Initial Thoughts on my Surface RT

Got mine today. Not going to comment on how good the hardware looks. Everybody knows about that. Overall, I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed after using S-RT for half a day.

  • Keyboard (touch version) is presenting me with a steep learning curve. The delete/back key is giving me fits as it seems more outboard that I'm used to. Spacebar also giving me problems. More than anything, the keyboard has gotten me a little down about the device. Maybe day 2 and 3 will see improvement.
  • I really, really dislike the Music App. Very non-intuitive and a bit laggy. For whatever reason, MS designers use tiny fonts for certain functions, e.g. getting list of songs in a Smart DJ mix is in a tiny font that is not easily selected by touch. Other basic functions like repeat and random are concealed in a nested menu. I have a Zune HD, Zune Pass with 10 credits last two years, a Lumia 900, a Focus before that, and Zune client installed on all my Win7 machines. the Music app seems like a step in the wrong direction. I have read, but not confirmed, that Music app will not include music on your SD card in your music library. I found no obvious way to assign folders to the library as in Zune client. In fact, there are hardly any settings.
  • Mail app is not as good as Outlook.com, though they are similar in appearance. I have it working with an MSN.com account, an Outlook.com account, and my office's Exchange server. I have seen no way to collapse subfolders when an account is selected so that only your inbox is showing. The lack of ANY chrome at the top makes viewing a list of messages more difficult that necessary because you're not sure if you're at the top of the list or not. Selecting multiple messages requires a swipe; WP allows you to click to the left of messages and is a superior experience. Overall, Windows Phone mail client is far superior.
  • All calendars for aforementioned accounts, including secondary and subscribed calendars, show up and work well. You can assign colors to accounts just like in Windows Phone. Inexplicably, you CAN invite people to appointments, but unless I'm missing something, you CANNOT see who you have invited when you later open the appointment details. Month view is pretty much a waste due to the fonts being too large. Overall, the calendar app on Windows Phone is a little better.
  • Tried Cut the Rope because it was shown to be laggy on The Verge's review. It ran perfectly fine with no lag. I did install 4 or 5 updates through Win Update, so this might have fixed the problem Josh mentioned.
  • I understand Josh's concern about 9:16 in portrait view. Narrow width forces small fonts in web pages frequently with wasted white space at bottom of page.
  • Case and glass are fingerprint electro-magnets, but the keyboard isn't.
  • Office updated from preview to full apps. They look good. The "touch" setting gives a bit more space on the ribbon, but not much. Seemed to work well, though as mentioned above, the keyboard prevented me from testing them too much.
  • Netflix works very well. I watched an ep of "Alias" and was reminded how much I liked that show.
  • Skype is great, no hiccups. Cameras seems up to the task.
  • Rowi is not so good, though it's great on WP7
  • Weather Flow did not work for me at all, though it's great on WP7. Could find no obvious way to add cities.
  • TuneIn Radio was a bit slow and not as good as WP7 or even as good as the app on Roku.
  • Overall felt that WP7 was more intuitive and allowed me to get things done faster.
  • General lack of apps, but this is certainly a temporary thing.
  • Bluetooth connection with BT speaker was effortless.
  • WiFi performance was good. Locked on quickly to two routers in my office and to LTE internet sharing on my Lumia. For this reason, I don't see lack of 3G/4G a detriment.

Going to give it a rest until tomorrow, come back fresh. I really want to like this machine.