Week two with the Surface RT: This has become my favorite portable device

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As we all know by now, Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet was released not that long ago and it was touted as Microsoft’s own tablet that was designed by the company. In part one of this story, I went over the initial impressions of my Surface RT 32GB. In this post, I will talk about my experience after week one.

If you missed part one of this story, you can go here to read it first.

USB Connectivity

The Surface RT comes with a full-size USB 2.0 port, located on the top-right side of the device. After noticing that the Surface RT only has one USB port, I wanted to try plugging in other devices just to see if they worked. First, I tried connecting my Western Digital portable hard drive. Plugging in the USB cable was a bit rough, maybe because it’s a new device or maybe it was designed for a tough insertion. Either way, Windows RT immediately detected my external drive and I was immediately able to view any files stored on the drive. A notification tile will pop-up telling you the device was inserted. I even plugged in a USB trackball mouse to the Surface and it worked immediately. Microsoft has claimed that you can plug in your phone into the Surface RT to charge it and I tried just that. It picked up my Droid Razr Max in an instant and began charging it. I was also able to use a USB Thumb Drive easily. Recently, someone was able to plug in a Okidata dot-matrix printer via a Parallel to USB connector and got this old school printer working on the Surface RT without any hassle.

Week two with the Surface RT: This has become my favorite portable device - OnMSFT.com - November 12, 2012

Multiple User Accounts in Windows RT

Windows 8 and Windows RT both come with the ability to have multiple user accounts, which is no different than what was in the previous version of Windows. However, since my Surface RT is shared with other members of my family, I decided to create more user accounts. The Surface RT allowed Windows RT to seamlessly transition between user accounts and I was impressed. Switching between accounts was a breeze and I had no complaints about it.

The Camera

The Surface RT comes with two 720p HD cameras, one on the front and one on the rear of the device. Once you launch the Camera app in Windows RT, you can easily switch between the two cameras. Picture quality was decent (but not all that awesome) and I was able to take a screenshot of my PC monitor using the rear camera of the Surface. See below.

Week two with the Surface RT: This has become my favorite portable device - OnMSFT.com - November 12, 2012

Audio and Touch Cover issues

Microsoft has been selling the Touch/Type Cover for the Surface RT as the device’s key feature and selling point. However, some Surface RT owners are now experiencing audio issues due to the Touch Cover. Microsoft has acknowledged this issue and offered a replacement Touch Cover to those affected. Luckily, I was not affected by this issue.

Week two with the Surface RT: This has become my favorite portable device - OnMSFT.com - November 12, 2012

Final thoughts

“I still need more time to play with the Surface RT tablet and toy with every feature, but so far I am liking this thing. I was skeptical at first but now I am happy that I purchased it. I do wish the price was at least $100 cheaper, considering I cant run any x86 or x64 apps on here. Oh by the way, how’s battery life on this thing? Let’s just say that I only charged it once and have been running it on and off for four days. Let’s give this one more week and see how I feel about it,” I stated in part one of this post. So how do I feel after week one? The Surface RT is a great device overall, in my opinion. The device resolution of 1366×768 is not bad but I wish I had the option to adjust it to something a little higher. I love how it charges so quickly and has a long battery life. My network connection has been steady and I have had no issues with it. I personally don’t care too much about the Metro Modern Windows Store apps, but Windows RT runs fantastic on the Surface RT. The Touch Cover is indeed a great idea and it just works well and I may even consider purchasing a Type Cover just to have it. At first, I thought the Surface RT was just hype but now I see that this device is indeed worth it. My plans for the device are simple, use it to browse the internet and watch movies/tv. So far, everything is working as planned. The Surface RT has become my favorite portable device!

These are my experiences with the device and this story was in no way paid for by Microsoft.

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