Battery life

If you need one good reason for Microsoft developing Windows 8 for ARM processors and possibly creating mass consumer confusion with Windows RT it's battery life - so the benefits need to be immediately apparent.

Fortunately, battery life was a huge success on Microsoft Surface, with fantastic longevity which puts it among some of the longest-lasting tablets money can buy.

We looped a 1080p WMV video in the built-in app that ships with Windows RT until the battery died, a test we run on every tablet that graces the TechRadar testing lab. Under these conditions Surface lasted an impressive 450 minutes, equaling a gob-smacking 7 ½ hours. This is nearly two hours longer than the iPad 3, which suffers from powering that glorious Retina display.

To put the benefits of Windows RT in perspective, the Sony VAIO Duo 11 lasted just 2 ½ hours under the same conditions. This is thanks to its power-hungry Intel Core i5 processor, which is the same you'll find at the heart of full-sized Ultrabooks.

It's also impressive in everyday use, with a standard day of use barely making an impression on the meter, and Surface can easily last for three days on a single charge, with moderate use.

Benchmarks

In terms of processor performance, the results backed up our initial observations regarding general performance.

Sunspider, which tests Java performance, logged a result of 1060 ms which is strong, but the more graphically-intensive PeaceKeeper returned a score of 337, which puts it way behind the iPhone 5 (907) and Samsung Galaxy SIII (680).

Interestingly, the Google Nexus 7 also stormed ahead with a score of 489 despite featuring the same Tegra 3 chip.

Sound quality isn't great from Surface's in-built speaker, and it's worth investing in a pair of headphones. It's not as loud as the iPad and the sound is tinnier, with the single speaker grill located on the top right, leading to a poor balance of sound.

SunSpider 1060.7 ms

PeaceKeeper 337