Undisputed king of the OS "fixed" for decades, Microsoft however figure fourth wheel of the coach as soon as we talk about mobility. And yet, the company has long attempted to mobile operating systems, evidenced by tablet PC running Windows XP in 2002, or a bunch of Pocket PC and Windows Mobile smartphones fuel in 2000. Yes, but here it is: it has never really taken and must await the arrival of Apple on the market with the iPhone and iPad, that MS decided to put everything flat and completely rethink its mobile strategy . If Windows Phone 7 was a first step, it is mostly Windows 8 and its derivatives which are supposed to anchor the good company on this incredibly lucrative market. The culmination of much of this effort has a name: Surface. First Dell Inspiron 1545 Battery tablet completely designed by Microsoft Surface is available in two models - RT and Pro - which only the first is currently available. This is one that interests us today.It is huge, but it has the mouth
RT surface is therefore a 10.6-inch tablet with a quad-core processor Nvidia (Tegra 3), 2 GB of RAM, a capacitive IPS screen displaying a definition of 1366 x 768 pixels, a storage capacity varies between 32 and 64 GB (in theory ... we will return) and generous dimensions: 274 x 172 x 9.3 mm for 680 grams. It fits like a shot of the larger tablets on the market, but that does not mean it is not a beautiful thing, far from it.
Indeed, the first contact is excellent with its straight lines, but pleasant to the touch and flawless finish, the machine oozes quality. Impression is confirmed on the length, size seems to be a rock solid. In terms of design, some will blame him one side a little "austere", but one can not help but find it has a certain class. Connectors and buttons are, in turn, very well located and has rarely been easier to add a keyboard to a tablet thanks to its magnetic system. We just wish that the stand to hold the device in landscape mode is not more tilt, which could provide a better user experience. But overall, finish and design of the area are its real strengths.
More than Ultrabook tablet?
Side of the connection, the lack of mini-USB port to connect the tablet to a Dell XPS M1330 PC surprising at first. Instead, there is a USB 2.0 port allows you to connect a USB or external drive. Past astonishment, we understand that MS sees the surface as a laptop that turns into a tablet and not vice versa, making it impossible to connect to another machine. In the end, this lack is not really detrimental, especially as the ability to plug in a USB and read its files directly is extremely convenient. Apart from this little fantasy, there is a micro-HDMI connector and a magnetic charging system, but owner.
Sensors photo / video
Microsoft Surface Expands RT tablet with two sensors, one in front of 1.2 megapixels, and a second on the back of ... 1.2 megapixels! In practice, they prove to be downright disappointing, producing images much worse than a Retina iPad or other tablet better provided in this respect. The photos produced suffer from a grain too visible to our liking, and as soon as the lighting conditions are not optimal, rendering down another notch. Next video, Skype allows only for the moment to build the facade sensor and microphone. Need a software download (for free) on the Windows Store. Do not expect to charge the surface via a USB cable, then. Added to this is a classic jack 3.5 mm and a slot for a micro SD card. We found the final with an extensive connection, which puts the machine a little more in the category of notebooks. However, if the reproduced sound through headphones is excellent and powerful, can not say that the speakers make the walls vibrate, the maximum sound level is too low. The Dell E4310 Battery outward appearance of the area is generally very successful and we can only applaud the effort of Microsoft to offer a first machine worthy of what happens at Apple on this point at least.
Keep one hand on the surface can quickly become cumbersome
A beautiful screen, but a disappointing resolution
Another important aspect: the display. Again, here, the first impression is very good. Format 16/9 10.6-inch makes a big difference with the competition and used the slab shows very good contrast, very deep blacks and little fingerprints. It also offers a nice brightness (380 cd/m2) and up to its shiny appearance brings into the picture. It regrets that the displayed resolution is much lower than an iPad or Retina Nexus 10 and settles for a timid 1366 x 768 pixels. So, sometimes lack the finesse and appeal to the demanding photographer may disillusioned face this lack of precision. This is all the more frustrating that the manufacturer has clearly made great efforts to give us a quality screen.
Let us quickly issue of autonomy which seemed quite good for this range of tablets. In video playback, the surface is RT quietly for a little over eight hours with WiFi on and the brightness background. For HP G4 Battery lighter use, you can count on ten hours of battery. The iPad Retina slightly better, but the Nexus 10 much less in comparison.
