Microsoft Surface

Verge Review

The Microsoft Surface is no minor thing to review, especially when you consider the stakes for this product. The tablet / laptop hybrid — which was announced at a surprise event in Los Angeles back in June — is not just a unique product in the market, it's also the first of its kind for Microsoft. The company's foray into designing and building its own hardware is not exactly unheard of, but competing directly with partners on PCs certainly is. Adding fuel to an already-crackling fire,...

Read the full review

Basic Specs

Thickness 0.37 inches
Weight 1.5 pounds
Screen size (diagonal) 10.6 inches
Operating system Windows RT
CPU brand Nvidia
CPU family Tegra 3
RAM size 2 GB

Recent News

No recent news about Microsoft Surface.

Recent Discussions

view all

Tech Specs

Hardware

Height 10.81 inches
Width 6.77 inches
Thickness 0.37 inches
Weight 1.5 pounds
Color Black
Speakers Stereo

Display

Screen size (diagonal) 10.6 inches
Technology LCD
Resolution (X) 1366 px
Resolution (Y) 768 px
PPI 148
Touchscreen type Capacitive
Multitouch Yes

Software

Operating system Windows RT

Processor

CPU brand Nvidia
CPU family Tegra 3
Cores 4

Memory

RAM size 2 GB

Storage

Internal size 64 GB, 32 GB
External storage support microSD

Connectivity

Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi support 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth version 4.0

Front Camera

Video resolution 720p

Rear Camera

Video resolution 720p

Ports

Video out Yes
Headphone 3.5mm
Data connections USB

Sensors

Sensors Ambient Light, Gyroscope, Compass / Magnetometer, Accelerometer

Battery

Capacity 31.5 Wh
Quoted use time 8 hr

Recent News

No recent news about Microsoft Surface.

8.5

Average User Review

of 19 total reviews
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • Design 9
  • Display 9
  • Camera(s) 7
  • Speakers 7
  • Performance 8
  • Software 9
  • Battery life 9
  • Ecosystem 7
  • Dock 9

Login in order to review this product.

  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Ferenganar (Currently owns)

    For a lightweight mobile OS which includes the full office suite, you can not go passed this device. I've just installed the 8.1 update and the overall experience and performance improvements is massive. You will not get another device you can fully utilize on the run. Just to add, absolute brilliance to have a 16:9 widescreen. Wasn't sure when i had bought it, but after watching video on it, i will never go back to a sqaurish tablet.

    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by JonBeck (Currently owns)

    I own a Galaxy Tab, a Ipad 3 and an Ipad 4 each had it's benefits and painpoints. I grabbed a Surface RT when it came out and it is by far the best tablet I have used. Mainly my personal experience with the different tablets it fell short letting me doing actual work. Sure, the others could do email and browsing the web plus all the games I could ever want( but I just don't want too many of them). Having the office suite + being able to multi-task on a tablet is the way tablets should have been all along. only negative at this stage is it's not running Windows 8 Pro. Looking forward to picking up a Surface Pro in a week or so.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Speakers 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    • Dock 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by osman.mohamed (Currently owns)

    amazing hardware from both the design and quality stand points. the Windows 8 RT is fast innovative and smooth. the app ecosystem might still be a problem in some areas but this is an age issue and will quickly disappear over time.

    the best think about this is that it hits the ultimate sweet spot between a portable tablet and a functional PC that you can really do real work on and have professional production platform. not to mention that super added value of a full office Word, Excel, Power point and One note. something many people overlook

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Speakers 9
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 8
    • Dock 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by kingraven24 (Currently owns)

