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Microsoft Surface RT review

Microsoft heeds its competitors' lessons with its Windows RT tablet

Our Verdict

Surface represents a great value tablet that will get stronger with time, so if you're looking for a superb all-round Windows tablet which can double as a work machine, with bags of potential and head-turning appeal, then Surface should be high on your list.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 900 Kilopixel

View full specification

For

  • Excellent keyboards
  • Useful kick-stand
  • Great for Windows RT
  • Stylish look and premium feel

Against

  • Poor selection of apps
  • Standard display
  • Heavier than iPad
  • Sluggish graphical performance

Media is a key part of any tablet, and while Surface puts its emphasis heavily on multitasking and productivity, it's still a media consumption device.

Microsoft has pulled a lot of its services together for Windows 8, including providing two apps which plug into the well-established Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps which are supplied as standard on Surface RT.

Microsoft Surface review

These offer movie purchases and rentals and the Music app even enables free streaming of 30 million tracks, with a Spotify-style subscription model.

If you want to know more about these in detail, then head over to the Windows 8 review, but it makes Surface an excellent media-focused device.

Microsoft Surface review

The 16:9 aspect ratio means TV and movies look great, and Microsoft has also called in favours with the likes of Netflix for great content from third parties, and we hope there will be more to follow.

In terms of the content on offer from Windows Store and the built-in Xbox Store it's clear that Microsoft is still very much in third place in the lead up to Christmas.

Microsoft Surface review

The selection of movies is incomplete, TV shows are too US focused and too expensive, games is a strong area for Windows but it's yet to take off and books are catered for almost soley by Kindle.

As a device for enjoying them, however, Surface works well. The kickstand means you can prop it up to enjoy movies or shows on iPlayer (which work from within the browser in the absence of a dedicated app).

Microsoft Surface review

There's also micro HDMI, which means that Surface can be connected to a TV or external display, and used in presentations much more easily than the iPad.

Of course, Surface has a trick up its sleeve that the iPad can only dream of. The ability to watch media files of all types and be able to load them via USB or MicroSD, rather than the annoying proprietary iTunes software, is a big coup for Surface.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity32 GB
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time8 Hour
Product FamilySurface RT
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
ColourDark Titanium
Operating SystemWindows RT
Brand NameMicrosoft
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.30 GHz
Processor TypeTegra 3
Screen Size26.9 cm (10.6")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)680 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyClearType
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0 + EDR
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution900 Kilopixel
Height172 mm
Width274.6 mm
Depth9.4 mm
Screen ModeHD
ManufacturerMicrosoft Corporation
Product NameSurface RT Tablet
Product LineSurface RT
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberJ5Z-00005
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.microsoft.co.uk
Marketing InformationSleek. Slim.

Ultra-thin and light, Surface RT is on-the-go tablet. With 8 hours of battery life, it lasts the whole day. Or the whole flight.

Always. Connected.

With Connected Standby, you are always connected even when you Surface is asleep. See social networking posts, emails and text messages on the lock screen and keep up with all the people you care about most.

Get yours

Now's the time to buy your Surface RT. Pick a cover colour, personalise your Home Screen, and take it places you never thought you could go.
Package Contents
  • Surface RT Tablet
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year