An Oldie’s Take on Surface RT

Well, my Surface Tablet arrived one day early. It was due on Melbourne Cup Day, a public holiday here in Australia and it was delivered the day before. The packaging was first class. My neighbor an Apple fan suggested Microsoft was emulating Apple in this regard.

I unpacked it and sure enough the Touch Cover attached with a resounding click to the tablet.

Opening the fold-out stand was simple and in no time it was ready to go.

Setting Up Surface

The Surface’s battery was obviously charged so I was able to power it up immediately. I tailored the Surface to my requirements and then it was all go.

The Touch Screen was easier to use than I imagined, much better than the touch screen on my older ASUS All-in-one.

Power Connection

Paul Thurrott, in a recent blog, makes a big issue about the magnetic power connection to the Surface. I found it no such trouble. Charging took no time.

Storage

Onuora worries about the storage capacity of the 32 GB Surface tablet. Using the updated Task Manager I checked to see the amount of storage the RT operating system and Office 2013 use on the hard drive.

At present this is not a big issue for me as I use SkyDrive to store files and know that I can plug in an USB Stick to access Music files and so on. If I’m desperate I’ll probably uninstall any unwanted Apps.

Later, I’ll purchase a Micro SD 64GB and add it to the Surface.

Finding an App quickly With all the hundreds of Apps available it takes time to scroll through the different categories. If you have a type of App in mind you can use Search to see if one is available.

  1. Open the Store Apps.
  2. Access the Search Charm.
  3. Type in the type of App you want.
  4. Select the App.


Of course, the Apple iPad crowd laugh at the scarcity of Microsoft Apps but Microsoft will surely catch up. Personally I’m quite happy with the ones already available.

The Touch Cover

The Touch cover works fine with each keystroke audible. It was easy to use BUT my biggest beef about it is the lack of clear separation between certain keys. The Space Bar and the Touch Pad and its left and right buttons have no clear definition. The other keys are clearly identified.

Maybe the fault is mine as I chose the black touch cover rather than one of the coloured versions. In a brightly lit interior no problem, but in a darkened environment it’s hard to distinguish them.

So what can I do to make these keys easier to see? I’m considering drawing a white line in the separations.

Charms Keys and the Touch Cover

One of the best features of the Touch cover is the four keys – Search, Share, Device and Settings. Using them beats the touch screen hollow!

The USB Port

The USB port is so useful. I have a USB Hub with several USB sockets. I plugged it in to the Surface and added a USB mouse, a USB stick and a USB Hard Drive. All worked faultlessly.

Need Some Help

In my earlier blogs on Windows 8 I sang the praises of Microsoft Support. Once more I commend this website to those who are struggling. You can visit their website using the following address: http://www.microsoft.com/Surface/en-AU/support/get-started/walkthrough/welcome-to-surface

As there are no books about Surface, to my knowledge, and you get minimal documentation with it from Microsoft, here you will get solid information about its many features. You will be presented with this screen.

Selecting No takes you through a step-by-step guide to set up your new Microsoft Surface. If you’ve already achieved a successful setup select Yes. You will a complete rundown on all of Surface’s features.

To sum up!

I have no regrets about buying the Surface Tablet. It is a useful addition to my stable of computers – notepad, desktop and All-in-0ne touch screen computer. The Surface gives me better access my eBook collection and the games I like to play.

Its few shortcomings are compensated by me have alternative computers to use.

My Apple inclined neighbor, who was keen to see and touch it, suggested the Surface is neither a laptop nor a tablet. He called it a Hybrid.

When you think about it, perhaps this is an apt description as the Tablet has a foot in both camps.

All things considered, I am happy with my Surface. As time goes by I expect to take it to its full potential.

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • Dino Buljubasic

    and where is Prnt Scrn key? How to take screenshot or a shot of a part of the screen?

    • David

      The printscreen key’s missing in a lot of laptops as well. I normally use Jing – from techsmith to take screenshots.

  • Lewis Fulkerson

    I have a better question: Why doesn’t Windows 8 see my DVD drive? Personally, I think Microsoft should be sued for the sloppy way they made Windows 8, and I’m going to look into it. There’s no excuse for putting a new OS on by upgrading my Windows 7, and now my DVD drive won’t read any disks at all! Microsoft has seen the last of my business… and I’ll never recommend their products to any of my several thousand customers!

    • Hmm??

      Have you considered a problem in your set up, I’ve set up several pcs and laptops with windows 8 and everyone of them can see and use their DVD drives. It seems a bit of an over reaction to completely drop a company or product over a simple issue. On a topical note I have a surface and I love it both for personal use and work it does everything I need

    • Robind

      I’m not a Windows 8 user as such, but is your DVD loaded in device Manager?
      Maybe something has disabled it…look on this link, It might help you: 

      http://www.itgeek2011.co.cc/

      I suggest if you don’t find anything that can give advice, try a system restore to the time your dvd was working (if it worked)  or uninstall Windows 8 and reinstall it.

      I have tried different Windows 8’s and never had a problem, Id your DVD SATA or IDE
      How did you load Windows, from ISO, Flash Boot or dvd?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jpdeveau Jason Deveau

      I used the consumer preview for months. Windows 8 installed all drives and hardware without issue. The problem you describe is likely a manufacturer driver problem. Not Windows 8.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jpdeveau Jason Deveau

      Ill add the I LOVE Windows 8 I recommed it to everyone who will listen.

  • Robind

    This is Related to MS

    Why is MSN falling away and going over to SKYPE?
    friends on my chat site said Microsoft is closing down MSN,,, WHY? 
    What about Windows Live, Will that stay?

  • John Campbell

    Solved the problem with the indistinct key, the spacebar and the touchpad including the left & right button marking them with a permanent white marker. Still no joy with the lack of the prtscn key despite advice from various folks.