Microsoft Surface RT vs Surface Pro…and why I’m NOT going PRO

What’s up,

Although I’ve been mostly happy with the Surface RT I was always wishing that I had the Surface Pro instead. Being able to install any x86 application and having the benefit of a full blown Intel Core i5 processor and 4 GB of RAM was something that I was craving for, telling myself that I MUST have the Pro and it would be the greatest ever. However now my opinion has changed. I was always on the fence about buying the Pro, there were some concerns I had from the beginning, mostly to do with battery life.

Surface RT, why I’m happyRT with Blue Touch Cover

 
RT with Blue Touch Cover

I’ve had the RT now for around 2 months, and the only reason why I bought it was because I was able to buy it for 350$ and I was extremely curious. I bought the 32 GB version ,originally without a keyboard, but I just purchased the Touch Cover yesterday for 70$.

Build quality and aesthetics here aren’t an issue, the device is beautiful, and whenever I show it off, people are always blown away. Nothing more has to be said here. Same goes for the screen resolution. You’ll hear a lot of crying about the RT’s resolution, I really feel its a non-issue, the screen is good enough and the display looks good, colors are great, text is sharp and very readable.

I haven’t been using the RT much for work, however I’m now starting to bring it with me along with my laptop, and have sometimes opted to only bring the RT with me when the work load wasn’t so demanding. It’s amazing for meetings, I can use OneNote with SkyDrive and be able to create/modify my notes anywhere. For the most part, I’ve been using RT for “home stuff”, web browsing, some emailing, messaging, some games and random APPs. Most of the time I find myself just using IE, it works great and is pretty fast, I haven’t run into a website that it couldn’t handle. Also XBOX smart glass works great on it. You can connect a mouse and keyboard via Bluetooth or even USB, PLUS there is a remote desktop APP, which is amazing if your an I.T guy like myself.

IE good enuf for me!

IE good enuf for me!

I can connect my HTC 8x Windows Phone 8 to my RT, via USB, and be able to manage/sync pictures, music and videos.

HTC 8X via USB on Surface

HTC 8X via USB on Surface

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the time being RT has become an extension of my home network. I can replace my laptop with RT in respects to doing “home stuff”. It can connect to my network shares, printers, stream video/audio, share files, folders, why? because it’s still Windows and networking works just like any other Windows device. So if I have people over and we are sitting around the dinning room table and I need to show some pictures of our vacation, but the pictures happen to be on my server, well, it’s not an issue at all.

Added my MUSIC folder from my Server

Added my MUSIC folder from my Server

I think the best feature by far with RT is the fact that it comes with Office, in case you haven’t noticed, Office is HUGE. Being able to use it out of the box is amazing, you can practically buy an RT, unbox it, and use Word, OneNote, Excel and PowerPoint.

Running out of disk space? Well If you have the 32 GB model, Windows RT takes up half of your storage space out of the box (check out Microsoft’s info page) This to many people is a problem, and made many angry. I do admit, it’s kind of heavy, however….AT LEAST, there is a USB 2.0 slot AND a microSD slot, so the memory is expandable. Lets not forgot about Skydrive and Dropbox (Free cloud storage) which are available in the Windows Store.

USB FTW

USB FTW

USB and MiniSD card expansion....

USB and MiniSD card expansion….

Battery life! 8-9 hours….so yeah don’t have to say much more.

Why I’m passing on Surface Pro 1

Well, if you haven’t skipped through the above paragraphs, then you already would know why. The above reasons are why I’m going to stick with RT for now.

Don’t get me wrong, Pro has many advantages over RT:

– USB 3.0

– Better display (1080p)

– MUCH Faster/better processor

– More RAM

– Full blown Windows 8 PRO can run ALL x86 (Legacy) applications + more!

– 10 point touch screen

– HD video out port

– 128 GB option

– Comes with a Stylus

It’s just better overall, but RT does enough for me right now to not make me need to drop $1,000. Lets remember now, its DAMN ASS expensive.

The reviews of Surface Pro came out today, and for the most part, it’s a great device, crippled by poor battery life (around 4 hours), and price point. I really feel that the Surface Pro is crying for Haswell (Intel’s next gen processor/chipset). If Haswell is all that its supposed to be, then the next version of Surface would probably be what I will purchase.

RT is by far NOT perfect….and if I’m going to be using it for the next year this is what I would LOVE Microsoft to fix.

PLEASE FIX the “play to” (media streaming from Surface to another device) capability (or non-capability) in the modern UI. I would REALLY love it if they would fix this. You’re able to “play to” the XBOX 360 with no troubles, but if your trying to stream media to a device that is “Not Windows certified” then good frikken luck. However you can do this via the desktop…..but using the desktop on touch isn’t that great.

Ugh....

Ugh….

Performance, RT isn’t fast, it’s OKAY when you don’t have a lot of APPs running. But when your running more than 4 apps, you feel it. I don’t think MS can do much more about this. Maybe they can fix it a bit with a new firmware update. I was able to tweak RT a little to make it a bit more snappy and its noticeable, at least to me.

Low Battery notification, sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t….please fix.

Microsoft first party APPS (mail, music, video) okay for version 1.0’s…..but please do something about them. Calendar, IE, remote desktop I have no beef with.

So looks like I’ll be waiting until Surface Pro 2 comes out. I’m a little disappointed but at least I can say that I’m still part of the Surface family.

Ciao for now.

Vinny

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