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Considering a Surface RT

OP Mikeparakh

8th February 2013, 04:22 PM   |  #1  
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Hi Surface Owners!

I am still debating which tablet to get and have recently included the Surface in the list. Of the current crop of tablets available, it's between the Nexus 10 and Surface RT. I'm not sure what will be announced at MWC, but i'll keep an eye out obviously.

I wanted to get your advice, as most of the people reading will own a surface. How do you find it now a few months on from release?

I will be selling my Macbook, so my new tablet is going to be my go to for the time being. I will be going travelling for several months, so this will be it's main use. I am wanting something that I can connect either my camera or SD card to so I can download photo's on to the device but also from the device to an external HDD. Obviously using it for entertainment will be a big thing, as well as to plan out parts of our journey and using the internet. I wouldn't mind if I could do some very minor photo editing also. Can anyone let me know what the photo app is like on the device, also if there are any decent photo apps on the marketplace.

So the surface looks like a winner in terms of the USB and SD card slots, making it easier to connect whilst travelling. But the Nexus wins on the screen and probably power. I used Android already on my phone so am used to it, but I quite like the interface on Windows 8 as it's something new. Android and IOS get a bit boring after a long time...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. If anyone owns both tablets it would be great to hear your thoughts also.

Cheers,

Mike
8th February 2013, 09:04 PM   |  #2  
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Surface RT is my current ultra-portable computer, and it works well for that so long as it's not all that I have for an extended time. I miss the stylus that my old tablet had (an advantage of the Surface Pro) but do not find that, for example, the kickstand of the RT makes it hard to use on my lap (the way some reviewers have claimed). I have the Touch Cover (and am in fact writing this on it); it works great and you can type quite quickly and with perfect touch-typing muscle memory after a short time of using it.

Prior to the Surface RT, my most portable computer was an old Core 2 Duo ULV (1.2GHz) HP tablet, with a stylus but no touchscreen, 12" screen with 1280x800 resolution, 5 hours battery life (when new), 4GB of RAM (came with 1GB, upgraded immediately), an 80gb 4200RPM 1.8" magnetic hard disk, and 3.5lb weight. I loved it. Still use it, actually; it runs Win8 quite well aside from not being able to use Metro snapping. However, in almost every way possible, the Surface Pro blows it away. For less than the cost of old HP tablet (which was about $1500 new), I can upgrade the C2D to a quad-core chip with over twice the speed per core, I can upgrade the digitizer and add multitouch, I can trade in the 12" screen for one with far higher DPI, I can massively improve the storage by going solid-state instead of rotational (and can get 128GB), and I can keep the 5 hour battery life. The things I would lose are the ability to upgrade the RAM (4GB is a bit low, IMO) and storage (not that I ever did upgrade the old 1.8" drive) and the replaceable battery (I'll live). Oh, and swapping full SD for MicroSD and 2 USB 2.0 ports for a single USB 3.0 port, which means I'll probably want to get a hub. Still, it's tempting, and I may well buy myself one even though right now I don't really need it.
8th February 2013, 10:17 PM   |  #3  
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I have a Surface RT and use it as my portable device when I don't want to lug around my ultrabook. For some context, I have an iPad and an ASUS Transformer TF-101 as well. Prior to the Surface RT, I used the Transformer for that. But the lack of things that were important to me made the RT the go-to device when it came out.

For me, things like the USB port, MicroSD card, and Microsoft Office were important. Even more important was the built-in support for Bitlocker, so my MicroSD card can be encrypted at all times and easily read by my other Windows 8 machines. And my other external USB hard drives that are also encrypted can be easily opened by the Surface RT. Native VPN client and RDP helps with work as well (I know there are ways to do this with the other tablets).

I have the apps that I need at this point. I'm not a big social media person, so I can't speak to the apps for those things. But there are enough apps of interest to me that keep me satisfied. Can't speak to the photo apps, however. I don't take photos with it, though I have taken video and those were good.

