Some Microsoft Surface hands-on reports are appearing.
“On the tablet, however, Windows RT thrives, inviting exploration through swiping, rather than drilling down through layers of folders and applications. Swiping can be problematic – multiple swipes get old fast, but the interface nevertheless feels fresh and new.”
“From what I saw at the event, Surface is a serious, refined, clever piece of hardware. The tablet is well-built, and comes with a lot of cool features — like the kickstand and available ports — that comparable tablets lack. But there are still quite a few important missing details. That said, if Microsoft can pull off selling its tablets at the right price and everything works as promised, then Surface should definitely be a worthy competitor to the iPad.”
“Some of the Surface’s smaller features illustrate just how much thought Microsoft’s team put into its design. The kickstand leans the Surface back 22 degrees, which Microsoft says is the perfect camera angle for video chatting. The screen tapers back a bit at the edges, giving the Surface an elegant look. And the keyboard function shuts off when the cover is folded back. Smart.”
“The tablet’s 10.6-inch display screen looked gorgeous, although Microsoft was being weirdly evasive when asked what the exact screen resolution was…Windows RT brings some cool new capabilities to the tablet form factor, including the ability to run two apps on the same screen simultaneously. One Microsoft rep, for instance, demonstrated how to have Outlook email on one half of the screen while having sports scores on the other half.”
“The device was also surprisingly light, barely feeling like it reached the full 1.5 pounds Microsoft is quoting. The 10.6-inch, 16:9 display also looked crystal clear at a variety of angles.”
“The Surface really is as rigid and lightweight as Microsoft’s executive team promised us it would be. The magnesium casing makes it wholly inflexible, and we mean that in the best possible way. As thin and light as it is (9.3mm / 1.49 pounds), there isn’t a hint of give in the whole chassis.
As for performance, we’ll be honest: tech press were treated to about two minutes at each of several stations, some of which demoed design, and not so much the power that lies inside that thin frame. Still, in our brief hands-on the optically bonded screen was incredibly responsive to our various taps and swipes. Fast, slick and very, very promising.
…we didn’t get to see a working demo of the keyboards. As in, we weren’t permitted to type sample sentences and feel what it’s like to hammer out characters on a flat keyboard, or on keys that have just 1.5mm of travel.”
“[The display] absolutely is a high-definition screen, but I wasn’t given the ability to zoom in and out of a photo to see how quickly you could really render an image.”
I’m looking forward to playing with a Microsoft Surface tablet. Wouldn’t it be nice to have old-school, legitimate Apple vs. Microsoft competition again?