1080P video playback and Hydrothunder game play demoed on the Microsoft Surface

imageThere are apparently some reviewers who are complaining that the Microsoft Surface is underpowered, and unable to display 1080P video or play graphic-intensive games without lag.

Ludwig Hildmann took offense to this, and has posted the above video demonstrating that at least his Surface has no issue with either of these.

How have our Surface-using reader’s experience been with the same issues? Let us know below.

  • erfanullah

    “There is apparently some reviewers” great!!

  • http://twitter.com/toohightocomply toohightocomply

    Certainly we need a few specific optimizations, but this is by FAR the best version of Windows tied to the BEST hardware package. Period.

  • http://twitter.com/revxx14 Jacob Bearce

    I’ve had the same exact experience. I’ve read reviews that say it’s “laggy” and that games and apps are slow, but I haven’t noticed any lag whatsoever. I’m convinced reviewers where doing something to slow down their tablets. Or maybe the ones that MIcrosoft sent out to reviewers where from another batch or something. All I know is my Surface gives me no problems at all, games are smooth, videos are excellent, etc.

    • liberalrepublic

      i wonder if they are opening zillion apps in the background and not telling us about it. then they show/write a reivew.

    • Wyn6

      There was a day one update for the Surface. The reviewers may not have had access to this update and may have suffered some performance issues when reviewing their units.

  • Emi Cyberschreiber

    yesterday i was looking for this…
    because some reviewers complained about this (and couple users)… but no videos, or no updated videos? so its nice to see 2 videos about this 😀 specially this one, since hydro thunder and 1080 video was played.
    i bet some Apple friend reviewers let desktop stuff opened so it would lag the surface xD i dont know… but its weird magically their surface lags and these users who like surface, show some videos about it no lagging.

  • liberalrepublic

    recently, i saw a reviewer complaining about the keyboard lag when typing on the word doc. I have never seen such issues on my surface rt. there is no key lag. the faux journalists are pushing their anti-microsoft hatred as news. this is really sad!!! they are trying hard to stop surface from becoming a hit.

    • GG002

      They show teeth because their cult is slowly falling apart.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hildmann Ludwig Hildmann

    Thanks for posting this, I think its completely unfair to damn a product that is fantastic in its own right because its different. Especially the pocketnow review (a site which I really enjoyed) was just illogical. He never mentions that ie10 performance is much superior to all other tablets in the review even though he says it during his first impression video. Why not include it then? But no focus on the negative aspects only… I lost a lot of respect for pocketnow when I read that.

    • agha

      Nice Review Ludwig! What is the Twitter Client you’re using (at around 1:51)?

      • Wyn6

        That Twitter client is called Tweetro.

      • http://twitter.com/Makavelli_Jrw Mr.InTernaTionaL

        I think that was Tweetro but from some other videos Rowi seems to be much more cleaner with no ads,,

      • http://www.facebook.com/hildmann Ludwig Hildmann

        Yes Tweetro is the Name, its a fantastic Twitter app :)

    • GG002

      I also think the speakers have been talked down on! They seemed to have quite a punch in the video, even with some mid-low freqs, which fruit reviewers said were like playing music out of a can.

      • mrdeezus

        Dude get real the speakers are too low, that being said, I use Jaybird freedom Bluetooth headphones.

        • http://www.facebook.com/hildmann Ludwig Hildmann

          Yeah true they are a bit low, but I maintain that they are fine for a tablet!

        • GG002

          I don’t think you understood my point. My point was that I keep hearing ONLY crap about the speakers, and mostly from people who are expecting them to be louder than a jet plane (well, at least a crowd of people). Dunno about you, but I have good hearing, so the speakers won’t need to pump out 140dB. For good sound, yes, use a pair of headphones. I have my trusty AKG K495NC for that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/hildmann Ludwig Hildmann

        The speakers are in no way horrible. They’re tablet speaks lets not forget that but i think in comparison to other tablet or even Notebook Speakers they are quite good. They dont carry bass well, but for showing friends a Video or a song or even a bit of gaming they are fine. Them being stereo is a nice Addition. I use earphones (from shure) most of the time anyways!

        • GG002

          Oh, yes, I hear the stereo is nice! I’m not expecting any tablet to be a boombox, of course, but for times when I actually feel inclined to played something out loud (i.e. NOT in a restaurant or crowd), they seem to do a good job! Of course, listening to music from mobile devices should always be done with (good) headphones.

      • Bugbog

        Based on the reviews, I was under the impression that the speakers were poor. In fact, to the contrary, they are quite good. (Obviously not room booming good, but 1 foot distance? Good enough!)

        I have noticed though, that if certain videos (encoded or streamed) are recorded low, then yo do need to max the volume to get decent sound. However for music, games and properly recorded video, it performs very well.

