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Surface RT + Windows 8.1

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Posted

Some of my first impressions

 

Install:

Install was slow.. the actual download/prep didn't take long but the post/boot/clean process was a snore. But, it worked without any issue and updated fine

 

Store:

I must say, its *MUCH* improved - especially with the store. Performance is very useable, the tremendous lag that would happen when trying to install or select apps is gone!  Now when you choose download it just takes a second for the UI to come back and you're back to exploring.

 

Start Page:

Love the small icons and easier organization. No more accidentally dragging apps all over the place just swiping

 

IE 11:

The best browser experience on any tablet I've owned period. Fast, easy to use and well, fast. I need to find some webgl sites to explore and mess around with further.  Facebook, twitter, neowin, google, bing, oracle, Microsoft et all al format and display quickly. Scrolling through large pages is absolutely SMOOTH

 

Volume:

My volume definitely seems louder, not sure if its tweaked or just a different driver or whatever it may be, but its louder..

 

Xbox Music:

MUCH faster, a little bit easier, will need some getting used to.

 

Bing Apps:

Absolutely great, they're really kicking butt with these. Hope to see them on the WP8 platform. 

 

Settings:

Settings is *MUCH* more capable, much easier to navigate with sorted categories.

 

Skydrive: Works as advertised! Nicely nestled in / baked in by default. 

 

Hmm, hope to give an update tomorrow, but generally the consensus from my perspective is that the Surface RT definitely got a new soul with this update, its performing really well.


oh, oddly enough. I wiped out space to get 10gb free and after update I have 12.1 gb free. Somehow i got more space..This is with a few profiles and lots of apps installed.  Maybe it just cleaned up cached data from apps during migration, but thought that was odd

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Posted

A few things I've noticed:

-No need to symlink folders on the SD card to add them to media libraries (in fact, I removed the folders on my C: drive from video and music libraries).

-The On screen keyboard is much better at opening up when you need it in the Desktop.

-The smaller size tiles are just what I wanted.

-8.1 renders my Ethernet to USB adapter driver useless :(

-Outlook! I'd love it to be a Modern app, but Desktop will do. I would love Visio to make an appearance.

-The start button is redundant for me on a tablet.

-Nook crashes when I try to add an pub book, can't win 'em all with a preview, I guess.

-Xbox Music is much improved, however still no podcasts there.

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Posted

So the media libraries works on SD cards? hmm, i'll have to try that! that is awesome if so!

 

New virtual keyboars is the bomb as well, love the gestures for #s!

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Posted

now i'm so convinced to get a surface pro... i was wondering if they presented a v2, but seems no, so i guess i should get 1 now.

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Posted

Loving this on my Surface RT. Search is a bit slow, but I guess not beta is without its quirks.

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Posted

I really like my RT, whenever I've watched task manager, the biggest bottleneck is storage and RAM. Give me an ARM tablet with 4GB RAM and a fast SSD, I'd be happy. I'm also happy with the lack of thickness and no vents on the RT.

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Posted

I love the new smaller start screen, there is an option to zoom out for another row of icons and man, what a world of difference that makes, everything in one view vs side scrolling.  The normal view does look "sharper" but this extra icon mode is nice.

 

I did notice that resume is MUCH quicker, switching accounts, unlocking the device and opening/closing apps is much snappier - they were able to reduce some of the lag that it took to unlock pretty well.

 

They have really polished the experience/performance!

 

The only negative thing I can speak of right now is the store is a little iffy, some apps just don't want to install or have a goofy status and i'm not sure if it was because I un-installed a bunch of crap prior to the update so there may have been some things in limbo.

 

Also, run windows update - there is a new firmware and a few updates post 8.1 already

 

Also, I absolutely love the gesture keyboard, especially for typing passwords where I used to have to switch keyboard views to get to num pad.

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Posted

Extra icon mode? Huh? :huh:

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Posted

Extra icon mode? Huh? :huh:

 

click settings, check tiles and select "show more tiles" and now the screen has 4 rows instead of 3.. extra row of icons/tiles

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Posted

click settings, check tiles and select "show more tiles" and now the screen has 4 rows instead of 3.. extra row of icons/tiles

Great!! I was soooo waited for that!

Three tiles limit per column was such a waste of space on Surface's huge screen.

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Posted

Where exactly do you get the RT version of 8.1?  I'm not seeing it on technet.

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Posted

Agreed, the extra row works well on surface pro and RT, really fills things out nicely especially if you use a random large icon (Such as weather tile).

