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Surface Rt Ok, But Wanting The Pro Version


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We ordered two Surface RT tablets with touch covers to test them in order to determine if they would work for our executive team. The verdict so far, NO. But that really is because of the lack of 3g or 4g. While I can easily tether it to my phone, for these folks they just want to open it and it work. Working with an additional piece of equipment (even if it is the phone in their pocket) to get internet is not an option. In addition, they will be spending almost all of their time in locations without Wifi so while the Surface does have excellent Wifi, it is of little help for this use case.


So here are a few more pluses and minuses we have found from our use over the last week:




  • Love the kick stand
  • Touch keyboard works surprising well (we have two type keyboards coming to test as well)
  • Does not seem to slow down much even with several things open
  • Wifi connects very fast and has worked really good
  • Being able to load Excel, Word and Powerpoint files a real plus.
  • Skype app works OK for one on one calling
  • Love the full size USB connection, can add a mouse, keyboard or USB stick, plus others I am sure
  • HDMI good for displaying video on monitor or projector



  • No 3g or 4g an absolute deal killer
  • No GPS
  • Very limited number of Metro apps
  • Not sure touch keyboard will hold up to long term use
  • Skype app can't do group calling
  • Have had the unit think we are still touching it several times which made it almost useless until it decided to stop
  • Surface decided to display none of the metro tiles and forced a reboot
  • Kickstand angle not always the best
  • Camera for photos is the worst I have seen on any device in the last 10+ years
  • When keyboard is flipped over, it covers have the camera, making a near useless camera twice as useless
  • Can't load the programs we want onto the desktop. Of course we knew this before buying it.


For us, we knew the RT version would not work for us. So our main reason for getting them was to test the overall use of Windows 8 on a tablet, and to give us a feel for what we can expect with the Pro version coming. Even though the RT version has lots of negatives for use, it has got me very excited for what we can expect with the Pro version and we will be getting some as soon as possible. However, they MUST have a cellular connection and GPS or they are DOA!

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The only thing I have heard of that may fill your need is ATT. They will have the Samsung ATIV Smart PC. Windows 8, Clover Trail, 2GB, 4G LTE, 11.6 screen, keyboard dock. Staples has the non 4G version if you want to play with one.

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I can wait for the Surface Pro. I have to image MS would not put out the Pro version without a cellular connection and GPS, right?

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Yes, the Surface Pro does not have cellular radio in it. Its also a WiFi only device. That is why I have the ATIV Smart Pc Pro slated as my Pro device. Just waiting for ATT to get them.


I haven't had problems with the camera. Works good for me.


Thanks for doing that testing. Will come in handy for a blog post.

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I so hope you guys are wrong. I would find it shocking that MS would put out a $1k+ TABLET without GPS or cellular. They do realize other people are making tablets with these features, right? Do they want to capture the Enterprise business or are they writing that off and figure an OEM will take care of it?

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I swear I heard that ATT was getting the ATIV Smart Pro. They are carrying the ATIV S phone so I am pretty positive they will carry the Pro tablet.

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Well I take that back. ATT is only carrying the ATIV Smart PC and not the Pro version. But, the ATIV Smart PC does have the Full Windows 8 on it, not the RT version. Has the Clovertrail processor and 64gb ssd. The Pro version comes with 128gb ssd and the i3/i5 options.


So the Smart PC might be the one I am looking for.

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