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Microsoft Surface RT Best Tablet Ever, 'Reviewers' Gush


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Forget for a moment that it won't run Windows apps, starts at $200 more than Kindle Fire HD and doesn't have a Facebook app. The consensus among those who purchased Microsoft's Windows 8 tablet from Best Buy is that it is pretty much the best computing device in history.
"I sold my iPad," gushed a buyer who identified himself or herself as "ExIpadUser." "I hope to retire my Kindle HD as soon as Microsoft publishes enough apps in the store." A reviewer going by the name "HighTechLover2" was even more effusive: "Best tablet I ever saw in my life!!!" he, she or it proclaimed.

Numerous analysts have reported that Surface RT is not meeting Microsoft's sales expectations. But it seems to have won over the hearts and minds of Best Buy shoppers. The 32-GB, Touch Cover-included version, priced at $599, averaged a near perfect score of 4.9 out of 5 stars from 20 reviewers. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas should have been so lucky. The $499, 32-GB version (without Touch Cover) averaged 4.7 from 11 reviewers, while the $699, 64-GB version averaged 4.5 from six reviewers. The only downside one buyer could think of was, "My fear of dropping it."

You can forgive the Best Buy reviewers for their lack of nuance. Of those who critiqued Surface RT, the vast majority had previously never reviewed any other products, and most never had a Best Buy user's profile until last week, when Surface first went on sale at the store (mousing over a reviewer's handle provides this info).

"Coty 09," whose activity on the Best Buy site dates back as far as Monday, had this to say: "The Surface RT is a great product that is easy to use and is built very well. This will be great for work, school and play." Who talks that way? Marketing people, according to The Consumerist's list of "30 Ways You Can Spot Fake Online Reviews."

It was never Microsoft's intention to sell Surface at Best Buy, at least not until after the holidays. The original plan was for the tablet to be available only through its online store and the handful of brick-and-mortar locations it has opened around the country. But meager sales apparently led to Plan BBY.

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