Video playback in 720p and 1080p runs carefree
RT Windows: the Achilles heel
"So, we are faced with an OS that, for the moment, must be used without application, or almost" ...
Now that we have reviewed the purely material aspects of the area, attacking us to the point: its daily use, performance, and especially the quality of its OS: Windows RT. As stated so well Dell a few days ago, the term "RT" can lead people astray and, in our opinion, this choice of name is clearly detrimental. Far, Windows RT resembles nothing so much as Windows 8: same interface "Modern UI" (formerly Metro) main screen and can even switch to a Windows desktop a classic touch of an icon. Unless there is a difference: Compatibility with ARM processors requires, it is simply impossible to install an application on Windows x86 RT and all new software should be the Windows Store, which is at the Currently, frankly desert. Do not expect to find the latest 3D games available on AppStore or Google Play, apps, social as basic as Facebook and Twitter, or a video player alternative. It HP G6 Battery would have been smarter to consolidate the store Windows Phone and Windows RT, enjoy a history of offering more consistent. So, we are faced with an OS that, for the moment, must be used without application, or almost.
What we think, the Modern UI interface provides a real breath of fresh air
That being said, it is clear that MS put on a very different use Windows RT away precepts introduced by iOS and Android. The lack of enforcement Twitter or Facebook for example offset by a contact management pooled completely, like what's already on Windows Phone. Similarly, MS relies heavily on its content store and is widely before video and music services available on Xbox Xbox Music Video and ... At the expense of the rest. Add a movie or an album from an external source is in fact anything but intuitive and finds himself navigating a tree without any end to launch any video or song. It also regrets that the tablet does not read format as widespread as MKV, and that we should wait for (hypothetical) another player on the blind hope to enjoy. By cons, for those who are fond of buying content directly on the Xbox Store, the process is much easier and enjoyable. Xbox Music offers such a service listening streaming Spotify or Deezer way, which is very comprehensive and easy to use, especially since it is free with a few spots of pubs.
Air Soccer Fever (right): the game of "football" that makes everyone laugh in the drafting,
But back to the broader philosophy of Windows RT, which really is quite disconcerting. One can for example the question of the value of access to a classic Windows desktop, which is in total opposition a Modern UI interface for touch perfectly thought. Worse Office applications available on the surface (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) sit proudly on the homepage, but once they are launched, we are required to switch to the desktop. The aesthetic impact is tough. The worst thing is that this office is not used much else, if it is to copy some files to a USB drive or using more sophisticated administration tools, which have anyway not very useful in this kind of tablet. This is where we realize the main problem area: trying to bring the world of tablets and the HP G7 Battery PC, the machine fails on too many points. Bugs are frequent and annoying, lack of intuitiveness and flagrant general too many limitations. Microsoft does not have to leave a blank database in the design of the OS, instead of Windows 8 to offer a discount?
Office and outside traditional management tools of Windows, Office is not used much
In use, the use of Surface breath so hot and cold. The possibilities offered by the coupling with the easy touch keyboard cover brings, it is true, a welcome comfort that adapts perfectly to the presence of Office on the machine. However, it will take some time to achieve adaptation to type correctly on the touch cover, lack of typing feel is rather embarrassing. If you really get stuck, you can always invest in physical keyboard "type cover," which is much more comfortable. A discretionary course, but may be necessary, as the purchase of an SD card, given the size of the OS indecent occupied disk space (between the partition and restore the OS, round up to 16 GB). Invoice amounts so quickly for those who want to take full advantage of the tablet from Microsoft. Again, too bad.
SunSpider benchmark as on the surface (right) is slightly behind the iPad Retina
Reserved for curious?
If we seem too hard on the surface, it is probably because, beyond the issues raised, the HP Envy 17T Battery machine appears as a relatively unsuccessful attempt that would have been great though. We repeat: Modern UI interface is very pleasant to use, especially in landscape mode, and navigation apps already installed is very intuitive, although the management of multitasking is quite confusing at first. To that uses little or no apps, and want to experience a different tablet that wants to cross purposes, adoption may be worth it. But we must do with bugs, aberrations of the Bureau and a whole bunch of small defects which, placed end to end, become irritants. At € 589 (for the 32GB version), anyway we are entitled to demand a more polished product and best thought.