"The built-in front-facing camera for Skype is angled so that it’ll work great when the kickstand is open, but again, only for Danny DeVito, or maybe for people who want to show off their chests in Skype."
"The Touch Cover is one of the Surface’s biggest innovations. I thought I would hate it, but I didn’t. It’s not like typing on a completely flat surface: each “key” is raised slightly, so while there isn’t any mechanical feedback, it does feel a bit like a keyboard."
"The Type Cover (the one with real keys) just works. I’ve got big hands that often struggle on undersized keyboards, but I can type very quickly on the Type Cover."
"He showed me Office, which was almost unusable: it was extremely sluggish, and touch targets were tiny and difficult to hit."
"So quickly, in fact, that I can outrun Microsoft Word on the Surface. I get the feeling that the Surface RT’s CPU or Word code just can’t keep up with my typing. Here’s an example video:"
"The standard gestures don’t help, requiring many in-from-the-edge swipes that not only aren’t discoverable"
"After waiting over a minute for the machine to boot and launch the mail app, I got a blank gradient screen. User interface 101: if the app needs to be set up on the first launch, offer to do that, please. Folks from Twitter suggested that I swipe out from the right side and click Accounts"
So, can we conclude that these observations might be real (V. 1) problems without resorting to ad-homs regarding the author?
I'm on the Word team in Office and I'm coming into this thread incredibly late, but FWIW the slow typing on ARM was something we couldn't fully address in time for the preview release. Word RTM (ARM and x86/x64) has much better performance.
One of the challenges we had was that for a large majority of the product cycle we didn't even know about the Surface. We were looking at ARM early on, but the hardware we had was prerelease hardware from MSFT partners that had varying levels of performance.
Even now we don't know a whole lot about the Surface. It's a little frustrating, since we (Office) hit RTM we're eagerly awaiting the point at which new Surface RTs will have Office RTM baked into them. The preview release is seriously many many months old from the RTM release, and it's painful to think that this is what customers are going to see from Office when they turn on their shiny new device.
This type of issue would be identical across NVIDIA based ARM PCs and large numbers of the reference platforms were available at the same time they have been available to external developers.
Developers on the Office team (and Word team) that needed to contribute to the ARM focused work had access to the tools and hardware needed, including Surface specific hardware. There was no shortage of knowledge, hardware, or communication.
I was also a little skeptical but I was pleasantly surprised by how natural and easy it felt.
by the way, it is even worse with Powerpoint. every few lines typed i had the screen go white to redraw the whole UI.
When there is no communication, then the users are left to imagine all kinds of wild theories of what went wrong and why. It is a waste of time for all involved.
Not sure where you're going with this, but given the amount of effort and ambition around the Surface, I would say that Microsoft is absolutely serious.
As for Word, there was a limited number of things we could do and fix in a finite amount of time. Trade-offs need to be made.
> there was a limited number of things we could do
No one is blaming you or your team. I'd blame the lowest person in the company who had the ability to install beta versions of Office on beta versions of Surface.
Effort and ambition, together with $4, will get you a double latte at Starbucks.
To beat Apple, you are going to have to take the next step: competence.
When the board fires Ballmer, that will be the signal that Microsoft is ready to get serious. Until then, it's all just talk.
Thanks for making the point. I had hoped that by recording videos of the problems, I wouldn't get attacked as just making off the cuff observations. Readers can see the problems for themselves. Still getting attacked by the fanbois, though, and that's a little disappointing.
But outside of that niche group I think your videos very well demonstrate the issues in a fairly indefensible way. The save issue in particular is the worst as you never treat people's files/work with that much disregard.
However, given that your problems other than the kick stand are rather odd bugs specific to you (haven't seen anyone else have the problems you had with Mail and saving in Word) would you not consider perhaps getting the device replaced over straight up returning it?
As for Word being slow...I agree that is inexcusable. If I were you I probably would have tried getting the free update to the final version from Windows Update to see if the problem has been fixed.
I dunno. I guess I'm looking at it from a glass half full perspective because I like mine and don't experience the problems you do.
Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but IMHO one day is not enough to properly judge any piece of complex technology. I am writing this on my RT and I am very surprised with your post, specially when the word preview issues are easily fixed with a simple SW update that is coming soon, as Office is already RTM. A technologist would not ditch this beauty after a couple of hours playing with it, my $0.02.
When you say "the word preview issues are easily fixed with a simple SW update that is coming soon, as Office is already RTM" - how do you know they're fixed in an update that's "coming soon"?
I trust the Office team, and they have been very clear to call this a preview (it shows in the top of the document) so I expect some issues. I obviously can not know if your specific problem is already fixed in the RTM version (that released a couple weeks ago) but usually the Office team releases high quality products.
I did not experience your CPU/word problem yet, you asked for a video, and I posted it here:
As you can see, I enabled the new task manager, that is really cool and you can see how the Tegra 3 CPU (4 cores) does not even notice the typing, even with tons of spelling mistakes to force a worst case scenario.
It is really a pity you did not have it a bit longer, I have an Ipad 1st gen, a galaxy tab 10.1 1st gen (yes, I had it even before I could install ICS, my lord) and now a 1st gen surface and man, this device is impressing me so far. When I connected my Galaxy nexus to it and it opened the windows explorer so I could use it to transfer my videos to You Tube I realized how huge is having Windows in a Tablet, it is not a PC but boy is powerful, full USB not only client, but server support.
I tried to repro a worst case based on your info:
as you can see, 20 pages full of errors, spell and grammar correction enabled, writing in the first page. It clearly shows more CPU usage than the first test, but always below 40% for every core.
Please, note that I am not trying to say that you did not hit a bug or even a faulty device, just that I have not been able to repro it in my limited testing and so far the device is totally impressing me. I am even thinking to write a cool Hackers News app for it :-).
I am a really happy camper, today I tested the RDP connection to my main server and works really well, you can get real stuff done using remote desktop. I was sure I would need the Surface Pro and now I am not so sure as I can do heavy lifting with more battery life and lighter device (and I will always need a "real" computer in the home anyway). Surface Pro looks awesome for pen and I am a big fan of ink well done (need to test a capacitive pen with the RT but usually they do not meet my bar). In any case, I will surely keep my unit, I did not feel so happy with a new gadget since the ZX spectrum, my first HP48 (yes, I am that old) or the iphone. I was not sure after reading some of the early reviews but this device is a geek's playground, I will be discovering new tricks for a while, the connection to the XBOX is pretty cool too and seems to work fine for movie navigation but did not play much with it yet.
