-Ease of use
-Windows 8 RT
-Wifi Range and strength of signal
-Kickstand really should have been put in all tablets a long time ago!
Cons -Smudges appear more then expected
-Portrait to landscape switch can take a few seconds
-Windows RT compatibility with Windows 7 programs (Pro will fix that) just be aware when you buy it
Summary Amazing. This is the tablet I have been waiting for. It can be a cute device like an IPAD for reading and browsing but it can also be something I use to GET STUFF DONE! When working in office the touch cover rules and is so satisfying. I use a core of 10 or so apps on my phone and windows has a nice variety out of the gate. I know Microsoft will get more because the during the time I have had the Surface more and more apps like Kindle have appeared. Highly recommended.
Pros 1. Windows RT O/S is great
2. Innovative keyboard cover
3. Wide screen allows for using 2 apps at the same time
4. MS Office RT nearly indistinguishable from full version
5. Windows drivers and full sized USD port
6. MicroSDXC for expandable memory
Cons 1. Temporary lack of apps, but the user install base will explode since RT Apps are compatible with Windows 8 Modern UI apps.
2. Found connection issues with the App store
3. Tegra 3 is a bit underpowered.
Summary So, I've been playing around with the Microsoft Surface RT since Friday and believe it's a great device that fulfills its promise as a tablet for both work and play. I'm typing this review on the Surface RT in MS Word, using the Type Cover keyboard and a Windows mouse and viewing it on my large LCD via HDMI output. I have Internet Explorer on the left side of the screen and am typing in MS Word on the right side, just like how I would on a laptop PC.I should qualify my criticism of the Tegra 3. It does everything you need it to do. My biggest concern was playing HD videos. It handles that like a champ, not surprising given it was designed by Nvidia. I'm probably just biased since I'm used to using laptops. The iPad is more powerful and gets better battery life than the Surface RT. How do they do that?!?! It has more apps too. But, as I state in my review, the Surface RT has advantages EVERY else. The build quality of the device is as good as an iPad.
Also, the color scheme is in high contrast mode to save my eyesight.
The real star is the O/S. "Live tiles" are so much better than boring icons, a GUI metaphor that has been around for 30 years without much change. Windows RT is a leap forward beyond both iOS and Android in several respects. One of the first things you will realize while using Surface RT is that Windows RT is practically a full blown desktop operating system, yet it also has a touch interface that works smoothly on a tablet form factor and allows the hardware to get 9 hrs of battery life (not as long as the iPad but it gets the job done). After using the Surface, I found my iPhone to be very restricting because Windows 8/RT has so many natural gestures that give you full command of the computing environment. I was amused when I absentmindedly used Windows 8 gestures on iOS.
Microsoft's innovation with the Surface is that it "hits them where they ain't" and leverages MSFT's strengths in productivity software to create something unique and hard to duplicate. The computing hardware in tablets is so powerful, doubling each year. Why not give them the tools to be productive? This is exactly what MSFT did with the Surface RT. It's hard to justify spending $600+ on a toy, which is what the iPad is. Productivity tablets can greatly expand the penetration of the tablet market. The Surface RT is targeted at the home and student markets but has features that set it apart as a productivity tool. The majority of consumers could use the Surface RT as their only computer.
Surface RT as a productivity tool:
1. Screen size is actually pretty important. The Surface is wider than other tablets and this provides the advantage of being able to attach a nearly laptop sized keyboard, something you can't do with the iPad because of it being narrower. The wide screen also lets you have two apps open at the same time. Imagine reading a PDF or website on one side and typing in Word or Excel in the other. Imagine NOT being able to do that on a device and still trying to be productive.
2. Both the Touch Cover and Type Cover are revolutionary. This isn't hyperbole. With the built-in kickstand and keyboard, you can get some serious work done. The Type Cover works just like a laptop keyboard. The Touch Cover is a bit awkward to use at first, but it is still way faster than typing on the screen.
