72

Excellent hardware hobbled by a limited ecosystem

72

Microsoft's Surface with Windows RT is a great tablet for those who need a strong dose of productivity with their mobility.

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$239.99

90-Day Price History

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Critic reviews

7.3
25 reviews
  • Features
    7.7
  • Display
    7.3
  • Battery life
    7.8
  • Ease of use
    6.5
  • Storage capacity
    8.0
  • Design and form factor
    8.5
  • Portability (size / weight)
    7.1
  • Durability
    7.8

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User reviews

8.8
114 reviews
7.0
Engadget Oct 23, 2012

Where does this one rate? Very well -- but very differently. While those devices are primarily targeted at content-hungry consumers, the Surface is a slate upon which you can get some serious work done, and do so comfortably. You can't always say that of the competition.

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8.0
CNET Oct 23, 2012

If you're an early adopter willing forget everything you know about navigating a computer, the Surface tablet could replace your laptop. Everyone else: wait for more apps.

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8.0
PC Mag Oct 23, 2012

The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT bridges the distance between tablet and laptop for many users, particularly if you use the Web or Microsoft Office constantly. The Surface has very good hardware and some innovative design, but Microsoft Office RT is the killer app.

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8.0
Wired Oct 23, 2012

Overall it’s quite good; certainly better than any full-size Android tablet on the market. And once the application ecosystem fleshes out, it’s a viable alternative to the iPad as well.

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8.0
AllThingsD Oct 23, 2012

If you can live with its tiny number of third-party apps and somewhat disappointing battery life, it may give you the productivity some miss in other tablets.

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7.0
Laptop Magazine Oct 23, 2012

The Surface and its innovative Touch Cover proves that Microsoft can make hardware to rival the iPad, but the app ecosystem needs to catch up.

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7.0
TechCrunch Oct 23, 2012

The Surface RT is a product of unfortunate timing. The hardware is great. The Type Cover turns it into a small convertible tablet powered by a promising OS in Windows RT. That said, there are simply more mature options available right now.

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7.0
Ars Technica Oct 23, 2012

The Surface is a nice tablet. The design and aesthetic are pleasing, the feel in the hands, particularly of the kickstand and magnetic cover connection is excellent. But is it worth buying on the day of release?

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7.0
PC World Oct 24, 2012

Surface RT is packed with productivity potential, and finds a certain measure of success in reinventing the tablet form factor. But its hardware isn't perfect, and its Windows RT operating system lacks flexibility and app support.

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7.0
New York Times Oct 23, 2012

The Surface is a brilliantly conceived machine whose hardware will take your breath away — but whose software will take away your patience.

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7.0
AnandTech Oct 23, 2012

I don't believe Surface is perfect. I would have liked to have seen faster hardware inside, and there are some rough edges that could use smoothing out ... but overall the device is easily in recommendable territory.

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7.0
Computerworld Oct 24, 2012

In business-travel situations where I need only to write articles and respond to email, I can see throwing Surface RT and the Type Cover into my backpack, and leaving my Ultrabook (and iPad) at home. But is this tablet a full-fledged "thing"? No, not yet.

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5.0
Gizmodo Oct 23, 2012

Should you buy it? No. The Surface, with an obligatory Touch Cover, is $600. That's a lot of money. Especially given that it's no laptop replacement, no matter how it looks or what Microsoft says. It's a tablet-plus, priced right alongside the iPad and in most ways inferior.

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9.0
Pocket-Lint Nov 7, 2012

We're sold, honestly, on the Surface RT. It's not cheap, but it's priced aggressively enough that people will give it some thought before they snap up an iPad.

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8.0
Mashable Oct 23, 2012

This is the tablet for Windows fans. It won’t win over Apple iPad owners, but for all those who hate Apple, find Android confusing and underwhelming, and are ready to enter the world of touch-screen computing this is the alternative you’ve been waiting for.

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7.0
SlashGear Oct 23, 2012

The Surface team has cribbed some of Apple’s notorious attention to detail and applied it with its own spin, and the result is a well-constructed slate with legitimately useful design elements like the kickstand. ... Windows RT will undoubtedly prove the sticking point.

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7.0
ABC News Oct 23, 2012

The Surface is full of potential, but until its software performance and apps are as strong as its hardware, I, unfortunately, will still drag both a laptop and an iPad through security.

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8.0
TrustedReviews Nov 8, 2012

Microsoft is making a very strong entry to the tablet market with its Surface running Windows RT. It offers a unique design combined with build quality and attention to detail that few others can match. It sounds superb, has a great (if slightly low-res) screen, and offers excellent battery life.

