Microsoft Surface RT review

Microsoft heeds its competitors' lessons with its Windows RT tablet

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One of the headline features of Windows 8 is the introduction of apps, and the Windows Store is the Google Play and App Store of the Microsoft world.

As many competitors have seen, having a packed app store is the only way to compete with the likes of the iPad, and Google's rapid expansion of its Play store has been a huge driving force of its recent success.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has not been able to launch Windows Store with anything like enough apps to call its store a success.

Microsoft Surface review

We have no doubt that soon Windows Store will be a thriving metropolis of new releases and with a huge install base predicted by the end of the first year, developers should be scrambling over themselves to be a part of Windows 8.

However, we can only review what's in front of us, and at present, the Windows Store is not good enough. The big-name brands just aren't present, and while the store grows every day, the poor selection hobbles Surface's potency as a great tablet.

The staggering part of the problem is that this is basic functionality.

Microsoft is reported to be putting $1bn behind the marketing of Windows 8, but a fraction of this money could have been used to pay for the big name apps to be made: Sky Go, BBC iPlayer, Instagram, VLC, Google Chrome; they're just not there, and it's to Surface's detriment.

There's no shame in putting money behind this kind of project, but allowing early adopters to experience this kind of app abyss is inexcusable.

As a gaming device Microsoft Surface could be potent. While we have highlighted performance questions, there's no evidence of this manifesting in games so far, and as Windows is historically a gaming platform, this could mean an exciting future for tablets such as Surface.


Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity32 GB
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time8 Hour
Product FamilySurface RT
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
ColourDark Titanium
Operating SystemWindows RT
Brand NameMicrosoft
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.30 GHz
Processor TypeTegra 3
Screen Size26.9 cm (10.6")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)680 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyClearType
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0 + EDR
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution900 Kilopixel
Height172 mm
Width274.6 mm
Depth9.4 mm
Screen ModeHD
ManufacturerMicrosoft Corporation
Product NameSurface RT Tablet
Product LineSurface RT
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberJ5Z-00005
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationSleek. Slim.

Ultra-thin and light, Surface RT is on-the-go tablet. With 8 hours of battery life, it lasts the whole day. Or the whole flight.

Always. Connected.

With Connected Standby, you are always connected even when you Surface is asleep. See social networking posts, emails and text messages on the lock screen and keep up with all the people you care about most.

Get yours

Now's the time to buy your Surface RT. Pick a cover colour, personalise your Home Screen, and take it places you never thought you could go.
Package Contents
  • Surface RT Tablet
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year