3. MS Office RT is nearly indistinguishable from the desktop version, except for VBA and such things. It is compatible with other versions of Office you will likely interact with. The professional critics reviews didn't put enough importance on Office RT, but it's a huge selling point.
4. Windows drivers and a full sized USB 2.0 port: You can immediately print from your wireless network attached printer when turning Surface RT on for the first time. Also, you can plug in just about any mouse or other Windows 8 compatible peripheral into the USB port. My existing external hard drive is recognized when I plug it in and it works! yay! Try doing that on the iPad.
5. MicroSDXC: You can buy a 64GB MicroSD card for ~$64 to expand the memory of the Surface RT. This is beyond the wildest hopes and dreams of any iPad user. Lol.
6. Join your home network with the Windows HomeGroup feature...just type in the network password to have access to your desktop files.
7. High contrast color scheme option greatly reduces eye strain.
Areas for improvement
1. Yes, there is a lack of Apps currently, but the user install base for RT apps should exceed that of iPad apps within a year since Windows RT apps work on Windows 8 machines. Over 350 million Windows 8 machines will be sold in the next 12 months, dwarfing the cumulative historical sales of all iPads. I just use the websites anyway.
2. The only real problem I encountered was network issues with the Store. Too much traffic the first weekend?
3. The Tegra 3 is a bit underpowered, but it works great for playing HD videos, surfing the web, etc. Surface RT 2 should be twice as powerful.
4. The keyboard-covers are great keyboards for the size but are lackluster covers. There should be a magnetic clasp of some sort to hold them shut.
Updated on Oct 28, 2012
Pros Light, feels great
Movies & pictures look great
Love the new interface ... clean, fun, innovative
Snappy, responsive new UI (3x smoother than Droid)
Puts my Kindle Fire to shame, leapfrog over iPad
Even has USB & HDMI interface
Cons HATE that the old Windows UI is also still there! Odd, but I guess it is there to support legacy apps?
Wish keyboard was included in $499 price. Had to pay extra. Argh!
More apps please! Does have Office + IE, music and major things covered though.
Summary Microsoft hit a home run with this one. You can clearly see massive potential. It's fun, sexy, smooth and innovative. Apple & Google have some catch up to do on design. But, Microsoft has to catch up on apps. Without question though, this thing is a winner. If Microsoft can attract companies to build an enormous app catalog then watch out. I could see them dominating the market all over again. It's that different and that good of an initial product. This thing is awesome.
Pros Tablet and PC functionality. Smart Glass technology.
Cons Price with Keyboard is high. No LTE option.
Summary Been running windows 8 preview for awhile and the performance is amazing. Microsoft is the future of tablet computing in which I can have tablet size device with touch, and PC functionality all in one device. No more carrying a tablet and laptop. Game changer in terms of business productivity, no more spending hundreds of thousands to make apple devices fit in the enterprise.
Pros Windows File System
Split Screen Apps
Parental Controls / Multiple Users
Fast task switching
Cons Now my son and wife each want one for Christmas.
Summary When I'm running through bills or Christmas ideas with my wife, it's easy to keep track of what I'm doing. I can use a calculator or note app in a split screen configuration while building a wishlist in Amazon. Then when I want to make sure she's on the same page, I rip the tablet off the keys and let her peruse the product in portrait mode. If I need to grab something from one of the computers in the house it's no problem, all my network shares are instantly accessible. If my mother in law needs a form printed it's no problem.
Yesterday my son was working on a school paper about Quebec. He took over my Surface (the one I'm typing on now) and toggled between Word, Travel, and IE 10 to compile the research information for his project. Then I just bumped the docs over to his skydrive which instantly picked up on his Win 8 desktop, Having a 12 year old I also like the parental controls in Windows 8 and Windows RT. I haven't chosen to spy on my son yet but if I felt it was justified I have full access to review what he's been doing and disallow him from using specific apps or visiting certain websites etc.