Microsoft Surface With Windows RT Review (Part 5)

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The configuration options and competitors

The Surface is available in two versions, one with a pre-installed 32GB and one with 64GB. The 32GB version starts at %499. The basic kit does not include the keyboard, but at $599, you can have it in the box. Regarding the 64GB model, Microsoft is selling it as a package with the Touch Cover at $699. If you buy the tablet and then want to it come with its keyboard, the Touch will cost $120, while the Type Cover (with the physical keyboard) will have the retail price at $130. Microsoft will only prepackage the black Touch Covers, so start saving money if you need it in blue.

The Surface is available in two versions, one with a pre-installed 32GB and one with 64GB.

The Surface is available in two versions, one with a pre-installed 32GB and one with 64GB.

The Surface is following other tablets running on Windows RT. We are checking the Asus ViVoTab RT, which is equivalent to the Surface with thinner and lighter design, but with slightly shorter battery life and less comfortable experience with typing. Dell's XPS 10 will also be launched soon, though unfortunately we do not know how much it will cost. We are also curious about the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11, whose screen can be totally flipped towards behind, but will not be sold until May 12. When sold, it will be highly priced: starting at $799.

As an ARM-based tablet that promises better battery life, stick Surface iPad, along with a number of high-end Android tablets. Starting with the iPad, both tablets both started at $499, although at that price, the Surface has double the storage (including a memory card slot and USB storage support). The iPad is thinner and lighter, but the build quality is comparable. (Also, if you pay attention to the Surface’s stand and USB port, for sure it cannot be much thinner). As we said, the two screens are nice, although either screen is not completely better than the other: the iPad looks fresher and cleaner but the Surface is less dazzling. When it comes to typing, the Surface takes advantage of the full keyboard support built into the OS and the two keyboards designed by the Microsoft. They are very comfortable – better than the third-party keyboards for the iPad – but we still need to see how many people who buy this tablet actually appreciate the typing experience seriously.

In addition, the main difference between the two is not about mm or pixels. It is about the software. We have to make sure that Windows RT is easy to use, and suitable for this form factor as well as the design productivity. The problem is the app selection: since this article, the iPad has over 250 thousand applications available that are optimized for its screen. Do not misunderstand us: Windows 8 and Windows RT are quickly gaining the momentum, but until your favorite apps appear in the Windows Store, you will have to show some patience – or willing to find those new favorite apps.

Finally on the Android’s front, obviously you have more choices, including a lot of stuffs with an optional keyboard dock. If you are looking for something with such a beautiful screen like that on the Surface, we would like to introduce the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, a 10-inch tablet with a 1920x1200 IPS display, excellent battery life and hard metal materials. However, please know that that the Asus keyboard dock usually has a fairly cramped layout. For better typing experience, we would like to introduce the new Lenovo IdeaTab S2210 (at $430), although as a mid-range tablet, it has lower screen resolution than the Infinity. It also has shorter battery life than the series of the Asus Transformer tablet, and most other 10-inch tablets.


The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT has a starting price at $499.

The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT has a starting price at $499.

The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT’s starting price at $499 means that those who are thinking about investing here will need to carefully compare it with the equivalent products from Apple, Asus and others. How is this tablet evaluated? Very good but also very different. While these devices are mainly targeted at those who thirst for the content, the Surface is a tablet with which you can do some serious work, and do it in a relaxing manner. You cannot always say that about the competition.

It was at the other side of the equation, the content consumption and entertainment, where the Surface is currently missing. It needs a lot more apps and games to make up for that, and while we are sure that they will come, we do not know when. If the applications are soon to be available, then the original buyers will feel vindicated. However, if the Windows RT market is slow to thrive, not really heating up in another 6 months or so, the wait will prove to be a wiser choice.

So, if playing games, music, movies, and reading is what you want to enjoy, then we can only suggest that you wait a few months to ensure that all your needs will be handled for sure. However, if you are looking for a tablet that is perfectly designed so that you can do some serious work with it, a device that does not have a style, feel or acting like a toy, then you should buy the Surface with Windows RT.


·         Price: $499 – $699


·         Impressive build quality

·         Bright screen with less flare

·         Stable performance and battery life

·         The Touch Cover allows fast typing


·         Limited selection of apps


·         The Surface with Windows RT is an excellent tablet for those who need a good dose of productivity with their mobility.

An excellent tablet for those who need a good dose of productivity with their mobility

An excellent tablet for those who need a good dose of productivity with their mobility


·         Dimensions: 6.77x10.81x0.37 inches

·         Weight: 1.40 lb.

·         Display type: LCD (Active, Color, Backlit)

·         Display size: 1,366x768, 10.6 inches 147 ppi pixel density)

·         Multi-touch: yes

·         Memory card slot: microSD (microSDHC)

·         Camera (integrated): 1.3 MP

·         Camera features: Records video, Contact pictures

·         Secondary camera: 0.3 MP

·         OS: Windows (8)

·         Form factor: other

·         CPU: 1.3 GHz

·         CPU cores: quad-core

·         RAM: 2 GB

·         USB: 2.0

·         Bluetooth: 4.0

·         Maximum battery life: up to 8.5 hours

·         Battery type: Li-Ion

·         Battery size: rechargeable

·         Warranty: 1 year


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