Microsoft Surface tablet reviews are crazily mixed

The Surface tablet reviews are in. And the conclusions about the new Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) device are all over the map. Here are just a few, in another of Richi's roundups.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers walk the thin line between love and hate.

Microsoft Surface

By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Walt Mossberg calls it "historic" (he's no puppet):

It’s the first personal computer made by Microsoft. ... I like it. It’s beautifully and solidly built and it’s the purest expression of...Windows 8 [which] begs to be used on a touchscreen tablet.

...

It’s a unique tablet, made of a type of magnesium with a feeling of quality and care [and with] two clever, very thin, optional keyboards that...are better than any of the add-on keyboards I’ve seen for the iPad [but] are almost useless on your lap.

...

If you can live with its tiny number of third-party apps and...battery life, it may give you the productivity some miss in other tablets.  MORE

Harry McCracken looks back -- and forward:

At [the] June Surface event...company executives spent so much time lavishing praise on [Surface] that I wondered if they’d somehow convinced Apple’s Sir Jonathan Ive to tutor them. ... It turns out that much of the self-laudatory hoopla wasn’t wildly off base. [It] is indeed beautiful [and] worthy of comparison to Apple’s designs.

...

[The] magnesium case...is really, really nice. ... [The] screen is one of the best I’ve seen on a tablet. ... The Touch Cover is super-thin and clicks on and off in a jiffy...[it] feels great in your hand, and the whole thing folds back.

...

For an audacious version 1.0 product, it’s impressive. Now it’s up to Microsoft to prove that it’s serious enough...to forge ahead...until it’s impressive, period.  MORE

And Anand Lal Shimpi goes deep:

I honestly get it. This isn’t an iPad competitor. ... It truly is something different...that will definitely resonate well with some...as it does some things better than any tablet on the market, and...others worse.

...

Surface is incredibly well executed...there’s very little that I would change about [the] design. ... Windows RT...is clearly ahead of what many competitors offer...[and is] competitive with Android and iOS solutions when it comes to battery life.

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If you're ok being an early adopter [and] you've wanted a tablet that could really bridge the...consumption and productivity divide, Surface is it.  MORE

But Preston Gralla worries it's too expensive:

At those prices, Surface tablets likely won't make a dent into the iPad's dominance. ... True, the iPad...comes with less storage...but that won't be enough to give the Surface a kickstart.

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[And it's] several hundred dollars more than smaller Android tablets such as Google's Nexus 7. ... That's a shame, because Windows 8...(and most likely Windows RT) is better in some ways than iOS.  MORE

So Sam Biddle is heartbroken:

We hadn't looked forward to something this much in a long, long time [but] it's been just as long a time since a gadget has been so disappointing.

...

Surface brings the appearance of unity, but it's really just the worst of both worlds. ...this thing was supposed to be a breakthrough. ... Instead, it's just a half-broken death march up the learning curve.

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Windows RT is underpowered...under-functional...and under-planned...whose "ecosystem" feels more like...the software equivalent to a barren Soviet grocery store. ...the future isn't here quite yet.  MORE

Meanwhile, MG Siegler dreams a dream:

And thus commences the nightmare that will be Windows 8...  MORE

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