Today I had the chance to go visit a Microsoft Stall where there were many Surface RT tablets on display with Touch covers. After playing with them for as long as I could without being pressured into buying one, I would like to share some thoughts about using the Surface RT:
Firstly, the Windows 8 operating system with the ‘Modern’ interface is even better with touch, and it was already very satisfying using it with a keyboard and track pad on a laptop. Whilst the snapped view feature was not particular easy to manage on a non-touch system, on the Surface RT, it was very intuitive and natural. It also seemed very convenient to have certain applications, like calendar or Skype, to be snapped on one side. The snapped view is fixed at 320 pixels, which is about the same width as a Windows Phone. Whilst this is not optimal, as a user may want to adjust the size of the snapped app, it does make the job of the developer much easier.
Whilst I previously commented on how the Touch Cover was a very innovative idea. I was always skeptical of the ease of use. After trying it out at the Microsoft stall, I can definitely say I am pleasantly surprised. It was very easy and comfortable to type with the Touch cover, and the accuracy was amazing. It also didn’t take very much effort, much like typing on an on screen keyboard, but even better since it is possible to feel the edge of the keys. The track pad also made it easy to navigate around the screen instead of reaching out and tapping the screen if the user is already focused on typing. Due to the practicality of the Touch Cover, I have no doubt that the Type Cover will be even better. The Touch Cover also deals with unintentional input very well.
The VaporMG case also felt very solid to the touch, it made the device very sturdy, and strong. It didn’t make me feel like I would have to get an external case for it if I were to own one. Despite the fact that it was a tablet, it was lighter than I expected, which made holding it even more comfortable. However due to the widescreen aspect ratio, it makes the device feel clunky to hold in portrait orientation. But in vertical orientation, the screen was beautiful to use.
When the surface was first announced, it was said that the kickstand feels solid and posh, like the sound of a high-class car door closing. And after trying it out physically, I can confirm that it sounds and feels very sturdy and elegant. The magnetic ports that are used for charging and for attaching the covers are also very strong. Whilst I was expecting the cover to be lightly attached, possible causing the cover to fall off easily, the cover was actually required some, albeit small, effort to pull off. But when putting it back on, the snapping back onto the device gave the same sturdy feeling as the kickstand.
The device that I tried out was only a Surface RT, and hence does not have the ability to run any x86 programs that existed previously. However, the RT still has the desktop – the RT versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point exists there.
Since I do not want to be limited to only windows RT, and I am quite a heavy user, the sales suggested that I wait for the Microsoft Surface Pro. The Surface Pro is expected to come out this month (… there’s only 20 or so days left in January), with price points competitive to Ultrabooks. The 64gb model is priced at US$899, whilst the 128gb model is priced at US$999.
Will you be getting a Windows 8 touch screen device? Have comments or Questions? Let me know below, or email me at Janice@plomonet.com