- 10-29-2012, 09:56 AM #1
Well, the Surface RT is intriguing, but I'm not sure I can keep the thing. First- a problem that I hope someone else can comment on, then I'll mention the things that might make it a return.
Not in everything. But I find more than a few apps responding rather slowly to things like the swipe up to open the settings bar, and the music app. For example, in the music app, swiping up from the bottom and not seeing the actual bar for a good 1.5-2 seconds. Anyone else getting this?
Things that might make this a return:
First things first- this is an interesting product- compared to an iPad or Android tablet, this is the first OS on ARM that makes me feel like I could get some actual work done. The OS design is very, very good (mostly), but there are some glaring issues that make me question whether or not I'm keeping it.
1) Music app is just rubbish. I am going to assume that no one at MS actually listens to music and therefore no one ever used this app during testing. It's sluggish, browsing through your music is almost impossible, and the sound occasionally gets distorted. The Xbox Music service is now unparalleled: fantastic song selection, ability to download or stream, cloud integration coming soon, music matching... but the interface to do any of this is almost impossible to use. There's not even a way to get back to the "home" of the app easily. Ugh.
2) Laggy. As stated above, there are just some basic problems that I shouldn't expect from a single chip, ARM platform. ADERA (Xbox game, ironically) is slow. You click and there's a 4 second delay before anything happens. Same with music. ARMED suffers from the same issues. Settings bar in other apps tends to occasionally have issues.
3) Sometimes it's there, sometimes not. Some things are a bit too inconsistent. Example: in video, you can swipe to pull up "devices" and push to your xbox. Sometimes. Sometimes that's inexplicably missing for no reason.
4) Instability. Too many apps crashing that shouldn't be. I get that this is a new device, and that's common at first (ala iPhone 1, 3G, my Captivate, definitely my Tab, etc etc) but Music and Video apps are first party and I see them having issues. This is a problem.
Don't get me wrong, this is the 1st tablet device that I could see myself actually using. There are just some major glaring holes that need work... having come from a Windows Phone 7 device, I was expecting the same level of fluidity that MS has accomplished on a similar closed device, and I'm just not seeing it.
- 10-29-2012, 10:34 AM #5
Is this your first time purchasing a newly released device? I'm not asking to be condescending, but all the items you mention are part of the pain of being an early adopter. I'm not experiencing any of the lag issues or crashes you are; perhaps it's a recent app you installed?
It's like this with any new product. I recommend you return it and wait 6 months and try it again. You have to be willing to go through some of the pain that comes from a brand new product. Report the issues to MS; in the end you'll end up helping to make a better product.
- 10-29-2012, 10:43 AM #6
The instability happened a lot at first and now it happens less. No clue what fixed it. The lag... It seems somewhat random to me. Some apps load right away and then later they take a couple of seconds to load. As for the instability... Yes, it is annoying, but this too happens a lot less.
I agree that at first this device seems great for productivity, but the inconsistency can be tiring. I tried switching out of MS Outlook, but the app crashes f Windows mail drove me back. Shame because I like the contact integration better of windows mail.
For the 'legacy' part d windows 8, I love it. Faster and lighter on my CPU.
10-29-2012, 10:45 AM #7
- 4,242 Posts
It's been fine for me.
Admittedly, I updated all my apps and did a Windows Update immediately.
I have seen some lag in some 3rd party apps. I'm guessing that's because they didn't have ARM devices to test on, and optimization will come.
I also tend to close apps I know I'm not using as opposed to letting them run in the background.
- 10-29-2012, 11:12 AM #8
ARM vs x86: ARM is a known design constraint. With the limited number of hardware configurations available for WinRT, there should be a consistent user experience across the board and design teams should be able to tailor and simulate fairly easily. At least we can on our end, MS should be able to do the same. Combined with all the sandboxing, leaving other apps open shouldn't affect my experience in a foreground app... ever.
Design issues: Over the last 2 years, the one thing I have seen from MS is that they are slow/reluctant to change their core applications, and rarely respond to user input nowadays. On WP7, you might notice the continuing lack of a notifications center, even though that is - by a wide margin - the #1 most requested consumer feature. Same is true with the little issues on Office, Skydrive, etc. In addition, with their latest stance on the older WP7 devices, their solution increasingly is "buy the next version, we'll fix that in there." It's not a good sign.
Late to the game: this isn't a problem for me, per se. I don't even expect a lot of apps. I DO expect that MS should have recognized a lot of the issues that plague their competitors and not made similar mistakes.
