Recently, I spent a week using a Surface RT tablet.. I decided that for that week, the Surface would be my main tablet device and I would do my best to use it the same way I use my iPad..
First of all, yes, I am a mac / Linux guy, but I was a windows user for years, so I did my best to keep an unbiased opinion.
On first glance, the Surface is very nice looking. The tablet itself is pretty light while also being sturdy.
When I first booted it up, I had about 24 updates I had to run to make the tablet usable, but after they finally finished, I got started.
I spent a couple days not using any keyboard cover first to try to use it as just a tablet, and that is fine in what was formerly known as “metro” mode, but once you went into Office or did anything using the Desktop, it had issues. Basically, the surface is a touch device as long as you don’t go out of touch mode.
The kickstand is actually nice. It’s probably the best feature of the Surface. It’s perfectly angled so that the keyboard works well.
Then there are the keyboard covers.. I tried both the touch cover and the type cover. And both of their good and bad features.
The touch cover has more of a Smart Cover type feel, where you can fold it over and use the tablet without it, but for typing, it’s too slow. The lack of feedback when you push keys is actually painful.
The type cover on the other hand, is great for typing. On par with my iPad keyboards and works pretty good.
The biggest problem with these covers is the price. $129 for the touch and $139 for the type.. That’s probably the most expensive single case for a tablet I’ve ever bought.. And that is saying something.
Now, onto the actual system..
The Surface looks nice, as I said before, and it runs pretty fast. One of the bigger problems is the lack of apps. If I wanted to use the Surface to actually do coding work, then I’d have to install multiple apps to do it and none of these worked all that well.
Desktop mode was handy, but slowed the system down quite a lot, and you find yourself going between the two more often than you would think.
Now the main thing is the resolution.. This tablet was clearly made to be used mostly in Landscape mode, and Portrait mode just looks awkward.. Too long.. Too narrow.. The 16:9 resolution is better on a laptop than a tablet device.. Which was clearly the intent when you consider the kickstand and the keyboard covers..
Over all, I might consider a Surface Pro, since this was the RT.. But right now, a Raspberry Pi is more useful than a Surface RT is.. (and yes, that is a hint about some upcoming post topics)