Surface RT So Far

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by Lolvo, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Lolvo

    Lolvo New Member

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    I've had my Surface for about two weeks now; I've picked up a few accessories and added a few things to the device, a few of which I sought input for by you experienced Surface users. Some of you were looking for info about the revised Manvex Surface case/folio, so I thought I would do a thread on the whole shebang as well - overall use, accessories, case, add-ons, etc. This is not so much a formal "review" as it is an informal "overview" of my device and experiences. There might be some useful information shared, stick around to find out. I'll try my best to keep it short and omit trivial information and small talk - in order to keep the thread focused around the additions and accessories until further discussion :)
    I hope the browser you are using works with the photos. Most forums have a feature that auto-sizes pictures to fit the forum's parameters, I don't know if these forums do. They may be a bit large.

    I originally put this Privacy Screen Protector on my RT. It looked very sleek and gave the screen a nice fluidity to it; unfortunately, the item arrived with a very noticeable, indented scratch near the front camera, so I had to remove it. I like the idea of a privacy screen, and it worked well without making the user's front-eye view too dim. I now use the InvisibleShield Screen Protector, it works nicely. Comes with everything you need for a clean user install; and, if done right, is completely transparent. I would suggest to every Surface owner to invest in a screen protector, it will give you ease of mind when using your device.

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    Before I invested in a case, I picked up this Carbon Fiber Protective Skin for the the vulnerable areas of my device that did not include the screen. As I told the seller, I am very impressed with this skin - it is much more thick, protective, and durable than I expected, and it is very good looking.
    Pros:
    • Protective
    • Fits well
    • Looks great
    • Good, grippy feel
    Cons:
    • Difficult to install
    • May remove device's paint

    Be wary, though. Installation can be a pain. The skin is laser-cut to fit the device perfectly, so that means a millimeter off on one side, means an odd angle or a covered audio jack on the other. The skin is removable and does not leave residue on the device. However, when removing and re-adjusting the skin, it did take some paint chips off the back of my device, which you can see in the pictures. This irritated me, but oh well, have to deal with it. Overall, a good buy for the price.

    20130712_110533.jpg
    20130712_110702.jpg

    The kickstand skin is a separate piece that comes with the kit. After using it a while, I saw that the edges, which overlap on the kickstand slightly, have rough edges and can be irritating when holding the Surface or using your leg as a rest for it. Because of this, I did a little trimming. Yes, I know it's a terrible job that I am ashamed of, but it's not too noticeable and isn't visible when I have the Manvex case on. This is also where you can see where one of the paint chips is; there are a few others under the main parts of the skin - there's no way I'm removing this skin again to show that.
    20130712_110554.jpg

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    I use a stylus for most of my tablet use. The one I use is a Targus, and is about $14 at a local office supply store. Works Great. After prolonged use, the rubber tip becomes softer, which makes the screen slightly less responsive to it. I found that the metal pocket clip for it comes in handy, since it attaches itself right to the bottom where the keyboard covers would go :D
    20130712_110836.jpg

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    After seeking some input here on the board, I picked up the Manvex Folio Case for the RT. It's a great case according to the users around here, so I had to get one. A few people said they had some issues with theirs; mine seems to be a revised model, so I thought I would get some pictures up to share the modifications with those interested.

    Great quality leather, slim construction, and lightweight. The cover flap (pictured here, closed) has two magnetic clasps, so that the cover stays in place during light transfer. The flap can be opened with minimal effort or movement.
    20130712_111127.jpg

    The case also has an elastic band which rests on the back of the case. It stretches around the case and holds the cover flap securely in place for more vigorous travel and safety than the "at-home" magnetic clasps.
    20130712_111223.jpg

    The back is of the same quality and looks great.
    20130712_111230.jpg

    The front is where the changes start. The case now has 2-3 inches of screen clearance on the top and both sides for easy command swipes, as well as a cutout for the Start icon (while this cutout is small, you can still easily swipe up from the bottom to see app controls). It covers nicely and the inside is high quality too.
    20130712_111439.jpg

    The only issue I had with it, and it is purely aesthetic, is the top portion near the camera. It's a little bent and angled oddly, probably due to the way the leather is shaped around the camera. Don't mind the bubbles, I was impatient when installing my screen cover :)
    20130712_111450.jpg

    The back looks just as nice when using the case.
    20130712_111512.jpg

    The "bounce" factor was really giving people a run for their money on this case. I have used both keyboards with this case now, and I can say that the bounce is minimal and does not interfere with my typing. So long as you set the case on a good surface and align the keyboard with the cover, you won't have any problems.
    20130712_111633.jpg
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    The case closes with a snug fit with either keyboard attached, although you will need to use the elastic band if travelling. A big pro about this case is the multiple viewing angles. You really can't beat the variety that this provides over the kickstand. You can stand your device at nearly square angle.
    PhotoGrid_1373646128767.jpg

    Pros (obvious):
    • Great quality
    • Protective
    • Looks great
    • Good functionality
    • Improved design
    Cons:
    • Because of the cover flap needing to account for all dimensions, it overlaps when holding the device with it folded back. Not a big deal, but can be awkward to hold at times.
    • Device gets a little warm with all this cushy leather surrounding it.

    Overall, it's a great buy that everyone should invest in when they get the chance. I would definitely recommend it. I also have a 64GB SDXC that I use, very handy product - especially in a device that's only 32GB.

    Please feel free to ask any questions you have about these, or give any input!

