The Verge reviews the Microsoft Surface RT

imageThe Verge have posted their review of the Microsoft Surface RT.

They seems to like the hardware, except for the screen aspect ratio, which they found troublesome in many scenarios.

Like others he also complained about the fixed angle of kickstand.

They found battery life impressive and the device speedy, but complained of crashes in apps and of course the small selection of apps in general.

He concluded:

Maybe I say this too often, but I wanted to love this device. Actually, I wanted to love the Surface when I first saw it, before I even got my hands on the review unit. It made Windows 8 make sense in a way other products had not, and I could see a world where this kind of device was the only one I carried with me. Once I did get the review unit, I wanted to love it even more. And truth be told, there is a lot here to love. Plenty — but not enough for me right now.

The promise of the Surface was that it could deliver a best-in-class tablet experience, but then transform into the PC you needed when heavier lifting was required. Instead of putting down my tablet and picking up my laptop, I would just snap on my keyboard and get my work done. But that’s not what the Surface offers, at least not in my experience. It does the job of a tablet and the job of a laptop half as well as other devices on the market, and it often makes that job harder, not easier. Instead of being a no-compromise device, it often feels like a more-compromise one.

There may be a time in the future when all the bugs have been fixed, the third-party app support has arrived, and some very smart engineers in Redmond have ironed out the physical kinks in this type of product which prevent it from being all that it can be. But that time isn’t right now — and unfortunately for Microsoft, the clock is ticking.

The device scored 7/10 in the final review. Read the full review here.

  • thunderbolt

    don’t bother reading it. Topolsky is a known microsoft hater and the rest of the staff are apple hipsters. You can see it from their “Whats in my bag” articles

    • UsmanMohammad

      Why is sites like this and wmpoweruser are just full of fanboys. The fact that you didn’t bother checking what the negatives of the surface in that review make it harder for you to understand why that score was given.

      So what if they use Apple products? The point is that the surface (RT, which at the moment has few useful apps compared to iOS) is entering in to an already well established market, and no doubt the WinRT App count will increase come launch and post launch, but to anyone that wanted a tablet the apps are what you would need to look at. It doesn’t matter how much better in specs the hardware is. If you didn’t have the software to back up the hardware then all you have is a brick. If hardware was everything then the PS3 would have had the best console start and that the Wii would be left in the dust.

      • nickcraze

        This is the same crap spilled around the ifanbois.. did you come to troll here? most likely. The review is not credible… The fact that it doesn’t have a lot of apps does not mean the device is not solid… Besides with IE10 integrated you can get most of the services via website for most of the top apps.

      • donzebe

        What do you mean by “useful apps”? Useful to you or others. Most smartphones and tablets out there come with the most basic apps useful to everyone. You may then go to the app store and download additional app useful to you but that does not mean it is useful to me or others.

        • John Hough

          This exactly. I don’t need thousands of apps installed on my device, so I don’t care if a store has 5000 or 1m apps. What matters is the quality of the apps and that it has the apps that the majority of the public needs and wants. The MS store right now is no different than the Apple store or the Android store, just a (currently) much smaller scale. About 10-15% good apps, the rest are PURE crap that 99% of the public would never use. Does anyone honestly believe that MS would put out a device like this if they didn’t have the ‘major’ companies and sites putting their apps into the ring??

          The “good” apps i’ve downloaded so far, are brilliant and look fantastic. They’re only going to get better, and very quickly.

      • Johan Spånberg Svelander

        Uhm… Apps is hardly a factor when it comes to tablet-choice.

        • José Villaró

          WTF? Was that sarcasm? Please be sarcasm

        • Pacifica1

          Apps is everything, the OS is just a way to deliver apps.

          • hassia

            Apps are overrated. The device should be great first then maybe, but not must buy apps later.

      • Krinos

        They need consistency and a bit of objectivity. They had some self confessed Chromebook fan review the new Chromebook, which has even less apps than the Surface RT, and it mysteriously didn’t have an ecosystem score and managed to rate 7.5 with a worse build quality and crashing relatively useless OS (no Java or Silverlight on a BROWSER ONLY operating system?). And they got the guy which called Windows ‘poison’ and himself admitted he knew he was starting shit with the Lumia 900 review (hell part of it was word for word with the Surface review) to do the Surface RT review?

