From The Forums: Our readers give their Surface impressions

Earlier today, you may have read our official review of the new Windows RT-based Surface tablet from Microsoft (and if you haven't, go ahead and do so). A number of Neowin readers have already got their Surface units in their hands, either by going to their local Microsoft Store or getting the device shipped to them via online order.

Our forums already has a lively message thread on the subject, "Anyone got your Surface yet?" It was started by "siah1214", who wrote he got his tablet on Friday. His first impressions?:

It's gorgeous. I love it. Touch cover is awesome, very easy to type on, I'm already up to 70-85 wpm (115-130 on a good day with a normal keyboard) Very high quality piece of work, quite fast, screen is AMAZING. Only gripe is it occasionally drops my home wifi and I have to reconnect. So, loving this, writing a post in IE10 metro with Netflix snapped to the side. Absolutely fantastic.

Neowin forum member "Sikh" gave his hands-on thoughts on the Surface. He stated:

Got mine this morning. Early too. I was so happy to see it but I was on my way to work. Grabbed it and took it to work and i love it so far. Typing on the keyboard is awesome. Im a lover of soft keys / touch when im typing. Only time I demand a push is gaming. So this works out really well for me. I would say im 40-55 wpm. To me it doesnt matter right now but I will most likely use this or my retina to type a lot for work(IT Field) and i think then ill get faster. Or naturally using it i will too. I will say i love the onscreen keyboard also. They did a great job.

"pupdawg21" is apparently thinking of ditching a well known tablet for the Surface he just received: He states in his message board post:

Received mine. Very sturdy and feels good in the hand. The screen looks great, the touch keyboard/cover is nice, thin, and responsive and it snaps in place easily every time and really does hold on tight. Browsing with Netflix/msging or any other single app snapped to the side is a great improvement over any other tablet I've used. I think I need to start looking into getting rid of my new iPAD since I haven't been using it much and this can pretty much replace it for the apps that I regularly use.

Overall, the forum posts on the Surface message board thread have been positive for the most part. A couple of Neowin members have already uploaded images of their new tablet. One of them is "Zedox" who placed his Surface with the blue Touch Cover next to his blue Nokia Lumia device. He says that these two devices are, "The best of buds."

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Have read so many positive comments, maybe it's time for some negative points? My wife and I went to a local store the next day surface was released to try it. There're many people around, waiting to try it, also some obviously-non-tech person came to ask about it. Like most of you guys had experienced, it's fluid, fast response, fancy typing experience, having office, etc... I almost wanted to buy it immediately. However, my wife asked me to check the performance on game, so I played "cut the fruit", and it's very disappointing, the game experience is so bad with slow low-frame-rate animation. I thought it's just one game like this so I tried "cut the rope", and it's also quite slow. Therefore I wanted to try its video playback, so I went to a video site and click on a HD video to be played in flash: it's really terrible! It's like playing video on wildfire... What happened to Tegra 3 that's the same as my OneX which meanwhile played the same HD movie on the same site very well? Isn't Win8 excuting code more directly than Android that uses Linux and then Dalvik to run app? I gave up the idea of getting one and went home frustrated... For average user like me, playing game and watch HD video is something "must have", and surface RT cannot deliver that...

SpyderCanopus said,
I'm 99% sure Neowin is infested with Microsoft employees.

I'm 1% sure Neowin is infested with Apple employees

SpyderCanopus said,
I'm 99% sure Neowin is infested with Microsoft employees.

I'm 100% sure that 1 person on Neowin is a Microsoft Hater.

SpyderCanopus said,
I'm 99% sure Neowin is infested with Microsoft employees.

oh god I wish i was working at microsoft . They won't hire me!

I'm writing from my Surface with TYPE keyboard, and LOVE IT. I've owned every major tablet out there, and this definitely takes the cake. I'm so much more productive on this than on my previous iPad, and my previous Xoom tablet. Microsoft has a winner if they can address a few issues, which I've read that they plan on releasing an update for some of the more known "issues", which I find to be more of annoyances.

1. I love how fluid, and fast everything is. It just works. It's simple, clean, minimal, and very interesting to look at. With that said, I feel like a few apps could use better optimization, which I know can be addressed with a future software update.
2. I bought the 32GB version, and I read an article on here saying that it had around ~20GB of space left when you first boot up, I was a little concerned over that. What really concerned me was that it had 17.1 GB when I first turned it on, and then 16.0 after installing a few updates. Kind of annoying, but I plan on buying a MicroSDXC card to store music, photos, videos, etc on them.
3. I hope Chrome comes onto this tablet because Internet Explorer 10 can be pretty annoying, and pretty slow at times.