Wonky bugs: today, as an example, every time I load the messaging app, it shows me as offline for at least 20 seconds. Means I can't send a message. However, I'm clearly NOT offline since messages keep coming in like normal.
I've now had 2 Surface RT devices, so I'm not sure I'm willing to blame this on hardware. And, in comparison to other launch day tablet devices (iPad, Tab 10.1, Xoom), I didn't see this lack of responsiveness in apps like I'm seeing here. Some of that might be a design problem within the app itself, like in the music app, but overall, I'm not feeling all that confident here.
- 10-29-2012, 07:42 PM #10
1) The music app seems reasonable enough to me but that is a matter of taste.
2) I have not experienced any real lag other than when the processor was completely tied up installing the massive Office 2013 update. Otherwise, everything is faster than the Transformer Prime and PlayBook I owned, and is far smoother as well.
3) I don't have an Xbox so I can address on that front but I have not encountered such inconsistency in any other app.
4) I have not encountered a single app crash. This is as opposed to the Transformer Prime that would experience "Forced Closes" on a laughably regular basis even in 4.1. The PlayBook didn't crash as often but that has more to do with the fact there is very little software available for it. The browser is also famous for freezing.
With respect to the music app, it is what it is. If you don't like it, there is not a lot one can do to make you happy since it probably will not change much. On the other fronts, perhaps you might want to consider there may be other explanations (OS corruption, hardware issue, etc.) before assuming that these are problems everyone has with the device.
- 10-29-2012, 08:18 PM #11
- 11-02-2012, 12:40 PM #13
I know how the OP is feeling about the XBOX music. I feel they took one huge step back from Zune. I've had my Vivo Tab RT since release night and have had a mostly good experience. The hardware is awesome. The OS does need some polishing. Example is the people hub, in WP7 I have the ability to link contacts but choose what picture is displayed and what name is shown. It even knows what contact to link when choosing "Dad". RT couldn't and must be listed by his full name. Also before the first RT update I could hide my outlook contacts, now all I can hide is Facebook contacts. They are already removing features in the first update. I cant even pair my Windows Phone 7 to my Windows RT tablet.
All in all I'm very happy with my purchase. Those were just minor examples I could remember that bugged me. I think in time they will get fixed but being how much the interfaced is designed from Windows Phone, they should have at least have the same abilities that my phone has now.
- 11-02-2012, 12:46 PM #14
Love the Surface RT. Amazing product.
Should try doing a refresh on your device to see if it helps with lag. As far as in game goes for things like Aldera and fruit ninja, that is probably an issue with the games themselves not being optimized to work with it.
11-02-2012, 01:12 PM #15
- 215 Posts
I have nothing to complain about the Surface. I've been using it since day one and I cant put it down. Yes, there can be some improvements on some of the apps, but so far it's been great. As for the quantity of apps available, there are plenty to start off right now. There's plenty of room for the MS Store to grow unlike the other two marketplaces where they are hitting a ceiling.
Some people complain about not able to install applications....well it's been repeated plenty of times that the only apps that can be installed on the current Surface are the ones from the MS Store, so dont be all surprized if you cant install an x86 application. If you want legacy applications installed, wait for the Pro version to be released.
11-05-2012, 01:49 AM #16
- 23 Posts
Your troubles don't seem widespread, anyway. I only played a while with a Surface and found it quite zippy, like most reviewers, although some had (other) complaints. On Windows 8 at least, I like the Music App and Xbox Music. Flawed software updates? What you describe can't be the norm.
11-05-2012, 02:32 AM #17
- 92 Posts
I think the surface is awesome! The only problem I've really had has been with the music player getting distorted when playing music in the background sometimes. Its a great piece of technology what the best thing is though is the on screen keyboard. I've been typing this faster than I can on a normal kb with zero typo's its auto correcting me when needed and there's not a letter out of place. Absolutely outstanding!!!
- 11-05-2012, 08:42 AM #18
Really shame they have focked so badly on the music on Windows 8.
Loved my Zune HD that was for many other HiFi freaks like me the portable MP3 player.
Was disappointed by the lack of Euro support of WP7.X Zune player (no music shop, no zune pass, no artist backgrounds). I have just used Nokia Music since getting my Lumia 800, that these days is even better.
interested to see how music player works on WP8.
- 11-09-2012, 09:00 AM #20
- 11-17-2012, 11:11 AM #24
The good thing is that MS is working on it - constantly. There have been two big performance updates since it was released, including a large firmware update. It's only going to get better. App makers are continuing to tweek their apps for performance, and may apps that had lag before have been fixed. It is a Rev 1.0 product, but still gives me more capability than the iPad ever has.