What happens when a self-proclaimed Apple fanboy buys a Microsoft Surface tablet, tries it out for a week, and then tries to review it? Well, he hates it so much that he throws it in the trash, obviously. "But by and large, it’s a strange, buggy, and clunky product that I simply can’t imagine many people buying after the initial hype wears off." That's TechCrunch's MG Siegler with just one of his many disappointments he experiences with Microsoft's first foray into tablet-land. The whole thing reads a little unfair, really, considering all the other reviews (and from other notable fanboys, too). Most of the earlier reviewers didn't wholeheartedly love the tablet, but they did give nods to the hardware, keyboard, and kickstand, noting the good with the bad. Siegler just goes full-on Grinch on the thing. And then he throws in lines like this just to throw you off: "Look, the Surface is not as awful as I’m making it sound" and "look, it’s not all bad," he writes 49 and 38 paragraphs in, after thousands more words of Grinching. His conclusion: Don't buy this hunk of junk. Buy an iPad instead. (Of course.)
First, he starts with the following fanboy disclaimer. We're not sure calling yourself a biased fanboy makes it all okay, but here it is:
Yes, I love almost all Apple products and the iPad (and now iPad mini) in particular. May a thousand “BIASED!!!” comments bloom in the cesspit below this post — I’ll give you plenty of fertilizer. But at the end of the day the fact remains that if I rip apart a product that’s actually good, that looks bad on me. My aim is simply to point out what I believe to be the best products. In recent years, in my view, those have been Apple products. But that hasn’t always been the case. And that won’t always be the case.
With that said, he doesn't understand why anyone would buy the Surface instead of an iPad:
I just don’t understand who would buy the Surface with Windows RT — let alone who would pay upwards of $600 for it (because it also makes no sense to get it without the Touch Cover). Take that money and get an iPad.
Because, part 1: The app store is a "total nightmare."
With all that up-and-running, I immediately headed to the Windows Store (the virtual one with apps, not the physical one with Surfaces) to get some apps. Total nightmare. In the ten days I’ve been using the Surface, that Store has either been down or completely unresponsive a large percentage of the time. It just hangs and hangs and hangs, seemingly forever. I restart, re-open and some things work, then it hangs again. I’ve been trying to download one app for days — still no luck. I’m sick of restarting. And the back-button just isn’t working. Joy.
Because, part 2: It's buggy.
And it’s beyond buggy. I tried to install a trial version (before buying it) of the Star Wars Angry Birds app three times, and I got an error message each time. Microsoft is also featuring it in their Games app for Windows RT, and gives you a “Play” button to click which results in a message along the lines of: “No apps are installed to open this type of link (xboxliveapp-83727282)”. Below that was a link to get the app from the store, and that link continued to fail every single time. Awesome.
Because, part 3: "You'll get all the bullshit you're used to on a PC."
At the same time, in desktop mode, you’ll get all the bullshit you’re used to on a PC. For example, below is an error dialog letting me know that Adobe Flash Player has an malfuntioning script that may cause my “computer may become unresponsive”. I tried to click “Yes” — and missed. This is the future folks.
And there is so much more where that came from. Siegler himself even admits he got a little out of hand:
I could go on. And on. And on. But I’m around 2,500 words now and I realize that I’ve already lost most of you as I’ve just been dragging this device through the mud since I started. The point is, you can’t just have this many bugs, performance issues, and overall mindfuckery and still expect this to be a good device.
So, if you're looking for thousands of words on all the worst things about the Surface tablet, head to TechCrunch to get your fill. But, if you're looking for some more well rounded takes, you might want to supplement Siegler's haterade with these Surface tablet reviews from Wired, The New York Times, The Verge, Ars Technica, Gizmodo, and even TechCrunch's Matt Burns, who didn't hate it that much—even though he stilldoesn't recommend you buy it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.