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Old 11-14-2012, 11:10 AM   #166
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Status after 2 weeks

I've barely used any other tablet in those 2 weeks.

Only exception: Kindle Fire HD, being avid reader of Kindle books. But I don't really consider Fire HD being a tablet. For me, it's a media consumption platform for Amazon content. And as such a great one...

I'm switching back and forth between the 2 keyboards.
I'm not too enthusiastic about the type cover, when folding it back and feeling the keys move under my finger tips. But of course it's the better solution for "heavy typing".
Still: Both are the best keyboard solutions I've seen so far for tablets. Way better than the bluetooth ones. Way better than the docking stations that usually force the tablets into portrait mode.
And they are compact enough, to take them both with me on a trip. The touch cover attached to the tablet, the type cover as my backup for heavy typing in the very same sleeve.

I don't have any complaints at all about the display.
I've been testing 4 Blue-Ray Rips in MP4 format. On iPad 3 and in parallel on Surface RT.
Colors on iPad 3 are slightly more vivid, colors of Surface RT appear somewhat "cooler".
But I can't really say, which one to prefer. I certainly prefer both over the over-saturated colors of Samsung devices.

Sound is good enough.
Kindle Fire HD is more powerful.
Even iPad, with its mono speaker, is louder.
But Surface RT is more than adequate for watching a movie. For audio, it's limited. But what tablet is not? To my ears, only Motorola Xoom 2 and Kindle Fire HD really outshine the others. The rest is rather close.

The OS is great.
Somewhat inconsistent, for example the office suite falling back to the desktop, whereas there's an additional OneNote Windows 8 app.
But to me that's mainly about aesthetics. The desktop apps are more than usable. I'd prefer the swipe gestures (down from the upper bezel for the menu for example), but it's easy enough to use the well known Windows actions.
I'd like to see the option from former Windows versions though, to increase the size of all desktop elements. In Windows 7 for example you could increase the scrollbars and such. I haven't found such an option on Windows 8 RT...
But when Windows 8 is used properly, it's more or less benchmark: All menus in the very same place, all looking and acting the same.

Touch and feel.
I guess, "industrial" describes it best.
It's not that elegant or stylish.
But it's definitely high-end.
I think it compares best to Motorola Xoom (Xoom 1 more so than Xoom 2).
A bit clumsy, but not the least cheap or thoughtless.

Form factor.
Just a matter of taste.
But I've always preferred wide-screen (16:9 or similar) over 4:3.
Even Kindle Fire HD, in relation to its height, feels a bit too wide.
Meaning: I love to hold it. And its my first tablet that I'm using both in portrait and in landscape.
Reading = landscape. Perfect width then.
More or less anything else = portrait.
I've never switched between orientations on other tablets.
But that's not a bad feature, quite the contrary.
Other tablets did shine in one orientation and I hated it the other way. Here I love both orientations.

Kick Stand.
Clever idea, but I barely use it.
Maybe when watching a movie with a few other people.
But I don't use it in "Notebook mode". I still would use my MacBook Air for such tasks.
I use both keyboard covers. But I'm not standing up the tablet. I lay it flat on my sofa cushion or even the living room table.

Apps.
I find this a bit depressing.
Yes, I've got the basic apps and can live with them (for now).
But quite frankly: I'm a collector. I enjoy, surfing through iTunes or Google Play and just checking out new apps.
The Microsoft store obviously is quite healthy for my wallet. But I'd really like to see more than 5 new apps per day.

3G.
Personally, I don't miss it.
Actually, I bought a few tablets specifically as WiFi-only models.
Mainly 2 reasons:
a.) I'm permanently running out of SIM cards. I already have 6 of them and simply don't want to pay for another one.
b.) I'm using my tablets mainly in 3 locations: At home, on trains and in hotels.
Even on most trains I have WiFi and in hotels it's rarely a problem either.

Micro SD.
Great to have it.
But I've got the 64GB Surface RT.
Even when downloading my 15GB of Zinio magazines and all my Kindle and Kobo books, there will be plenty of storage left.
For now, I don't really need it.
Especially, as long as I can't define the destination of installation files.
Just for media content, it's a bit limited. Still: Better than nothing.

Battery consumption.
I've never done any tests.
My criteria is quite simple: Does it survive an entire day without charging?
My gut feeling says, it's close to iPad 3. Given the reports for iPads, this probably means something in the range of 10 hours.

Performance.
There was a firmware update today.
User reports state, performance has increased.
I don't feel that. But I don't have to, performance was fine from the start.

Multi-Tasking.
The best I've seen - by far.
Personally I don't have much use for multi-tasking that kicks the second app to the background.
I want to have 2 apps next to each other.
There are some apps for iOS and Android, that can show calculator, Facebook, Web and a few other Windows next to each other. But to me, that's a big bluff. It's not multi-tasking. It's a single app, having a few windows.
I want to choose freely, which apps to use.
On Surface RT, you can combine any 2 apps. And you can divide the screen between the two as you please.

