me/people live tile so I really don't see a problem in that. And everybody has to agree that it's MUCH nicer to use fb on ur PC on the browser than on ur app on ur phone...

ariez84 says:

Joshua is a joke. I seriously cannot stand why his reviews get so many views and comments. I dont know if he purposely doing it to get attention or what.
"Hardware is on par with ipad" -- Yet he rated one lower (Guess which one).
"Battery life is worse on iPad 3" -- Yet he gave one a perfect battery score (Guess which one).
The guy cannot be consistant, unless it has a fruit logo laser etched into it.

RenatoFontes says:

From the reviews I read... I understood that it sucks =/
It shouldn't be slow!!! D:
I hope microsoft can fix it with a firmware update u_u

Rcap238 says:

I am going to hook my type pad that shipped to a cardboard cut out of a surface and pretend I am enjoying it since Microsoft can't tell me when I will get mine and why I will not get it on the promissed date.

Nice summing up but my experience has been that most reviews have been hostile but I should say, most punditry has been no better than claiming MS Surface RT and the whole of W8 ecosystem is D.O.A.
I'll be receiving my MS Surface RT 32GB with Touch tomorrow and I hope that the experience will be on the whole positive. I'm expecting the same problems I encountered with the first iPad in browsing the Web and other little glitches. 
The way pundits have reacted is that the lack of Android tablet Apps are regrettable but not as bad as the W8 RT store.
So, I'm hoping that the MS Surface RT will do better with real consumers than reviewers who seem to miss what is lacking with Apple and Google.

EpidemikE says:

You know you nailed the summation of the review feel I have gotten on other sites. I love theverge and what they put out but they are very Apple friendly (to the extent that it can do no harm). I think they're review and theyre rating of the device is very unfair. Gizmodo was even more hostile on the device.
Either way, I am buying into the W8 devices. Ill be going to a MS Store tomorrow to pickup a 32GB RT to replace my wife's Dell Vostro 1000. Thats how confident I am that this will work perfectly for her.
Lastly, I think what people are failing to see is that Microsoft is innovating not only hardware but also software during a time where major players are just following the leader. I mean look at Apple, the iPhone 5 JUST got LTE aka 4G, JUST got wireless N, JUST got a larger screen. These are things that have been heavily used by android phones for the past two years! WP7 was LTE before Apple had it. The Lumia 920 has NFC, better camera technology, wireless charging, touch with gloves and a great OS and hardware.
The only area lacking in WP7 or W8/RT/WP8 has been the ecosystem. However it isnt as bad as people make it out. Does it have all 700,000 apps that iOS has? No but it does have all of the apps that you need and some exclusive apps that are actually better.
Ill take my magical surface over an iPad any day and my Lumia 900 over an iPhone 5.
Man I am really heated...

Benny1434 says:

"Most seem to agree that to use the device with the kick stand and the keyboard it can’t be on your lap"
I was actually a bit dissapointed that there really wasn't a good way to use the device on your lap. 
BUT Sinofsky actually demoed how to when showing off the Surface at its launch today. 
You just flip out the kickstand and then flip back the touch cover under the tablet. That way it's sitting on top of the cover on your legs, brilliant! 
Now I'm regretting not getting a touch cover with my Surface...

niravc says:

are having a facebook app or twitter app (or other apps) really that essential? can't you just use the web-browser like you'd do on a laptop for some of them? i know ms is bringing this out during a crazy time with ipad minis and nexus 7s and are trying to cut a slice of the pie for themselves, but if i recall the ipad didn't have many apps that worked for it either when it first launched- didn't it take facebook a year or so to make an ipad app?

michaelteske says:

Just received my 64gb Surface. Initial impression is that it's pretty impressive. The hardware is total quality. I am extremely suprised how easy it is to type on the touch cover. I ordered the Type Cover, which hasn't arrived yet, but not sure how often i will use it.

goodbar_dev says:

I was able to type on the touch cover with the kickstand out on my lap no problem, not sure what people are having issues with?