TODO alt text

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

Tablet cameras are destined to make the user look like a special kind of moron, but in the interests of personal choice Surface is equipped with a 5MP rear camera capable and a VGA front-facing lens. Both can also capture video, both of which can capture 800p video in 16:10 and 720p in 16:9.

This is low spec for a modern tablet, and the result is slightly grainy pictures that are unsuited to proper photography.

We found that close-up shots couldn't focus, and in dim lighting conditions our shots became noisy. What's more, there's no flash should you be snapping in dark conditions.

Microsoft Surface review

However, when there's an abundance of natural light the quality of shots improves, as you can see from our fetching cat in the above photograph, which is available from all good Turkish bazaars.

Video was better and maintained a decent frame rate at 800p, but the bulk of the tablet, the grainy quality and the effort of firing up the app from the Start-screen tile, before switching into video mode is such that we can't see anyone bothering to capture those impromptu memories on their Surface.

We'd have liked to have seen a better front-facing camera which would be used for chatting via Skype or other messaging apps, but it does nearly as good a job as the rear camera, and the quality is good enough for chatting to friends and family on the web.

In terms of modes, there are few options to tweak your settings or macro modes, though there is a timer feature to snap group shots.

Microsoft Surface review
Front-facing camera

Click here to see the full-resolution image

Microsoft Surface review
Front-facing video chat

Click here to see the full resolution image

Microsoft Surface review
Landscape in daylight

Click here to see the full-resolution image

Microsoft Surface review
Rear camera

Click here to see the full resolution image

Microsoft Surface review
Rear camera

Click here to see the full resolution image

Microsoft Surface review
Rear camera

Click here to see the full resolution image

Microsoft Surface review
Rear camera

Click here to see the full resolution image

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