Some minor wishes:
a.) You can change the lock screen and the background of the desktop. But you can't change the start screen (the background of the tiles). I find the pre-installed start screens rather boring. Please, provide way more pre-installed start screens or offer using own pictures.
b.) In the tiles view in the Microsoft store you don't see, which apps you already have. You have to tick it and go into the details view to check. No problem yet, I've only got 42 apps so far. But over time...
c.) It probably won't happen, iOS doesn't allow it either and on Android you have to use App2SD. Still: It would be great, to choose the destination path. Installing some apps on the SD card. Or at least downloading the content (2GB of Kindle or Kobo books, 15GB of Zinio magazines) to the SD card.

Over all:
Great asset. Entirely new approach. Whether you like it or not: It's definitely no iPad clone.

Last edited by mgmueller; 11-14-2012 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:20 AM   #167
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:27 AM   #168
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c.) by default Windows - including Win8 family- does not index removable storage, so you have this limitation when downloading. but you can fairly easily set it up to be used in this way.

first set up the sd card with the same folders as on board storage (documents , music, pictures , videos) and then go to disk management .. wait

here is a link so i dont have to type it all http://winsupersite.com/article/wind...ro-apps-144658

Last edited by Dulin's Books; 11-14-2012 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:49 AM   #169
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c.) by default Windows - including Win8 family- does not index removable storage, so you have this limitation when downloading. but you can fairly easily set it up to be used in this way.

first set up the sd card with the same folders as on board storage (documents , music, pictures , videos) and then go to disk management .. wait

here is a link so i dont have to type it all http://winsupersite.com/article/wind...ro-apps-144658
Thanks a lot.
As far as I understand, this works for the libraries only?
What about the Kindle books or the Zinio magazines for example?
I haven't checked yet, where they are saved. Maybe hidden in the libraries, but I guess more likely somewhere in the folders "program files" or probably in "users"?
From the libraries, I already manually have moved my movies from "downloads" to the SD card.
But how do I move Kindle or Zinio files? Or preferably: How can I link them directly to a new destination without having to move them?
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:52 AM   #170
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I don't know. I've been hearing from almost day one that "Vista sucks" but haven't experienced that. Yet I have to acknowledge that for some people, Vista does indeed suck. 'Tis a mystery that may never be solved.
The only place where Vista *itself* sucked was in the Apple commercials.

Some Vista computers sucked rivets because they were choked with OEM-installed crapware. (Posterchild: SONY, who had the gall to charge an extra $40 to deliver a non-crippled Vista PC.)

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/fixin...-at-a-time/429

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Lessons learned?

Well, for starters, Vista doesn't suck. And neither does Sony's hardware. That four-pound machine with the carbon-fiber case is practically irresistible, as my wife continues to remind me.

But when you shovel Windows Vista and a mountain of poorly chosen drivers, utilities, and trial programs onto that beautiful hardware without thinking of the customer, the results can be downright ugly. That was certainly the case with the early-2007 vintage Vaio, and it's still true today, with too much crapware and not enough attention to quality or the user experience
Five years later, some OEMs still haven't learned their lessons.
(cough*ACER*cough)
Which is why MS is doing the Surface tablets. If they're still playing the same tricks by next summer, expect more MS-branded hardware. And *those* won't be premium priced.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:52 AM   #171
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Nate says that B&N/Nook Media added their Nook app to the Windows store.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:55 AM   #172
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But how do I move Kindle or Zinio files? Or preferably: How can I link them directly to a new destination without having to move them?
The redirection trick works everywhere. As long as the app looks into sub-folders they should follow the redirection to the SD card. Of course, smart apps shoudn't need re-direction.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:57 AM   #173
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Nate says that B&N/Nook Media added their Nook app to the Windows store.
Great, thanks a lot.
Must have happened in the last 10 hours, I had checked this morning.
No surprise: It's only in the US store, not the German one.
You just go to the desktop, change your location, download/install and switch back to your original location.
Huge improvement: Kindle, Kobo, Nook + Zinio = all I need for reading.
Minor issue still: I can't download some of my Kobo content. Huge files, such as the Dilbert cartoons, don't finish downloading, the app closes at the end of the download but the book doesn't appear.

Last edited by mgmueller; 11-14-2012 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:01 PM   #174
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The redirection trick works everywhere. As long as the app looks into sub-folders they should follow the redirection to the SD card. Of course, smart apps shoudn't need re-direction.
Sorry, I still haven't quite got it.
Can I redirect to a new destination?
Meaning, the app automatically saves the content (Zinio magazines for example) in another path (on the SD card)?
Or do I have to move the files to the new path, but first have to download to the original path?
Still would be okay as a workaround, but of course another path for future downloads would be more efficient...
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:26 PM   #175
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Book apps

So far, I've got:
Kindle
Kobo
Nook
Zinio

Brief summaries:

Kindle:
Great, but strange.
After having downloaded a few dozens of books (all original Amazon, no side loading), I get the error message: "No more storage".
I've still got 30GB left...

