It's the same in my country all Windows tablets are password protected. The clerk told me its because people try do damage or format the OS otherwise. None of their iPads where locked so I had to ask him because this irritated me. If this is true then some people obviously are retarded. But how hard can it be to just setup a guest account and lock down the devices?
I remember going to a few stores when they had some of their net books/notebooks on shelves that were not easily seen from a counter. Most of the time you would be able to mess around with them and see how they feel. They were not connected to the Internet and password protected from changes. Of course a few found ways to screw them up, but for myself I was just interested in seeing how big the screens were, keyboard feel, etc, and was not really interested in seeing the windows system which I had already used and knew. Strictly hardware stalking! lol.
For tablets I would definitely want to give it a really good workout by seeing how heavy it is, ease of use, software, see how web pages looked in different screen modes. Not being able to do this would be a bummer for sure.
I went to an Apple store a few years ago and I was impressed with being able to do hands on checks with all of their products and having a staff that knew what I was talking about when asking questions about the product. Had good experiences in Best Buy at times, but they are good for checking out products and then going online to buy cheaper. Now they have a price match guarantee with many other retailers, especially online. A nice option if it works out, but first and foremost, many people I know need to check and physically see the products before thinking about buying.
I hope Staples steps up the Surface display and availability. I really believe that for those looking for something different, or are not Apple and Android fans, would really like the Surface.
I find that best buy and staples displays are just completely terrible, especially for trying out the surface. I feel it does not justice and makes the surface look like a very low end product. The Microsoft store is 10x better because the device isn't even attached to anything and you can use it freely with no restrictions at all. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to steal a device