    • Bugbog

      Just saw this and thought to play and test this myself.

      Hilariously, Hydro-Thunder is the fastest loading game [so-far] on the Surface!

      Smooth playback!
      Not even a hint of stutter or frame-rate hijinks!

      Pure enjoyment! (And I don’t care all that much for boat racing games even!)

      Re: Pocketnow. I completely agree. I haven’t much cared for Brandon’s thoughts on devices since his Titan review (October 2011). Unfortunately, it would seem, all the other writers are now following suit, with slanted perspectives on all articles. It’s pretty much become pointless to make any comments there.

  • sam

    i don’t have my surface yet. but i did play around with Samsung ativ smart pc with windows 8 (32-bit), which has better spec than surface. intel clover trail 2GB ram. and i did test a 1080p video, and it can barely handle it well. video is stuttering every now and then. i was kind of bit dissapointed. and i played also with asus vivo tab rt, which has same spec with surface. the multi tasking performance is lagging also when switching between windows. it’s heaven and earth comparing with rt on ti omap 4470. ti omap 4470 handles the graphic impressively well (check on YouTube). neve4r really impressed with tegra 3 performance. i hope my surface won’t have this issue later once i got it. *crossing my finger

    • http://www.facebook.com/hildmann Ludwig Hildmann

      I think the bad performance of the tegra 3 is due to android. Watch the video I have no lag in games and multitasking. Besides, name one android tablet that always has top notch performance…

      • sam

        the 1080p video i played actually an mp4 format stored locally. i don’t know what’s wrong. i hope it’s just the file issue. i only open 4 apps btw. and still laggy.

        at first i thought it’s os issue (like lag in android), but as i experienced myself the lag also with asus vivo tab windows rt (which supposed to be a very stable os), i thought to myself could it be tegra 3 issue?

        don’t get me wrong, i love surface since the first time i saw, back in june?

        although i experienced myself with different devices, and get different results with yours, your video reassured me to not cancel my pre order.

        • mrdeezus

          swipe from right, hit settings, click on change pc settings then windows update. click check for updates.

    • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

      Seen threads on tabletpcreview.com and xda that say otherwise.

  • B Hilton

    Thank you very much for setting the record straight!!!! I am typing this message from my Surface RT and I can tell you with certainty that the Microsoft Surface is the best tablet on the market Period…. I currently own an IPad, Kindle Fire, and Nook Tablet, and my Surface is by far the best. We’ve got some Microsoft haters out there that know this and are trying to discredit the Surface before people get a chance to find this out for themselves. Game play is smooth, the user interface is the best yet, and productivity is optimal. For all who read this post and are considering a tablet this Christmas, you can’t go wrong with the Microsoft Surface. The Ipad Mini is a cute toy, the Ipad 4 is the same old tired user experience, the Surface is the real deal.

    • Bugbog


  • AS147

    You have to remember that more than 70% of the press are Apple advocates i.e. Fruit fans and will therefore rubbish anything that has a chance of challenging Apple.
    It is unfortunate but that’s the way it is. The only way to silence them is to not listen to these so called experts as it has been proven that 9/10 of their predictions are proven later as being wrong.

    • sam

      could you elaborate more on that 70% number? Any back up data? I’m not an apple fanboy (only have 1 apple product-ipod touch 2nd gen). There are already enough numbers of people or reviews that’s not objective (based on their personal preference etc). Let’s not add more.i do believe good product is good product, no matter what brand it comes with.

      • Bugbog

        All the initial pre-release Surface reviewers were not Microsoft advocates. So if you really examine their reviews, you’ll see that they all rated the device very highly, but then proceeded to moan about every perceived flaw; From not liking the form-factor, to querying the decision to include the desktop for limited use, to moaning about the fact that they couldn’t load their legacy applications, to whining that the stand isn’t adjustable?

        As you can see, from just the limited examples, they weren’t rating the device for what it was (or even stated that it was), but were negating it for not being what they wished it to be, despite the fact that there isn’t anything currently on the market similar to it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1543140193 Guariol Jesus Maria

    I have one surface and I never had an experience of lag in it but I thinks microsoft should do some tweeks

  • http://blog.mccarthyuk.net/lifeinauto Darren-mc

    I have seen no problems with my surface. I never had an experience of lag even playing XBox Movies and Netflix.

  • techieg

    All of that are just haters spreading stupid rumors. Surface is Surface, if things play fine on this review, it plays fine on the rest. Sore losers.

  • Mike P

    I don’t mean to point out the obvious here but playing a “1080p” youtube clip and a local 1080p file are two different worlds.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hildmann Ludwig Hildmann

      I am looking for a 1080p file to download so I can test it!