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    Next, I have a few questions of my own to ask. Note that I am on 8.1.

    1. Last night I was sent a file on skype. A .jpg image. As soon as it attempted to recieve the file, Skype crashed to Start screen. Everytime since then, Skype crashes when opened. The only way I got around this was for the person to video call me, and for me to answer it through notification, not in the Skype app. The crash ONLY happened when I went back to view the coversation in which the file was sent. The home screen operated fine, so did all other aspects. It took a re-install and avoiding the message chat to get Skype to not crash. Can the Surface RT not recieve file transfers like that, or was this a unique incident with Skype? I'd like to be able to send/recieve files through not only Skype, but other services as well.
    2. While the RT lags sometimes, it's fairly smooth in how it operates. One issue I have is the Start icon on the device does not always do anything. Sometimes I feel the haptic feedback, but the screen does not turn on from rest, and I have to use the button. Sometimes it works flawlessly, and sometimes not at all. What could be the reason here?
    3. Whenever I try to change the sharing settings for my HomeGroup, my RT just sits there after I turn one sharing option on and says "you may use your PC while we apply these settings" - it displays this for hours at a time, and then goes away, but none of my sharing settings have actually changed. Ideas?
    4. Is there a way to change the photo/icon of an item on the Start screen? For example, I have 4 linked IE pages on my start screen, but they all use the same icon and color. A little dull, and annoying.
    5. I had thought that allowing apps to run in background and display notifications on the lock screen meant that they would display detailed information, not just the temperature or how many emails I have. Is there a way to do this? If not, would I save battery power by disabling the lock screen notifications?

    I think that's enough for now typing for now. :big smile:
    Let me know if you have any questions, or can answer mine!

    Thanks for reading.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2013
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  2. revmike

    revmike Active Member

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    Nice job on the review, very informative.
     
  3. tonyz3

    tonyz3 New Member

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    nice review... terrible trim job..:wink:
     
  4. Lolvo

    Lolvo New Member

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    Thanks.

    I know I know... the more I look at the picture, the worse it gets. It's not that bad in person.. I swear!
     
  5. Nutball

    Nutball New Member

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    What did you use for the trimming, a chainsaw or a dull hatchet!?? :eek:mg:


    Sorry, I couldn't resist. Good information on the cover - thanks for sharing.
     
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  6. guitar1969

    guitar1969 New Member

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    Not sure I really like the Manvex case still, as it bows on the screen edge, which I hate. I bought one of their early models about 7 months ago and provided some feedback on changing the design(mainly couldn't swipe) they sent me an updated one, but it still wasn't right. I ultimately returned it. I looks like they finally provided cutouts on the side. I also hated how thick it made the Surface too.

    I still like the thinness of the "naked" Surface with touch cover best and the use of the real built-in kickstand - With the Manvex case, it becomes just like an Ipad only with a cheaper quality cover.
     
  7. kayzee

    kayzee Well-Known Member

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    Great review thanks for your time to write this up... have to admit the Manvex case looks great when it's all shut up, but damn, that edge man personally I couldn't do it. But then again I made a thread last week about my OCD and being unable to use a case at all lol.
     
  8. quadtronix

    quadtronix Member

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    Nice review! I prefer my Surface to be caseless and just use a sleeve but if I was to go with a case one day it's nice to know their are quality options out there. The start button on the bottom of my RT (running 8.0 by the way), would turn on the screen from sleep for the first day or two that I had the Surface. Once I applied all the optional updates though it no longer turns on the screen. It vibrates, just like you said, but the screen remains black.

    I don't use Skype but my Kindle app and Evernote app have been acting up at times and once or twice I have had to uninstall and reinstall the apps. The only reason I did this was that they would continuously boot me to the start screen when I tried launching them. (Even after a reboot)... Once reinstalled they work just fine. Have you tried uninstalling Skype and then reinstalling it? Hope that helps. :)
     
  9. Lolvo

    Lolvo New Member

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    After some use with the case, I was only able to find one real issue I have with it:

    The case fits well; however where the RT slides into the case, there some play in the material - this causes the leather to slide up onto the tablet and make the start button difficult to access sometimes. This could be fixed with some added thickness to the flap that secures the RT from falling out.

    I also have a question or two in addition to those posted above while I'm on this post.

    Does anyone know of a way to screengrab within the Modern UI? One note's screengrabbing tool works well for what it's supposed to do, but it seems I can only screengrab whatever's on the desktop. I know how to take full screenshots.
    Is there a reason the Music app all of a sudden didn't use my SDcard as an included library? (I had to go back and route the library again)
     
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  10. mitchellvii

    mitchellvii Well-Known Member

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    That bowing is a defect in his particular case. I also own this case and mine does not bow there at all.
     
  11. mitchellvii

    mitchellvii Well-Known Member

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    Add some double sided sticky tape to the Velcro closing tab and pull the tab tightly before sealing it against the tape. This will solve your problem.
     
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  12. mitchellvii

    mitchellvii Well-Known Member

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    One quick tip on using the Manvex cover and avoiding the typing bouncies. Instead of using the case in it's normal stand positions, you can extend the cover on the table BEHIND the tablet and that way your keyboard lays flat on the table. Because of the material inside the case this tends to "stick" and hold pretty well unless you are on a very slick surface. In addition this works quite well when using the keyboard sitting in bed where the bouncies can get annoying. The inside material sticks quite well to your bedding.
     

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