        The reviewer was even the head editor! If he was doing his job as HEAD EDITOR, after the controversy he stirred with the Lumia 900 review he would have gotten someone else to do the damn review. Lack of objectivity is obvious from that fact. But no, he decided to do it himself, and mission accomplished it is now the most commented review on the site, just surpassing the Lumia 900 review.

    • nickcraze

      Exactly my thought… in this guys mind there is no way he would give Surface the score it deserve. Heck if you see the video review it clearly shows Windows 8 is pure win but then they claim in crashes and complained about some apps crashing which has nothing to do with how well the OSDevice combo works. Pathetic how this deuchbag is the only one to review MS product when we all know he hates MS.

    • francis

      what the F he means by cant put on your lap like iPad???

  • VB2012

    Yea i agree fkc the verge bunch of Microsoft haters

    • Pacifica1

      Why not use the product first before you judge to see if the review is true or not?

  • UsmanMohammad

    Oh God MS fanboys. I’m not a fanboy, I’m a fan, I’m liking whats happening with Windows 8 and I probably would know more about the underlying platform than most people here. That being said, I agree with this review, we’re diving into a new ecosystem which hasn’t been tested by most normal people yet. The surface Rt is just a tablet nothing more, it’s competing against a product that has had 3 years for developers to make software for it. So far there’s great WinRT Apps but there’s not enough big name apps that people enjoy.

    The revierw did miss out on connectivity with MS services, but that’s mainly the only fault I see with this review.

    At the end of the day I’m happy with this review because it does make a strong point against what MS is up against. I’m assuming to get attacked by idiot MS fanboys that can’t take a few criticisms regarding MS, but what else do I expect. No way to reason with fanboys, but one can try.

    Though one thing, instead of actually picking against the reviewers why don’t you pick things out from the review instead, pick out the fact topolsky said it feels thicker than iPad(while it is thinner), though I can easily counter than with the iPad is tapered and the surface is essentially a slab, so from a perspective of holding a device, the tapered back from the iPad helps hide its overall thickness, but since the surface is essentially a slab (the 22 degree slopes are only for the edges, majority is flat) it would feel thicker.

    So please MS fanboys, stop being fanboys, there’s difference from being fans and fanboys.

    • Ludwig Hildmann

      Starting with “I know more about the underlying platform than most people here” is never a good idea when trying to get people to see your point. I agree that he brings some valid points, but others are just nonesense.

    • Njoi Fontes

      Ok that os Easy enough. Keys start with The ridiculous criticism of the stand : other Devices dont even have them and yet he manages to criticise the fact that the built in stand has only one angle! the aspect ratio criticism is also meaningless since 16:9 is the industry standard. To say that a few apps crash has nothing to do with the OS or the hardware and only to do with the app developers. To say that the ecosystem is weak is also not a valid point because it is pretty obvious that at the rate that apps are being submited there will be no app shortage in the very near future. To say that the device feels like a compromised device that does neither the work of a tablet or a laptop well enough is also ridiculous and baseless when it is obvious that is does the job of a tablet better than any other tablet while providing aditional functionality like office, usb ports and file management. He knows that the real no compromise device was never meant to be windows rt surface but the windows 8 surface and yet he pretends he does not know this. To say that the device “feels thicker” while it is thinner shows just how desperately he is trying to find negatives. In conclusion he is an idiot who can’t deal with the fact that Microsoft has made an amazing product that is much better than he’s beloved iPad and is desperately trying to make the surface seem much worse than it is

    • Emi Cyberschreiber

      if you like The Verge and how much they are against microsoft products only because it doesn’t have an apple on the back, you should keep reading them.
      what about lumia 900 review? did you even read that?. its OBVIOUS the guy is against Microsoft products.
      oh yeah he always wanted to love the Microsoft product i guess! /s

  • Ludwig Hildmann

    I’m sorry to ask, but how/why on earth do you put a tablet with a kickstand on your lap? What is the point of this? Is there another tablet that can accomplish this, with a keyboard? I don’t know, but it seems like a stupid argument like some others that he brings. Others like the speed of the device I think could be valid, but that can be fixed with updates. Looking forward to getting my surface this week.

