Microsoft Surface review a generation behind Apple

By Alan Ng - Nov 1, 2012

You have probably read a whole collection of Microsoft Surface reviews that praise the device in most areas, but now it’s time to explore one of the more damning verdict’s of Microsoft’s new toy and boy, they do not hold back on this one.

The Microsoft Surface has been criticized in all areas by the folks over at Eurogamer and have described the tablet as ‘a generation behind the Apple iPad’. You may be thinking that the complaints will all be gaming-related and not relevant to a tech-savvy consumer, but the review from Eurogamer’s Richard Leadbetter actually covers a lot of other aspects of the device, and he didn’t find much to be happy about either.

It was obvious that Microsoft’s Surface was going to be directly compared to the Apple iPad upon release, but unfortunately Eurogamer believe that it doesn’t come close to matching Apple’s product with the Surface ‘below par on almost all levels’. We’ve heard a lot of praise about the included kickstand on the Surface, but in this review we hear how it suffers from a ‘lack of flexibility’ and shows why Apple made the right decision in opting against having one on the iPad.

In the minimal praises we did find, Eurogamer has said that the Metro UI is very classy and offers a rich alternative to Android and iOS. For £400 or $499 they say it just isn’t worth the money and Microsoft has a lot of work to do if they are going to convince consumers to put down the iPad in favor of the Surface.

In terms of gaming potential on the Surface, the review was particularly harsh, stating that the Surface cannot even play simple games like Cut the Rope and Fruit Ninja without noticing some slight frame-rate dips, despite the fact that the device ships with an NVIDIA powered quad-core Tegra 3 processor. Eurogamer sums up the gaming performance on the Surface by saying that the “Surface’s hardware designers aren’t bothered about how well the tablet operates as a games machine”.

If this opinion on the device sounds particularly alarming to you, it’s a good idea to read through the whole thing here and get a full account of how the Microsoft Surface fails as a tablet device competing against the iPad. Let us know if you agree with Eurogamer’s review, or if you are a happy Surface owner already who sees no such problems.

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Also See: 24-inch Surface All-in-one iMac competitor, not in 2016

  • dk

    We have an ipad 3, a kindle fire, and now a surface RT. My kids are now fighting over the surface.

    Couple of things that I really like about the surface besides other things are:

    1) Multiple logins. Works great for us as we are sharing one surface among the family members and each wants our own profile (email account, Xbox live account etc…)

    2) Family Safe feature especially the web filtering part. I had to disable web browsing on both the ipad and the kindle using parental control since there isn’t a good way to setup web filtering on those devices. I don’t like the 3rd party apps solution. Without web browsing it’s kinda limit the usefulness of those devices for us.

    My wife have just discovered that she can use Remote Desktop on the surface to connect to her work computers so now she’s fighting with the kids and me for surface time. For me I need VPN before I can use Remote Desktop to connect to my work computers but the surface RT does not support VPN so I will have to wait for the surface Pro.

    • Pucker

      Same experience here. Multiple tablet home, and the Surface has quickly become the favorite. It isn’t just a cheap IPad rip off (like Android tablets often seem to be) — it has its own vibe and offers a lot more range than the IPad.

  • SoTired

    The only people buying these ridiculous reviews are the fanboys who have not tried a Surface themselves. I spent some time with one, and nearly every criticism in this review is the opposite of my own experience. My family will be getting Surfaces for Christmas.

  • okczombie

    Typing this comment on my surface. I read a lot. particular tech blogs. I have an iPad 3. Pundits are always talking about ecosystem but no one really defines this well except that consensus suggests that they relate to the number of apps. The apps will come and the number of quality apps are starting to trickle in nicely for the windows store. I really like using my surface, I initially bought it for my wife but I think I need to do a bait and switch with her. The hardware is stunning and I like the wide aspect ratio especially in portrait mode for reading.

    The reviewer overlooked a lot of amazing feats i.e. touch cover. how are we not talking about this more? Multiple logins, removable storage, USB, running two apps side by side are very very cool features. Once CIOs and IT administrators figure out their remoting story (VPN + remote apps), you are opening up more possibilities with BYODs.
    For the record, what value did this article provide apart from mirroring someone else’s work? Form your own opinion, good or bad.

  • jh1289

    Huh. I promised my wife one, and now I’m split. Is the video card really that bad? Can it play WoW?? 🙂

  • wickshot

    Love my surface, given away my Android ee pad transformer. IPad lack of sd card or USB was a non starter for me.

  • I think the reviewer is a generation behind. I’d like to know how much apple paid you to write this tripe. And secondly how did find the time to break away from your iPad and sitting in Starbucks pretending to be Steve Jobs. Get a life. Apple have made a big mistake just like Sinyvdid with the play station. But I guess you also think the Xbox is a generation behind? There’s a difference in doing something first and doing it right, and Microsoft have got this right my friend. I’m just waiting on the mass of apps coming through from the massive amount of wintel developers out there which outnumber iOS devs 10 to 1 and which is a more highly efficient development platform. RIP IPad. Mine is on eBay if anyone wants an overpriced web browser.

  • CIOCritic

    As a CIO of a multi-billion dollar company you can probably guess that I get to try out a lot of different devices (I know…it is definitely the hard part of the job!). I have used iPads and Android Tablets extensively. I met with MS about 6 weeks before launch and talked through what this device would bring, etc. I thought it sounded promising. So I bought one (with my OWN money, btw). Now let me make it clear, I am not a partisan thinker on the issue. I like most technologies that can add value. I think that the surface is a contender in the space. I can see how the new Metro UI can be interesting to use and easy to navigate. The only area that I find to be subpar is the use of the older desktop for Office. It is definitely not touch friendly (thus the need for the keyboard), but it does work well for Office documents. I think that MS needs another iteration of the Office SW (in the works) to get it off of the Windows 7 L&F and into the Metro UI. Also, deeper level config needs to be brought forward to the new UI. Outside of that, I think that the device works.
    I aksed my 6-year old son about Cut The Rope. He said it works….but he likes the Ninja game with the throwing stars better. I don’t know if that consititues an official review…but it is good enough for me.

  • timfoster

    I have one and I’ve very happy with it. lots of these ‘reviews’are in either the MS Lovers or the MS Haters category so you have to take what they say with a pinch of salt. The biggest feature on the Surface is the fact that it comes with Office. If you want to download game apps, watch videos and browse the internet, then the iPad is probably the toy for you. If you’re looking for a unit that you can use in the office as well as the home, why would you even consider anything that doesn’t come with Office?
    As for lag and frame drop in games. I played cut the rope (for 5 minutes) and found no problem. Of course, the game bored me senseless, but if I wanted to play games I would by a games console.

  • prs4fmpu

    I have my Surface and love it and have binned my IPad

  • Snabel

    Eurogamer is a joke anyway to anyone over 14. I remember when they gave Planescape: Torment a 7 out of 10, and blasted it for lacking multiplayer. That’s like the Darwin Award of video game reviews, right there.