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Old 10-30-2012, 08:52 PM   #16
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Momentary verdict after ca. 5 hours of usage

Pros:
Surprisingly smooth keyboard. The touch cover is highly efficient and needs only little pressure. I'd fear way more ruggedness.

Very consistent OS. You find all menus in they very same place, all touch gestures in all apps are the same.

Great multi-tasking. You can place 2 apps next to each other and freely divide the space between the 2. Or you can swipe between the various screens/apps.

Good battery life. I've got 56% left after maybe 4 hours of usage. I guess it should be in the range of 10+ hours.

Kindle and Kobo apps from the very beginning! Love it!

Neutral:
The Design is stylish enough. You probably can compare it best to Motorola Xoom 1. Still: There are cooler and nicer tablets out there.

Word/Excel/PowerPoint/OneNote 2013 are included, but Outlook is missing.
Well, it's included for free. Still...

Not so positive:
The back of my tablet has some minor "bumps" in the material.
Probably from casting the metal.
I can feel them when holding the tablet and I'm a bit worried, those slight imperfections might tear off over time and leave a scratch.

It was well known, but still the lack of apps is a bit unpleasant. With Microsoft backing it, we probably don't have to expect the same fate as with BlackBerry PlayBook (one of the best tablets with one of the best OSs, but doomed from the beginning due to lack of 3rd party apps).

No GPS. In the past, GPS usually had been bundled with 3G tablets only. But in the meantime, GPS to me more or less is some kind of standard. No buggy, without 3G I wouldn't use Navigon and other apps anyway. Still, would have been nice, especially considering the great Bing maps.

Less intuitive than iOS or Android. And I don't see a user guide. Neither in print, nor as a PDF (or whatever format) file on the tablet.
It's kind of fun, to simply test the various touch gestures. But I'm asking myself, how many great features I didn't discover yet due to lack of documentation.

Momentary summary:
Whether one considers it great or not: It definitely is the most "exotic" of all tablets. Android and iOS are quite similar and actually often seem to be "inspired" by each other.
Surface RT is a whole new breed. And it's actually kind of a beast.
I had been worried to get some kind of a "tuned up Windows phone". But actually it's very close to a full blown Windows notebook. If only my main apps would be available already...
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:01 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
I've checked all the apps (not too many yet).
I didn't find PressReader (no use for Germany anyway) nor Zinio (one of my favorite apps, I have more than 15GB of magazines).

Strange enough: I haven't found a "search" option in the store yet. For now, it's usually about 500 apps per category, so you simply can scroll through all of them. But at some stage this won't be possible anymore.
And even now, with only a few hundred apps, I'd prefer searching for my favorites instead of hoping to stumble over them.
Strange, I read that those two are already available.

What about language support? Can you switch between interface languages? Not just foreign language input, but menus, ect? Download additional ones free of charge?

Can you play all media file types?
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:14 PM   #18
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Strange, I read that those two are already available.

What about language support? Can you switch between interface languages? Not just foreign language input, but menus, ect? Download additional ones free of charge?

Can you play all media file types?
I've found it.
My location was (naturally) set to Germany.
I've switched to the US - now Zinio is available.

You freely can switch between interface languages, no additional costs.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:24 PM   #19
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Search option

Stupid me.
I was looking for a search option in the Store, to find the Zinio app.
But I have to use the system search, not an app specific search.
From the right bezel, a search option appears.
You enter your search term and then you decide, to which app to apply that term.
You don't have to re-enter the search term, you simply can mark the next app to search there.

In the beginning, that's not very intuitive. But when you're used to it, it actually is great.
You can look up a translation for example in 2 apps, one after another.
Or you could place the 2 dictionaries next to each other.

I imagine:
The features of Surface RT, combined with the marketing genius and design of Apple.
But if I'd have to choose, I already would opt for Surface RT. There are simply way more possibilities...
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:03 PM   #20
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Love it

It took some time.
It's not the perfect beauty and it's not that intuitive.
But after about 6 hours of experimenting, I've already found features unthinkable on iOS and Android.
It's way closer to my MacBook Air than to my other tablets.
Not -as I had feared- a crippled version of Windows, but very similar to Windows 7. And so far no lagging, it seems powerful enough for my usual Windows tasks.
If -big if- I actually can manage my usual tasks. Still lots of apps are missing...
But Kudos to Microsoft. Late to the game, but with a unique approach.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:08 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
Not -as I had feared- a crippled version of Windows, but very similar to Windows 7. And so far no lagging, it seems powerful enough for my usual Windows tasks.
If -big if- I actually can manage my usual tasks. Still lots of apps are missing...
But Kudos to Microsoft. Late to the game, but with a unique approach.
Thanks for the real-world eval.


It's nice to see it *really* is a different class of product and a proper succesor to both WinCE *and* TabletPC.
(The WinPhone 8 is also gathering extremely good reviews, BTW.)
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:05 AM   #22
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I'm interested in your experience with the bundled Office software. I understand Outlook is not included. So what can be used on Surface to do email?
the mail app which syncs with whichever email accounts you have and even syncs with exchange

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post

Strange enough: I haven't found a "search" option in the store yet. For now, it's usually about 500 apps per category, so you simply can scroll through all of them. But at some stage this won't be possible anymore.
And even now, with only a few hundred apps, I'd prefer searching for my favorites instead of hoping to stumble over them.
i did see above that you found that you can use the search charm but i thought id post about it a little more.

first when in the the main page of the store you can just start typing (just like in the start screen)without using the search charm and hit enter. it will search just within the store. and when you do first pull up the charm from the main store page and then type you dont have to select store from the menu just enter.

just typing does not work from within a category so you will need to select the search charm before typing.

from the start screen you can just start typing to find any app/file/setting etc. if you are looking for an app and don't find what you were looking for in the search results clicking/selecting the store icon will start an in-store search.

Last edited by Dulin's Books; 10-31-2012 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:23 AM   #23
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Your documentation will arrive. As an e-mail.
You registered it with an e-mail account, right?
After some days you get an e-mail from Microsoft with lots of links to instructions, videos etc. I guess it is a price question, to keep the $499 price they have to cut back on something, skipping manuals for the web was probably a no-brainer.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:10 AM   #24
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Your documentation will arrive. As an e-mail.
You registered it with an e-mail account, right?
After some days you get an e-mail from Microsoft with lots of links to instructions, videos etc. I guess it is a price question, to keep the $499 price they have to cut back on something, skipping manuals for the web was probably a no-brainer.
Do the links point to ebooks? Or at least downloadable documents or pdfs?
That would also be a no-brainers, no?
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:49 AM   #25
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I'm a perpetual tinkerer, so I haven't checked them out yet. Right now I am in a mess trying to figure out what went wrong with VPN after upgrading to Win 8.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:54 AM   #26
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I'm a perpetual tinkerer, so I haven't checked them out yet. Right now I am in a mess trying to figure out what went wrong with VPN after upgrading to Win 8.
I'm not upgrading to 8, because it costs money.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:58 AM   #27
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I'm not upgrading to 8, because it costs money.
Money that is better spent on bananas.
My problem is more money than bananas.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:18 AM   #28
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My problem is more money than bananas.
More money? ...hmmm

Are you single?
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:38 AM   #29
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Alas, you're not. Faith will keep us apart.



For the curious;
Faith is Mrs. Tubemonkey
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:48 AM   #30
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For the curious;
Faith is Mrs. Tubemonkey
SPOILERS!
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