 

Off to experiment with Outlook, just realized it was installed as part of the update.

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Posted

click settings, check tiles and select "show more tiles" and now the screen has 4 rows instead of 3.. extra row of icons/tiles

 

Whoa! Sweet! How did I miss this?

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Posted

Where exactly do you get the RT version of 8.1?  I'm not seeing it on technet.

 

I just installed it from here:

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/download-preview

 

Click the install update button, a small program downloads and once you restart and open up the store you get prompted to download 8.1 preview.

 

Just make sure that after all is said and done (the update does take a while..) that you run windows update immediately after.

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Posted

Where exactly do you get the RT version of 8.1?  I'm not seeing it on technet.

 

Ahhell, go to the Windows Preview site, and click on the button, you see in the top banner. It'll install a small KB update, restart the machine, then you'll be presented with a prompt to go to the store to install the 8.1 RT preview.

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Posted

Ahhell, go to the Windows Preview site, and click on the button, you see in the top banner. It'll install a small KB update, restart the machine, then you'll be presented with a prompt to go to the store to install the 8.1 RT preview.

 

AH!  Thanks guys.  I kept reading that it was on the Store but couldn't find it.

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Posted

Whoa! Sweet! How did I miss this?

 

I just found it by accident, I was looking for an option to see if apps downloaded could be automatically pinned to start screen and noticed that option.

 

Is it by default that apps downloaded just show up in all apps and need to be pinned to start page or is something goofy with my install?

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Posted

The best new feature of Windows 8.1 is the folder icon on the taskbar next to the start button. Now it includes libraries plus the "computer" (mypc)

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Posted

I REALLY wish that I had forked out the extra money for the 64GB version.

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Posted

I just found it by accident, I was looking for an option to see if apps downloaded could be automatically pinned to start screen and noticed that option.

 

Is it by default that apps downloaded just show up in all apps and need to be pinned to start page or is something goofy with my install?

No, apps no longer are pinned to Start by default. This will prevent clutter, you'll need to pin them yourself.

The best new feature of Windows 8.1 is the folder icon on the taskbar next to the start button. Now it includes libraries plus the "computer" (mypc)

Libraries are gone. Those are root folders.

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Posted

No, apps no longer are pinned to Start by default. This will prevent clutter, you'll need to pin them yourself.

Libraries are gone. Those are root folders.

 

Still actually useful.

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Posted

Libraries are most certainly not gone. Right-click on the folder structure pane and select "Show libraries" :)

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Posted

I REALLY wish that I had forked out the extra money for the 64GB version.

 

Same here! 

 

It was odd though to free up 10g to update, run the update and then have 12gb free after :)

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Posted

Libraries are most certainly not gone. Right-click on the folder structure pane and select "Show libraries" :)

 

Oh, snap. Go figure, I wonder why they're hidden by default?

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Posted (edited)

I'm enjoying the update as well. 

 

Cons

  • My install time took forever too.  Talk about your one more things.
  • I'm not sure how I feel about the organizational changes to StartScreen (I liked the selection mechanism before - but I'll gladly trade for the swipe up All Apps)
  • Many gestures seem like they have a longer 'finger' travel time now.  I find I have to exaggerate the app pick view and zoom gestures.
  • Where is the cool DragonTail background from the video, or even the 'old' ones?
  • Photo app crashes and only shows local content
  • Snap sizes somewhat hard to use, could be app issues

 

Pros

  • Store update makes it so much better, and I LOVE the new apps (Reader, Alarm, Health etc)
  • Onscreen Keyboard input updates and the gesture system for the odd number is fantastic
  • Moar tile sizes and a density option!  Loverly
  • New settings pane is getting closer, I like - though some items seem to be buried a bit more now.  I really like that update/backup/restore are now grouped nicely.
  • Seems snappier all around
  • Xbox Music is improved (the radio function is nice, and syncing/matching seems better so far)
  • All Apps (aka the core of Start Menu disagreement) is loads more functional.
  • IE11 is working very well, even the odd video and porn sites work much better.  Love the Neowin benchmark.
  • SD cards work much better for media

 

Now apps just need to make better use of live tile sizings to display more information and be better snappers.  I think its all the under the hood stuff I haven't had a chance to play with yet that is keeping me from a full 'Bravo for listening' to Microsoft. 

 

<snipped>

Edited by GreyWolf
Leave the flamebaiting on another site

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