Overall, I'm very happy with the RT. I got it with the Touch Cover and I can actually type fairly well on it. (I've actually had questions from iPad owners asking about the keyboard, if it was available for their devices.)

I had considered waiting for the Surface Pro, but the extra size and weight, plus the shorter battery life (I get great battery life with the RT, BTW), were concerns for me. I could just as well take my ultrabook (had an Asus Zenbook, now a Sony VAIO T13), which is quite a bit faster than the Surface Pro.

For what it's worth.
8th February 2013, 10:48 PM   |  #4  
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You can browse the store from any web browser:

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store

For your use cases:

> I am wanting something that I can connect either my camera or SD card to so I can download photo's on to the device but also from the device to an external HDD.

You will be able to do that so long as your camera doesn't need extra drivers to show up (as a USB store) or you use a USB reader for the removable media.

> Obviously using it for entertainment will be a big thing, as well as to plan out parts of our journey and using the internet.

Great web browser. Can play most video, Audio...

> I wouldn't mind if I could do some very minor photo editing also.

Check the store...

> Can anyone let me know what the photo app is like on the device, also if there are any decent photo apps on the marketplace.

The built in photo app is pretty basic.

I would expect you could get by with the surface rt - get the 64gb one, and get a 64gb card...

I took one on a week cruise (along with a netbook for backup) and was able to use just the surface for the whole trip, including dumping GoPro video and digital camera shots to the surface and then onto an external USB disk.
8th February 2013, 11:32 PM   |  #5  
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Re: Considering a Surface RT
Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated.

Just a quick note, I meant gallery app, to look and browse / organise your photos, not the camera app to take photos. I laugh when I see people taking photos with there tablet ha ha. I like the way the ipad shows your photos by map, gallery and a journal function for example.

Sent from my HTC Sensation using xda app-developers app
8th February 2013, 11:56 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeparakh

Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated.

Just a quick note, I meant gallery app, to look and browse / organise your photos, not the camera app to take photos. I laugh when I see people taking photos with there tablet ha ha. I like the way the ipad shows your photos by map, gallery and a journal function for example.

Sent from my HTC Sensation using xda app-developers app

The Photo album app that comes with the RT is very basic. You may want to check out apps in the store that have more functionality.
9th February 2013, 02:42 AM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeparakh

look and browse

Yep
Quote:

/ organise your photos

Nope.

Really basic. Grid of photos, or slideshow/swipe browse full screen. That's what you get.
9th February 2013, 05:16 AM   |  #8  
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What you are saying about getting bored with the other operating systems is exactly why I made Surface my choice. I've been playing with android for the last 7 years. And thanks to all the devs here at xda I was able to make all of my devices do exactly what I wanted.. But it was time for something totally different. I made the right decision. To be honest, at the beginning, learning the new ui was frustrating! Because I was having trouble finding things and when I did it didn't seem be consistent through the ui.... After about 3 days it all started to come together very well... you'll find that the system is actually set up quite well. I found everything I needed in the store. I'm very pleased with the purchase.
9th February 2013, 09:49 AM   |  #9  
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So any 2.5" hard drive will work with the Surface RT? Wow, I'm a bit surprised here. I thought there might not be enough power to power up a hard drive. Is the USB port capable of supporting a USB hub? My plan is to connect at least a 2-port USB hub, and transfer photos from my camera to the portable hard drive. If the Surface RT can do that, then I may not need to consider the Surface Pro even though it have USB 3.0.

---------- Post added at 01:49 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:47 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeparakh

Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated.

Just a quick note, I meant gallery app, to look and browse / organise your photos, not the camera app to take photos. I laugh when I see people taking photos with there tablet ha ha. I like the way the ipad shows your photos by map, gallery and a journal function for example.

Sent from my HTC Sensation using xda app-developers app

I agree with you and that's what I love about the iOS photo app. Does anyone here know of a photo app for Windows RT that can show my photos base on its location data?
9th February 2013, 03:27 PM   |  #10  
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So, all in all, are people happy with the device? What are the major issues to be concerned with, if any?

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