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I believe that good manners would suggest that a person say something nice before they then give a criticism, so with that in mind: Microsoft sure put a lot of well-spent money into television advertising for their Surface tablet. The ads are fun and clever and actually kinda make me want to buy one… until I read the reviews coming from those who have already had their hands on one ahead of the October 26 launch date.

It isn’t even that the reviews are necessarily that bad, it is that they are filled with compromises. It’s heavy, but the weight is well-distributed. Microsoft doesn’t have Retina, but apparently the display is not ‘that much worse’ than an iPad (though the price is just as bad). Almost everybody loves the keyboard though apparently it is prone to typos (maybe just takes some getting used to, but still reduces the usefulness).

Of course, it also doesn’t help that the Surface is seeing the light of day the same week as a major Apple event. Not because the iPad Mini (or even the other products released) are such big competitors of the Microsoft tablet: but because the news is filled with options. People are once-again reminded that there is more to life than Windows.

Early sales figures will tell us a lot; is the world waiting on the edge of their seats for a strong, Windows-based tablet? Will the corporate world adopt it in great numbers even if the consumer market rejects it? Chances are good that the device will fail on its own merit: just like HP and WebOS, there is really no app store to speak of. Why buy into a tablet having an identity crisis –is it an underpowered laptop or overpowered web browser?

More than likely, the Surface will just confuse and disappoint those loyal to Windows who so desperately wanted this thing to be as good as the iPad.

[via electronista]

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