"Best designed product I have ever seen
What's great about it: Tablet with lap top like functionality-Ideal gift for sutdents.Quantam leap in technology compared to Ipad and Anroid
What's not so great: Soft sound from speakers. Great sound with headphones.
This is one of the best designed products that I have ever owned. The built in kick stand does not stick out when not in use, and does not make the tablet bulky, but when folded open it makes the tablet much more convenient to use. It can be used anywhere. The type cover adds very little bulk and weight and can be folded all the way behind the tablet when you do not need a keyboard. If you ever need to do serious typing you can instantly flip the keyboard and start using it. When used with the type cover, it has almost all the functionality of a laptop, in a device that is about the same size as a tablet. The type cover also has a small track pad which supports two finger scrolling and other laptop like features. If you need a tablet and do not need the type cover you can get just the tablet for $500. The on screen keyboard is just as good as on any other tablet. You still have the option of plugging in cheap USB keyboard or using a blue-tooth key board.
The modern user interface is very fast and efficient to use. It only takes a few minutes to learn the gestures, but the interface very innovative and forward thinking. The Internet Explorer on the modern interface completely fills the screen with the web page and does not waste valuable screen real estate on borders and menus that you do not need most of the time. When you need the menus they appear with a quick and simple gesture and disappear when you do not need them. The web browser does support flash, but you have to activate this feature. The flash support is limited to a white list of safe sites specified by Microsoft. This is a security feature, since some mal ware is based on flash. Also some flash based ad can waste battery life.
The price of the tablet includes Microsoft Office 2013 which is worth at least $100 by itself. This is something that you can not get any apple or android tablet. If you need Office for school or work, you will find this tablet very useful. For me Office is the Killer app. I was able load a 3' x 6' poster file into power point make changes to it put on in sky drive and finished up on a desk top computer with a larger monitor all without any file format issues. I connected over a dozen USB devices including external drives, keyboards, mice and old ink jet printer. They all worked perfectly. You can also access other computers #and storage devices# in your home work just as well as with any laptop or desk top. The micoSD memory slot lets you expand storage capacity at very low cost. I was able to add another 32G to for about $20. The Apple and Google Nexus tablets do not have this capability. The extra memory can come in handy if you want to record a large amount of video. For example a student can record a full day of lectures using the rear facing camera and transfer the video to an external USB hard drive at the end of the day. The rear camera is angled so that it corrects for the tilt related to kickstand. Since the modern interface allows you to run two applications on screen, you can take notes in One Note, while recording video all on the same screen.
The Windows Market place already has over 10,000 apps in the first month and Windows 8 has sold over 40 million copies in the first month. I expect over 100K apps in a few months.
All Win 8 and Win RT machines have the Xbox music app, which gives you access to a music library bigger than iTunes. There is unlimited fee streaming of any artist for the first six months. After that you get 10 hours of free streaming a month.
The bottom line is that Surface with the cover is about the same size as an ipad or many Android tablets, but comes very close the functionality of an ultra book. The kick stand and key board are available to use in an instant. With the included Office 2013 software and the ability to use hundred of thousands of USB devices as well as access home networks, it has capabilities that are utterly beyond any other tablet.
Even if you do not need any of the additional capabilities, it makes an excellent web browsing device. It can not only handle touch optimized apps, but also excels at handling web sites not designed for tablets, since it can function as a laptop when needed. The price is quite reasonable if you factor in the value of Office 2013 which in included in the price. An iPad with 32G and no expandable storage, no keyboard and no real office software costs the same as a Surface RT with touch cover and Office 2013. I consider it the best value in tablets and represents a giant in leap in hardware and software innovation when compared to the Apple and Android tablets. While the app stores for Apple and Android may have many more apps I find little use for most of the apps. Many of the apps are low quality and redundant. They do not have Microsoft Office and do not have the laptop like capability to handle web apps that the surface has.
Although there are unofficial face book apps, thre is no official face book app yet, but you may never need an official app since face book in integrated into the OS and people hub and messaging tiles are updated from your face book account. If you are face-book power user, you can go to the full desk top web version and do everything you can do on a desktop or laptop with face book. The 10.6 inch screen in landscape mode #using full screen IE on the Modern UI# can handle any web page designed for desktops and laptops since you a track pad included in the type cover. For example, I was able to use the free web app to process photos at photoshop.com.
I would recommend this to a friend!"