    The Surface, to me, is an absolute triumph in that it blends laptop functionality with tablet form factor. I applaud the Surface development team for creating an outstanding product that offers tons of benefits. I did some digging and found out a lot that went in under the hood of the Surface. Optically-bonded screen provides zero space between the screen and touch-plate, making the Surface the best performer in high-lighted environments while also making it feel like you're actually touching the stuff on screen. It beats the iPad by 6% from what I gathered in anti-glare performance. That's a nice boast for a 1st generation product. But enough about the screen. USB 2.0 inclusion is absolutely incredible. Why nobody thought of this earlier is beyond me. The latest Bluetooth 4.0 tech is inside, and I love it. Pair it with a Big Jambox or the new Beats Pill (quite the device for $199) and the Surface will become an instant DJ device for small-to-moderate parties. Add expandable storage options with microSDXC, which supports up to 2 terabytes (YES, 2 TB!), and you've got a high ceiling for keeping what matters to you wherever you go. No, microSD doesn't go that high, yet, but the idea is that it can. I like having videos, and having 720p videos in large quantities appeals to me. Also, Flash on IE10 is pretty good. Doesn't work on all Flash pages, but the ones I use most work fine (YouTube being one of them). Office 2013 integration is a steal of a deal (Word, Excel, PPT, OneNote) and heavily featured for a tablet version. Wrap all this up with the Xbox marketplace and Smartglass, and this has become the tablet I've always wanted but never knew it. I can't use my Nexus 7 32GB anymore and ditched my Galaxy Tab as I knew that was obsolete. The app marketplace has grown significantly since launch and I bet it will hit 30-40k apps before mid next year. I don't care about app quantity but quality. There's plenty of quality, and I'm hearing there's plenty more coming. If you're looking for the latest & greatest, this is it. Surface RT hits high notes where it counts, and is content holding back in where it's okay to. Good battery life makes me go all day without recharging. I get 8-11 hours when I go hard on video (on a plane, at work, wherver I'm connected to WiFi), but that's full brightness and HD video. NOT BAD AT ALL! This is a must-see device. Get a good sales person that knows how to use Windows RT or 8 and you'll leave wondering why bother with Apple or Google at all!

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Speakers 7
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    • Dock 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by SmoothDog (Currently owns)

    I've found the Surface to be a great divergence from just a simple tablet. I can use it for Office Docs when needed and also works great as a tablet. The DUO-Tablet!

    Design is fantastic. The detachable keyboard (typecover) takes a bit to get used to but once you have used it there is no going back. VaporMag is strong and solid and the kickstand is great for watching Videos or setting it up to type.

    Display is very good. I've had little to no issues with the Display. Colors are clear and bright.

    Cameras - The rear facing works quite well, the front facing not so much, but if I want to take videos or pictures, I'd use my Nokia 920.

    Speakers - I was a bit disappointed with the Speakers. They only work well if not much sound is going on around you. Luckily, I have a USB Speaker that I can plug into the USB port or run a Bluetooth Speaker from it easily.

    Performance - Is very good. Fluid and fast. Transitions are nice and after the software update I had no issues with Performance with only a few minor problems with Video.

    Software performs very well. Word, Excel and all the Office work well with a Mouse. The trackpad works well, but if I'm really wanting to get something done a mouse is nice to have. The Metro side works exceptionally well and doesn't take long to learn the gestures. The two downfalls are getting Music Pass songs transferred to the Surface and Videos. You have to do a few workarounds to get it to work the way you want. MS should of did a better job of perfecting these areas. Now that it's all set up it's working good, but not exceptional.

    Battery Life has been excellent on my Surface. It's been running just fine throughout an entire day and into the evening with a decent amount of use.

    Ecosystem - This is OK, but definitely something that needs to improve in Apps. The Music, Video, and integration with Xbox work very well.

    Dock - This really doesn't have a dock, but clicking it into the attached keyboard works fantastic.

    Overall, very good device and it will get even better with more Apps and software updates.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Speakers 7
    • Performance 8
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 6
    • Dock 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by cletuslol (Currently owns)

    My wife and I have been using our Surface RT since release date and the patches that updated office to the full version and the most recent 11/13/12 patch that addressed performance have made the device even better than what we originally bought.

    The build quality is SO much better than the Galaxy Tab and on par, if not better, than the iPad 3. The screen resolution is lower than the Apple competition but the actual screen is fantastic to look at and has really impressive viewing angles and contrast. Battery life has easily gone over 10 hours of use in one charge (mostly web browsing in this case). Performance in games and Apps is impressive and Cut The Rope seems to be the only App that has slowdowns. Hydro Thunder and Angry Birds perform without hiccup.

    Multi-tasking on this device is a breeze. My wife frequently writes work reports in Word while watching youtube music videos or listening to Pandora. The actual windows RT Metro/Modern UI is a real treat and quite slick to use. I have come to prefer it to both Android and iOS.