    • Johan Nilsson

      Exactly. The stupidest thing I have heard. He makes it sound like the kickstand is in the way of having the devicde in the lap.
      Just DONT FLIP OUT THE KICKSTAND and then its ju like his beloved iPad.

      “Fomrfactor is awkward. Reading in bed is out of the question”. Could he please elaborate on why that is, I just dont get what the big deal is there. It has a 16:9 screen and should be just great for browsing the web and still get a large font despite the “small” screen.
      I bet he praises the screen on the iPhone5.

      Reaching for negatives.

      • Ludwig Hildmann

        I couldn’t agree more! Have you seen the picture the Verge used in the review where the surface is in portrait mode in the browser? it looks fantastic!!! Why would I not want to read or view webpages like that??? And the Surface is a little more than in inch longer than the Ipad…does that really make using it in bed something that is “out of the question”? I could get upset about this ode to apple but I’m just happy I can try the surface on friday!

        • duk3togo

          Lol at least our choice has a kick stand. If you don’t like it don’t use it, if you do kick it out. If you out the tablet with a kick stand on your lap you’re a moron because chances are it will not be balanced and uncomfortable. Haters will be haters, next year Apple will add a kickstand and he will praise it. You’ll see, copy cats.

          • Pacifica1

            The surface team claimed it works fine on your lap.

        • Bugbog

          Actually, compare the image/video of the Verge with that of Endgadget, and it seems more elongated?

    • Pierre-Yves Gardette

      I think that waht he meant was that you cant use the keyboard and the kickstand on your lap as you will do with a laptop or any other convertible on the market that has an optional laptop keyboard. And he has a point you can only use surface in a table when you ca une the asus rt tablet on your lap with the keyboard.

      • jimski27

        So you can’t lay the Surface flat and use it without the kickstand. Same as another tablet with a separate kb. I understand the viewing angles are great. The kb only disables when you close the cover or flip it behind the screen

        • Pierre-Yves Gardette

          Yes you can do that but you wont be able to use the keyboard.

    • John Hough

      haha, I love how he says it only has one use. It’s a KICKSTAND!! I don’t need it to cook food, or go to the bank for me. How many uses does a kickstand on a bike have?? This guy is an idiot.

  • lubba

    I don’t have a surface yet but plan and hoping to get one. But I do use w8 on a desktop. I LOVE IT! I think this is too early of a review and this verge clown probably haven’t used the surface to its potential, smartglass, music, and all. You know if I can take my PC and tab with me anywhere, I’m all for it.

  • techieg

    The remarks in the last part of the video did not make sense because it is directed at Windows 8 instead of Windows RT that is being reviewed, as a subset of Windows 8 as opposed to being a full Win8 OS. I guess even the reviewer himself had trouble recognizing this fact, which is on par with the iOS being a subset of the full Mac OS.

  • Imperial Dynamics

    reviewing the Surface tablet and complaining about … apps? We’ve always known Topolsky is a loser but this is a new low even for him

    • Pacifica1

      Yes, the reason you buy a computer or tablet is apps. Office, IE, mail, games, they’re all apps.

  • ricecube88

    I dont understand why anyone would give two shits about topolsky guy , he is neither technically competant nor does he have an objective brain. Nothing here folks ..move along

    • steveo99

      Exactly, what a waste of space this guy is. What is he actually good at? He’s not even funny (he tries to be though),

  • GGlazer

    This review did make some good points, but so many were off every other review I’ve read. As well as my personal experience with the OS. The reviewer states: “Nearly every app I tried crashed completely at least once while I was testing the tablet, third and first-party.” I’ve been using an HP Slate 500 with Windows 8 since November 2011. And the beta versions did crash, as expected, but I haven’t seen a single app or OS crash or any other major problem since the code went gold. My slate barely ever slows down, and this is old hardware that doesn’t even have proper driver support. I use my slate for about 5 hours of every single day if not more, so it’s gone through the wringer. Not to mention that I’m in IT so I do exploit the hell out the thing. My experience is with other hardware and not the Surface, but i’m pretty skeptical that I can make my old dog (slate 500) learn new these new tricks, while Microsoft’s team and all new hardware can’t.

