It’s simply an awful tablet. If you remove the keyboard and try to use in portrait mode, the thing is too long and too narrow. It feels heavy because it’s too thick, despite being about on par with the iPad in weight. But if you attach the keyboard, you then have to be sitting at a desk or table where you can prop the thing up. It’s not a lap computer, which is nutty because tablet computers are for untethering you from a desk, and laptops have the word “lap” in them for a reason. Only Microsoft could come up with a way to make a tablet/laptop combo that forces you back to your desk no matter the configuration you select.
Only Microsoft could make a tablet that’s actually desktop PC.
And as a desktop PC, it’s too small for work day computing. It’s a secondary device at best. iPad users won’t buy this instead of a new iPad. Laptop users will still buy laptops. Price sensitive Android users won’t bite for the price ($499+, but unusable without a keyboard which is an extra $119 for the less expensive Touch Cover option). E-reader buyers will look for something lighter.
Who, then, is this tablet/laptop for? And where the heck are you supposed to use this thing?
As for me, the Surface sits in my kitchen. And it works pretty well there for quick web searches, email checks, recipe lookups, a little YouTube and the like. There’s no point getting into details about how well Office performs, or the lack of apps available for the Surface with Windows RT, or other details – this is an occasional use machine.
Anyway, the kitchen not the worst place for an oddball computer to end up – the PlayBook, after all, quickly became the bathroom tablet. (That thing is the perfect size for leaving on top of the toilet.) But if I were to invest in switching to Windows 8 from OS X or iOS, I go for a “real” laptop or a “real” tablet, not this odd halfling creation which is, in reality, neither.