I see that you have updated your post with the update information, that was very honest of you.
Just wanted to let you know that, in fact, I had updated my Surface as soon as I got it just by searching for windows update in settings and clicking it (it was painless in my case), I even did it tethering with my Nexus. So my tests are using an updated device.
BTW, feel free to link to my videos if you think they can complete your post further.
You mean all those negative reviews that get upvoted to the front-page.
Thats what happens here, the positive reviews usually get ignored, get flagged, or die quickly. Unless it's an Apple product.
"Surface RT" is not "Surface for Windows 8 Pro". Windows RT is a stripped down version of Windows designed for lower power CPUs. It's also designed to be 100% Metro based. You can't install non-metro apps on it, you can't even buy Windows RT, it has to be pre-installed on each device.
"Surface RT" is a touch-based device for holding in your hands while surfing the net and using the typical social apps.
The use-case of an attached keyboard and the fully fledged Office app suite is not what this device is primarly for.
What makes this even worse, is that the preview version of Office is not yet fully reliable, has not been ported to Metro, and opens up in Desktop-mode. There are still bugs to work out.
While the guy gave a good review, it does not represent the typical use-case for Windows RT devices any more than the iPad would represent the use-case of a Desktop PC.
That may be true, but it's a poor excuse. The basic function of a word processor is to easily generate formatted text, historically primarily for printing on letter-type paper, but that's maybe a bit less important today than it once was. Minimal functionality for a word processor is being able to render that text as fast as a human user can type it.
WYSIWYG word processors had this capability well over 20 years ago on CPUs far inferior to a quad-core Cortex A9 with a thousand times less RAM. For a major software company to fail at this in 2012 is inexcusable. If Tesla's new sedan had a top speed of 50 MPH, prospective buyers would say it's not ready no matter how cool its other characteristics are.
Of course, it is a preview edition of Word. Maybe the finished version will have acceptable performance. Until then, "it isn't done" is the only reasonable conclusion. Regardless of any other features, Microsoft has not provided the minimum viable product for a word processor.
 Note: not hyperbole. Two megabytes versus two gigabytes.
If anything, you were generous. You could run WYSIWYG word processors on a 512KB Amiga or Atari. Both with a single M68k CPU at <8MHz. Interestingly they were on the market at pretty much the same time as the secpnd generation ARM CPU's used in the Acorn Archimedes range, and while there were numerous discussions about which were faster, a 7MHz-8MHz M68k is at least in the same magnitude performance wise as an 8MHz ARM2 CPU..
(EDIT: Actually, there was at least one WYSIWYG word processor for the Commodore 64 too - GeoWrite)
Factoring in improvements in architecture on top of clockspeed increases we're probably talking at least a thousand times more performance per core for a Cortex A9 vs ARM2. And that's likely generous towards these old machines too...
(can you tell I'm frustrated that my phone and tablets (Android; not bashing MS for this) are more sluggish than my 1988 Amiga 500+)
I spent last night hacking on FrexxEd (Amiga editor; one of the authors went on to write CURL) and ACE Basic...
Heck, back in 1972, I was running, and writing, page layout software on machines with almost a million times less RAM than my current MBP. (16K 18-bit words vs. 16GB). And the editor had no trouble keeping up with typing, which was limited more by the 10 cps limit of the Teletype than anything else.
Back in the early 1970s Xerox PARC created a WYSIWYG text editor called Bravo. It ran on the Alto which had a maximum of 128K of memory. Approximately 3/4 of that memory was consumed just to store the bitmapped screen, so Bravo would have had to run in about 32K.
As a side note, Charles Simonyi (of Microsoft Office fame) worked for PARC at the time. I might be misremembering, but I think he had some involvement in Bravo.
I thought that but you do end up on the (severely restricted) desktop more often than you think.
>Surface RT" is a touch-based device for holding in your hands while surfing the net
Is this why every single marketing and promotional material shows it sitting on a desk with the connected keyboard? Is this why Microsoft made such a huge deal of the keyboard/screen workflow? (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mSckyoAMHg#!)
>The use-case of an attached keyboard and the fully fledged Office app suite is not what this device is primarly for.
Again, tell that to Microsoft.
Do you really think it's going to make you dance?
It's marketing. That's how it works.
Given the specifics on Windows RT, low power ARM based CPUs, etc ... it's not a desktop replacement device, though you can certainly hook up a keyboard to it.
If that's true, they are showing what it isn't.
> It's marketing. That's how it works.
I believe the technical term would be "deceptive marketing"
> Given the specifics on Windows RT, low power ARM based CPUs, etc ... it's not a desktop replacement device.
At least not while it's running Windows RT. Too bad it can't run anything else. Let's wait for Windows 9 and hope current devices can be upgraded.
Deceptive about what? They are competing with the iPad more or less. No one is saying this thing is meant for serious production of content, it's meant for consumption of content.
> they are showing what it isn't
You can still place it on a table and expect good results as long as you're not 6'3"; or have a higher table then the author's. You can still hook it up to a keyboard.
You can even run Office on it, it's just that you'll need to update the "preview" version of it to fix a couple of bugs.
> Let's wait for Windows 9 and hope current devices can be upgraded
"Surface for Windows 8 Pro" and other OEM like devices are coming out. I think that will be the real test to see if consumers adapt a Windows 8 tablet device. Give it 6 months.
Wat? Wasn't this already answered?
Is this why every single marketing and promotional material shows it sitting on a desk with the connected keyboard? Is this why Microsoft made such a huge deal of the keyboard/screen workflow? (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mSckyoAMHg#! )
> You can still place it on a table and expect good results as long as you're not 6'3"; or have a higher table then the author's.
Wat? Are you seriously saying that your nature-provided human height is the problem? Let's get a little real here. Can you imagine the product meetings when they reviewed the stand: "Great! We cover 80% of the market place, but no marketing with any NBA players!"
That you even had to clarify that, on a tech site like Hacker News, speaks to what a marketing and product-segmentation disaster Surface is. So tell me - which one do I buy to get Office? That I can run office means I can run Windows 8 applications, right? It has an x86 chip in it, right? Or is it ARM? There IS one that is x86-based, right?
I predict brisk sales, and even brisker returns.
You might want to tell Microsoft's marketing department that because the seem to have different ideas from you.
