Microsoft Surface with Windows RT Review - HotHardware

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT Review

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Two of the key differentiators, and a major component of the Surface experience as Microsoft sees it, are Surface’s Touch and Type keyboard cover accessories. Virtually all of the advertisements and branding you’re likely to see regarding Surface will also feature one, or both, of the keyboard options.


The Touch Cover for Surface is available in five colors currently

Although they may look similar at first glance, the Touch and Type covers are quite different. The Touch Cover is available in a variety of colors (as shown above), and although it’s a fully functional keyboard, there are no moving parts whatsoever. They keyboard is laid out on a rubbery / felt-like material and features capacitive key switch technology. When pressed, the keys don’t actually move, but there are pressure sensors that can detect the user’s input.

We have to say, the touch cover is a very well-engineered and thought out piece of kit. You’d think the device would be prone to phantom key presses when resting your fingers on the home-row, or be inaccurate or uncomfortable to use, but the Touch cover works very well and is infinitely better than typing on glass in our opinion. It’s not as good as a real keyboard obviously, but you can be productive with it should the need arise. Also note that using the Touch cover frees up screen real estate that would normally be taken up by the on-scree keyboard, which is another plus. The cover is “smart” enough to know when it’s been flipped all the way around to the back of Surface as well, at which point key presses are disabled, and it’s spill resistant too.

The Type cover is a totally different animal. In lieu of capacitive buttons, the Type cover has actual key switches, like a laptop keyboard. If you can’t get used to typing on glass or using the Touch cover, the Type cover is obviously the way to go. It’s not quite as nice as some better laptop keyboards, but the Type cover is still plenty good and we found that we were less prone to typing errors on the Type cover, especially when typing out longer documents. The only downside is the thickness. Whereas the Touch cover is 3mm thick, the Type cover adds another few millimeters, bringing the thickness to about 6mm total.

Pricing for the Touch cover is current set to $119 and the Type cover can be had for $129. Whichever way you go though, consider one of these covers a must-have accessory for Surface. Without one the experience just isn’t complete in our opinion.

Connecting either of the keyboards requires the same procedure. Simply hove the keyboard cover near its dock on the bottom of Surface and an array of magnets will automatically align the cover and secure it in place with a satisfying “click”.
 

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It'll be interesting to see how the Store performs and how well the tablet fits. Since this and the many versions of Windows OS seem to be the same it is safe to say this market may start off mildly but will eventually take off. It depends on HOW the other markets react though.

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One other thing to keep in mind is that virtually every new desktop and laptop sold from this point moving forward will ship with Windows 8. That means the install base is going to be huge, relatively quickly, which in turn will attract developers.

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I've been using windows 8 and surface for a few weeks now and i have to say its a great move. I know people keep bagging it but its does work very nicely. Love how its fast and responsive. Since the patch last week on the Surface its runs even smoother and apps load faster. For a first try this is a fantastic device and is on par with whats out now.

Apps are not all available right now but i do see it growing slowing and it will over time. People just need to get over this fear stage they seem to be in. MS are changed the because they needed to, tablets and phones are the future. With saying that i love my PC and will never give it up :)

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I'm also using Windows 8 on my Desktop with no Touchscreen... I think it's glorious! Swish left to bottom and bingo "Start" Screen, swish right to bottom or top "command" bar...

It's so wonderfully simple I cannot believe it!

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Tip: Move your Desktop Tile to the top left of the Start Screen and you're only ever an "Enter" key press away from your desktop. Simples..

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I've been using iPads since day on, but I'd be liking to try a table Windows tablet. Anything to get off iTunes!

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That was a good article. I don't have a Surface and I don't think that I'll be getting one. It's very expensive, especially when you include the extras. Maybe when Microsoft ships one that runs Windows 8. I do like the idea of Microsoft pushing developers to make stuff that you can use on a mobile device that is Windows compatable.

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