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Surface RT/Surface 2 editorial review (VERBOSE)

oion

Well-Known Member
I've finished this just before the upcoming U.S. holiday hits. Warning: It's verbose. I didn't add a TOC to every page though I may do that. It's not comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination, and the organization and points may be a bit scattered because I started writing it for the Surface RT and then got sidetracked for months (oops). Hopefully there aren't any embarrassing typos floating around. And yes, I did write and edit the screenshots entirely on my Surface (except for the Venn diagram). Let me know if there are any real factual errors, though, because I didn't keep track of endnote citations like I originally wanted to, and some of the content was written months ago.

Start: What happened to the first generation of Surface? | oion's gallimaufry (With links to next/previous pages at the bottom, including a page containing the whole thing.)
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
Excellent! You really should send this to Wired or some place like that! It deserves a wider circulation. The chart comparing review scores was particularly telling! To me it suggests (1) users having bought the Surface RT/2 trying to justify their purchase; (2) users honestly appreciating the benefits of the devices. Even if we discount 0.2 points out of the users' review, we are still left with a score of 4.0, which is pretty good. This is telling and, as far as I can tell, is something that has not been highlighted.

Anyways, a very good write up!
 

SEANT

Member
Yes, excellent write-up from an important, though often ignored, perspective. Use Case.

I like your highlight of the psychological and sociological components at play. The “Fanboy” phenomenon cannot exist unless there are two distinct camps; the zeal seems even more consuming when a third is thrown into the mix. The “enemy of my enemy” allegiances create an interesting dynamic.

I may be cynical but it seems most of the pundit blogs have limited interest in objectivity. High click count equates to success. A 500+ comment flame war is the goal. Poking this triad “hornet's nest” produces a better return on investment than can be had by a thoughtful examination of features and capabilities.

Thank goodness for Lisa Gade.
 

CrippsCorner

Well-Known Member
Wow. I don't think I'll ever get through reading all of that, but props for the write up, very extensive! I'd also like to thank you for introducing me to the word verbose... gonna have to drop that one into conversation soon.
 
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oion

Well-Known Member
Excellent! You really should send this to Wired or some place like that! It deserves a wider circulation. The chart comparing review scores was particularly telling! To me it suggests (1) users having bought the Surface RT/2 trying to justify their purchase; (2) users honestly appreciating the benefits of the devices. Even if we discount 0.2 points out of the users' review, we are still left with a score of 4.0, which is pretty good. This is telling and, as far as I can tell, is something that has not been highlighted.

Anyways, a very good write up!
Thanks. :)

Also, OSHIT. I was reviewing my website on my phone last night before bed (to see how the mobile rendering looked) and spotted a problem with that chart. It's fixed now. I had added a couple more expert review data points that actually upped the average but forgot to change the average number; the difference isn't as big as a whole star, but still. I also saw a few other grammatical errors and remembered a couple other tips I wanted to add, so I'll do that now before the rest of the family wakes up. (LOL)

I may be cynical but it seems most of the pundit blogs have limited interest in objectivity. High click count equates to success. A 500+ comment flame war is the goal. Poking this triad “hornet's nest” produces a better return on investment than can be had by a thoughtful examination of features and capabilities.

Thank goodness for Lisa Gade.
Thanks, and that's a good point I completely forgot about! Bah, stupid click-through metrics. :(

Wow. I don't think I'll ever get through reading all of that, but props for the write up, very extensive! I'd also like to thank you for introducing me to the word verbose... gonna have to drop that one into conversation soon.
I did take a few months to finish it. :p But I've decided I'm going to add a numbered TOC so people can just jump to the section they're interested in anyway...
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
@Oion...without your permission, I provided the link to your review to another forum. It will be interesting to see how members of that forum react to your write-up - though they are, for the most part, empathetic to the RT and the Surface concept.
 
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oion

Well-Known Member
@Oion...without your permission, I provided the link to your review to another forum. It will be interesting to see how members of that forum react to your write-up - though they are, for the most part, empathetic to the RT and the Surface concept.
That's fine. :) I wouldn't have put it on my own website if I didn't intend for people to find it (eventually, probably through search bots because I'm not really into the social networking thing and figuring out how to "share" this, too much work).
 

fonzman78

Active Member
Oion, like all the others have stated, excellent write up. I was wondering if the Surface RT was still a good choice and you answered my question. One of your last statements I think really sums it up - "To be perfectly honest, I don’t care if the Surface line never takes off and even peters out.". I totally agree. I also waited 10 years for a Surface type device. Now that I have it, I have tablet nirvana - both work and play in a single device.
 

ChemCat

New Member
Oion, like all the others have stated, excellent write up. I was wondering if the Surface RT was still a good choice and you answered my question. One of your last statements I think really sums it up - "To be perfectly honest, I don’t care if the Surface line never takes off and even peters out.". I totally agree. I also waited 10 years for a Surface type device. Now that I have it, I have tablet nirvana - both work and play in a single device.
Of course the rt line will succeed. There is no doubt in my mind. Having used the iPad, android, and winrt in the field for professional engineering work, there is no question that iOS and android are just toys compared to rt. Most people I know with android tablets and iPads have no idea how use their devices for work. Checking email is about the only think they know how to make their tablets useful.

If rt dies, it's not because it is not capable enough but because people are too incapable to see its full potential.
 
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oion

Well-Known Member
Of course the rt line will succeed. There is no doubt in my mind. Having used the iPad, android, and winrt in the field for professional engineering work, there is no question that iOS and android are just toys compared to rt. Most people I know with android tablets and iPads have no idea how use their devices for work. Checking email is about the only think they know how to make their tablets useful.

If rt dies, it's not because it is not capable enough but because people are too incapable to see its full potential.
The RT line will definitely continue to exist also through evolution of the Winphone merger. My statement was really to illustrate how I'm not emotionally invested in the product brand as a matter of fandom; fanboys/fangirls, as we like to illustrate through your typical hardcore Apple/Android users, can never look beyond brand loyalty in terms of functionality. Surface did break new ground, and if another OEM can create a future product that fulfills my needs and wants even better, there's no reason for me to stick with Microsoft Surface out of loyalty...hence I don't care if it ultimately survives or not. More competition is better for me. I really love my Surface, but I'm not about to be stupid and lock myself in, either. It's just a shame that there were so many missteps--some willingly sewn by biased folks (seriously, where did the "it's too heavy" bullshit come from?)--with Surface v1 and people couldn't see its worth.

Meh. Their loss. :)
 
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oion

Well-Known Member
I decided to wait until after the holiday season and my own vacation to add an addendum with commentary about stock levels and some of the latest aggregate user review ratings for the Surface 2. I didn't gather Pro data since that has lower adoption resistance compared to WinRT, but all the aggregate Pro 2 numbers I saw were very positive (4.5 and higher). If Microsoft can fix these stupid stock levels, I'd expect more user ratings to trickle in; there are still the usual "but I can't install Chrome durr hurr hurr" reviews by users who obviously bought the wrong product for their use, but considering the overall aggregates, I think Microsoft has reached far more of the real target audience this time around, eh.

http://www.oion.net/tech/microsoft-surface/addendum
 
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