It may not be the One True Purpose (tm) but Microsoft is pushing it one of the biggest features. On Microsoft's store page for the Surface (http://surface.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/Content/pbpa...), Office is even listed at the same level as the OS! The feature list, where each has an accompanying paragraph: the case (VaporMg), kickstand, touch cover, ports, Windows and Office, and the cameras.
"Surface RT" is a touch-based device for holding in your hands while surfing the net and using the typical social apps.
The use-case of an attached keyboard and the fully fledged Office app suite is not what this device is primarly for.
I think I'm beginning to understand why there's so much excitement over the Surface. It's because the Windows world doesn't have Ultrabooks.
Or rather, up until recently with the Xenbook and the Carbon, all of the ultrabooks in the Windows world have been really really bad. But I don't think that the market has found the Xenbook and the Carbon yet. And maybe there's a general belief in the Windows world that you don't have to pay for quality - I think all of the Microsoft faithful here are hoping that Microsoft has given them a $500 Ultrabook, which of course they haven't.
Look at the iOS6 maps stuff and the flaking etc... Not to discount them in general but everyone that looks at my phone always comments about its weight first. I think humans focus on their pain points over the good in general.
Just trying to point out we notice the problems more than the positives. I need to stop by ye olde apple store and get some cables, think I'll jaunt over to the ms store and have a look at the surface too. Hopefully the sales guys don't pounce.
It's maddening because I don't want an iPad. An iPad doesn't fit my requirements, one of which is side loading. It can't share data between apps easily either. Android has intents, which are nice, but I would absolutely love a tablet that could switch to full blown OSX, has a USB port for mouse and keyboard. A true laptop and tablet combined.
That would be a device I might be interested in. An iPad is not a device I am interested in. So you might understand why "but iPad!" comments are annoying to me.
Too big? Too bad - that's a laptop. Not enough battery life? Too bad - that's a laptop.
They're a bit pricy but I've gotten the chance to see the pre-housing crisis models (the company/management group was insolvent for a time) were very solid. The Wacom digitizer is really good for artists too. if they came out with an Air version I think they'd have a rather hot product..
Thus I really like the ideas behind Surface, though Windows isn't ideal for working with unix, which I need for my job.
(I love my Cintiq, but I'd love it more on a retina MBP screen.)
and where did you get that from?
Developers never really cared about netbooks, and these devices, either with ARM processors or with Atom, are only at that level. So most Windows apps will struggle on these machines, while most apps on iOS or Android will be a lot faster on the same processors, because their low-end target was something like a 600 Mhz ARM11 CPU.
Very knowledgeable opinion sir. This is indeed true. Us as windows developers are required to add a sleep statement every few lines of code so as it not make it appear responsive.
Also, most devs probably build for the average performance, so say something like an old Core 2 Duo laptop, and if their app there has a 10% CPU utilization, it might have 30% CPU utilization on Atom, or more, which means on ARM chips, especially the mid-end to low-end ones, the same app will use the CPU a lot more. Apps designed for mobile are meant to use 5-10% of those ARM CPU's from day one.
A sleep() statement?! Novice! That won't even busy-wait! I like to loop around for a few thousand times writing nonsense to dummy variables. I earned those time slices - no way am I going to just give them back to the OS scheduler.
OTOH, I do a lot of Linux development on an Atom netbook.
So if that's really the case, maybe they are selective with it. Maybe they don't apply the same rigor to their own apps, which would be a shame since you'd think they have to set an example.
In my opinion, that is unacceptable. If MS couldn't optimize apps that ship with Surface, they shouldn't have released it.
They don't have time for that. Now there is only iPad with significant sales number. In 6 months Android tables will start to sell in significant numbers.
In 12 months opportunity to conquer world market with new tablet OS will disappear.
If Microsoft thinks that it can release a product with software that's not ready for release on just price parity with the market leader, they're delusional.
Apple spent the better part of 2011 (ie, last year) proving that iOS doesn't need a daddy OS around anymore - why is a USB host feature in a tablet meaningful for users? So that I can upload my picutres? Why not I just stream them to your photostream? or push them into your google drive or dropbox?
History repeats itself faster than ever.
Except the whole article was written about the Surface RT, and there are only a handful of first party desktop windows app allowed.
Every other app you ever install will be made brand new to support the new tablet ecosystem which will certainly target processors such as the one on the surface rt.
I think as people begin programming for Windows with an actual RT instance to test on (for example, the Surface), apps will become faster and more efficient. Personally, I haven't seen a problem with this as of yet; but, I haven't used that many apps in the store, just Netflix and MetroTwit, FreshPaint and a couple of others.
Disclosure: MSFT Employee
Why would you return a device after 24 hours of owning it? Do you not expect any learning curve here? This is pretty much a Mac user attitude. Macs and IOS have very dumbed down interfaces. That works well for many people who want to check their email and surf the web without having to learn anything at all. The productivity that can be realized with a more complex (or one which requires more learning) interface can rarely be achieved following this mantra, but it is good for Grandma and aunt Hilda.
The camera angle is off only if you put it way too close to yourself or are extraordinarily tall (the first clue of obvious sabotage and misinformation). I would have preferred a variable angled kickstand too, but then all I would hear is complaints about it not being strong enough.
Your complaint about the word slowness WAS somewhat valid (has been fixed and updated now), but already knowing that this was a beta product before even buying the device - did you really not expect any problems with it? Your overly dramatic video is like pointing out that the sun is hot (beta software has bugs duh - thus the word beta). Anyway - how about updating to the final version that come out today (unless you already returned your tablet).
Your complaint about After waiting over a minute for the machine to boot and launch the mail app is clearly grasping at anything to bash over the head of Microsoft. First off - how often do you reboot a tablet? For me it's about once every two months so this is a really minor issue. Secondly, you are counting the time it takes you to slowly hunt and pack your password (REALLY?) thirdly - It is clear that either you did a factory restore of the device. (WinRT apps are very slow to open the first time. Mail opens up in about half a second for me after the first launch and configuration) or you have a lemon. BTW I just timed myself and I can boot up (yes from a powered off state), log in - and open Mail in 38 seconds on MY Surface tab.
It is funny to read the YouTube comments of your videos and read things like "I have never experienced that problem" and "Like trying to access Google Docs with a Hotmail account. People need to start using their brains or stop trying to bash unnecessarily when we know the true problem." and "Turn off smooth typing, stop using word beta, and use the tactile keyboard." and "I played with one of these at Microsoft store and it worked much better than yours, did you mess something up on it already?"
