Microsoft’s Surface RT Reviewed

Reviews of Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet are now springing up like mushrooms in the tech and mainstream media. As was the case for reviews of the Windows 8 operating system, most of them can be quickly dismissed.

However, two are worth reading in full. Once again, Peter Bright turns in a considered review, and the other is from Anand Lai Shimpi.

For me, the interesting point was that Anand compared the performance of the Surface RT (which uses ARM hardware) with that of a Windows 8 tablet running the next generation of Intel’s Atom (codenamed Clovertrail), which is aiming to be as low power as the ARM hardware. The money quote:

On the user experience side alone, the Clovertrail tablet is noticeably quicker than Surface. Surface isn’t slow by any means, but had it used Atom hardware it would’ve been even more responsive.

The other clear advantage of a Windows 8 tablet powered by the Atom is of course the fact that it can run all your traditional Windows desktop applications and software drivers. The Surface RT can’t.

I still find it strange that Microsoft’s Surface Pro has elected to use the older, more power-hungry, Intel Core i5 processor. As a result, the Surface Pro needs to have fan cooling. I really would have been interested in a Surface that used the new Atom processor. Perhaps that will arrive in 2013.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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