    And what’s with all this app nonsense? Every reviewer sounds pretty skeptical about third parties writing apps to support this new OS. Give me a break, it’s Windows. Where shareware and freeware were born and pioneered. Our app store is the internet and now it’ll just be funneled down to Microsoft’s Store. To the end user this is going to make things so much easier There’s absolutely no doubt that every app developer will be coding for it.

    • marcos eduardo lima

      In reality this criticism deters developers as desired.

    • Emi Cyberschreiber

      Like someone said… if an app crashes in iOS he would blame the developer, and since its surface from microsoft he blames microsoft andthe OS for apps crashing.

      • John Hough

        This is sooooo f’in true

  • donzebe

    99% of the time don’t expect any good review on Microsoft products from the Verge, CNET, ZDNET and a host of others out there. Majority of their writers are Apple Fans or Android Fans. When tech writers start comparing Microsoft surface tablet to the kindle fire, and nexus 7, you know something is wrong. it is even more troublesome when they compare software vs hardware (windows 8 vs ipad or nexus 7 and WP8 Vs Iphone or Galaxy 3)

    • Bugbog

      ZDNet is well known as a diverse collective, with different pro-platform camps. So Ed Botts, who did a fair review on the Surface, is somewhat more pro-MS than others, whereas some are more pro-Google or pro-Apple.

  • Sunith Mandalia

    Engadget have also reviewed Surface and seem to have given it a fairer review, only cons they mention are the lack of apps, and poor camera quality on still pictures

  • steveo99

    Anyone else contemplating getting the Acer W510? Kinda torn between that and the Surface RT. Don’t really need x86 support but it seems the Atom performs better than the Tegra 3 processor?

    • Bugbog

      Went the Acer (low-cost/affordable) route before, W500. Don’t want to try it again. But if it looks good to you, you may want to try it.

      But this time I’ll be trying design and form-factor. Do not underestimate the use of a kickstand, otherwise every time you put your tablet down, it’ll be flat on its back. Unless you get the keyboard to place it in. Always. :)

  • Rasool Shaik

    Apple fans are like women buying expensive jewels.
    Microsoft surface is not a jewel to wear my dear. This video is just aimed to stop a man from being a man.

    • ustudio


  • Agha

    I do like the Review on engadget. Though both Engadget and Verge are paid by apple but in my oppinion the verge is the bigger iSheep

    • Agha

      BTW: F**k you Verge

  • Rikkirik Contrera

    The RT tablet is not meant to be able to do the heavy work, a big misconception. So there is no compromise made. The heavy duty W8 devices will be coming out nest year. Do your homework before maling foolish comments

  • gopi krishna

    CNET and VERGE are the biggest rivals of Windows products.I will better wait for other blogs to review it on or after Oct,26th launch.

  • Jan Mortensen

    Read the Anandtech review also; actually quite balanced and with some comments about ARM versus ATOM

  • Tom

    Topolsky is a pathetic loser, and he made a terrible review once again, it hardly contains any information about the actual product because the whole writing is from his slacker hipster journalist perspective. C’mon, the most valuable information I get from the review is that I should not use the Surface in portrait mode. LOL

    For a nice review, check out anandtech.

  • Mark

    The game that is running badly (cut the rope) is written in html5/javascript. When I tried it on my desktop Windows 8 it had the same kind of performance.

    • John Hough

      Works great on my laptop.

  • Memristor

    Engadget’s review is much better than Topolsky’s.

    • marcos eduardo lima

      engaget and slash gear the best review

  • marcos eduardo lima

    The review is a bit impartial, the GISMODO ruined touch type, it gave the verge note 4 to the ecosystem and consider up to a Baxia assessment for product design and also gave a harsh critique for Kicstand saying there is only one degree viewing but the darling of them until the iPad has only 2 positions or watched (what annoys me is on the verge give them 8.0 to ios6 my wife lay in informatics was irritated to see atulização mediocre on your iPad), already the SlashGear and gave a engaget succinct appraisal well, showing the strengths and weaknesses, the weaknesses among what has become a great general doubts WRT X W8 and the low number of app.

    Today unfortunately is hard to read a review and see if the person is being partially or not, I am Brazilian and I’ll buy a surface but await other reviews of site even minor expressions and comments from fans, as if it were printed by the “expert” would far from having a wp7 but they already had an iPhone, but I do not regret even one day have a wp7 and still motivate my friends to buy the same and everyone has (10) has loved the wp.

