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My Surface RT review


So, I’ve had my Surface RT for a couple of weeks and I wanted to lay out my thoughts/impressions about the device. Hopefully it’ll be an interesting read.

The Surface is a beautiful device. Everything about the hardware design and feel speaks volumes about the care, precision and attention to detail that MS put into Surface. As much as it’s an overstated feature, the Touch Cover is amazing. It does take a bit of time to get used to (I’m probably 70-80% there), but it really works well. It’s mind-blowing that they could make it so thin. It feels so nice too.

I also loved the Windows button on the front of the device. The haptic feedback was a cool thing and a surprise to me, I hadn’t read anything about that. The Surface itself feels lovely in the hand. The VaporMG casing is so different to touch than any other tablet I’ve ever held.

The screen is great. I laugh when I read or hear people griping over the ‘lack of a Retina display’. The screen is excellent, and very bright.

Another overstated feature is the Kickstand. I really, really like it. I thought it would be only good for when I want to use the Surface in ‘laptop mode’, but actually I find myself using it a lot and it works well.

My one knock on the hardware is the small creak it makes if you squeeze it near the rear camera.

Windows RT. I’m sure we’ve all read a pile of opinions and reviews about Windows RT. A lot of the opinion seems to be negative. I really don’t understand why. Sure, RT doesn’t have x86 compatibility. So what? The vast majority of us have access to a computer. Most x86 programs suck to run on small screens anyway, and a lot of them suck for touch. I’m amazed that people drool over the iPad and consider it to be ‘cutting edge’ despite the fact that it lacks many of the features and capabilities of Mac OS, however the Surface RT (which is a FAR more capable device than the iPad) is somehow too limited because it can’t run x86 programs. I think that’s crazy.

I think Windows RT is excellent. The ‘Modern UI’ (horrible name) is beautiful and very easy to navigate. The Microsoft Store is still pretty bare, but there is a pretty good number of good apps to download. The Store interface is poor however. The ‘New Releases’ are updated very rarely, so its easy to miss the release of really good apps because they’re not highlighted at all. Microsoft needs to work on the store a bit.

There’s no lag on Surface RT. I tried out an experiment a few days ago. I open literally every app on my Start screen (about 40) and then tried playing Riptide GP, a pretty graphically intense game. There was no stuttering or lag. I can’t say I noticed it missing frames like crazy either. It was very smooth. I think that’s amazing. I still close apps out of habit, but its hardly necessary.

To be honest my biggest nitpick about the OS is the desktop. I wish it wasn’t there at all. The Office applications work great, and they are a really powerful feature that other tablets can’t match IMO, but I wish they’d been rewritten as ‘Modern’ apps. I wish the same about the File Manager and the Libraries. I think they’re powerful features, but I wish I didn’t have to leave thee tile interface to use them.

So there you have it.

Surface RT is an excellent tablet. And as the Store grows and matures it’s only going to get better. Surface feels right I the hand. It’s a beautiful device both hardware-wise and software-wise. I’m really happy with it.

Thanks for reading. Cheers.


Super Moderator
Nice post. Check out the link in my signature for Great Windows Apps app. It is much better than the official store at the moment.


New Member
Great review although I'd have to disagree about the desktop mode - its one of the reasons I prefer my Surface to my iPad - being able to map drives and move files around using the explorer interface it what sets this apart from the rest IMO.


New Member
I disagree about the desktop.

40 apps opened does not mean they're running. Windows RT automatically sends an application to suspend mode if not registered as a background task, and they're not in focus.

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I guess what I was trying to get across about the desktop is that I wish I could access all of its features and power from the 'Modern UI' if that makes sense. I wish I didn't need to switch UIs to get to that stuff.


Active Member
Hi sashlon, nice review.
I look at the desktop UI this way: It's the interface I use when I'm working (usually), while the modern UI is the interface I use when I'm playing (usually).
I say "usually" because I'll use the desktop UI to transfer movies from my thumb drive to the appropriate folder (definitely play), and I use the Modern UI to check my work email using the Outlook Web App (definitely work!).
Having said that, maybe someday Windows Explorer, the Office suite, the registry, etc., will be accessable from within the Modern UI, and that will be fine too.:D


Super Moderator
40 apps opened does not mean they're running. Windows RT automatically sends an application to suspend mode if not registered as a background task, and they're not in focus.
Well I guess it is proof that the multitasking works as advertised ;) :D


Well-Known Member
I think it was smart for Microsoft to include the Desktop. It's the logical place for the Office apps to open in. My only negative is working with the small Desktop items like File Manager, they are much too small for me.


I think the multitasking is first class. I have use iPad 2, iPad 3, BlackBerry Playbook and Nexus 7. The Surface beats them all in this regard.
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