tablets
  • Editors' Choice

Microsoft Surface Tablet Review

It may look the part, but the Surface RT has a long way to go before it can compete well.

October 26, 2012
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Video Controls

When you're watching a video on your Microsoft Surface RT 32 GB, tapping the center of the screen will call up a small bar with basic and advanced playback controls, all of which are fairly obvious given their icons. Unlike most other platforms, there isn't a scrub bar that appears when you do this. Instead, you have to tap the left hand side of the screen to call a miniature version of one to appear.

Video Controls Image
There are two control screens, which is fairly frustrating.

Video Management

Videos (like audio files, documents, photos, etc.) are all managed in the same nested folders that appear on all Windows machines, though they can also be accessed through the Metro interface for each playback app. This saves a lot of time, and honestly is a lot more tablet-friendly.

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Video Formats

Exact video formats supported were not listed on Microsoft's site, but we were able to get.mp4, WMV, and a few other common file formats to work on our Surface RT. In the future as the app market gets more fleshed-out, it's likely that you may be able to download new programs like VLC player or MoboPlayer that will add codec support.

Internet Video

Right now, there's a Netflix app, Internet Explorer, and that's about it. YouTube has yet to get an official app, and watching videos from the popular service is a pain, though not impossible. The Netflix app seems to work just as well as it should, and users will probably not notice anything wrong with it. Amazon has yet to release a video app for their streaming service, and it cannot be accessed through Internet Explorer.

Internet Video Image
It's exactly as bad as it looks.

Video Battery Life

After running all of our horrifically brutal battery tests, the Microsoft Surface RT 32 GB actually fared quite well. Able to continue playing the worst movie ever made back-to-back for 8 hours and 54 minutes straight, the Surface RT has one of the best playback times on the market, falling only behind three of the top Android tablets.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Internet Apps
  9. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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