Microsoft Surface RT Review

After using my Microsoft Surface RT tablet for a week, I think I am ready to do a brief review!

The biggest concern I have heard around the web is the lack of apps available.

Honestly, this complaint seems to show just how little some reviewers understand this tablet. I am never loading Angry Birds on this tablet, nor any of the thousands of other fun apps. I have an iPad which is great for those apps. Nor am I going to read books on it or watch movies. I have a Kindle Fire for that, and it does a great job!

The Microsoft Surface is not about apps… it is about THE KILLER applications – Microsoft Office. This is THE tablet I can create and edit spreadsheets using Excel (which I use all day every day). Yes, my iPad and my Droid tablets have apps to do this… sort of. Formatting is lost, graphs don’t show, and it is almost impossible to really build a spreadsheet. But on the Surface it is just like working on my work PC, especially with the addition of the Surface Touch Keyboard. When you add in the other built in applications (IE 10, email, calendar, maps, contacts) you have a monstrous productivity tool!

When you combine the access to Microsoft Office and a keyboard to the integrated use of SkyDrive, things really get going. SkyDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution that  enables you to very simply share files across multiple PC’s or devices. I work on a spreadsheet in my office, hit save (to the SkyDrive) and then continue later on my Surface tablet. Save it again and pick up where I left off the next morning at work on my PC again. Wherever I am, my docs are. Cool!

This is not the ‘do everything’ tablet. Yes, it has games, yes you can consume media… but those are things other tablets do better. Frankly, that is just fine with me. I don’t want the kids on this one. It is my tablet – a real ADULT TABLET. It serves as a bridge between work and home for me, in a way that simply exceeds the capabilities of any other device. Yes, I could use a laptop, but that is not as efficient for me. I do a lot of hauling kids around, a lot of on and off, and frankly that is not optimal for a laptop. Instant on, do something, and then off again – that is what tablets do so well.

I think Microsoft is on spot here, and believe that they got ahead of the market. This device represents bringing hardware, software, and cloud computing together in a way that is compelling and simple. It works, and it makes me more productive. Comparing this device to iPads and Kindles is pointless – sort of like comparing TV’s to Computers. Each has a different fundamental purpose, though there is overlap in functionality in many ways. You need to determine what you are trying to do, and buy the tablet that fits the core best.

For me, the Microsoft Surface is going to bring about a lot of Happy Computing!
Richard Brunke

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