70

conclusion:Wait to buy

70

You're going to see a lot of tablets powered by Windows RT, Microsoft's new lightweight operating system. Our advice: don't buy any of them until Microsoft irons out some early bugs and more apps are available for the OS. Right now, very few apps are available for RT, which looks like Windows 8, but can't run standard Windows applications. Apps that do run on RT perform inconsistently, with some taking advantage of the OS's touch-friendly new Windows user interface, and others, such as the RT version of Microsoft Office, forcing you back into the familiar Windows Desktop. There are even two versions of Internet Explorer, one for the new UI, and one for the Desktop. Windows RT does get some things right; it has better multitasking than you'll find on any other tablet OS, and the new UI, which has been derided as impractical in a desktop environment, feels natural and intuitive on a touch-based device. However, the UI is also available on Windows 8, which can run the millions of applications written for the Windows Desktop environment. Manufacturers are rolling out laptops, desktops and tablets for Windows 8, and that's a much better option for most people. For RT to be a viable mobile OS, more apps need to be built that work seamlessly and effortlessly in the touch-based universe. If and when that happens, you should take another look, and we will too.

Critic reviews

6.2
15 reviews
  • Ease of use
    7.2
  • Speed
    5.2
  • Configurability
    7.1
  • Ecosystem (apps, drivers, etc.)
    5.1
  • Openness
    3.6

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User reviews

8.4
9 reviews
7.0
Engadget Oct 23, 2012

Windows RT is easy to use, and well-suited for this form factor as well as for designs of productivity. The problem is app selection: ... until your favorites do show up in the Windows Store you'll have to show a little patience -- or be willing to find new favorites.

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8.0
Laptop Magazine Oct 23, 2012

Right now, $599 is a lot to spend on a fledgling ecosystem. However, with the power of Microsoft ... behind it, we believe we will see more compelling apps for Windows RT arrive within the next few weeks.

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7.0
AnandTech Oct 25, 2012

It's not a perfect operating system by any means, but it brings a new dimension to the tablet space. So if you’re looking for a new tablet this fall, Windows RT deserves your consideration.

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7.0
Wired Oct 23, 2012

Dive past the operating system, and things drop off. In short, there just aren’t enough apps. While you’ll find apps for just about everything you want to do, there aren’t enough options.

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6.0
CNET Oct 23, 2012

App fiends will want to keep their distance, however. The Windows Store currently looks like a ghost town after the apocalypse. Also, though I've come to really dig the interface and appreciate its elegance, there's a high learning curve here if you're used to iOS and Android.

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6.0
TechCrunch Oct 23, 2012

The operating system was clearly built for the mobile era and it shows promise. But right now, at launch, Windows RT needs work.

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6.0
Ars Technica Oct 23, 2012

At the moment, there just aren't that many applications, and many of the ones that exist are mediocre. If you are confident that the ecosystem will flourish—and fast—and don't mind the inability to use legacy desktop applications, then Windows RT is worth considering.

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5.0
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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3.0
Gizmodo Oct 23, 2012

It's Windows on Surface RT that's the greatest letdown of all, the lethal letdown, because it's not Windows 8, but Windows RT. You can't tell the difference by looking at them, but you certainly will once you use it. Windows RT is underpowered, under-functional, and under-planned.

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8.0
Mashable Oct 23, 2012

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
Time Oct 23, 2012

Who should consider buying a Surface with Windows RT? Not anyone who wants the most fully fleshed-out tablet experience right now — for that, the iPad still has no rival.

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7.0
SlashGear Oct 23, 2012

It’s fast and straightforward to use, the live tiles are convenient, and the first batch of apps ... are distinctive, but many users come to Windows – irrespective or unaware of version – expecting to be able to use the legacy software they’re familiar with.

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5.0
ABC News Oct 23, 2012

Windows RT is new and it shows; there are still performance kinks and the disappointing app selection limits the tablet in its functionality, despite its full version of Microsoft Office.

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7.0
BGR Oct 23, 2012

As a whole, though, the Windows RT experience on the Surface is a good one and I have not run into any real problems.

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9.0
maikal maikal

I'm not going to write a volume or two on this. I belive the Pros have given it some good reviews. But I do have to say that what ever they give it they do so from a different point of view of the consumer. I belive as a consumer and long time "PC" person that I am satisfied with the RT. I hope...

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8.0
jdawg011 jdawg011

A good tablet OS - in between a phone's OS and a PC's, which is where a tablet's operating system should be. However, there are some problems, such as a lack of apps overall (though most of the important ones are covered) and not much choice of internet browsers. It syncs well with windows...

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9.0
rjzak rjzak

Windows RT is a great OS for tablets. It is low-power, and also frees you from the typical "DLL hell" of Windows. I rather like the Metro/Modern interface, and the free MS Office is a nice addition. Plus, Windows 8.1 RT brings MS Outlook. Sure, it doesn't run full Windows applications, it...

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