  • the person

    Don’t feed the trolls…which means dont read the Verge.

  • Vincent Haakmat

    Tom Warren should have done this review. Everyone knows that Josh hates everything related to Microsoft. This isn’t funny anymore when tech reporters have become so biased that they forgot their place in the industry. You guys supposed to be objective. If I want a subjective view, I can always got to a blogger. There supposed to be a difference between these 2 types of reporting, but I guess Apple changed all that when all these tech writers became iSheep

  • labanex

    The author does seem to be grading this with a bias opinion more on the iPad side. Comparing iPad to Surface, or any other Windows 8 tablet is like comparing an iPhone and WinPho. It is impossible to compare.

    I can see how a user of iPad may take some time getting used to a whole new system. I never owned an iPad before, but I used to have an iPhone 3GS. On some functions and apps, there were some lag. Software will have some lag and it should be something we should be used to anyway when it comes to computers.

  • Ocelotty1

    Actually Anandtech gives a tough but balanced review
    Personally I can’t wait for the Surface Pro in 91 Days :-)

  • JoshC

    I love that they have the World’s biggest hipster, douche bag, Apple fanboi Review Microsoft products they did the same thing with the Lumia 900. I really like the verge and a lot of the staff but fuck Topolsky

  • HarveyT

    The way I see it, EVERYONE is entitled to their own opinion. Because a lot of these reviewers like or don’t like a product does not mean the reset of the world will or will not.
    Its just that I get a feeling that when people that are very recognized in the ‘Tech Blog’ world review something, then the community starts blowing up.
    Its just his opinion.
    At the same time, you can almost tell when the tech bloggers are ‘pushing’ their opinion on everyone when they start reaching over little things.
    Like: It feels thicker than the iPad..really…your fingers can tell the difference between a tenth of a millimeter?? It feels awkward in portrait mode. And that’s different from the other 16:9 tablets? Kickstand not adjustable. If it was, next would be its not detachable or come in other colors.
    I don’t know, I like it when reviewers review an item but leave out the things that are the same with all other items in that category. Focus on the things that make the item (device) worst thatn other device or better than other devices. Just my opinion.
    But then again, its his article….he can opinion it however he like.

  • Sergey Durnov

    Review is quite objective. Slow apps and lack of functionality due to system restrictions – mirror of WP7 and maybe even WP8. So I don’t think WinRT tablets would be very popular. Some of them will replace notebooks, but as Ipad competitors – no, not really.

  • José Villaró

    Dear God, come on people it’s like he insulted your newborn baby!
    It’s not a bad review, if you didn’t like this one, don’t even dare to read gizmodo’s review.

  • Asgardi

    Crashing… I actually feared this might be the case because they were late with the release. Usually late release means there have been problems and that means more hurry and more bugs. I very much fear that this is even bigger issue with WP8 and its dev tools that are even much more late. They just cannot afford to have buggy crashing product called Windows. But they really cannot afford to wait eighter… I really hope they sort these things out fast. I’m sure Sufrace hardware is excellent though and HW complaints (especially comparing to iPad) are not justified in this case.

  • Leonardo Cardozo

    I don’t really understand why Microsoft even allow Verge and CNET to have early access to anything. They are never going to praise anything coming from MS. This is a waste of time and I don’t even know why I came back here. They should be reviewing only the 7 Apple products over and over again. I’m outta here and planning to never come back.

  • Bugbog

    To me, it was like Joshua T had a sour Lemon in his mouth the entire time he was doing the voice over!

    Must.Resist.Praising.This.Darn.Thing! Destroy.Destroy.Destroy!!

  • mrdeezus

    Ok my review of ipad then:
    Kickstand-na= score 0
    HDMI out-na=0
    16×9 resolution-na=score 0
    USB port-na=score 0
    Micro sd slot-na=score 0
    So, in conclusion I give all ipads a 0 rating. Too bad though because this tablet had promise.
    See, anyone can do a biased uninformed review. Why rate the screen or speed of device or quality of the apps available. I have a Surface so ,I mean like, yea this ipad blows.
    listen, im ok with you saying in your review that the app selection is low and the screen is not as good as the ipads or it doesn’t have backwards compatibility ( which cant be a negative because its not a feature) but to make asinine comments like he did is embarrassing for a supposed tech guy.

