Surface RT

Black Friday isn’t until later this week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some crazy good deals today. It may be a generation old and its performance at first was lackluster, but the original Surface RT has new legs with Windows 8.1 installed. Normally at this stage in a products life we might recommend just getting the latest one, here that would be the Surface 2. However, it’s hard to ignore the original Surface when it’s just $179.99 and includes a keyboard. Details below.

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There used to be the days of woe when new buyers brought home their newly purchased Surface RT device, only to discover that they would never be able to hook it up to a wired network. Then, a few days ago, word had leaked on the internet that the Surface Ethernet Adapter would finally work, but users plugged in their devices and found disappointment when it continued to not work.

Don't fret though, someone has the steps to get you up and running.

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A few days ago Microsoft pulled the Windows RT 8.1 update due to startup issues that a limited number of users experienced. According to Microsoft one out of every 1,000 Surface RT 8.1 updates were experience problems that bricked the devices.

Microsoft took the issue head on and pledged to work diligently to resolve the situation.  They even released a Windows RT 8.0 recovery image to restore buggered devices.

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If you've been following news of the Windows RT 8.1 update, you'll know that Microsoft has pulled the release due to some issues that consumers have experienced while attempting to upgrade their tablets (be it Surface RT or other models from OEM partners). Redmond has now released a Surface RT 8.0 recovery image, which can be used on a "bricked" tablet to take you back to original factory configuration.

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Grab a cup of coffee and that outdated backpack, we are going to get you ready for the first Semester of classes in this special Back to School 2013 Guide. We have broken the guide down by different student types including “The Geek”, “The Artist”, “The Budgeter”, and “The Entrepreneur”. Check it out below and let us know what you think. Alright, all board – let’s go!

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Last night, Windows Phone Central reported that Microsoft Stores were poised to reduce the cost of the Touch Cover from the current $119.99 to a more favorable $79.99. That reduction includes all five colors and is set to occur on August 30th online and in Microsoft Stores. The price drop is permanent and not a sale.

We can also now confirm that the Surface RT bundle, which includes both the Surface RT device and a black Touch Cover, will also reflect that price decrease. Currently, customers can buy the Surface RT with either 32GB or 64GB and a bundled black Touch Cover for $449 and $549, respectively.  

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If you have a Surface RT or Surface Pro and were thinking of picking up one of the colorful Touch Covers, you may want to hold off for eight more days. It has been revealed to Windows Phone Central that Microsoft is planning to drop the price on the accessory from the regular $119 to a more reasonable $79.99.

The new price will be permanent.

The Touch Cover was one of two keyboard accessories that launched with the Surface RT late last year, the other being the more robust Type Cover with mechanical keys. There is no evidence to suggest the Type Cover will receive a similar discount but we’re waiting on more information to see if that changes.

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In the past few weeks we’ve reviewed Microsoft Surface cases from MiniSuit and Elsse. Now it’s time to look at that ever divisive accessory: screen protectors! The guys at MiniSuit don't offer a protector for the Pro, but they do produce two types of screen protectors for the Surface RT: “Matte anti-glare” and glossy “Ultra clear.” They kindly provided  a pack of the matte variety, officially dubbed: 3-Pack MiniSuit HD Screen Protector for Microsoft Surface RT Tablet (Matte Anti Glare).

Head past the break for installation instructions with video and my screen protector critique!

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Microsoft has announced that the company has expanded its effort to cover 17 more countries with its Surface tablets. Redmond is attempting to get as many units sold to businesses through numerous authorised distributors previously unveiled in the US. With these distributors in place, bulk ordering can take place from education, government and business customers.

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If you have yourself a Surface RT or Surface Pro you’re going to be getting some updates today. The second Tuesday of each month is when Microsoft releases security patches on what is known as Patch Tuesday. Today is that day and with those security patches you’ll also be getting some firmware updates for your Surface RT and Pro. Let’s check it out.

