Gizmodo reviews Microsoft Surface RT: Do not buy; inferior to Apple’s iPad; the worst of both worlds

Microsoft’s “Surface is a fantastic promise, and holds fantastic potential. But while potential is worth your attention, it’s not worth your paycheck,” Sam Biddle writes for Gizmodo. “It is undercooked. For all Microsoft’s claims to hardware perfection and software revolution, Surface RT is undone by too many little annoyances, cracks, and flaws. After the initial delight of an evolved tablet wears off, you’ll groan—because Surface brings the appearance of unity, but it’s really just the worst of both worlds. Instead of trading in your laptop and tablet for Surface, a cocktail of compromises that fracture the whole endeavor, you’ll miss them both urgently.”

“It’s Windows on Surface RT that’s the greatest letdown of all, the lethal letdown, because it’s not Windows 8, but Windows RT. You can’t tell the difference by looking at them, but you certainly will once you use it. Windows RT is underpowered (everything opens and syncs slightly too slowly), under-functional (you cannot install a single app that’s not available through the Windows RT app store, which offers a paltry selection), and under-planned (the built-in apps can’t feel like Lite versions of something better),” Biddle writes. “In the end… this is nothing more than Microsoft’s tablet. And a buggy, at times broken one, at that, whose ‘ecosystem’ feels more like a tundra… The app selection, overall, is worse than the already pathetic Windows Phone app fare, looking like the software equivalent to a barren Soviet grocery store.”

Biddle writes, “Should you buy it? No. The Surface, with an obligatory Touch Cover, is $600. That’s a lot of money. Especially given that it’s no laptop replacement, no matter how it looks or what Microsoft says. It’s a tablet-plus, priced right alongside the iPad and in most ways inferior… That could change. Maybe there will be a new Touch Cover that retains the original’s terrific physical qualities while actually allowing good typing… Maybe the app store will look different in a month, or a year, and have anything to offer. Maybe. But remember that Windows Phone — which has swelled from mere hundreds, to tens of thousands, to over a hundred thousand app offerings over the past two years — is still a wasteland compared to iOS and Android. Poor precedent. Maybe Windows RT will be different. Maybe. But those maybes aren’t worth putting money on.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet another stellar review for Medicocresoft’s latest ill-conceived, me-too mess.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]

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43 Comments

    1. Ha. I was just thinking that. I hardly bother criticizing Microsoft anymore… Of course their new whatever product is going to suck.

      The funny thing is how I’m the “tech support” guy for all of my friends & family. I used to try and fix little problems on Windows here and there. Now it’s just “sorry, I have no idea”. Restart it.

    1. … why, oh, why would the thieving bastards at Gizmodo hate Apple?

      Gizmodo, like most of the internet, is 99% opinionation and 1% plagiarism under a vaneer of shiny advertisements.

  1. Unfortunately, it probably won’t matter that the surface isn’t on par with an iPad. There are far too many Microsoft backers in the enterprise IT arena that will push anything Microsoft. At my 1,000+ people company, IT has been doing their level best to keep iPads at bay. But for two years they’ve been telling everyone they can have a tablet as soon as Microsoft has one to sell.

    1. Interestingly, the larger companies are shifting to non-MS alternatives and BYOD faster than mid-sized companies. A company I’m working with right now is a Fortune 500 company with over 30,000 employees. iPads are playing a major role in their strategy, and I am currently heading their SAP Afaria (MDM) implementation so they can better manage their BYOD iPhones and Androids (Android, which by the way, brings some serious challenges from a data security standpoint with it’s wonderful SD cards). This company once was FULL of BlackBerries. Now, they have less than 2,000 that have checked into the BES in the last quarter. This company has now for the first time (outside of some very specific departments) began to allow Macs. And they are skipping Windows 8 (they are still just beginning their Windows 7 rollout).

      I expect them to test some Surface laplets, but they are so far down the road with their iPad initiatives and have developed so many iOS custom business applications, that I doubt many will be in use outside of the few people who think it is “cool”.

      The tide is changing. And the days where dinosaur Microsoft-centric IT guys run the show is coming to an end.

  2. A lot of people on the PC side of things (the most likely people to buy a Surface) are used to paying $600 for a full laptop computer.

    So for most people you’ll pay the same as normal, but get a limited/broken version of Windows (jokes about Windows versions 1 through 8 aside). You’ll still end up missing your “real” computer.

  3. Are you kidding me? How does this horseshit get out of Microsoft Headquarters and finalized and produced on assembly lines and get OK-d at every step? It’s insane! And it’s a testament to the incredible ill effects of groupthink.

    Does no one in Redmond have any sense of perspective or the needs of the consumer??? This failure just boggles the mind.

    1. Weren’t you in the boardroom? As soon as Balmer heard the click when the keyboard snapped to the tablet he was drooling like Pavlov’s dogs. He kept clicking it so much that the ad people got their great idea for a commercial. I mean if Balmer liked it everybody would like it.

      I also like the samsung commercial (not) but they left out the end where the dweeb left his parents in line. What didn’t show was where all the people in line welcomed them and showed them what the iPhone can do for them instead of abandoning them as their little boy did. He probably doesn’t even pay for his phone.

    2. The glib answer is “they don’t care about the consumer”.

      To your point, I think specifically they do not understand why consumers like tablets. I’m surprised they actually put out Windows RT, which is an admission that a computer without a full desktop OS is desirable. But overall, they believe a tablet will be better if it is really a laptop. I don’t think the majority of the consumers looking for a tablet are going to agree.

      It seems to me that this will compete mostly with the tiny ultrabook market.

      Also, if you think surface is crap, some of the crap that their OEMs are putting out make MS look like geniuses.

      1. I like Balmer’s BS about other tablets being consumption devices and the Surface is for doing real work with the attachable keyboard.
        I can dictate my documents faster on my iPad faster than I can type. I can get a keyboard case for $100 less than the Surface typing cover, if I really needed a keyboard. The MS presentation today was good comedy. The head guy looked like a short Jeff Bezos. By they way you can buy them at one of the 90 MS stores. What none at Target and Walmart. Maybe they’ll get an exclusive at Kmart.

  4. Come on guys, what MS is releasing now is just touching the surface of the Surface. Underneath the surface is a serious Surface. Getting there may take time. But scratch the surface, you’ll get to the Surface. Must… pause… get to surface… for… air… gas bag… deflating… over… out… aghhhhhhhhhh.

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