The most embarrassing part FOR YOU must have been when you made such drama over repeatedly not being able to log into SkyDrive with your non valid third-party email address (PEBKAT LOL). There are several commenter on that video saying that they never had the problem. BTW neither have I (We just use the proper Account and it works - you should try it). Do you try to log into Google docs with your Yahoo account also?
There are clearly a few quirks that Microsoft will no doubt be putting out updates for in the near future, but really all this drama is clearly manufactured. The mail and word issued have already been addressed and updates have been made available for them.
If the best that your nitpicking and dramatic expression could do is point out mostly user errors and bugs that have now been fixed. I would take this "review" as a good reason to buy this device.
You asked, "Why would you return a device after 24 hours of owning it?" Because I was frustrated with it. I know this is going to sound corny, but I want my gadgets to surprise and delight me. This one didn't.
You said, "The camera angle is off only if you put it way too close to yourself or are extraordinarily tall". I'm 6'3", which I wouldn't call extraordinarily tall - for example, my business partner Jeremiah is taller than me. I put the Surface as far back as I could and still comfortably touch the keyboard and display.
You said, "Your complaint about the word slowness WAS somewhat valid (has been fixed and updated now)". Thanks, I appreciate the honesty. Unfortunately, the way to get the update is to go through a search, pick a non-default option, and refresh it. That's something we can't expect end users to do. I did the updates through the Metro Windows UI - repeatedly - and it wouldn't have even occurred to me that there were three different ways to get updates. Two I can kinda sorta get (OS and apps) but three, no.
You asked, "First off - how often do you reboot a tablet?" I travel a lot (5 flights in the next 2 weeks) so I have to do it pretty frequently.
You said, "It is clear that either you did a factory restore of the device. (WinRT apps are very slow to open the first time." No, that happened every time I tried to open Mail, but I bet this isn't happening to you because maybe mail only has to be configured once. Every time I opened it, it still wasn't configured. It probably has to go through some kind of long start to set things up, which it didn't do since it couldn't figure out where my email was.
You said, "The most embarrassing part FOR YOU must have been" - no, actually, the most embarrassing part has been having to spell things out for the fanboys. My email@example.com account is indeed a Live account. It's how I access all Microsoft services - MSDN, TechNet, Outlook.com, Messenger, etc.
A good reviewer does not seethe drama all over - he states the good and bad points without being overly dramatic or going over long poorly written scripts. He does not write a review in the midst of being pissed off. This explains your emotional outbursts and bias/drama in the review and vids - but does not do service to your credibility.
I felt like I was watching an election video when I watched your YouTube vids. Just a one sided mud sling. I was embarrassed for you just watching them.
I understand being frustrated but 24 hours? You need to learn a little patience. When I started using IOS and OS X (for iPhone Dev) I hated it for weeks. I had all sorts of issues. After learning the ins and outs though, I generally have mostly favorable things to say about it.
I don't know about the camera thing. How tall is your desk? I am 6' but I know the average person is something like 5' 9-10". Strange that I have not had or heard much on this issue for others.
I don't understand your issue with updating Word - It is a simple update.
I don't know why you reboot your tablet on flights? I fly a lot too but why would a flight mandate that you power off your tablet? Please explain your logic here.
For the Mail Setup and SkyDrive problem I can only guess because again, I have not had nor heard of others having the problems.
I just feel like for whatever reason you had a bad experience and wrote a seething review in the heat of your frustration. I think that if you had my (or many others) experiences, your review would be much different. I don't know why your experience differed so much from mine and others - either you got a lemon, messed up the tablet somehow, or are a troll. IMO, your emotion/dramatics would suggest the latter.
Edit: Come to think about it - I hope that update was explicitly stated. Wouldn't want my hardware to perform system critical updates disguised as a simple application update.
After using Windows 8 I just see no good reason for anyone to use it on an old PC instead of Windows 7. I only see drawbacks, such as the forced Metro interface, and the inconsistencies in the desktop mode UI, which seem like a patched-up job done 6 months before the release or something, to make it more "Metro".
This is false. I have used both extensively and Windows 8 is better by a good margin.Actually my old POS HP laptop runs better with Windows 8 because of the driver, kernel and display improvements. No blogger can take away the fact that Windows 8 is very good however its funny to see them try.
What Windows 8 does do, though, is trick you into thinking it's running faster, or "smoother". It uses animations to make those 0.5-1-second delays a lot more bearable. But the underlying performance is virtually the same.
Second, what the hell is a "trick?" It achieves basically the same result, but faster. That's called performance optimization.
I once doubled a hot area of compiler performance by doing aggressive inlining and removing some tuple allocation for closure conversion. It couldn't be performed in every possible situation, obviously, but the 99% case had a 100% performance improvement. But I shouldn't have bothered because that was all a "trick", right?
A brief look at your comment history says you only comment on political stories, so I don't know if you're a developer or one who has worked in performance optimization, but let me give you a little advice -- it's all tricks. It's all shuffling around your I/O patterns to avoid cache misses and reducing allocation to lower memory pressure and all that other crap. If you increase performance by caching the kernel on disk, which has the same impact for 99% of people as doing a cold boot, that's a performance optimization, not a "trick."
I can't use metro, on my 24" desktop when the damn dash or whatever takes over everything it is so jarring and dumb when all i want to do is type a few letters and run something.
I removed my RC copy Windows 8 and will never update to it. Windows 7 does everything well enough that it would take a radical usability / performance bump (probably directX 12 not being backwards compatible.. in about 8 - 10 years, given the longevity of dx9). If someone else likes to use it though, I really don't care, it is their choice to use whatever OS they are most comfortable with. It is why I default-boot to Arch.
I do have to say the new task manager is great and I wish they backported it.
> That's what everyone said about windows 7
Did people say that about Windows 7? I remember Vista was awful and nobody liked it and people were (naturally) apprehensive about Windows 7 prior to release but from what I recall -- granted my memory could be poor -- Windows 7 was well received at release and I don't know of anyone off hand that had problems with it but I can name quite a few that complained about Vista. Although I guess it could be argued that Windows 7 wasn't anything new, it was just Vista but how Vista should have been...
Nobody said that about Windows 7.
There's change-as-in-progress, and change-as-in-another-meaningless-revolution-of-the-tech-hamsterwheel. I have no doubt at all that the internals of Windows 8 represent progress. The replacement of the start menu with Metro, on the other hand, smells so far very much like the hamsterwheel.