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Believe it or not, Microsoft is working on a second-generation of Surface devices. If you had any doubts, you can put those to rest.  But what exactly is going to be powering the different variants of Surface? Most of you are really wishing for a Haswell version of the Surface Pro (I am), but what about RT? Comments from Nvidia’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, indicate that you’ll find some more magic from Nvidia.

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According to Microsoft’s support forums, a user complained that his Surface RT running the latest version of the company’s Windows 8.1 Consumer Preview was seeing an extreme power decrease while in standby mode. The user also noted that a driver known as “Microsoft UART V2” seemed to be causing the issue.

Microsoft’s support team contacted the user and requested he try switching his Bluetooth to on to save battery life. Right away, this seems to be an odd solution; turning on your Bluetooth radio should decrease your device’s battery life – not improve it. That being said, as soon as said user turned on his Bluetooth radio, his issue disappeared.

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Many of us have been enjoying Microsoft’s latest tablets – the Surface RT and Surface Pro, but today’s announcement that the tablet has just launched in Taiwan reminds us that the product isn’t exactly global. Just earlier this year, the Surface RT became available in 13 additional including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland

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Good news if you’ve been camping out for a chance to grab Microsoft’s Surface Pro; the famous Windows 8 tablet has received a price cut of $100 brining the unit down to a starting price of $799. According to The Verge, the price cut will be available to customers in Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the US from August 4th to August 29th.

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We promised you more accessory reviews for the Microsoft Surface, and we intend to deliver. A growing number of accessory manufacturers sell cases for either version of the Surface. Some users will balk since the Surface is one beautiful tablet on its own, but other users just want to protect their devices as much as possible. Enter MiniSuit, who produces a handful of cases and screen protectors for Microsoft’s premiere tablets.

Today we look at two of those cases. The Classic Flip Case protects the Surface RT tablet, while the Classic Stand Case Cover shelters the Surface Pro. Both cases come in any color you want – as long as it’s black. Head past the break for our complete review of both cases with video!

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The Microsoft Surface is a well-constructed tablet, no doubt. Combined with a closed Touch or Type Cover, the screen can be decently protected from bumps and scratches. But I wouldn’t want to drop either Surface, especially the costlier Pro – they’re bound to come away with some scrapes.

You could try to protect your Surface by using it as a desktop and never taking it anywhere, but that’s no fun to do with a tablet. So why not try a case for protection? Whichever Surface model you own, an online retailer called Bear Motion has you covered. Their Elsse Premium Folio Cases for both the Surface RT and Pro come in a wide variety of colors. Check out several of those colors in our full review with video!

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We aren't sure when this happened but Wal-Mart is now carrying the Microsoft Surface Pro and RT tablets. You can also find the type and touch covers as well as adapters and power supplies for the Windows 8 tablets.

Online, Wal-Mart has the 32GB Surface RT for $349 or $449 with the touch keyboard. The Surface Pro is running $899 for the 64GB version and $999 for the 128GB version. Keyboards are running $129 for the type cover and $119.99 for the touch cover.  The bad news is that it appears that supplies are limited.

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Having recently acquired both the Surface Pro and RT tablets at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, I’m now fully prepared to bring you a variety of Surface accessory reviews. The first of these is the Microsoft Surface 5-in-1 Adapter from Juiced Systems. The 5-in-1 Adapter is designed for the Surface Pro and RT, though it could also be used with other Windows 8 tablets that have standard USB ports.

The Surface Pro and RT have only one such USB port, so you’ll need to use a USB hub or the extra USB port included on the Surface Pro’s power supply if you want to connect multiple USB devices to either tablet. Juiced’s 5-in-1 Adapter plugs into those tablets’ lonesome UBS port, giving them a second port and a lot more functionality to boot.

We’ve got an exclusive coupon for our readers and video review after the break!

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Microsoft has slashed its Surface RT pricing in the UK. Through official channels, the Windows RT tablet (32GB model) can now be picked up for just £279, a massive drop from the usual £399. If you're into more storage, the 64GB version is available for £359. This is the base price point so if you're wanting a keyboard and other accessories, you'll be further adding the cost up.

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