Jaybot said,
I'm writing from my Surface with TYPE keyboard, and LOVE IT. I've owned every major tablet out there, and this definitely takes the cake. I'm so much more productive on this than on my previous iPad, and my previous Xoom tablet. Microsoft has a winner if they can address a few issues, which I've read that they plan on releasing an update for some of the more known "issues", which I find to be more of annoyances.

1. I love how fluid, and fast everything is. It just works. It's simple, clean, minimal, and very interesting to look at. With that said, I feel like a few apps could use better optimization, which I know can be addressed with a future software update.
2. I bought the 32GB version, and I read an article on here saying that it had around ~20GB of space left when you first boot up, I was a little concerned over that. What really concerned me was that it had 17.1 GB when I first turned it on, and then 16.0 after installing a few updates. Kind of annoying, but I plan on buying a MicroSDXC card to store music, photos, videos, etc on them.
3. I hope Chrome comes onto this tablet because Internet Explorer 10 can be pretty annoying, and pretty slow at times.

#3, if you truly expect Chrome to be faster than IE10, you are going to be disappointed.

Writing from my Surface 32 with touch keyboard.

So far I am highly impressed. The touch keyboard is amazing. The over all experience has been wonderful.

There have been plenty of useable Apps and I am not missing anything.

Someone asked about flash, yes it works. Been watching plenty of video on ESPN.com

SmartGlass is very cool. played Dragon Age using the Surface as the controls for a couple minutes. Queued up music an video with out issue.

I purchased this for my mom to replace her PC, it will do nicely.
Was going to get another for daughter who leave to college next year.
Waiting for the Surface Pro now. I think it will be more amazing

If I wrote about everything I love - well it be as long as the worthless rant above me..... So here are a couple issues.

1. Netflix app has been buggy for me.
2. Wireless does not save username and password for Access Points. MAJOR COMPLAINT, easy Fix
3. Camera is week. But like the review, who cares.

I got mine Friday morning as well. I love it. I haven't put it down since. The build is awesome. There are a few software issues but that will get ironed out in the future.

For those of you need a great tablet bag check these out.
http://www.shop.puma.co.uk/Men...lack&sz=30&start=30

http://www.booqbags.com/us/shoulder-bags/CCRXS-BLK

I have both of them, the Puma bag has a bit more room vertically but the Booq bag has more padding and pockets inside as well style.

Typing this on my Surface.

PmRd said,
Does the RT have flash or not? Some say it doesnt, some say it does.

Yes, but its whitelisted. However there was a registry key for one whitelist dev domain that I setup to open up my plex server to play movies and that works too

tytytucke said,
I read the flash is laggy/choopy for rt and the html video works much better.
I suppose that depends on what the system is otherwise doing at the time, as I've not noticed flash choppiness at all. However, HTML5 video using h264 does use far less CPU cycles, and given this is an ARM device, those cycles can count. I suppose it's possible flash could be choppy if the CPU is otherwise busy at the time - one of the reasons I hope the web moves on from flash to HTML5 video.

Really enjoying my surface as well. Got it logged into my homegroup, found an app that does dlna playback from plex, put in a registry hack to allow plex to play to browser via flash and transcod my movies.. wife and kids setup their profiles and had fun with games. All in all, really enjoying it, look forward to seeing it grow and mature!

Preordered my Surface RT a day after it was available, too late to get the 32GB with no keyboard, since it got already back-ordered, so I had to order the 32GB with keyboard and the extra red keyboard that I wanted. In the week of the Friday release I got email confirming that the keyboard had shipped and will be by Friday as promised, but no Surface. The Thursday I got email that the Surface will arrive by Monday, but it actually arrive the same Friday, so Microsoft promise was kept. Enough of the backstory.

The minute you get the Surface and the touch cover you know this is no regular computer product. Only if you have purchased a Zune HD you might be familiar with the quality and attention to detail of these packages of Microsoft hardware. The boxes are both beautiful, minimalistic and space efficient. Other OEMs must be put to shame. Inside, the Surface is a beautiful black slate inside a cellophane envelope, and as you take it out it smells quality, beauty and sturdiness at the same time like only Apple products do.

The setup process is similar to the Windows Phone setup and if you connect to a wifi and use your Microsoft Account (Hotmail) the Surface will start already configured and personalized. There are a bunch of updates for several apps and the update of Office from preview to final, all these a trade off for having the device sooner.

