After a week of speculation, Microsoft announced that it will be launching a tablet to call its own: Microsoft Surface. So far, the reviews have been fairly positive, albeit very few have actually gotten their hands on the device. Those that have – including writers at Wired, TechCrunch, Mashable, eWeek and others – were of course quite eager to share their initial impressions.
Here are clips from some of the more notable reviews:
Overall Look and Feel – From Dana Wollman, Engadget:
“None of this might make sense until you touch one yourself, but it’s our job to at least help you understand: the Surface really is as rigid and lightweight as Microsoft’s executive team promised us it would be. The magnesium casing makes it wholly inflexible, and we mean that in the best possible way. As thin and light as it is (9.3mm / 1.49 pounds), there isn’t a hint of give in the whole chassis. Were it not for fear of scratching that 10.6-inch display (HD on the RT model, Full HD 1080p on the Pro), we wouldn’t have too many qualms about accidentally dropping it: the magnesium is as smooth and scratch-resistant as it is sturdy. Heck, even the display is coated in second-generation Gorilla Glass, so maybe we shouldn’t handle this thing with kid gloves. Bonus: the whole package seems relatively impervious to fingerprints — at least on the rear. And remember, this is after dozens of tech writers put their curious paws on it.”
On Kickstands and Covers – From Colleen Taylor, TechCrunch:
“First we got a look at the kickstand that’s built in to the Surface, which is a clear differentiator from the iPad, for which users have to buy separate accessories. The kickstand was made to click in and out on the tablet with ease and style, and a satisfying “snap” sound — the company says it spent lots of time developing the three hinges that make it work, modeling them after the doors on a luxury car.
Next we looked at the included cover, which doubles as a touch keyboard. It has a soft rubbery feeling, but the keys don’t compress when you touch them. It also does not bend at all, unlike iPad covers — obviously, as it does more than just cover the screen. Microsoft says it made the hinges and cover to give it a bookish feeling. They come in several different colors.”
Pen Input – From Ian Thompson, The Register:
The Surface takes pen input from a magnetically-attached stylus and there are also covers, that come in an array of colours that range from funky to sombre. The covers house a multitouch keyboard with trackpad on the inside. A 3mm-thick Touch Cover or a 5mm TypeCover with moving keys are offered. An integrated kickstand means the tablet can be propped up at an angle of 22 degrees.