Microsoft’s Surface tablet is now available to Best Buy customers. The move is viewed by analysts and Microsoft as an important one. As with other tablets, the more places the Surface is available, the better. Best Buy, the top surviving brick-and-mortar electronics retailer in the United States, is an important part of pushing more sales and increasing a product’s popularity.
With the holidays fast approaching, customers will increasingly turn to Best Buy to get their last-minute shopping done. When they are there looking for a tablet, it’s possible that their thoughts will turn to Microsoft’s slate. After all, it’s bigger than the iPad and comes from a company that many customers trust. Plus, at a starting price of $499, it appears to be in line with the iPad in terms of value.
However, further inspection will reveal quite quickly that the Surface is not a tablet worth buying. Right now, there are a host of tablets available that are better in every way. The Surface, while a nice first attempt by Microsoft, falls short.
Read on to find out why the Surface tablet is one customers should pass by as they finish shopping this holiday season.
1. The better version is coming
Microsoft is currently only selling the Surface RT, a tablet that’s running the company’s ARM-ready Windows RT operating system. That’s a problem. When customers boot up the Surface, they’ll find that it lacks many of the features available in Windows 8 Pro and is surprisingly underpowered. It’s better to wait for the Surface Pro, which is launching with a full version of Windows 8 early next year.
2. Windows RT software support
App support in Windows RT is downright pathetic. In fact, looking through the device’s app store will reveal that there are just a handful of worthwhile apps. Why would that happen on a Windows-based product, one might ask? Simple: Surface RT is based on an ARM chip, requiring developers to rebuild their programs to work on that architecture. At least for now, many just aren’t doing it.
3. Windows 8’s learning curve
Since Microsoft release the operating system in October, Users have found that the Windows 8 learning curve is fairly steep. As a result, this might not be the ideal time to try out this Windows tablet. The chances are that Microsoft will improve some design oddities in the coming months, making it a bit easier for users to get the hang of Windows 8. Until then, skip it.
4. It’s expensive for the value
Although the Surface RT starts at $499, matching the price of Apple’s iPad, it’s hard to see how Microsoft can justify that value proposition. The device, while well-built and good-looking, is big and clunky, making it less mobile than the iPad. Plus, with far less application support than the iPad, customers will find little to like after getting through the native apps. Add that to a lack of WiFi along with only 2GB of RAM, and the Surface RT starts looking like a tablet that should be priced at around $399.
Microsoft Surface Tablet: 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy It Now
5. Slowdown problems
After using the Surface with several apps, reviewers found that the device suffered from massive slow downs. Chances are, that’s because of the tablet’s paltry 2GB of RAM. As Windows users know, the operating system, regardless of the version, needs ample RAM. And the Surface’s memory and processor combination just doesn’t cut it.
6. There’s beauty elsewhere
There’s no debating that the Surface RT is a good-looking product. However, that’s not a compelling reason to buy the tablet. Apple’s latest iPad is arguably the best-looking product on the market. Even Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 gives the Surface a run for its money. Microsoft is trying to sell the Surface by pointing to its design. That point just doesn’t win the argument.
7. The battery can’t match the iPad’s
According to Microsoft, the Surface RT comes with a 31.5-watt-hour battery. The iPad, on the other hand, comes with a 42.5-watt-hour battery. That is a huge difference. In fact, Apple’s iPad can last up to 10 hours on a single charge, as users surf the Web on WiFi, watch video, and listen to music. In some benchmark tests, the Surface lasted a few hours shorter. That’s something that can’t be overlooked.
8. Never go with a first take
The last thing the average consumer should do is buy the very first edition of a brand new hardware product that any company launches. Although Apple and Google tend to make things look easy, getting hardware right takes time and a boatload of mistakes. This is Microsoft’s first foray into tablet hardware. The Surface RT might be a solid device, but expect much better hardware next year when Microsoft has more time under its belt to get it right.
Nowadays, with tablet customers going mobile so often, it’s impossible to recommend a device that can’t connect to the Internet from a mobile connection. The Surface RT, unfortunately, only offers WiFi connectivity. So, when a user is away from WiFi, there’s no getting on the Web. That’s a shame.
10. Too little storage for a Windows environment
Microsoft’s Surface RT offers customers 32GB or 64GB of storage. While that might be enough for a device like the Google Nexus 10, which has support for ample storage in the cloud, in a Windows environment with big, powerful programs, that’s not anywhere near enough. At least the Surface Pro will offer up to 128GB of storage.