Should I Purchase RT?

Discussion in 'New Member Introduction & Site Assistance' started by Aliasalias, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Aliasalias

    Aliasalias New Member

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    Hello Everyone:
    I've been following the Surface with great interest, ever since MS announced its impending arrival (way back in '12 or whenever). Was delighted to find this forum, with its candid discussions of pros and cons.

    Am seriously considering the Surface RT to replace my 5 yr old Lenovo laptop, which is getting heavier by the year. Have hauled it across miles of airport concourses and have the soft tissues injuries to prove it.

    As I have a full sized desktop & monitor, the RT will used only when I'm away from my office. But I need to know whether the RT is truly going to fit my needs, and was hoping members of this forum could help me with this.

    Here are my requirements for a replacement laptop:
    1. Must Have: the following MS Office products: Word, Excel, Powerpoint.
    2. Must Have: ability to connect to a projector and give Powerpoint presentations at client sites. (Another thread mentioned a problem with the adapter for the projector & suggested getting a cheapie from ebay, rather than the MS recommended adapter -- that will work for me, as long as it DOES work. Can't afford a screw-up in front of a client).
    3. Must Have: GMAIL, HOTMAIL, and YAHOO mail. I do not use Outlook.
    4. Must Have: Music. I like to play music when traveling (helps when can't get a decent radio station in the hotel), and have burned my entire CD collection onto desktop & the Lenovo laptop (ok, ok, so I'm old school -- have CDs, don't do iTunes or any music downloads). Use Windows Media Player to listen to my Playlists, because it can play song after song automatically. Can I use Media Player on Surface RT? Is it pretty straight forward, or are there secret tricks to getting it to work? Does this work if the music is on a USB drive or a SD card?
    5. Must Have: Photo editing. I often need to edit photos when traveling. Have used Irfanview for years. Can I use this on RT? Or some other photo editing software (if so, what?) Need to be able to rotate, crop and a few other simple things.
    6. Must Have: ability to read SD card from digital camera
    7. Nice to Have: Really really would like to be able to use Google's Chrome browser, which has been my browser of choice for years. Never did like MS IE, but could probably hold my nose & use it if I absolutely had to (just kidding -- honestly, don't have a lot against IE). What are the browser options that are available on the RT? Firefox, Safari, Chrome?
    8. Nice to Have: I also do web development and use the following programs: PS Pad, Notepad ++, and Kompozer (freeware for web pages). Can I download these to RT?
    9. Nice to Have: OneNote & ability to write/annotate with touch pen.

    Don't understand the whole app discussion and the limited selection in the app/Window store, so not sure if these issues are related to available apps.

    Am using Vista and Windows 7 on current laptop & desktop. Windows 8/RT will be completely new to me.

    Also - and this probably sounds stupid, but what are the options for connectivity? Is RT Wi-Fi ready? That would work for me, since that's what I have on my laptop.

    This would be my first tablet computer and I'm really looking forward to being able to read ebooks and surf the Internet with a touch screen, as well as doing everything else I'm accustomed to doing. And of course, carrying a much thinner & lighter computer (the primary reason for getting it).

    I'm thinking of buying a Surface RT with 64 GB (based on criticisms of the limitations of 32 GB), and Touch Cover (since it will not be my primary computer, figured Touch would be sufficient and also thinner/lighter than Type Cover). Not considering the Pro because of the added cost (money IS a factor).

    So, what do you think -- will a RT w/ 64 GB & Touch meet my needs with minimal fussing? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance (and sorry for the lengthy post).
     
  2. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator

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    Welcome to the forum :)

    All included.

    This is possible and many adapters are available. Of course if this is important you should run some trials to make sure you know how it works before trying it in front of a client ;)

    Yes you can access all of these. Through the browser if not directly through an app in the store. Outlook is not included and not possible directly on the RT.

    Yes, the RT can play music but not with Windows Media Player. Instead it comes with a music app and others are available in the store. It is pretty straight forward and music can be played from the SD card. Setting up your SD card to be the default and recognized by the apps may take a little work but it is covered in the FAQ section http://www.surfaceforums.net/forum/...-content-library-use-primary-destination.html.

    You can't use Irfanview unless they make an app but there are basic photo editing apps available in the store that will take care of this.