  • vcfan

    you guys are getting worked up over nothing. WE ALL know all about topolsky and CNET. I mean this is the guy that said windows is like poison,so you cant really take him seriously.
    AND we all know these reviewers already have their minds made up before reviewing the product. I wouldnt put it past them if they had it written up before even trying the device.
    If you actually believe all this garbage these guys always say, then you would think macs own %99 of the pc market,and nobody uses windows,when we all know that isnt the case.
    The amount of reach these guys’ reviews has is very miniscule. The people visiting these sites already have their minds made up as well.
    There are so many shills and cheerleaders that renders most of these things meaningless. Most consumers dont even read this garbage.
    So relax,and enjoy this awesome windows release that will destroy and humiliate all these apple cool wannabe hippies and google/android nerds. It will soon be your turn to act all smug at these losers.

  • alukard

    Joshua Topolski is simply a jerk and verge are only good for their nice pictures. Look at other reviews for a broader view and less nitpicking. seem to have no problem with the tablet on their lap. Watch the cute 2 year old using Surface like a boss, on her lap.

  • Ricardo Gandara E


  • mrdeezus

    I think this is the most balanced review for Surface yet.

  • TheOne2125

    Joshua T doing a Windows anything review is just total bull. He is the biggest idiot to do a review from any site. If Tom did it and he is a all around user their would be some heft to the review but Josh, please he shows total disrespect and no knowledge of anything windows.

  • Raygun

    Topolsky is a fucking idiot.

  • Edson Nascimento

    The problem with all this reviews is that the guy reviewing the surface thinks that he’s the only that understand about tech stuffs… Back June when the surface was announced even without the product the same guys already started a campaign against the surface cause the product goes against theirs purpose.We have to understand that every new product needs time to get mature…Ipad(I have one) beside the apps number is a shit..but it’s a mature product because delivers the basics operations cause of saturation of apps…Android(I have one to) is a crup… always crashing or something like that,but it can delivers the same experience of the Ipad,cause have a lot of apps…But with the surface it’s seems that they want to SURFACE FAIL..I mean I am IT professional,and makes me sick seeing a college doing that kind of review.Surface have a future not because of reviews, but because I think that the people really want to buy this,because every product have a certain limitation…Ipad have,Android products to .So why in hell a MICROSOFT product can’t have a limitation…I think that who ever is behind this movement against the MICROSOFT will not makes Surface go DOWN!

  • hassia

    When a review starts out and you can hear the but, then you can just forget the whole review. The audience is not given the chance to see just a review. Rather he /she is subjected to the emotions of the reviewer.

    I just don’t see why anyone would think you would use the kick stand on your lap.
    Why would it be uncomfortable reading in bed? Too big, too heavy?

    Why would you not want to feel the touch key in the back? Cant you just detach it?

    I all a very childish review. Sorry

  • everettedl

    Very good review in my opinion. I have a Series 7 Slate with Windows 8 on it. He is right about the landscape form factor making it awkward to read, but it’s only awkward compared to the iPad. Before my Slate, I never used a tablet and it felt awkward, but not that awkward. I think the Pro version of the Surface is the best one because it does more to satisfy Windows Power Users. I intend to use it to replace my laptop.

  • Brad

    The Surface is definitely fun with smartglass and it has some fun builtin apps as well as a few free from the store already. Overall it is shaping upt to be a great replacement to my Asus EEE 10h (1.6 atom 512 ram). And cost about the same as my eee did new (that was even after the eee price drop).

    Love the screen resolution. It is wonderful for reading long pages in portraited and awesome for media consumption in landscape.

    I have had a few little hiccups with some apps crash or slow load, mostlye tweetro it just doesnt load. There was one other app that I had downloaded that crashed once but I don’t recall what it was.
    The device is surprisingly stable in lap use. I expected it to be utterly useless like this but it works fine for it. Overall great product. If you have a bunch of stuff on skydrive you can use up a lot of your 32GB quickly with the skydrive app because for speed it saves local copies of the imags. Good thing there is expandable storage if it ever becomes an actual issue.