      • Mike P

        That is awesome. I think the problem people are experiencing might be the profile/level of compression used on the 1080p file.

        When a profile level is too high it could potentially choke the hardware decoding, in this case being the T30.

        I used to have an HD DVD which had a much higher profile than its BluRay counterpart meaning that it had much higher quality but also came at the expense of some dedicated chips not being able to play it back properly.


        I guess people at some point will run tests on what kind of profiles it can play back natively in media player. The release of VLC for Windows RT should also be interesting.

        • Wyn6

          Just to test, I’ve been playing a 1080p mp4 of Ratatouille for the last hour and it’s as smooth as butter. No issues at all. I’m also playing Wordament in Snap View while running the video as well. Again… just testing and there are no issues at all. Now, back to football.

          • sam

            Can you try 1080p mp4 toy story please. /s

        • Bugbog

          I agree. 1080p files are always dependant on codec compression. I know I never really liked (still don’t) downloading 1080p movies for playback on my Core2Duo PC (with 24, 27 & 30″ monitors, respectively). Some play well, some have issues, some play well but are slow to navigate, etc (Just look at 1080p playback on Apple TV, or Google’s Q!)

    • brownbox

      What’s so different? One would expect playing the Youtube clip to be more difficult.

      • http://www.facebook.com/BootLace Simon Lacey

        The processing issue is related to the number of macro blocks that need to be decoded. This is capped by the bitrate of the video, which is typically lower for streamed content due to cost of bandwidth, lack of people with high bandwidth connections, etc.

        On sites I visit, HD video tends to stream around the 2-5Mbit/s mark. DVD video had a cap of 10Mbit/s, and Blu Ray a cap of 54Mbit/s. A Blu Ray quality video on local storage could require in excess of 20x the decoding power of a typical HD internet stream.

  • WebUser

    In a video, Molly Woods call the Surface plasticky. What the …!?

    • Emi Cyberschreiber

      Molly Wood *facepalm* you mean the person that couldn’t find the App list in Windows phone after 91823901 days? if your answer is yes, you know what to expect from someone like her and her fruit friends.

      • WebUser

        That’s the bitch. I wanted to slap her in the face if I was a woman.

  • mrdeezus

    I did see 2 spots of so called stutter but nothing that extreme as what the reviewers cited. The multitasking is awesome on this device,im using it now and was very impressed with your gesture swipes bro! Anyway my surface performs awesome and it hasn’t even had n update yet!! Typing on a Surface 64gb. My only complaint so far is the music app on the pc and rt needs work .

  • http://www.facebook.com/BootLace Simon Lacey

    As much as I’ve enjoyed using the surface so far, I’ve been disappointed with the game performance. Watching this video inspired me to have another look into it. I’m using a Surface 32GB, fully updated and freshly rebooted. As per the video, I plugged in the keyboard and played Hydro Thunder and it was fine. Played Jetpack Joyride, and it too was fine, silky smooth. So what had changed? Well, previously I’d be playing with touch controls, not keyboard. Switching back to playing with touch (keyboard left connected), I found every time I touched the screen, the games in question would stutter.

    This stutter is for every touch in Jetpack Joyride, a game that requires quite a lot of touching! A swipe of the touchpad will put the game into keyboard mode, and using touchpad button 1, there isn’t a single stutter.

    Stutter in 3D is typically a little harder to notice, but it’s occurring for touches in Hydro Thunder too. Starting the game fresh, the ‘ticker tape’ scrolling text at the bottom of the main menu is smooth. Start tapping in a non-active area of the screen and it’ll stutter.

    I’ve noticed the stutter itself causes the effect of touch lag for lots of quick taps. For me, it makes these action games pretty uncomfortable to play with touch. Ultimately sounds like a software issue, so hopefully something that can be remedied in an update (assuming it’s not just me! :))

  • eldreams

    I think most of the reviewers such as lockergnome/verge etc pointed out that cut the rope was very laggy etc. I also think a lot of the reviewers didn’t do the update…..Though lockergnome (Chris) said after the update/s he didn’t see any improvement at all?! Is this true? Also is cut the rope game a bad one to show? This game even lags on my PC!

  • Shyloooh

    I tried the exact same thing and the results were the same. I actually pushed it a little more and loaded up a 720p mp4 movie and used the “Play To” feature to stream to my computers windows media player while also playing a music stream via Energy NRJ app. This is on top of playing Hydro Thunder. I still can’t get over how smooth everything was! If anything the only real noticeable lag is during fast app switching which to me is a non issue. I was also using my bluetooth Jambox for audio output. Absolutely no regrets about the purchase!

  • http://zqp.me/ Brad

    LOL at the Apple comments and so true that they make great hardware (well put together great hardware) and software…. leaves a lot to be desired.