    The touch cover is a pretty clever addition to the Surface and the more I use it the better and faster I get with it. All in all I am very happy with this purchase as it fills a gap for both my wife and I. For her, it has replaced her laptop completely and she works on the Surface. For me, I find that I prefer it to my phone by far for watching Netflix at night (the headphone audio output is really quite good even for an audiophile like myself). I am considering purchasing a Surface Pro or waiting for the Haswell version of the Surface in the future. I didn't quite 'get it' as to why people had both a laptop and a tablet but I get it now. Except I have the best of both worlds in a single device rather than 2.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 6
    • Speakers 7
    • Performance 8
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 8
    • Dock 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Juniorex (Currently owns)

    My overall score is not an average or even a weighted average of the partial evaluation. For me Surface as a whole device is much better than the sum of its parts.

    In this review I made many comparisons of Surface and iPad. Shame on me! Surface is not the iPad competitor! …Actually it is, but what I meant by that is that Surface is much more than a tablet. For me it is more like a ultraportable laptop than an ordinary tablet.

    In my humble opinion, surface is a great device with some minor issues. The most important thing for me is that issues are mostly software related and Surface may become better and better after each update. It’s a good thing. I have the opposite experience with my iPhone iOS updates. My phone have been slower and slower after upgrades.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Speakers 7
    • Performance 9
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 7
    • Dock 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by michaelbourke (Currently owns)

    Surface..what is it to me? Here I am in Sydney Australia. An addicted first adopter of all that is new and exciting....surface in a sentence is "a distraction free productivity enhancement tool that is one of the sexiest, innovative and incredible first releases I have ever encountered." I need a portable, fluid and vibrant addition to my work and non work life. I don't need 200,000 + apps to distract me from my focus..which is primarily work, on full editions of word,excel, and PowerPoint that will seamlessly transfer to my pc and colleagues ..is it perfect? No, not yet. Could it be? Potentially. Should I have waited for the slightly thicker, more powerful pro version? No, I have 2 laptops that have the power I need as static units. The surface is my ideal portable piece of stunning machinery that is bo th practical and beautiful. I have owned. IPADS and the SAMSUNG. GALAXY NOTE 10.1. IOS AND Android are no longer relevent in my technical world.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 4
    • Speakers 5
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    • Dock 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 5.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by TzCzar (Currently owns)

    The Verge review, surprisingly, is actually rather generous. I've had it since release and I'd give it 5-ish.

    The hardware is 'pretty good'. Although the casing is very good - tough and it doesn't look like it's going to scratch - there is massive light leakage from the USB socket because there's no back to it. Dust will get in and if you spill your coffee, it's all over. This is not tough like a phone, it's a laptop. I like the proportions though. Turns out, 16:9 is really, really good for web-surfing, Office and watching movies.

    It's Windows that's the real problem... it still sucks. Where Windows Phone is buttery smooth, RT stutters. It's not a show stopper but it is all over and right from the start: When you switch on a Windows Phone and tap the lock screen, it bounces playfully, inviting you to swipe up and unlock it. With RT, after a slight lag, the lock screen staggers up and then just drops. And the screen rotate, doesn't. After a slight lag, it does a little zoom-in then there's a flash and it's re-orientated. Jarring.

    The system apps (mail, people, xbox, etc) look like prototypes. There's little else to say there except Windows Phone stock apps never, ever crash. These do. It's occasional but it happens. Internet Explorer however, is top-notch.

    As you can tell, I had expected this to be a big Windows Phone... I got Windows: A serviceable tool. For now, I'll Blu Tack the USB socket and wait for an update.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 7
    • Display 6
    • Camera(s) 5
    • Speakers 6
    • Performance 3
    • Software 3
    • Battery life 5
    • Ecosystem 3
    • Dock 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by stinkyhippy (Currently owns)

    I have been playing with the surface for over a week now, and its great. I like the styling though it can be quite cumbersome and uncomfortable if i want to hold it with one hand. Windows 8 runs great on the tablet, and the touch screen gestures are really easy and fast to use. I really recommend the surface if you need a break from iOS or Android.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 5
    • Speakers 6
    • Performance 9
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 6
    • Dock 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5345_tracker