Microsoft really needed to hit a home run with its first ever internally developed tablet computer, the Surface RT, to make a dent in the Apple-dominated marketplace. But the first crop of Surface reviews are out today, and the findings are decidedly mixed.
Seasoned tech watcher Wilson Rothman, now writing for nbcnews.com, calls the Microsoft tab “a hardware success, and the company should be proud.” Then in the next breath, he chastises the new Windows RT operating system as a raggedy work in progress, “ less of a reason for self back-patting. While it doesn’t completely tarnish the Surface experience, it often comes darn near.”
Surface jumps out of the tablet pack by offering Office Suite. Yet Microsoft isn’t offering a way for users to access and manipulate these productivity programs without switching from the tablet’s “modern” mosaic tiled design control screen and finger touch manipulation to a classic Windows 8 style display that demands a keyboard and trackpad to maneuver.
As the Surface’s point of Office access, Rothman found the $119 Touch Cover “ultra suave.” (Another option is a more conventional chicklet-key endowed sibling, the $129 Type Cover). The Touch Cover deploys a smart, pressure-sensitive pad that emits popping sounds when you type on it. “While seeming corny at first, it actually gives you the feedback you need to touch type without looking.” Rothman enthused. Other reviewers have not been so kindly disposed.