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8.0
TechRadar Jan 23, 2013

Surface makes you want to pick it up and play, pleases you with the delivery of Windows RT and the live tiles make it feel personal and alive. Performance is a real issue, but since Tegra is at the heart of high performing tablets, we hope that RT can be tweaked to iron out slowdown issues.

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7.0
Forbes Nov 13, 2012

While the Windows RT Store contains a bevy of productivity apps and a selection of top-notch games, it’s the omissions that are glaring...it’ll be a long journey before my Surface can completely replace my Nexus 7 or iPad.

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6.0
T3 Nov 9, 2012

The Microsoft Surface has the impressive keyboard cases, the expandable support, slick Windows 8 UI, and the multitasking prowess that is really a unique tablet feature. However, it's let down by some worrying performance issues, a disappointing screen, and threadbare Microsoft app Store.

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8.0
BGR Oct 23, 2012

The faster Microsoft can get developers on board, the better — and the early days will be slow-going in some respects as a result of this lack of apps. But even as it stands today, the Surface provides a terrific experience right out of the box and it will only get better over time.

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8.0
HotHardware Nov 19, 2012

Microsoft’s first stab at building a premium tablet was a very good one in our opinion. Microsoft still has a lot of work to do to build out the Windows 8/RT app ecosystem ... but the Surface tablet itself and its array of accessories are excellent.

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7.0
USA Today Oct 23, 2012

Surface RT is a strong first effort. But I'd consider it more of a hotshot if it could run old Windows software.

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7.0
peter peter

I've had a lot of trouble finishing my review of the Surface RT. (Yes, technically it's the Surface with Windows RT, but that's not the most elegant name, so I'll just call it the Surface RT to keep things simple.) I haven't been completely sure why, but after using it for a couple of weeks I...

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8.0
RickB RickB

This review references the 64 Gig model, with both Touch Cover and Type Covers. The Surface is an interesting compromise between content consumption and content creation. I got both the type cover and the touch cover, and both turn this device into something that is very, very close to a laptop...

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7.0
njashanmal njashanmal

I'm writing this after two weeks of using the Surface RT as my primary computing device both at my desk (plugged in to an external monitor and paired up to wireless keyboard and mouse) and on the go (connected via personal hotspot on my phone or 4G MiFi). Prior to this I was using the iPad 3...

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10
Nargg Nargg

I'd give the surface a 70% too before using one. Now that I have my feelings about the tablet are much higher. The only missing thing so far is the Apps. But I think that will come in time. EDIT: After using the tablet for a week, I'm hooked! I seriously would say this article is half baked....

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9.0
gabbyjay gabbyjay

The Surface is absolutely perfect for a large swath of the population. If you want something ultra-light for reading books, don't buy this. If you need lots and lots of apps right this instant, don't buy this. For everyone else, you shouldn't even consider getting any other tablet before...

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9.0
puzder puzder

The keyboard is the standout feature of this device. Its simply fantastic how fast and easy the way you can transfer from touch to type. The soft keyboard is very large as well. Xbox Smartglass is absolutely killer. I don't care about apps. Regardless, Microsoft covers the basics very well...

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8.0
falleninsea falleninsea

the surface tablet is an interesting device. The hardware is made by Microsoft and its running the new Microsofts Windows 8 RT. Hardware wise the tablet is standard for a high end tablet. meaning it was a quad core processor, 2GB of RAM, SD card slot, front and rear cameras and blue tooth. It...

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10
rcsrhr rcsrhr

I've seen a number of reviews on the Surface, and they cover every aspect of specs and the lack of Apps in the Microsoft App Store. There's no need to say any more about that. I've been an iPad user from the beginning and have a third generation iPad now. I love it, but it has always been about...

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9.0
lunazo lunazo

I've been using the Surface RT device for about 5 days straight. The first day it took my about 20 minutes to get use to the new start screen, but after that I can't imagine going back to a start button. The start screen shows me information that allows me to do work quickly. It comes with...

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7.0
RichT RichT

Let me preface the review my saying that I really wanted to like this product. For a $500 device (without the cover), I expected more performance. The fact that it comes with Office Home & Student 2013 RT is a key feature. Since it runs in a Desktop window makes it feel old compared to the...

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9.0
odgregg odgregg

Excellent first tablet directly by Microsoft. It won't suit everyone, but if you already use Microsoft services it's a no brainer.

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9.0
dajunga dajunga

Love this device. I would choose this hands down over an iPad for my use case that involves an even mix of web browsing, emails, Netflix, Youtube and work with MS office and Logmein for remote access to my work PC. 8/10 because of Win RT. If it had full Win 8 and was still able to provide the...

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