Almost perfect

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by mproudfoot, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. mproudfoot

    mproudfoot New Member

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    I've had my Surface (RT) for most of a month now and having grown used to the foibles of Windows RT and the tablet itself, I'm still of the belief that this (and indeed any Win RT tablet) is as good as it gets as an an all-rounder.

    I just picked up a compact 7-port powered USB hub and connected the following devices:

    • Logitech MX Anywhere wireless mouse (adaptor)
    • WD Passport 1Tb portable drive
    • iPhone (charging and viewing images)
    • Small SDXC card reader
    • USB Ethernet adaptor (using the 88772 drivers)

    All just starting functioning immediately without any need to fiddle or install anything - except the Ethernet adaptor for which I had to manually install drivers.

    I'm on vacation at the end of March/early April to New York and Costa Rica with a pair of DSLR cameras and this is the first time I'm going sans-laptop. Essentially, with this, I should be able to import images from the cameras, either by direct USB cable or using the SDXC reader, view the JPGs (the Surface supports the RAW images from my cameras but I wouldn;'t process them on that anyway) and adjust any jpegs (using Fotor or Fhotoroom) and upload those I want to immediately upload for sharing (Flickr or Facebook) then back up all images to the external HDD (and back up the critical ones to Dropbox or Skydrive).

    Now I could do all of the above on a slim laptop but then I would also be taking my iPad for browsing in airport lounges, in the hotel rooms and watching movies on extended flights. The RT tablets are the only ones I could comfortably do all of the above without worrying about battery life or cooling (I had already ruled the Surface Pro out). I imagine the Atom-based tablets could do all of this too but I don't see the value of having full Windows 8 on a CPU that can't really handle most of the heavy duty apps I'd use anyway.

    There are a few things I'd like to see improve - the App Store needs a rethink - the vetting process (if it exists) is terrible and the layout is not particularly informative compared to the rivals from Google and Apple. Also, why can't we just have 4 tiles vertically as an option rather than have to fiddle with registry tweaks and compromise elsewhere?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
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  2. BooMaLiCiOuS

    BooMaLiCiOuS New Member

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    I completely agree that this device is a great all around product that will fulfill the needs of many. I am loving the fact that when I first turned on the Surface onto my wifi, the printer was already to go. Where as, I would have to install from a CD on my Win7 desktop. The ease of use on this device is pretty incredible but there are some minor tweaks I wish were more easily accessible. The tweaks I am referring to are the ones we people have researched through all of the Surface forums to improve the touch and internet performance. I would like to see a control panel UI for these tweaks that would help the average bear to customize their device to best fit their style of swiping or touch. Another thing that you mentioned would be to add into that UI is the ablity to get as many rows available as you want. The resolution shouldn't determine how many tiles you see, but decided by the user and his/her preference.

    All in all though this tablet has been working wonders for me, and I wouldn't trade it back in for any other Google or Apple product.
     
  3. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator

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    It sounds like you have discovered what many of the "professional" reviewers have missed about the Surface and its use cases. Good to hear it is working out for you.

    Check out the link in my sig for an alternate way to access the app store (and in my opinion superior to MS's effort at the moment).

    As far as the UI for the Start screen I understand what MS has done. Really this is simply a preference item and they have made a decision on behalf of the user. It isn't right or wrong just the choice they made. In this case they are providing a universal front and consistent experience for all devices of the same screen size. This does give them a sense of identity and familiarity without overwhelming options or the sure to follow complaints of "it is too hard to change the number of rows", "we should have more options than 3 or 4 rows", "why can't I setup the start screen however I want", etc. No matter what they do here, they will have somebody that wants something different.

    Android is already that way. No matter how freely you can setup the default home screen it doesn't do everything all users want so they get alternate home launchers or root to allow further changes. MS has said they are trying to walk the middle ground, so at times the are less free than Android but also more free than Apple. That fact that a simple one click registry tweak can easily be made is a demonstration of the power of being built on top of Windows. It might not be the right solution for everybody but those who care to do it can do it easily enough.

    I'm looking forward to the trip report and how the Surface worked out for you, both pros and cons you find along the way.

    JP
     

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