Like many I was hesitant of buying the RT version, since it won't fully replace my laptop, but as I use it I get it. This is an on the go device. even if it was a full laptop replacement the work applications that I use would be difficult to use in this smaller form factor. However, for short term use I can still use remote desktop or Teamviewer (yes Metro Teamviewer) to connect to my home or work computer and have both the legacy applications and the speed of a higher processor and the virtues of the application being connected to the servers locally. I have tried that before, the legacy apps I use at work are slow as hell on slower bandwidth and I always end up remote desktoping to my computer which has high speed/low latency access to the servers. So even if I had an intel tablet, I would still use remote desktop for these heavy legacy apps.

For that reason, the RT is virtually a laptop replacement even for me who works in IT. And with time, the most popular intel applications will be ported to Metro/ARM/touch, so this little beauty will only get better.

Now back at the hardware. This tablet is snappy. I even connected to a 1080p tv with the HDMI adapter and it easily plays dual screen showing full 1080p movies. The touch keyboard will get some typing for you to get used to it, mostly you need to learn to just trust it and just go with your fingers at the keys. Once you stop worrying, then you start typing fast and I see no reason why this could not be a full keyboard replacement.

The screen is definitely not retina, but the contrast level is superb and everything looks crisp and refreshing to the point I'll have to change my desktop monitor for something with the quality of the Surface because as good as it was, it now sucks so much it hurts. With regards of the aspect ratio in portrait mode, yes, it is longer than we are used to, but is it bad? No, I can have more lines in a single page. It reminds of some restaurant menus or wine list. When you are in bed though, there is nothing better than folding the keyboard to the back and using the kickstand, so you don't even need hands, this position is better for reading or watching movies than holding any tablet in your hands for hours.

The application selection is very decent and so far I'm only missing some telnet and serial console tools that would be perfect for my job, otherwise everything else is available in the store or I can get it through remote desktop or the cloud.

This will take another spot along with my Zune HD as one of the best gadgets I've ever purchased, and it is ironic that they were both made by a software company. In my location there are only two holiday windows stores and I went to one of them yesterday and people was delighted with the Surface. I saw lots of purchasing activity and many comments from ipad users saying 'this could put Apple in trouble' or 'it has Office, I NEED this' and people didn't seem to care too much about legacy apps. Regular people don't expect legacy Windows apps to run on a tablet anyways. I saw a 12 year old playing with the interface like a pro, no complaints about it being different. It does require people to pay a couple of minutes of their attention to learn how the borders work for task switching, charms bar and app menu, but is only 4 things you need to learn and the rest is discoverable.

I wrote all this in a Starbucks with my Surface, just to practice with the keyboard, and I have a friend that normally types 80 words per minute in a regular keyboard and he tested the touch keyboard and in 1 min he was typing like Lt. Data of Star Trek. So this is my review, from an IT guy that uses computers for work and leisure. I cannot recommend this more.

Thank you for your personal review and for taking the time to post. The fact that you did it without bashing the iPad or Apple gives your opinion more credibility (and trust me, I'm a CrApple hater with a passion).

It's nice to read that people are enjoying the device. I'm an IT guy myself, and will be waiting for the Pro version, if only for legacy application support. Even though the RT version would probably do the job for me too, as the ability to use TeamViewer, and/or VPN would do the trick either way, I still want the Pro. I may have to revisit that decision once I try a Pro, but I'm not in any hurry.

Also, the comments by others at the MS store are nice to hear .

I don't think they really meant for this thing to "sync" with your computer because no USB cord was included and there is no spot for a conventional cable to plug into. It is more of a "use network based access or use the USB Port" to transfer stuff to the surface".

Either way it works for me

I got the surface thinking the experience will be the same if not better than windows phone. Unfortunately it was my mistake to assume so. It was a bit irritating trying to use similar actions and missing the back/search button, but I came over the learning curve fairly quickly. I think its better to approach this thinking its a laptop rather than a tablet.

A few things I don't like about it is that:
- I can't figure out how to sync it with zune (like my windows phone)
- Why is there no voice control (like windows phone?)
- GPS
- Power connector is a pain to put on
- Bugs with stock software (text overlapping, freezing, inconsistent user flow)

ekw said,

A few things I don't like about it is that:
- I can't figure out how to sync it with zune (like my windows phone)
- Why is there no voice control (like windows phone?)
- GPS
- Power connector is a pain to put on
- Bugs with stock software (text overlapping, freezing, inconsistent user flow)

your last point is kinda weird....what do you mean, text is overlapping?

The only thing that I don't understand is why the stock apps are still unpolished. MS had so much time to get it done before launch but everything is still clunky. I've seen the text overlapping you mentioned in the bing app. They got the bing ipad app so right, but the Metro apps are crap IMO.