Uh Oh, Microsoft's Surface Tablet Is Getting Some Awful Reviews

Steve Ballmer Microsoft Surface

Photo: AP

The reviews are in for Microsoft’s Surface tablet. And the verdict is not good. The most scathing of the reviews we’ve read so far comes from Josh Topolsky at The Verge. 

Here’s a sampling of what he has to say:

  • “It’s also not very useful on your lap — unless you like to struggle.”
  • “It’s not really that comfortable to hold in landscape for extended periods, and in portrait it’s laughably tall.”
  • “I actively avoided using the mail app if at all possible.”
  • “Nearly every app I tried crashed completely at least once while I was testing the tablet, third and first-party.”
  • “This product is supposed to represent the future of Windows and Microsoft, so why did I feel so frustrated so often while using it?”
  • “The whole thing is honestly perplexing. If this device is not as good as (or better than) the best tablet, and not a complete alternative to a laptop — who is this for? What is it supposed to be?”

Gulp. Well, it wasn’t all bad from Topolsky:

“The actual interface — the tiled environment — is a joy to use. It’s really, really cool. I found myself legitimately delighted by some of its functionality, particularly its multitasking and side-by-side apps concept.”

He’s not alone in his criticism of the Surface. Here’s Sam Biddle at Gizmodo:

  • “Surface is a fantastic promise, and holds fantastic potential. But while potential is worth your attention, it’s not worth your paycheck … it is undercooked.”
  • “After the initial delight of an evolved tablet wears off, you’ll groan—because Surface brings the appearance of unity, but it’s really just the worst of both worlds.”
  • “The Touch Cover is a letdown.”

Matt Buchanan of FWD:

“The thing is, Surface is supposed to be so much more than just Microsoft’s iPad alternative, the Other Tablet. It may very well be one day. It has everything it needs to be that. But today it’s just another tablet. And not one you should buy.”

And David Pogue at The New York Times said:

  • “Would you take a job that pays $1 million a year — cutting football fields with toenail clippers? That’s the sort of choice Microsoft is asking you to make with the spectacularly designed, wildly controversial Surface tablet.”
  • “Little inconsistencies and bafflements are everywhere.”

But Pogue did say this:

“On the hardware front, Microsoft has succeeded brilliantly.”

Look, not all of the reviews are wildly negative on the Surface. But, after reading a few of them, and scanning many of the others, the primary takeaway is that this is not better than the iPad.

This is a first generation product from a company that’s never built a computer before. It has some bugs to be worked out. If you were thinking about spending $600 on it, then you might want to think again.

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