    You can do this several ways. The RT has a micro SD card slot so using a micro SD card in a camera (possibly via an adapter) you can simply remove the card from the camera an insert it into the RT. There is also a USB port on the RT so you can connect a USB card reader to read camera cards or possibly connect to the camera directly via a usb cable.

    For now the only browser is IE. Any other browser will have to come via the app store. Google has indicated it won't be making Chrome avaialble in the MS app store and it is unlikely Apple would make Safari available. For now it is a waiting game until Firefox and others step up and make browser apps.

    You can't download any apps to the RT that aren't in the store. You will need to see if any of these have apps or equivelents in the store.

    OneNote is included and you can use a capacitive stylus. It won't have the accuracy and features of the digitizer on the Pro but is entirely possible and usable. http://www.surfaceforums.net/forum/...des/2056-how-optimize-onenote-surface-rt.html.

    Use the link in my signature and go explore the app store to see if it has what you need. Also try Google or Bing to search for MS apps that do what you are looking for and see what turns up.

    The Surface is wifi ready. It works just like a laptop.

    Don't be scared by the space mongers. You also have the option of adding a 64GB micro SD card and usb sticks or drives for additional storage. Only you can evaluate your needs but even the 32GB has plenty of space considering you can pretty much put only apps on internal memory and everything else on a 64GB micro SD card.

    Touch cover is a great option for many people and worth a try before going to the Type cover. It is surprisingly good. In the end if you don't like it you can always use a bluetooth or usb keyboard of your choice (maybe you already even have these) before deciding if the Type cover is right for you. Really a personal preference issue.

    I think this is completely do able for you and with minimal fussing. Another great option is to use Remote Desktop (built in functionality but also available from apps in the store like Splashtop) to access another machine running full Windows. This would give you access to things like the Chrome browser and your other software that is installed on the machine you are connecting to (the desktop or your old laptop) with the only catch being that you need a wifi connection to be able to access the host computer for those instances.

    JP
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  3. ronvgs

    ronvgs New Member

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    1 yes
    2 yes
    3 yes
    4 yes
    5 yes
    6 yes
    7 No not possible yet
    8 No
    9 yes
     
  4. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator

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    Good summary! :D
     
  5. smalltowngirl13

    smalltowngirl13 Administrator Staff Member

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    Welcome aboard and it looks like you have some good responses to your questions! Good luck!
     
  6. bosamar

    bosamar Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure from reading your post if you completely understand the difference between the RT and the Pro. Aside from Office RT, the RT will only run applications and not windows legacy programs. The Pro is just like your desktop PC, it will run all programs (and applications). IMO the RT is the way to go, especially if you have a desktop to run windows legacy programs and you can get by with just running applications; the included Office RT will fulfill your office needs. IMO again for what my needs are I don't think spending twice as much for a Pro is worth the cost.
     
  7. Aliasalias

    Aliasalias New Member

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    Many thanks, J5150P, for your detailed response (and thanks also to ronvgs for the terse response)!

    I especially appreciate your comment:
    Based on previous discussions, I thought the 32 GB left you very little usable memory, so thought the 64 GB was essential. I'll reconsider now.

    Just read an alarming article on the possible upcoming "death" of RT.

    http://http://www.gizmag.com/microsoft-killing-windows-rt-products-rumor/26846/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=03c6cbbdae-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

    Something to be concerned about? Or more fearmongering? I'd like my Surface (or whatever I end up getting to replace the aging laptop) to last a while. I'm not one of those to gets a new device every 12-18 months.
     
  8. Aliasalias

    Aliasalias New Member

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    Bosamar: Thanks for your reply.

    My understanding of RT & Pro is that RT is kinda like "Office Lite" i.e. smaller or "reduced" version of the Office products. I'm not sure how "reduced" it is -- can I do regular work on Word, Excel & Powerpoint? By that, I mean create content and edit and save.

    Not completely sure what, precisely, is meant by the term "windows legacy programs." I thought they were the full-blown versions of Word, Excel, etc. Am I wrong?

    Would appreciate an explanation -- thanks!
     
  9. RMansfield

    RMansfield New Member

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    Fear-mongering. Microsoft is heavily invested in Windows RT and in many ways it represents the future of Windows. The recent discussion of the "Blue" update coming later this year support the fact that Microsoft is continuing to develop and promote RT. There would have to be a major strategy change for RT to disappear.

