Microsoft Surface RT Review

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Summary: Stay away.

Major frustrations:

  • The email client doesn't support my corporate Exchange server's configuration.  Once you get past the certificate issue you're presented with a terse error message about the Surface RT not being good enough for my Exchange server's security policy.  iPhone works fine. Android devices work fine.
  • There are too many different ways to do the same thing.  There should only be one.  For example, I counted at least three different ways to change your wifi settings, and they all have slightly overlapping (but different) hooks into the underlying wifi function.
  • Most everything is designed for horizontal scrolling.  Never mind that's not the most ergonomic gesture for my thumbs (when holding the device with two hands).  Never mind you can't build up substantial scroll inertia horizontally.  (pshaw, why would you want to do that)?  The core problem here is swiping from the left and right edges has a meaning separate from scrolling.  I frequently have switched apps or pulled open the settings menu when I meant to horizontally scroll.
I could go on and write a long review explaining everything wrong with the Surface RT, but I did some Googling and discovered many other people have the same issues with the device that I do.  The hardware is great, but the software is bad. Unbelievably bad. It's almost like there's a willful intent to make the most frustrating user experience possible, to confound all of your preconceived notions and intuition for how a touchscreen device should work.  Yes--I just went there.

I don't typically rant on my blog, but this device deserves it.  It's frustratingly bad.  Stay away.

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This page contains a single entry by Robert W. Rose published on November 30, 2012 7:56 PM.

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