I don't know about that. I remember playing with Windows 95 the day it came out, and I thought that the start button was awesome. Of course, this is compared to Windows 3.1(.1).
Right now there are two exceptions to this: Office (preview version - buggy) and a Desktop-mode version of IE. Everything else is 100% Metro. And I don't think you can even install anything yourself on it except via it's App Store. Hence it's Desktop-mode is not really there for the benefit of the consumer. And the Office offering will need to be further ported and refined for RT before everything is worked out. I'm not even sure why they put Office on it.
It's a device made mostly for browsing the internet and running some apps while holding it in your hands. Which is what the bigger market is for.
While this was a good and honest review, I think his use-case is off on this one and he will be better suited waiting for Surface with Windows 8 Pro.
I would also be curious to know what his height is, so I'd know what "for short people" means... The pics I've been able to find of the author, he's at least 6'2", maybe even 6'5".
If you are as toll as the author, you could probably either move the device away a bit, zoom out the image, or perhaps put something underneath it's stand to angle it properly.
I can move the Surface RT away from me to the point where I'm fully in the camera, but then I can't reach the keyboard. That doesn't quite work.
I don't get the point of a desktop-mode version of IE in Windows RT. Under Windows 8 proper, desktop IE gives you flash and other plugins (i.e. traditional browser experience). Under WinRT, desktop IE has the same restrictions as Metro IE.
Yesterday was the big retail launch. I was on a mission to check out what my local stores had and, if they had anything that could do the job for me, buy it. I've always wanted a tablet, but only if it could be as useful as a laptop when paired with a keyboard. The new Windows 8 tablets are supposed to be just that.
Best Buy had one (1) Windows 8 tablet. It was a Asus Vivo Tab running Windows RT... supposedly. I don't want an RT tab, and this store didn't even have a working floor model of the one tablet they were selling. The one they had was stuck on a "failed to automatically repair Windows" screen. It was also glued to the display stand so I couldn't pick it up and get a feel for the hardware.
OfficeMax had zero (0) Windows 8 tablets. Heck, they had no Windows 8 touch screen laptops either. Or price tags. Or product specs. Or anything I could play with, really. There was one employee there setting up a display model of some laptop while complaining to another about how they were supposed to have tags for the computers but had none. Their electronics section was a joke.
Staples had one (1) Windows 8 tablet. It was a Samsung ATIV running Windows 8. Success! I actually spent some time playing with this one. Again, I couldn't really get a feel for the hardware, or specifically the weight, given it's got a pound of security alarms and tethers bolted onto the back chaining it to the display area. Beyond that, the specs just weren't up to snuff -- with 2GB RAM and 64GB storage, I'd just barely be able to run enough software to occasionally use it as a portable development machine. With nothing installed on it, there was only 14GB of free space -- the OS and preinstalled apps were using 50GB of the 64GB out of the box.
So all those trips were a waste of time. There's no Microsoft Store anywhere within 4 hours of me, so those 3 were the full range of retail options here.
I'm basically looking for a Surface Pro (Intel Core processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage). It's amazing that despite knowing Microsoft would be building this, nobody else built something comparable, and stores aren't carrying even the few tablets/hybrids they did build.
Check out the Samsung Series 7 slate. 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM, core i5. 11.6 inches and a little less than 2 lbs. Unfortunately I don't know where you could find one in person to play with. I've been using it with Win8 for a bit and quite liked it -- with the dock and a keyboard you can run Visual Studio just fine.
This link suggests Samsung just rev'd it to add a higher res screen, keeping the 4 GB RAM and 128 SSD.
It is too bad that they haven't figured out distribution for your area. It does sound like what you want.
Come Friday - I went to a couple shops looking around, and saw what you did. I almost picked up Win8 Upgrade disk, but there were two boxes, different colors and SKUs, for the same price (there were others as well), and I'm *almost 100% certain that these were 32bit and 64bit upgrade options, but nothing on the box indicated that. Nothing at all indicated the difference between the skus (should have taken a picture).
And now trying to upgrade online, I'm getting payment processor failures - I can not seem to buy Win8 without brokenness or confusion.
This isn't just me - I submitted to HN a while ago - this has been going on since yesterday.
It's almost a scam to sell such an unusable hardware configuration. Someone's going to sync their music and buy two movies and find out their new "64GB" tablet is already out of space. That size should really be relegated to Windows RT only.
That said, the 2GB limitation means you are still going to be doing more Office than Photoshop...
I've got a full install of OS X 10.5, developer tools Photoshop, Aperture, other random apps and I run it with ~4GB free.
You'd be amazed how far even 16GB will go when you try.
If you want to be running Visual Studio etc then you'll need a touch screen laptop. Dell Latitude XT3 would be good here.
- Love the build. Very solid overall.
- 16:9 means it's one long tablet. Oddly, it's actually fairly usable in portrait; can't say the same for my old 16:10 Transformer (maybe just better balanced?)
- The touch cover is, like most say, surprisingly usable. Desperately needs a way to no-op Caps Lock though.
- Screen res lower than iPad, but still usable. Difference not near as noticeable as between iPad 2/3, but too many factors in play to make an objective call there.
- Metro takes getting used to, but I like it (even with KB/trackpad).
- It's the first time I've seen proper desktop Gmail and Google Docs usable in a tablet browser.
- Performance is generally decent. Not blazing, but decent.
- Windows RT appears to still contain far more of Windows than we've been led to believe. Even `csc` is installed, but missing a few dlls.
- No SSH client for Metro yet. That's one of the risks you take on a new platform (esp. a non-Unix one), but still aggravates me.
- Snapping is very, very handy; nice solution to bring proper multitasking to a tablet UI.
- When touch-scrolling over on desktop apps (what few remain), the entire window "bounces" at the head/tail of the content. Odd decision.
- No central notification bin (like Android's shade or iOS's Notification Center). Have to rely on scanning Live Tiles if you miss anything.
- The back camera seems to exist only to make the iPad 2's back camera feel better about itself. Has to be the blockiest camera I've ever seen.
- Handwriting recognition is pretty solid. Wacom junkies will be very pleased when so-equipped tablets ship. (Capacitive styli still suck)
- None of the Twitter apps have really thrilled me. Given the circumstances, I'm not that surprised.
- OS-level share support is a smart move; similar to Android's impl but more thorough (sharing pops up a share pane from your selected app in the sidebar, instead of bouncing you out of your current app entirely).
