If you’ve held off buying a Surface tablet in the hopes that the new device would settle in and get its legs after a less-than-stellar showing at launch, you have probably been disappointed to find that instead of capturing the hearts and minds of the public (or the media), the Surface continues to struggle for identity in the shadow of the iPad and, to a lesser degree, Google’s Nexus tablets. Zach Epstein at BGR.com had one of the more favorable launch reviews of the tablet, and 30 days later, he updates his stance: he’s still thumbs way up on the hardware, but finds that Microsoft’s innovative hardware is limited by Windows RT, the tablet-only version of Windows 8, and its still-thin selection of apps.
What this means for you:
Mobile warriors looking to get work done via tablet alone (that aren’t already doing it via the iPad or Nexus) may still find themselves hamstrung by the limitations of the Windows RT and the lack-luster selection of apps. Even if you spend most of your time in Microsoft Office, performance of Outlook RT is still poor, and if there’s one thing people won’t suffer, its a slow email client.
Look carefully at the applications you need to exist as a tablet-capable version before chucking your laptop for any tablet (not just the Surface), and even if it does exist, make sure it meets your needs before investing. Die-hard tablet enthusiasts will be able to surmount most of the limitations of Windows RT just by virtue of their innate patience and willingness to “hack” around problems, but if you are someone who’s patience is tried even by the ultra-polished iPad, don’t even think about a Surface at least until the Windows 8 Pro versions arrive in early 2013.