Despite an unending stream of FUD being hurled at the Surface tablet, people who have bought it seem pretty enamored with their purchase, according to reviews piling up on BestBuy.com and Staples.
Microsoft launched the Surface tablet in its retail stores, all 65 of them, before expanding to Best Buy (1,900 stores total) and Staples (1,400 stores) earlier this month.
So far, sentiments for the device are fairly positive. On Best Buy's website, the Windows RT tablet sports a 4.7 out of 5 rating, based on 28 customer reviews. Only one customer was unhappy with the device and rated it one out of five stars.
"No Outlook so not full MS Office, all other tablets have version of word, excel, and powerpoint, so very disappointing," wrote customer gates77. He liked screen customization, but also noted "Battery life wasn't to [sic] good and typecover isn't as good as some logitech keyboards. Can't load any of my windows 7 programs."
The most popular feature about Surface RT seems to be Windows 8. "Windows 8 runs like a charm, the Windows Apps Store is growing by the day and I am able to use all my favorite apps such as iHeartRadio, NY Times, USA Today, Kayak, Netflix, Endgadget, eBay, ESPN..." wrote Cricketer from New York on Staples.com.
"The live tiles are a great innovation," wrote Philipm785 of Atlanta. "They provide genuinely useful information without having to launch the apps and the multiple sizes and custom groupings that can be easily scrolled and zoomed are way easier to get around than the multiple screens of tiny uniform icons you get on iOS."
The hardware is also receiving kudos. "It's a perfect laptop replacement for those who don't need lot of processing power. Don't wait for the surface pro. The battery life is all day," wrote desiboy of New York on BestBuy.com.
"I gave away my Android tablet after using this for a while," wrote MZach of NC. "The keyboard and touchpad are unobtrusive but there when you need them and the keyboard has cursor keys!"
Even people giving 5-star reviews have complaints, include volume output, the "primitive" email app, lack of apps and x86 support, Flash support in IE10, and the price itself.
It's encouraging to see, but I'm actually not totally surprised. Early adopters tend to be enthusiasts. As it moves beyond the early adopter stage and away from Microsoft enthusiasts into the mass market, that score will drop as more cons pile up. We'll see what people say when the much more expensive x86 models arrive next year.