- Printing is mildly unintuitive; you have to open the "Devices" charm and pick your printer. No one is going to guess that's how to print.
- On the bright side, our network printer/scanner was detected and installed immediately, with zero user intervention. Very, very far cry from the WinXP days.
- There's no way to see your precise battery life outside of the desktop (in the classic sys-tray).
- Presumably due to the use of pressure sensors vs. capacitive, the Touch Cover isn't quite as accurate without a solid surface underneath.
- If you're not using the keyboard (watching movies, etc.), flip the cover backwards with the kickstand out and it's nearly as stable as a laptop.
- The intro tells you about the basic edge swipes (right for charms, left for app switcher, top/bottom for menu); not mentioned is swiping straight from top-center to bottom kills the current app.
- Screenshot is Win+VolDown.
- Wordament can be played while snapped. This is dangerous.
- IE lets you swipe on the outer edge of the page for back/forward, which would be smart if this didn't occasionally clash with the app switcher.
(PS: I typed this entire post on the Touch Cover.)
As an aside this brings me to one of my problems with Windows 8. When I was in Desktop mode and I first discovered the Side Bar (forgot what it's called) and saw the Share Button, I knew from before that you can use that to update twitter and facebook for example, so i got really excited thinking I had this quick easy way to update twitter and facebook without having to open up the browser. Turns out I was incredibly wrong. When you do click Share, it says "Nothing can be shared form the desktop". Then what is the point of keeping that button in the bar when in the Desktop context? Initially I even thought it was because I had to have a Twitter app open in Metro, but that had no effect.
Not related to the share charm, but you can snap Tweetro from the app switcher to the side like so
Another problem I've had with the Mail app (though this is Windows 8, so not sure if it's in RT as well) is that you can't just use the Mail/Calendar apps like how you'd use them on an iOS device, where you can just add your gmail as an accunt and then you have your calendars and email. I'd love to be proven wrong, and for there to exist a way to do this though, without having to create another Microsoft account. And I saw another, as I've used my recently revived hotmail to log into the Store and all.
Disclaimer: I've been a web developer for 4 years and have used a Mac during that whole time. Before that the only experience I had with windows was a typing class in high school and casually using it at people's houses. I don't have a bunch of Windows experience. This was the first native windows app that I've ever created. Also I've been using a full blown copy of WIndows 8 which is different than WinRT. Any of the mentions of 'desktop' software below won't run on a WinRT device.
Truthfully I'm not entirely sold on the idea of having a full blown computer in a tablet. Sure if was convenient for me to travel with the tablet and then when I got to a desk just plug in a mouse and attach a wireless keyboard but something still seemed incorrect.
More than once I was showing a workmate some code and absentmindedly touched the screen which highlighted the code and rearranged the order or cut it to the clipboard. Granted I'll develop the muscle memory to deal with that issue over time but I thought it worth noting that my initial reaction to having a 'full' computer on a tablet was negative.
Though I agree with you 100% that there is more "Windows" in here than we've been led to believe. In fact I found that only when launching apps did I interact with the metro start screen. Other than that I could just alt+tab right past it. All of the apps that I was using (sans the app that I was actually developing) were 'desktop' apps: Internet Explorer 10, File Explorer, Visual Studio 2012, cigwin and Tortoise SVN.
FWIW I like the traditional desktop version of IE10 much better than the new metro version of IE10. Which version of IE10 do you prefer? Have you done any app development?
The development experience was a real eye opener. The high level take away is that all the talk over the past 5 years about HTML5 eventually being used to create applications that could rival their native counterparts is finally coming to fruition.
You can build a Windows 8 app in either the native or the web stack and they will have nearly 100% feature parity. I've been considering making the switch from being a web developer to being a native app developer recently because I've been feeling limited by the browser. I've just wanted to get deeper access to the hardware and the OS and windows 8 fulfils that need.
Unfortunately they completely mangle the DOM and inject insane amounts of useless markup and attribute/values which make the semantic web geek inside of you die a little each time the app compiles and runs.
A small example--in my code I had a button that was a child of a div. It was literally two lines of HTML. After the app 'built' I couldn't get an event listener that was listening for an event on the child button to fire.
I used the DOM inspector to check out what was happening and not only had the compiler injected about 20 lines of html around each of my elements complete with dozens of data-foo attributes—it didn't even maintain the parent/child relationship from my markup! You can imagine how disconcerting it is to doubt that the core relationships of your markup aren't going to be maintained.
If you have time check out the app I helped created-Trulia for Windows 8: http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/en-US/app/trulia-real-estat...
PS: app is pretty sharp!
If you have a Trulia account and use any of our other apps (www.trulia.com, m.trulia.com, or any of our iOS/Android phone/tablet apps http://www.trulia.com/mobile/) and save a search or a property that data will get synced to the Windows 8 app and will show up on the main page (what we call 'the hub').
You can create an account from within the Windows 8 app from the charms bar.
Also to change your location go to the map view by tapping on a map tile from the hub.
Once on the map view swipe from the bottom to reveal the app bars. In the bottom app bar you'll see a tap target for search filter.
Once you filter your search and are on a new location swipe again from the bottom and tap 'Near Foo' from the app bar at the top.
This will take you back to the hub populated with your new location and nearby cities.
Search filtering from the hub is coming soon but we didn't have time to get it in the first release.
Why would you touch the screen when pointing? Non-touchscreen monitors generally shouldn't have your fingers all over them, so at least for me I've developed the habit of never touching the monitor when pointing.
* Can you comfortably hold it with one hand (e.g. for reading a book)?
* Can you comfortably hold it with one hand and type onscreen with the other?
* Can you comfortably type onscreen while holding it with both hands?
* Can you use the Touch Cover and/or Type Cover with the device on your lap (as if you were sitting in an airport, doctor's office, etc.) as you would do with a laptop?
But after seeing some reviews, it seems this hybrid doesn't function very well as a tablet and neither as a laptop. I'll still have to see someone using it on the lap to understand how the screen is able to stand. Granted it's an edge case but when I'm at airports I tend to do that.
Anyway, you reply just made me more curious to try one.
I've read that the covers can be on the back of the tablet, while holding it like a magazine. Are the input keys disabled if you do that?
Yes, keys are disabled when the cover's folded back. I haven't done any scientific testing on a threshold, but the on-screen keyboard will pop in/out as you flip the cover in and out of position. It also engages the rotate lock when the keyboard is out, for obvious reasons.
