The Microsoft Surface sextuple meta-review

A heady, hearty blend of a half-dozen professional reviews of Microsoft's tablet-as-PC device

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The Surface RT tablet, resplendent against a red background

Did you wake up at 6 a.m. and read six full reviews of the Microsoft Surface RT tablet? Don’t worry, I did that for you, and I have them all open in browser tabs. Here’s what six web publications have to say about the Redmond firm’s home-baked, $500-and-up portable kinda-computer-and-tablet-too Surface, due out Friday.

Those Surface-reviewing publications are:

The most important thing to note about these reviews are that they are for the Surface RT, which is running Windows RT, which is not exactly Windows 8, but kind of similar. Melanie Pinola is more concise in explaining the difference between RT and 8. The very short version: Windows RT is a productive tablet that runs only apps from the Windows Store, while a full-fledged Windows 8 tablet will run traditional Windows apps and Store apps, too.

Now let’s hear it straight from the (edited, condensed, contextualize) horses’ mouths: what’s it like to use the Microsoft Surface RT tablet?

Look and feel of the Surface RT

Honan at Wired writes that the custom magnesium alloy (“VaporMg”) body and its shaping are a homerun. “The build quality … (is) excellent.” TechCrunch’s Burns says “the Surface feels like it’s from the future,” and that “the iPad feels pedestrian compared to the Surface.” Whew. Peter Bright at Ars Technica relates the Surface design to “the same kind of austere precision we find in German performance cars.” Gizmodo’s Biddle goes with a different (read: inscrutable) comparison: “It's a beautiful computer, in your hand or on a tabletop, its shifting angles clean and secure like a Danish prison.”

AnandTech sums up what makes the Surface design different, along with just good:

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