    Microsoft has lots of money and can play a very long game. Having seen Windows 1 & 2, who would have thought that Windows would become the dominant OS in the world today? Similarly, MS introduced the original Xbox and was #3 for that generation of consoles; but they were patient--and even willing to spend a billion dollars in repairs--to push out the Xbox 360 and become the dominant console for the current generation.

    I don't see Windows RT disappearing. I believe the RT experience will only continue to improve.
     
  10. RMansfield

    RMansfield New Member

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    Here is the FAQ for the differences between regular Office and Office RT: Office Home & Student RT - Office.com

    I don't know if I'd call it a "lite" version of Office, but rather a full version of Office that's missing a few features. To me the web version of Office is a "lite" version.

    And some of the missing features may be added in over time. Evidently, we're going to see a big update to Office later this year.
     
  11. Jglnaz372

    Jglnaz372 New Member

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    Just read an alarming article on the possible upcoming "death" of RT.

    http://http://www.gizmag.com/microsoft-killing-windows-rt-products-rumor/26846/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=03c6cbbdae-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

    Something to be concerned about? Or more fearmongering? I'd like my Surface (or whatever I end up getting to replace the aging laptop) to last a while. I'm not one of those to gets a new device every 12-18 months.[/QUOTE]

    I read a similar article and it sounded to me as if RT would be renamed in the rumored "BLUE" update coming in the future. Seems to be arguments over having the desktop removed and just going with the metro style tile screen only on the RT software future. I would not worry about the Surface RT tablet becoming useless. I seem to think no matter what the RT OS is called now or in the future, something will exist and work for our tablets for a few more years. Microsoft just needs to be doing a better job letting us consumers know how different/similar RT is from WIN 8 and what works with legacy software. Apple did that with the iPad and OS 10. I did not read many posts in 2010 about iPad 1 buyers not knowing their Mac computer software would not work.
     
  12. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator

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    Really this is a completely different situation. The iPhone was already out and it was understood the iPad was a big iPhone. You haven't seen MS need to go out and explain that their Windows phones doesn't actually run Windows right? If the Surface was a big Windows phone then the limitations would also be understood. The beauty of Surface is that it is so capable it can blur the lines. This is a good thing ;)

    Perhaps MS could do a better job of explaining the difference between Win 8 and Win RT but in reality there is no shortage of information out there about it from the blog-o-sphere to MS's own site. No matter how much information is out there some people won't pay attention and others will still be confused. Again, I think this is a strength of Surface RT that it is capable of so many "PC" tasks that it might be confusing.


    Here is the other part of the problem:

    As was stated Office RT is really full blown Office minus Outlook and a couple of features generally reserved for power users (e.g. macros).

    For no good reason the term "program" has been dropped and now everything is an "app". So an app is really just a program like any of the thousands of others you may have seen over the years but under a new name. Because of this change in convention people needed a way to refer to traditional programs that run on Windows such as Chrome, Firefox, Word, Excel (and the rest of Office), PS Pad, Notepad ++, Kompozer and all of the other traditional programs found on PCs. The result is the term "legacy app" which really just means traditional PC program.

    Now that we know apps are just programs and legacy apps are just traditional PC programs we can move on to Windows RT. Since it is not a regular version of Windows (Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP...) it can't run legacy apps. Instead you have to get all RT apps through the app store just like you do in iOS and Android. That means not installing Chrome, PS Pad, Notepad++ or any other your other legacy apps (old programs) unless they make a specific app and you download it from the MS store.

    This brings us full circle to Office. Office is a legacy app that MS has made to work on Windows RT in a nearly identical way to how it works on regular Windows. In fact there are several other legacy apps included in Windows RT that are carry overs from regular Windows. These include calculator, Notepad and Paint for example. The "legacy apps" (traditional programs included in Windows) can only be run in the desktop mode of Windows RT. All other apps from the app store are run in the Modern UI (the new Start screen).

    In the desktop you will find an operating environment just like the traditional Windows you are use to (except the start button). You have file explorer, control panel, desktop IE, etc. This is common to both Windows RT and Windows 8. The only difference is that in Windows RT you can't add any legacy apps that aren't already included by MS. With the full version of Windows 8 you can download and install any legacy apps that you were able to download and install on previous versions of Windows regardless of if they were included by MS or not.

    At the end of the day the bold statement is the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8 since both can download and install new apps from the app store.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
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