Has anyone else tried the SRT? This post alone is enough to scare me away.
- A mail app that opens to a completely blank screen with no cues on how
- An infinite login dialog that doesn't allow you to cancel and back out.
I've read my share of man pages and hand written my Xorg.confs many times in previous lives, I'm no stranger to complex and arcane software setup procedures.
But in 2012, in the world of smartphones and tablets, this is stuff that should just work. The answer to "the mail app is completely blank on launch" shouldn't be "sorry, you failed to read the manual". Ever.
And while I greatly respect Microsoft's attempt at entering this market, someone on their team, at some point, had to look at these issues and say, "okay, this software is ready to ship anyway". That does not bode well.
 The alternative, I suppose, is that no one noticed. Which is even worse.
and I still think it is true... IMO Microsoft made a mistake by leading out with the RT. Leading with the Pro and then offering the RT as a feature-reduced lower cost version would have cut down on the confusion as to what RT really is and lessened the initial impression that the Windows 8 experience is kind of underwhelming.
At the Microsoft store you can't get a single moment of privacy with a device to play with it. The sales person will continue to talk, they will take over from whatever you are trying to do/play with, they want to discuss specs, they want to showcase very specific pieces of technology, they never leave you alone, even if you end up straight up asking.
Granted, Marco's post was slanted in that he is an developer for the Apple eco-system, but that doesn't mean that his post didn't contain the truth. I myself have experienced exactly that at the Microsoft stores. They try to hard to copy the Apple stores, but fall hard.
More practically speaking, "portable" is a word that I highly doubt describes the Office codebase. If there's a team working on a Metro version, I do not envy them at all.
Huh, in the Anandtech review they thought the kickstand worked well everywhere except airplanes.
He is tall, 6'3", but moving the surface away form him enough results in it being too far away to type.
As a WIN32 developer for the last ten years I would have to agree that a good bit of software today for Windows lacks performance. Why ? IMO a lot has to do with mindset of not only developers, but also those who produce the programming languages developers use. I would venture to say that most programmers would admit that the computer they develop on is likely a more advanced computer than most mass market PC's. They like i5 or i7 CPU's, 8,16 or more gigs of memory, SSD's, etc. The mass market PC though, to be affordable comes far less equipped. This is why when I write software, my development PC is closer to a more mass market PC. I need to feel the problems with performance the moment I compile and run. Now if you write apps which run fast on a slow PC, imagine how they will run on the higher end devices.
What I'm disappointed about is that the bottom edge of the glass is not completely flat. This shows poor build quality, and I expected at least Apple quality from this device. I also tried a second one, and it also has non flat glass on the bottom edge. All the demo units had this problem too. Try reflecting a straight line on that part of the screen and you will know what I mean. It does bug me a bit because I expect a high standard for a $600 ARM tablet.
also vs the ipad 3 here - http://goodereader.com/blog/good-e-reader-videos/microsoft-s...
the pro might be a better investment, but most of the apps crash/buggy, not really worth being an early adopter with this product.
> I admit, I fully expected a tablet version of my laptop. I wanted it to do everything my laptop could do, but with the added bonus of the touch screen, so I can play my games that make my phone freeze up while I’m sitting at my kids dance or karate classes.
If you're technically savvy enough to understand and follow focus of GUI elements, and don't mind a stylus, then there are a number of existing tablets that will fit this bill. In fact, they've been around since ~2000.
> a laptop tablet is like a laptop, upon whose screen you can WRITE with a stylus. They are not touch devices like we think of today.
Please re-read. I am saying exactly this. The only way they are alike is they are somewhat in the same class of portability. The tc1100 is a beast at 3 pounds, but you can actually watch YouTube and browse the web in bed with one. I know, because I've done it. Doesn't work for the general public because ordinary people can't keep track of GUI item focus.
But the Surface will not be true competition to Apple. This product fails in too many ways, and I predict that the iPad will remain dominant for at least a few years to come.
Overall the design looked cool, as I am interested in tablet with an attached keyboard with a trackpad. Though I want a tablet/PC type of device that allows me to use it as a tablet or a PC laptop. I guess the Surface is not what I imagined.
My bigger concern was the very tiny touch points on the dialogs, especially in Office. I repeatedly touched the wrong spots, wrong options, opened the wrong folders in Explorer, etc.
It wasn't the first time I've bough I Microsoft mouse. I bought one back about a decade or so ago when another Logitech mouse died. It suffered the same fate as the Microsoft touch mouse. It was returned to the store and exchanged for another Logitech - for exactly the same reason.
Neither was acceptable for my workflow. Unsurprisingly, I spend a meaningful amount of time using CAD/BIM software. The touch mouse zoomed in when I adjusted my grip ("drawing" with a mouse largely involves holding it). There was no way to program the gestures. Likewise, the earlier Microsoft mouse had lots of buttons, but no way to program the middle button as a middle button - as an early "many button" mouse, the middle button had some dedicated function and I had about a decade of muscle memory and projects to push out the door.
The author is experiencing the same thing. The new device isn't tailored to his workflow. It probably isn't reasonable to expect it to be. It's competitors aren't; most people don't have a similar workflow; and it's still version one of the software (Word for RT).
This doesn't excuse the devices performance. But it also puts the author's experience in perspective. Right now, he's somewhat of an edge use case.
A person who types frequently enough, fast enough, and in sufficient quantity to experience a bottle neck with Windows RT's version of Word as a critical purchase feature, is an edge case...or rather not part of the targeted market segment at this time. This is little different from Apple's segmentation between iPad and Macbook Air.
Microsoft appears to recognize this. Hence, the "pro" version in the pipeline, and which you are considering as better suited to your workflow.
Windows Surface RT is targeted as an alternative to an iPad. Configuration issues are a one time pain. New software may not work any better than iTunes. The solution to gorilla arms may not be ideal for everyone. The question is, are they good enough to make it a general success?
This isn't true, especially for tablets with 10" screen-size. The "media creation" apps are there, in Apple's App Store, and on Google Play, and people buy them and use them. My tablet has totally replaced the roll of journals, planners, and notebooks. I do all my UI sketches on my iPad, wite my school assignments, take my notes, keep my journal, etc. And millions of other people do the same on these devices; or at least they want to: Creation apps sell.
> A person who types frequently enough, fast enough, and in sufficient quantity to experience a bottle neck with Windows RT's version of Word as a critical purchase feature, is an edge case...or rather not part of the targeted market segment at this time.