Nook:
Only downloaded it 10 minutes ago.
Just downloading my library of ca. 250 books.
So far, it seems to work flawlessly and the downloads are lightning-fast.

Kobo:
Great, but strange.
I can't download some big files, some of my Dilbert cartoons for example.
Strange though, some Dilberts work others don't.
The app simply shuts down at the end of the download, but the book isn't available.

Zinio:
Very strange.
I have to mark every single magazine, one by one, for download.
Only other option: In settings, I can define automatic downloads for up to the last 120 days.
I don't see in the library, which magazine already has been downloaded. You have to check it one by one.
When you finally got the magazines, it's great.
Finally: Bookmarks again.

Over all:
Great for reading. Love the form factor (16:9), magazines in landscape, books in both orientations. I've already got all the reading apps I need. Sony would be nice too, but isn't high on my list. Some ePUB reader, such as Bluefire reader, would be nice, but not that important to me. Kindle, Kobo and Nook cover 75% of my existing purchases.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:33 PM   #176
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Heh, I look forward to it.

I didn't see this during my time with the Surface, but apparently Windows 8 has ads.



The ads are in the Bing apps.
Similar to using the Google web apps.
No biggy, they are at the upmost end of the tiles. You're not disturbed, you only notice when scrolling to the end.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:10 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
Sorry, I still haven't quite got it.
Can I redirect to a new destination?
Meaning, the app automatically saves the content (Zinio magazines for example) in another path (on the SD card)?
Or do I have to move the files to the new path, but first have to download to the original path?
Still would be okay as a workaround, but of course another path for future downloads would be more efficient...
Have a look at this, from the Surface forums.
http://www.surfaceforums.net/forum/m...stination.html

As far as reading books is concerned, do you actually like reading books on the Surface's screen? That is not something I imagine I would do, given the dimensions and the resolution.

Last edited by HansTWN; 11-14-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:18 PM   #178
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I am more convinced than ever that people complaining about displays without ultra high-resolution screens haven't used the devices in question.

I read plenty of text on the Surface, both in the sports app and the books app, and it was fine. No blurriness, fuzziness, or headaches.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:48 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by HansTWN View Post
Have a look at this, from the Surface forums.
http://www.surfaceforums.net/forum/m...stination.html

As far as reading books is concerned, do you actually like reading books on the Surface's screen? That is not something I imagine I would do, given the dimension and the resolution.
I'm fine with the dimensions.
Actually, Kindle DX always has been one of my favorites.
I can live with 6", even 5", especially when traveling.
But I like > 8" a lot.
And I prefer 16:9 (or 16:10) over 4:3.

I don't have any problems at all with the resolution:
a.) I've been reading eBooks since 2000. Back then on Pocket PCs and Palm Pilots. What resolution did they have? 640 x 480 or less, I'm sure.
b.) I'm typing on my MacBook Air now. The resolution is about the same and I'm sitting fairly close to the display. I can't see any pixelation or any other annoyances at all. Same for Surface RT.
c.) I have to admit: I seem to be very relaxed about the whole resolution issue. When getting my iPad 3, I didn't see anything special. I only saw the improvement in direct comparison to my iPad 2. Without that comparison, I have been fine with my iPad 2 and even iPad 1.
d.) Maybe it really is the ClearType optimisation. But I really find the fonts very pleasing and just don't see any disturbances.

But: I don't think, I'd use Surface RT as a reader for more than maybe 90 minutes. Similar to iPad: After some time it simply is too heavy and the longer lever shows.
For prolonged reading sessions, for now my favorite is Kindle Fire HD.
I should have my Nook HD from the US in ca. 10 days, then we'll see...

Anyway: No complaints about Surface RT as a reader (some hickups in some apps aside). But that's true more or less for all my tablets.

And: When I like a book, I entirely "dive into it". I won't focus on fonts or background colors or size of the bezel or color of the bezel or.....
I simply get lost in the book.
And if I don't like the book, I won't focus on the tablet either. I'll move onto the next book, usually I'm reading about 5 to 8 book in parallel.

Last edited by mgmueller; 11-14-2012 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:07 PM   #180
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Device: iPhone
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
b.) I'm typing on my MacBook Air now. The resolution is about the same and I'm sitting fairly close to the display. I can't see any pixelation or any other annoyances at all.
Funny, so am I, and I could not agree more. FWIW the 13" MacBook Air's PPI is 128, which is lower than almost any tablet on the market.
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