Microsoft Surface with Windows RT: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying
Buying a Windows RT slate is not going to be as simple as buying an iPad or Android tablet
Wed, October 17, 2012
PC World —
Slideshow: Cool Features of Microsoft Surface Tablets
Surface with Windows RT pre-orders begin at noon Tuesday Eastern time at Surface.com with prices starting at $500 and the new tablet will start shipping on Oct. 26, the same day as Windows 8. The device features a 10.6-inch display with 1366-by-768 resolution at 148 pixels per inch, Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB or 64GB flash storage, microSD card, USB 2.0, micro HD port, and comes loaded with a beta version of Office 2013 Home and Student that is expected to get an upgrade to the final version later in the year. The tablet measures 0.37-inches thick and weighs close to 1.5 pounds. You can also pick up a cover with built-in keyboard with prices starting at $120.
No Intel inside
Windows RT is the version of Windows 8 for ARM processors. That means the device should have pretty good real-world battery life since ARM chips are popular among mobile device makers because of their power efficiency. The bad news is that software written for x86-based chips can't run on an ARM machine, meaning Surface RT cannot run legacy apps written for Windows 7 or older versions of the OS. Yes, Surface RT has the familiar desktop interface, but the desktop is really only there to run Office 2013 and a desktop version of Internet Explorer. If you need, or want, to run older Windows programs on a Surface tablet, you'll have to wait until early 2013 when Microsoft releases Surface with Windows 8 Pro (Surface Pro) powered by an Intel processor.
If you can't wait until early 2013 for Surface Pro, there are many Windows 8 slates headed your way with x86 processors such as the Samsung Series 5 Slate, Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx, Acer Iconia W510 and W700. Convertible laptops are also making a comeback with Windows 8 including the Sony Duo 11 Ultrabook,Dell XPS 12, Asus Taichi, and Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga.