There are hundreds of Microsoft Surface reviews out there, so if you
want a proper full review of a Microsoft Surface, I would probably
start somewhere else. I am going to give my personal opinions and
reviews of the surface after having it for a few days.
Surface with Touch Cover
I ordered my surface from the UK Microsoft Store. The ordering process
was relatively straightforward and worked well. The **Order history**
page leaves a bit to be desired. My order still says "In Process"
despite the fact I took delivery of the **Surface** 2 days ago.
The first thing to note and this is being echoed in most reviews, the
build quality is very high. The unit itself feels very well made. For
a v1.0, this is a very well thought out piece of hardware.
The shape of the **Surface** is definitely different. The 16:9 aspect
ratio really gives it a different feel. Currently, I am not decided
whether this is a good or a bad thing. When browsing the web, the lack
of vertical height is somewhat apparent, but it's not a big issue.
I am very impressed with the touch cover. It is very simple to type on,
with hardly any learning curve. **Microsoft** say that there is a 3-5
day learning curve for the touch cover, I don't agree. I think it's
almost instant. It certainly isn't the same as when the first onscreen
keyboards came out (think original iPhone), that was a true learning
The best part about the touch cover is the trackpad. This really sets
it apart for all other devices, having the ability to use a mouse is
definitely a selling point for me. It really enables this device for
Many reviews have covered the attachment of the **Touch Cover** to the
**Surface**, but I can't really talk about my thoughts without
mentioning how satisfying it is to hear that "click". It really does
give you real confidence in the device.
Windows 8 RT
We all know that any review of the **Surface** is actually two reviews
rolled into one. You firstly have to review the surface, but then you
have to review **Windows 8 RT.**
In short, I really like both **Windows 8** and **Windows 8 RT.** I
think what **Microsoft** are doing across the entire ecosystem is very
powerful and will eventually pay off. It might take some
time initially to gain traction and worst case scenario, it might take
as long as **Windows 9**, but i'm sure it will work.
I find the gestures within the **Windows Store Apps** to be very
natural. They definitely compliment each other. It does take some time
to get used to it all, but once you realise how it's all put together,
I'm sure most people will become fans. For example, once you realise
that the **Charms bar** (swipe in from the right) is context sensitive
to the app you have loaded, things start to make a lot more sense.
The true power of the **Surface** to me is that it is running **Windows
8** (albeit a slimmer version). For example, at work we have a 5 year
old Dell network printer. Installation of this printer on all previous
**Windows** version (including Windows 7) was frankly, a big pain. It
involved specifying the IP address of the printer and then pointing
windows to the drivers that were downloaded etc. For the average user,
this would prove to be too much. On the surface, I simply did the
- Loaded Control Panel
- Clicked "Devices and Printers"
- Clicked "Add Printer"
- Windows 8 automatically detected the printer and I just selected it.
(this didn't happen in windows 7)
- The printer installed.
- Now from any app, I can load the C**harms bar** and print.
- It works perfectly.
Ask yourself, what would that process be on an iPad. It would probably
invoice going to a shop and buying an **AirPrint** compatible printer.
One thing I am missing at the moment is the lack of an iCloud-esque
backup service. The warm feeling that iCloud gives you knowing that
your device backed up overnight really is something I am seeking with
I don't think this is indicative of the devices in general, but my
headphone jack does not work. **Windows** notices I've plugged it in
and even reports audio correctly in the mixer, but no sound actually
comes out. I have gone through the MS **Surface** support line (which
was a very good service) and they are sending out a new one as I am
typing. I can't fault the support. However, the lack of an iCloud-like
backup service, does leave me feeling unsafe. When they take the
current surface away, how am I supposed to get my new one back to the
way this one was? On iOS, it would be simple, just restore the latest
The other issue I have is that I feel the device is under powered in
terms of CPU. It definitely experiences slow down which can be
detrimental to the overall experience. I am assuming this will be
resolved with successive versions of the **Surface** but currently it
leaves a little to be desired.
Really happy with the surface. The really exciting part is actually
Windows 8. We finally have access to a tablet that can be used
realistically for both work and play.
The Surface is not without it's issues, it certainly isn't a perfect
device, but Windows 8 really opens the doors to other hardware
manufacturers to create great tablets. The next few years is going to
be very exciting and very competitive.