Microsoft unveiled its new line of tablets last June and delivered the first models in October. Since then, Surface with Windows RT slates have suffered the slings and arrows of Mr. Softy haters and Apple Kool-Aid drinkers.
Microsoft has opted not to launch a price war with Apple, which means its tablets represent a significant investment of at least $499. Here we consider the top complaints we have heard about the Microsoft Surface RT tablet.
1. Microsoft Surface is not an iPad.
For some people, it is Apple or nothing, and there is little I can offer in argument. By definition, Surface tablets are not iPads, are not manufactured by Apple and do not run the same applications. If it is Apple or nothing for you, then by all means, bypass the rest of this article and go play with your iPad.
2. Surface keyboards are too flexible.
Some critics do not like the thin, touchpad keyboard covers Microsoft sells with these slates. Touch typists complain they do not get enough feedback to ensure their fingers remain in the right position. Microsoft also offers a slightly thicker “type” keyboard with a bit more tactile feedback, but not all typists are convinced.
Regardless of how one feels about the typing, it appears that for some users Microsoft Surface keyboards are more comfortable to use on a lap desk than directly on a lap. Before you invest in one of the Surface keyboard covers, you may want to test one first. You might choose to forgo the clam shell experience and substitute a sturdier, wireless keyboard.
3. The Windows desktop interface is too small for fingers.
Shrinking the desktop down to a ten-inch screen creates a usability challenge for those trying to select using touch. Adjusting the settings on the desktop can increase the font and size of icons to make them easier for fingertips to grab. Many users find a keyboard with touch pad or a wireless mouse allows them to more comfortably integrate touch with the desktop experience.
4. The Surface kickstand only has one position.
I love this complaint, because I cannot think of any other tablet with a built-in kickstand. Yes, Surface has only one kickstand position, but Surface still has the advantage over all the other slates that have no kickstand or prop,
5. Surface RT is not a Surface Pro.
Part of the promise CEO Steve Ballmer dangled at the Surface launch was the possibility of using a Surface tablet to replace your laptop or desktop PC. For many professionals, Surface with Windows RT is not that tablet because it runs a lighter version of Windows 8 known as Windows RT.
Surface Pro Launch
Microsoft will release Surface with Windows 8 Pro this Saturday. Many professionals anticipate this tablet will give them full functionality in a two-pound slate. Surface Pro will not only run the new tablet apps from the Windows Store but will also be compatible with all legacy Windows desktop software from Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. If you are hoping to use Photoshop or other desktop apps on your tablet, then Surface RT will not meet your needs, but Surface Pro will.
What Do You Think?
Is Surface for Windows RT sufficient for your tablet needs, or are you looking at the Pro launch this weekend?