A week with the Microsoft Surface: A versatile tile - but is it really worth £500?
Processsor: 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU.
Storage: 32GB (£399 for just the tablet and £479.00 with cover) and 64GB (£559.00 with cover), plus up to an extra 64GB on an SD and another 64GB on a micro SD card and the option of extra storage on a USB.
What else: It comes with 2GB of RAM, Wi-Fi and a device detector so it can sync with your phone and other devices such as tablets and game consoles. It has Bluetooth 4.0. The anti-glare, 10.6 inch, 366x768 pixel “ClearType” touchscreen offers clear, sharp images. It has cameras on both back and front of the tablet.
What is it?
It's Microsoft's answer to the iPad or Nexus 10 tablet, but less sleek and more robust. It's a double whammy of crazy new tech. Not only is it a tablet/laptop hybrid, it's a showcase for Windows 8, Microsoft's radical new operating system.
Does it work?
It's versatile; like a tablet but with a kickstand and clip-on keyboard, so it can be used like a laptop. It also lets you switch between the new Windows 8 modern user interface and the traditional Windows 7 style desktop depending on your preferred style of working.
Pros: The Windows 8 format tries to demonstrate a totally new way of working where personalisation is king. So you can pin all the apps, shortcuts and media that are relevant to you straight to the home screen. The "share" button is available with one swipe of the tablet – and gives you the option of sharing anything through email, Facebook or Twitter with just one touch. The magnetised cover is sturdy and took a lot of flinging around before it fell off.
Cons: Microsoft's Bing, unsurprisingly, is the default search engine and Internet Explorer is the default browser, which is hard, but not impossible, to change. The Windows Marketplace is bare and the combination of keyboard and touchscreen isn't as intuitive as you might hope. For example, I tried to select an arrival time in Transport for London's journey planner and it thought I wanted to copy and paste the info. Frustrating.
How does it work?
The keyboard cover is really clever. It's just like a normal durable cover, similar to Apple's £39 iPad Smart Case, but it's made of a strong but light magnesium alloy and it also houses a keyboard. The stylish flat "Touch" keyboard, with keys that don't depress, only takes a few days of jabbing too hard before you feel you can trust it to respond to your commands with a gentle press. If you have trouble with the 3mm thick "Touch" cover, there's also a "Type" option which has pressable keys like a conventional keyboard and it isn't that much thicker at just 5mm. The downside is both the covers/keyboards cost extra; from around £80-£110, available in a range of colours.
Is it worth the money?
At around £500, you're forking out the same amount as for a conventional laptop and if you need it for traditional desktop work on the go, then a laptop will be more comfortable to use. If, however, you want a tablet but occasionally need to type documents, it could be for you. You also need to be happy with a radical new layout – there's a steep learning curve with Windows 8. Also, bear in mind the new Surface Pro is due this month.
Life & Style blogs
Pakistan vs Paul Smith: Sandal-wearers bemused by famed British designer's attempts to sell traditional Peshawari chappal-style shoes for the distinctly untraditional sum of £300
Blood test that predicts Alzheimer's disease
Lego told off by 7-year-old girl for promoting gender stereotypes
Apple iOS 7.1 update: Boxes are out, circles are in; CarPlay support and no more random resets
Titanfall: Release date, gameplay basics, DLC and everything else you need to know
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Pakistan vs Paul Smith: Sandal-wearers bemused by famed British designer's attempts to sell traditional Peshawari chappal-style shoes for the distinctly untraditional sum of £300
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 4 Russell Crowe's Noah banned in three Arab countries before worldwide premiere
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client specialises in creati...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + excellent company benefits : Pro-Recruitment Group...
£35000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: You must ...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Develo...