Advice on MS Surface

    I love using a laptop and cannot seem to get on with Ipads much to the households disgust! I have a Samsung S4 as a phone and love it but in the home I love using a laptop.

    I saw a Microsoft Surface in John Lewis a few days ago and thought it was really nice, the keyboard looked nice to type on which is why I like a laptop and I do use the office packages on my laptop quite a bit. I hate that with apple there are certain attachments, surveys etc it is not compatible with.

    My only issue is I had an old Windows 7 Samsung omnia and found the apps side of things rubbish, hence why I love my android. Have things changed with Windows 8? The tablet side of things would be great for hospital for watching catch up TV and tethering off my phone so can see the benefit there.

    Now I have read there is Surface RT, Surface 2 & 3 and price varies wildly. Can anybody explain in real terms how I would notice the difference?

    Many thanks



    RT is a mobile version and discontinued so do not buy.
    Surface 3 is top drawer. But apps are still way behind. Depends on what you really want it for

    Original Poster

    I like the functionality of a laptop, hence the appeal of the Surface and any apps I really need I can put on my android phone so not a biggy really. I like how portable it could be for me really.

    What is the big difference between the surface 2 and 3?

    Thanks for replying


    Surface/2/3 all run Windows RT (see wiki article at If you are only interested in running Internet Explorer or MS Office, the RT machines may be ok for you. If there are other packages you want, they may not be compatible with this operating system, so you would need the proper Windows that run on the surface pro range. Office comes free on the Surface, but has to be purchased for Surface Pro. I think the cover keyboard is also an extra on the surface pro.
    I like the surface pro, but can't justify the cost when you factor all the extras.
    There are a number of alternative windows machines that have full windows that may be worth considering.

    I love my 8.1. But I do a lot of photo editing so wanted 17inch.
    For versatility and portability I'd go for something like this…ion.

    Hi ladymarmalade,

    The pro versions are a proper Windows 8 device so can use standard windows programs. This means that you're choice of programs is far wider than if you were to go for the RT or non pro Surfaces.

    I've just sold my laptop, and my iPad Air a couple of weeks ago as I replaced both devices with a Surface Pro 2.

    I'd recommend the Pro over the RT - the Pro version lets you run the full desktop like you could on a laptop so you can run any program basically that you could on a "real" laptop. Where as RT, you are limited to what's in the store. Which for me is no good as I use Chrome/Firefox/Thunderbird.
    The store is good though but, doesn't provide everything I need, think of it as the Apple/Android app store but, with less apps in it!

    The first gen Surface Pro and second gen both have a 10.6" display, where as the Surface Pro 3 has a 12.2" display. But it's also about £200 more than the Pro 2. And as such first and second gen Surface keyboards are also cheaper than the third gen keyboards. Also the basic Surface Pro 3, only comes with 64GB of memory and an i3 processor for £639, where as the Surface Pro 2 with 128GB memory and an i5 processor can be bought for £400-£450.
    If 10.6" is fine, I'd go with the Surface Pro 1 or 2 - I have the Pro 2, my partner has the first gen Pro. Not really much of a difference other than battery is a bit better on mine and the stand has two viewing angles.

    Original Poster

    Thanks very much for all your advice. That is exactly what I needed!

    I think the Surface pro 2 will do exactly what I am looking for so will keep a look out for one.

    Thanks once again.

    I have a surface pro mk1 and it does everything I want so I can recommend them.

    The Windows 7 Samsung Omnia is very much in the dark ages when compared to modern Windows 8.1 phones (all of which will be upgradable to Windows 10). You should really try one of the new Windows phones - some of which are ridiculously cheap like the Nokia 530/630 ranges. They really are excellent, fluid OS, great battery life and sync marvellously with Windows PC's or tablets. Plus the app-gap has narrowed considerably and is, as far as I am concerned, less of an issue now than it ever was in the past, especially with run of the mill apps. There may be the odd omission in the store but this is generally down to intransigent developers rather than anything on Microsoft's side of things.

    Give them a go, sync them with your new Surface, they be great.

    Wouldn't bother with RT tbh, it will give you a negative experience on Windows tablets in the long run, It's a dying OS and although apps are more freely available now they will become obsolete in the near future. Least with a Full windows device you can use full desktop programs if their isn't an app available. Although apps are catching up.

    Original Poster

    Thanks for that?

    So can I get a Surface 2 that is not RT? I am getting really confused about what is RT and what is not.

    I think a Surface 3 is going to be a bit out of my price bracket when you start adding on a keyboard etc.

    Thanks again.


    There's the Surface 1 and 2 that both run on RT. Then there's the Surface Pro 1, 2 and 3 which all run on "proper" windows 8.1.

    What about an alternative like for example

    Asus Transformer Book T100


    Linx 10.1" with Keyboard bundle from Argos

    They might not be as high spec or as nice but they should tick most boxes, They perform very well, My wife has got the Transformer book, Excellent machine.

    Surface Pro has Full Windows

    They changed name from Surface RT to just Surface 2 hence lots of confusion, RT is good but dead imo.

    Basically RT runs on a different kernel than standard Windows, It involves different coding for the developers, Think of RT as a mobile OS with a larger screen.

    It's designed specifically for Tablet devices and has the same limitations as Android and iOS devices only less apps. It does perform very well and is not a bad OS it's just that Android and iOS devices have the upper hand app wise etc..

    Full windows offers much more, You're not restricted in anyway, You can do absolutely anything on them, No restrictions, Better and more sensible than iOS and Android. No app then use desktop mode. . Add shortcut to desktop or as a Tile then you can click it as you would do an app. etc...

    Edited by: ".MUFC." 6th Dec 2014

    Original Poster

    I really like the Linx tablet with keyboard, has anybody got any experience with this? At the moment I use an Asus Ultrabook UX32 which is core i5 but to be honest I have lost faith in it, few niggles, it has been back for repair due to needing new hard drive, now it turns off randomly when I am not expecting it. The new niggle is that it is taking ages to wake up from hibernating.

    Is there a huge difference between the Linx tablet and a surface - I imagine so due to the price difference but it could just be branding?

    Would i be mad to switch from an ultrabook to either a surface or similar?

    Many thanks for taking the time to help me.


    Plenty of good reviews on the Linx on Argos, Amazon etc. Most of the cheap Windows tablets offer very similar if not the same specs.

    The Surface Pro is better spec'd with 4gb ram and better cameras etc but you are paying a massive premium for them, I don't think that equates to good value as it's not worth 3x to 4x the price in comparison.

    The speakers aren't that good on the Linx according to a few users but bluetooth speakers would cure that if it's a problem.

    The Surface Pro is basically the Rolls Royce of Tablets which is fine, However a Ford Focus will get you from A - B just fine.
    Post a comment
      Top Discussions
      1. love affairs1649
      2. The obvious next step become Ken then become Barbie1525
      3. Important info for Ryanair customers1825
      4. word association Game73944491

      See more discussions