Anandtech has published an extremely detailed review of the the Microsoft Surface RT.
The review covers issues such as the performance of the touch and type covers, battery life, and detailed bench marks of performance, application loading times and even WIFI speeds.
After all that they conclude:
Surface is the most flexible tablet I’ve ever used. Through two seemingly simple additions to the design (but incredibly complex to actually develop and implement), Microsoft took a tablet and turned it into something much more. If you’re frustrated by productivity limits of currently available tablets, Surface really seems to be the right formula for a solution. It’s important to note that Microsoft’s execution with Surface establishes the company as a competitive powerhouse in the mobile design market. I can only imagine what multiple revs of the design will give us, not to mention what could happen if Microsoft set its obsessive sights on smartphones or notebooks.
The Windows RT experience, in many senses, is clearly ahead of what many competitors offer in the tablet space today. Multitasking, task switching and the ability to have multiple applications active on the screen at once are all big advantages that Microsoft enjoys. For productivity workloads, Surface is without equal in the tablet space.
Content consumption is also great on the device. Surface’s display isn’t industry leading but it’s still good. Reading emails, browsing the web flipping through photos and watching videos are all good fits for the platform – just as good as competing solutions from Apple or Google.
More impressive than the fact that Microsoft brought competitive parity to the Windows tablet usage model is the fact that power efficiency doesn’t seem to be an issue for Windows RT. Microsoft has built a mobile OS that is capable of, at least based on what we’ve seen today with Surface, being competitive with Android and iOS solutions when it comes to battery life. With lower power silicon inside, Microsoft could do even better.
I don’t believe Surface is perfect, but it’s a platform I can believe in. What I’m most excited about is to see what happens after a second or third rev of the design. I would have liked to have seen faster hardware inside (I’d love to see an Atom based version). There are also some rough edges that could use smoothing out (e.g. the power connector and HDMI output come to mind) and Windows RT likely needs another round of updates (app launch times are far too long, more apps needed) but overall the device is easily in recommendable territory. The biggest issue I have with recommending Surface today is that you know the next iteration of the device is likely going to be appreciably better, with faster/more efficient hardware and perhaps even a better chassis.
If you’re ok being an early adopter, and ok dealing with the fact that mobile devices are still being significantly revved every year, Surface is worth your consideration. If you’ve wanted a tablet that could begin to bridge the content consumption and productivity divide, Surface is it.
Be sure to set aside an evening and read the full review here.
Thanks Bugbog for the tip.