The Microsoft Surface RT – What do I REALLY think?
Let me start off by reminding you, like I do with every tech post I do, that I am not a techy person. I don’t know about RAM or video cards, and I’m usually pretty laid back with what I expect my technology to be able to do. I’m first and foremost a mom, followed by a wife, woman, and then blogger. So from my point of view, what is the Surface RT all about? I’ve got a couple of things I wish I could change about the Surface, and a few things a really love. Let’s check it out!
The Surface RT is small, and light (10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37in 1.5lbs ). As far as weight goes, I really can’t tell much difference at all between it and my iPad. In regards to size, the Surface is a little more rectangular than the iPad. The display is really nice though at 10.6” (ClearType HD Display, 1366X768 pixels). When you’re looking at the screen of the Surface RT, it doesn’t feel like the screen of a tablet. You really get the clear crisp look of an actual PC. Add the kick stand which allows you to open it like a small laptop (think ultra-thin and light netbook) and it’s a pretty cool set up.
Another plus to the Surface RT that I think makes it better than the iPad, is the availability of outlets built into the tablet. There is a separate outlet for power, a full size USB port, a mini USB port, and an audio outlet and an SD slot. While the Surface makes it easy to save (and share) documents using SkyDrive, you can still plug your flash drive in or increase your memory with SD.
The Microsoft Surface RT comes with Student Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview. As someone who does a lot of work in Word and Excel, this works out great for me. These touch-enhanced versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote are easy to use and so far have worked for me pretty glitch free, though they do run a little slower than I’m used to on my regular PC. Having the option to use actual Microsoft Office programs on a tablet though is something I REALLY like.
Speaking of work and functionality, you can have 2 things running at the same time on your screen using the snap feature. For example, I can pull up the episode of GLEE I missed on TV and have it running on one side of the screen while I check Facebook on the other.
The biggest challenge facing the Windows Surface RT is the lack of apps. I really expected there to be certain applications available for the Surface RT and they’re simply not there. This is a problem that typically faces Microsoft fans, but I was surprised to see that I can’t even get the same selection of apps for the Surface RT as I can on my Windows 7 phone. I’m really hoping this changes in the future. I typically love Microsoft, but the lack of apps really is a downfall.
Using the Microsoft Surface RT really hasn’t been that hard of a transition. Windows 8 (even this RT version) is very touch friendly. In fact, I much prefer Windows 8 on something with a touch screen than your normal PC. The Surface RT still seems to have a few hang ups here and there (taking a little while for an app to load or for IE to find your webpage), but overall the Surface is something I could really use. I’m pretty interested and excited to see how the Windows 8 Pro Surface compares to the Surface RT. Can the Surface RT replace your home or office PC? Probably not… but then that’s not what it’s meant to do. Can it be a backup for you when you travel, are on the go, or sitting on the couch? That’s what this Surface RT is doing for me!
Windows lets you personalize your content. The lock screen acts as your entry into the OS.
Picture password allows you to personalize your story and you can touch on various areas of the photo to unlock your screen.
The Start screen allows you to organize apps and content by category. You can create your own unique personalized experience through the lock screen, picture password and the start screen.
Search: You can easily search Windows via the Search charm, Search the apps in the app store and Search for programs you are used to using with Windows 7.
Apps/Windows Store: Pepperplate app is a really easy way to stay organized in the kitchen and create your own cookbook. When you purchase an app, you can use that app on up to 5 devices. The AllRecipes app is also a great cooking app.
Snap: Snap lets you multitask on your Windows 8 device. You can get more done when you snap a second app to the left or right side of your screen.
SkyDrive: You can store your music, photos, video etc. Has great integration with OneNote
MomStart is a Windows Champion, we receive perks from time to time for sharing information with you. We did not receive a Surface through this program, but have had the chance to use one extensively.
About Ashley (Managing Editor at MomStart): Ashley is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and former teacher working to navigate through the mysterious world of Mommyia. Read more about her adventures at Momicles and follow her @Momicles2010