With Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 comes in two flavours, the traditional desktop version and a 'metro' or 'Modern UI' version that runs within Windows RT's HTML 5 Start screen.

The former is exactly the experience you'd find on any Windows 7 PC, and the pros and cons of Internet Explorer are covered extensively in our review here.

It works well, is snappy and responsive, but the experience is woeful on a touchscreen device, with tiny areas making navigation painful.

Enter the new Windows 8 version, which offers a touch-friendly interface for users of devices such as Surface.

It takes a little getting used to, with tabs revealed by swiping from the top, for example, and the lack of plug-ins and features again will leave power users frustrated.

The experience is enhanced because all superfluous elements have to be toggled, such as the address bar, options and tabs. You have to swipe from the bottom or top to reveal these features, which leaves the viewing experience clean and pure.

Tilt the tablet into portrait mode and IE reflows the page smartly, although the change was far from snappy and sites often stopped responding momentarily.

Microsoft Surface review

Bookmarks, however, are a huge oversight of the Modern UI version of Internet Explorer.

To open a bookmarked site you need to load a blank tab, and then scroll across to one of your favourites. It's unintuitive and unsuited to large amounts of favourites and will certainly cause frustration for people who are used to using large lists of bookmarks.

We also found that compatibility with some sites was lacking, showing that, like the Windows Store, the 'metro' version of Internet Explorer is still a work in progress.

Microsoft Surface review

Some sites became unresponsive and sometimes elements wouldn't load. An example of this is close to home: the comments section on TechRadar doesn't load in Internet Explorer, and there are plenty of these types of quirks, or errors as we like to call them, which make using the built-in browser frustrating.

Hopefully Microsoft can iron out these problems quickly, because it does detract from a smooth, clear and visually pleasing experience.

Pinch-and-zoom was fast and responsive, fonts rendered quickly, and sites filled the 16:9 screen to offer an excellent experience.

Microsoft Surface review

What's more, with flash support built in, Microsoft has the opportunity to provide the best tablet browsing experience on the market.

Of course, you could try a different browser, but as this is Windows RT you can only choose from what's on offer on Windows Store. At the time of writing, Mozilla is preparing a version of Firefox but it's yet to appear, and there's no Google Chrome or Opera yet.