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Surface Rt Experience At Staples/best Buy


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As far as I know they haven't started selling the RT at Staples and Best Buy here in Canada so I have no firsthand knowledge but the experiences that I've been seeing over twitter and other places leave a little to be desired. There are a couple of okay examples below but the first one just made me shake my head.


I've also seen some poor pictures coming out of Australia. I tried searching for them to post here but was unable to find them again.


This was posted at the Motley Fool (investment website). http://boards.fool.com/surface-site-check-staples-and-best-buy-30437530.aspx here for the full post +pictures. I'll pull out some quotes:


Staples Watchung NJ:

“I would like to see the Tablet made by Microsoft.” The sales person responded, “Oh, there are quite a few,” as the salesperson showed me the Galaxy, and several others. I asked, “What about the tablet manufactured by Microsoft?” The salesperson responded, “Oh, we don’t have any of those.” I asked, “are you sure, would you mind checking with someone?” The sales person checked with a manager, and the manager said, “Sure, we have the Surface, it is in the back of the store at an end cap.” We journeyed past all the Desktops, laptops, cell phones, and other tablets, till we got to the back of the store and saw the Surface.


Staples in Watchung NJ decided to put legs on the Touch Cover. These legs made using the Touch Cover impossible. The Touch Cover is light weight, and having it on 4 legs made it feel flimsy, and really was not a pleasurable user experience. As I touched one of the legs, the store alarms started to ring loudly.


I asked to speak with the store manager. The store manager and another manager spoke with me about the Surface. I asked, “When is the next Surface coming out?” “There hasn’t been one announced yet. Would you like to buy this product?” I responded, “I was going to wait for the Surface Pro.” Both responded, “What is that?” I mentioned it was another tablet which would have full Windows 8.” Both responded that they don’t think such a machine has been announced. I explained it has been announced, and perhaps they should read up on it.


I showed the store manager how the security device on the tablet itself was not giving the user the ability to fold the hinge, and experience the tablet as it is meant to be with the hinge closed. At this point the store manager seemed agitated, and really didn’t want to talk further about this.


Staples Springfield NJ


I walked into the Springfield NJ store. As soon as you walk in, there is a prominently displayed Surface with both the Touch Cover and Type Cover available for testing. The security devices were present on all equipment, but the placement of the device was much better, and gave the user the ability to take the keyboard off of the tablet, close the hinge, and use the machine.


Best Buy Union NJ


As soon as you walk in the doors, walk towards Mobile, and you will see a large Surface display. The person I spoke with was quite knowledgeable on the Surface, and this person also mentioned, “I am getting a Surface Pro when it comes out next month.”


The one issue at Best Buy Union was that the Touch Cover had a security device on the bottom of the pad.

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It is amazing how little these people actually know. I quit shopping at best buy years ago because only a very few number of the employees know what a computer is.

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I'm not surprised. I don't see them as sources of tech knowledge. Right or wrong I see them as pushing items with the largest margins or commissions. I am a little surprised they haven't figured out how to display stuff for good hands on testing since it's their one edge over the internet.


It's why apple has their own stores an Microsoft needs to expand theirs if they want to promote their ecosystem.

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I bought a Surface RT at Staples on 12/14. They were still setting up the first sample device when I entered the store. 30 mins later they had it on show and the tech staff were quite knowledgeable about it. The only limitation was the range of colors available for the touch keyboard - black only. Overall it was a very satisfactory experience.

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I am worried about the the respect places like Best Buy will have for the device. I visited two seperate stores and while right now the devices are displayed well and operable, I fear that will be short lived. I looked at many other tablet conditions and was disappointed. For example, one store had the Samsung Ativ Smart Pc without the S Pen.... It came with the device, the Pocket was empty and they didnt even have it to use. They had the pen with the Android equivelant but it was broken. Another store had the Ativ with broken speakers and broken port covers. There are horror stories like this for several other tablets on varying OS... Except the Apple product which were in the center of the store and in perfect condition. I just fear this is just another device for retailers that they will let get destroyed thus misrepresenting its true beauty and ability while they give the Apple product the white glove treatment.

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Kudos to my local Staples, at least for display. It was on an end cap. The Surface had the type keyboard attached. Might say that that's bait and switch (or upsell) but probably puts the surface in the best light. Touch keyboard was off to the side and it was possible to move the Surface to it. Both keyboards had the security device on top in the lower right so they were flat and could be tested. (I got my first hands on with the type keyboard). Surface security device was in the USB port. Maybe I missed a lock, but seemed more an alarm than lock but it reached both keyboards without needing removal.


I didn't have time to flag a down a salesperson so no idea on knowledge but signage was correct. A quick walk through the tech section and it appeared the store presented PCs/tablets/phones consistently good for basic retail.

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I was just at my Best Buy in Winston-Salem, NC, and it was pretty sad. They had one Surface out but it blended in with other tablets. There was no type cover out and no signs that distinguished it from the other, lower-end tablets/ereaders. The accessories were about 20 feet away and hanging underneath some other ereaders. They did have a touch cover attached and you could use the kickstand. It was also charged and functional.

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Same experience here. I saw one surface displayed, but it doesn't stand out in the area. No one care and knows what it is. MS needs to do something. It is a joke.

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Similar experience here in the ATL metro area in the store nearest to me. I've been waiting to actually have a Surface to touch and see what it's like compared to my Android tablet. Unfortunately, the only unit they had on display wasn't charged up. The sales guy plugged it in but then couldn't get it started. Not only is this a sad situation for Microsoft and me (the consumer), but it does little to save Best Buy from eventually going under. I can't say for sure I would have bought one that day but they never had a chance for a sale to me under these conditions. If only their executives knew how stores are run, maybe they could save their company.

Edited by quixotic
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