No, Microsoft is marketing the Surface as an iPad alternative that can Do Buisness Things: It's got a USB port, and it runs Real Office.
MS bundled and highly touted the existence of the keyboard on the Surface as proof that its a "no compromise" tablet. Typing (a very very basic activity) in Word (perhaps the most established piece of software ever) should JUST WORK, no matter what.
Even if you're right about that Surface/Win RT's target is the iPad, have you ever seen an iPad lag on typing from an external keyboard? I haven't.
The author's expectations were that the Surface would be as productive as a Windows laptop. Nobody expects an iPad to be as productive as a MacBook.
For what it's worth, I also wrote about why I was preordering it here: http://ozar.me/2012/10/why-i-preordered-a-microsoft-surface-...
The referenced post, however, implies an expectation to replace both an Air and an iPad with the Surface. Your post today implies that this is still the case, i.e. you intend to purchase a Surface Pro when they become available.
I'm not saying the performance of the Surface is excusable. But mainly because Word ships on it and a full function keyboard is an available option. This implies that the Surface is suitable for full speed touch typing while running a Word document (i.e. processing complex XML and accurately rendering arbitrary fonts and graphic elements with full compatibility with the desktop version). Consider the steps Apple took to avoid creating this situation with iWork when initially released - incompatible file structures meant no requirement to support touch typing without discarding document structure.
I just tried making a Word document on an iPad. Astonishingly, it did _not_ lag in that hilarious manner. I haven't done it in a while, but I seem to remember that configuring email was also easy an intuitive. Certainly, tablets will tend to be less capable than desktops, but not to this extent.
He wanted Word to not be laggy—completely reasonable and basic, nothing that would require laptop-level productivity.
He wanted programs to give an indication that they are doing something, when they are doing something—completely reasonable and obvious.
He wanted programs to not take minutes to launch or set-up—completely reasonable, etc.
I think your suggestion that Surface/Win RT's performance be compared to that of an iPad is spot on. iPad creates documents, video conferences and sets up email quickly and without problem in all of my experiences and in all of the reviews on the web that I have read.
However, I would wait at least for Cortex A15 chips to arrive, especially if you're going to want to use Unity, which isn't exactly a race horse on PC's either. I'm sure Canonical will port Ubuntu to the upcoming Nexus 10, too.
When they go bad, they're catastrophically bad.
It is weird combo of laptop and tablet.
What were "the typists" typing on before qwerty?
Camera viewpoint doesn't cover your face when you put tablet on kickstand mode? put it little away. what's wrong. Other leading tablets in market doesn't even have one. Its been stated design wonder along with cover with keyboard. Should appreciate instead.
All issues noted in this article are exaggeration except the live sign-in bug while saving office doc.
If I move the tablet far enough away that I'm in the picture, then I can't touch the keyboard. That's a problem.
" it was specifically marketed as the work-friendly tablet."
- But that doesn't mean that we should expect powerhouse performance and after all its RT. Wait for pro if you want that performance. At least it is doing something better than other competition? No one can deny that its better in terms of "work-ready" than iPad or Android tab. Instead of whining about small issues why can't be appreciate what they are trying to build ?
"They are not competing against first generation offering. This is not some child thats needs love and support. This is a commercial product from a for-profit company at a high price."
- Its something like complaining why new hybrid car in market not running x miles at xx speed , when a company brings new hybrid car in market at the time every car maker are busy making gas cars.
There are lots of thing promising about Surface. USB port, Smart Glass, Solid hardware, Office etc. Following is the post I would call more natural balanced response.
There are flaws out there. But which product in world don't have them. Are they something, which you can claim that, you are returning your product for ?
> Rather its result of working so hard to find out even smallest issue with Microsoft's new product
Those were not "small issues." Very far from it. In fact all of the software issues he showed us were a big damn deal. The kick-stand one could claim is a minor whine.
Seems like you literally watched just the first video and then came and commented.
As for your phrasing of his complaints as "the smallest issues" He is going through the two most obvious and common usecases. Typing a document and saving that document, and checking his email. The device is locked down, its one of the few uses they aim for and you are allowed to do.
Plus, I gotta be honest - I don't think there's going to be a resale value for these, so I didn't want to take a $200-$300 bath by selling it on eBay in a couple of months.
How disappointed were buyers of the iPhone or iPad 1 ?
Not, I think.
Was it a) because it was not quite ready for prime time, and subsequent updates fixed it, or was it b) because it simply didn't (and still doesn't) have features you wanted?
When the answer is a), that shows a product was rushed and not ready i.e. the Surface RT from the sounds of this review.
I agree, when those features are (were) available and cost effective at the time of release, AND they are in fact added at a later date, which somewhat proves they probably should have been added in the first place.
i.e. Complaining the first iPad was "rushed" because it didn't include 4G/LTE is nonsense.
By that measure, I honestly can't think of an Apple product in the last 5 years that was "rushed", where-as it seems the Surface RT was/is.
Even RT could be tolerable with the right apps as a remote machine with that keyboard, similar to what people do with Android+Transformer. I can program on it, work on remote machines.
That having been said, assuming it's somewhat usable on a lap, I'll wait for the Pro too, I have several things that need x86.
Isn't it exactly what he's doing in the videos?
edit: the second videos (saving a document in word) also makes many tap target seem laughably small compared to... the guy's fingers to start with. Am I dreaming?
I have bad habits that leave my fingers a bit nubbier than they should be, but trying to use Office on the RT tablet at Best Buy was barely short of impossible. I'd HAVE to use the keyboard to use it for any amount of time.
So, I would guess using the stand is out. That leaves placing the screen flat on your upper legs with the keyboard in front of it. In that setup, I am still worried about the keyboard detaching from the screen, and the screen dropping on the floor. The keyboard would have to be attached fairly firmly to the screen for that setup to feel secure. It also would place the screen in an awkward location for reading: too far away, and at an inconvenient angle. So, for that setup, I expect you will want something that wraps both the underside of the keyboard and the back of the screen, and props up the screen by, say, 10 cm. I guess something like that will pop up on Kickstarter soon.
This is a Surface Pro, which has not been released yet. Slowness is totally understandable because that guy installed an OS X on an iPad, which is the same thing as using Win8 full desktop environment on Surface RT hardware.
Either they are all 'retarded' and you are the one in the right, or vice-versa. Which do you think is more likely?