I am, like most I know, a victim of habits. I have always been an ordinary consumer, bound and conditioned by the expectations I have from certain companies. When tablets are in question, I expect Apple to sync good looks and design. In Google, I expect impeccable technology blending ease of use and great features. When Microsoft launched its first tablet, I didn’t know what to expect.
All I knew was that I wanted a powerful machine that can handle work and play perfectly without going overboard with its price. I have been curious to know if Microsoft’s Surface is the answer to Apple’s iPad and Google’s Nexus 10. If Microsoft wants to put up a fight for market space amidst Google and Apple, it has to come with a strong name. So, Microsoft forayed in to tablet market with an aptly christened tablet- the Surface.
Let’s look at Windows Surface tablet up close and personal:
The Display and keyboard: The design and look of Surface is a wee bit different from other Apple and Android tablets. Coming with a large 10.6 inch high definition display, you get a lot of real estate on Surface’s surface. Although the screen falls short of being a full HD display, it does justice to the images with its 1366 X 768 IPS panel. You might not nominate Windows Surface tablet for the screen vibrancy award, but with the available picture resolution Surface does a good job. It comes with 16:9 widescreen display and 5 point multi-touch feature.
The keyboard in Surface is as thin as a sheet of paper and using it may seem strange at first. But once you get the hang of it, you may surprise yourself by liking it. The TouchCover, or Surface tablet’s keyboard is just 3mm thick. It comes with super sensitive pressure points and a touch pad. The shockingly light clip-on keyboard, TouchCover, may not suffice your extensive typing needs. Investing on a Type Cover will offer you more natural typing experience.
The Build and kickstand: Even with such a large screen, the tablet maintains its portability quite well. It’s easy to carry around as it tips the weighing scale only to 1.5lbs. The keyboard adds a couple of 100 grams to the overall weight of the Surface. Being just 9.5mm thin makes the tab up its style quotient. The Surface edges are sharp and more angular in extreme contrast to Apple iPad’s rounded edges.
Another important design element is the Kickstand in Surface. The kickstand, easily flicked open from back of the tablet, helps prop the tab at 22degrees making it easier to use. The kickstand makes it easier for you to watch videos or have a video call.
The Hardware and Software: Windows Surface tablet runs on nVidia Tegra 3 and 2 GB RAM. The operating system behind this tab is Windows RT, a specific version of Windows 8. Animations in Windows Surface RT tablet look smooth and clear. Applications downloaded from the Windows App Store can perform well on the Windows RT platform. Coming with a new touch-centric user interface, Modern UI, Surface is difficult to get used to. The RT comes with pre-installed Office 2013.
The Battery and Connectivity: Windows Surface RT comes with a 31.5 w-h battery. Although we haven’t subjected the Surface to extensive testing, we did notice that the battery in Surface lacked power. Ã‚Â The tablet comes with a full USB 2.0, microSD card slot, HD video out port, a headset jack and a cover port. Apart from bringing Bluetooth 4.0 technology on board, Surface is also Wi-Fi enabled.
The Camera and Applications: The Surface comes with both front facing and rear cameras. It is equipped with a 5MP rear sensor and a VGA front facing camera. It comes with ambient light sensor, a gyroscope, a compass and an accelerometer. There are 2 microphones and stereo speakers available in Surface. The Surface comes with Windows Mail and Messaging app, Xbox videos, Bing and SkyDrive app. You can also download applications from the Windows App Store.
The Final Say: We liked Surface’s quality build and kickstand. The TouchCover and TypeCover, though a good idea, needs to be worked on. For most of us, if not for all, having a powerful and fast tablet is highly important. Windows should really concentrate on making Surface work faster. After all is said and done, the Surface can form a formidable competitor to the iPad and Nexus with its clever design and affordable price.
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