Saturday, October 27, 2012

Could Microsoft Surface RT Tablet with Windows 8 RT be too early?

Could Microsoft Surface RT Tablet with Windows 8 RT be too early?:

Today, October 26th, is the day that Microsoft launches Surface and Windows 8 RT to the masses. To celebrate this day, I went to check out a launch myself in Vancouver, Canada. The brand launch was fantastic. There were almost as many staff as there were visitors. Even though it was just a kiosk at Oakridge Centre (mall), there were roughly around 20 staff to help out with the 10 Surfaces on demo. But although I only managed to play with the Surface RT tablet for roughly 10 minutes, I have already noticed problems.

Microsoft Surface Touch Cover ($129)
The Surface tablet’s unique selling point and innovation comes from not only the very fluid Metro UI, but from their innovative keyboard as well. Typing on the Surface touch cover is unlike any typing experience I have had before. It is highly responsive like touchscreen keyboards but it offers much less tactile feedback than traditional laptop keyboards. Testing the keyboard docking found in the commercial was easy and it worked 10 out of 10 times. They Surface Touch Cover offers protection for the tablet and doubles as a keyboard.

Microsoft Surface Type Cover ($139)
However, the Surface Type Cover was disappointing. I hope I was the unlucky one to deal with a defected product but syncing the keyboard by the dock attachment only worked 40% of the time. It was a little frustrating and lame for a launching product to have a keyboard dock that doesn’t sync properly. Not only does the Surface Type cover not offer the same protection as the Touch Cover, it also cost $10 more at $139.
Just like other mobile browsers on tablets, Internet Explorer 10 on the Surface is flawed. The touch interface for IE10 is innovative and very smooth even on Windows 8 RT but IE does not support CSS3 and some plug-ins. Even browsing on our own website, and, a warning message popped up and told us that it plug-ins were failing. However, fear not! Google has a solution for you. They call it Google Search and Google Chrome!

After replacing the web browser and testing apps, the Surface felt much better of a device. It is an all new tablet experience. With Microsoft Office 2013, the tablet feels much more like a laptop work machine than a media-consumption tablet like the iPad and Android tablets. For those who just fell in love with Surface videos and commercials, I urge you not to make an impulsive purchase.

First, find a mall with a Microsoft kiosk near you on their website and try it for yourself! (Click here for the Microsoft Store Finder)The Surface is definitely an innovative work of art with its superb build quality and Microsoft’s attention to design but the web browsing experience and the sync issues with the “Type Cover” were disappointing.

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