Microsoft Surface Review, Part 2: Battery Life, Multi-Monitor, And More

Is The Surface Any Good For Gaming? First, We Need Apps

We continue to be impressed by the quality of games emerging for tablets and smartphones (though of course they don't even come close to what you get as a PC enthusiast on the desktop). Nevertheless, SoC vendors are increasingly arming their designs with more capable graphics processing.

Just because the Surface is a new tablet doesn't mean the hardware inside it is foreign to us. We already have a fair sense of what Nvidia's Tegra 3 hardware can do (check out Snapdragon S4 Pro: Krait And Adreno 320, Benchmarked for more comparison date between today's top mobile-oriented SoCs).

Since it's running under a recently-released operating environment, though, we have to play the waiting game, yet again, as developers add one more platform to support.

Riptide on Tegra 3 & Android

The Infinity Blade series for iOS and Riptide for Android are two of the best-looking mobile titles we've seen thus far, and we're confident that gaming on tablets and smartphones is only going to get more popular, especially if you have a kid living under your roof. According to Nielsen, 77% of children with access to a tablet use it for gaming. That number might not be as high for adults, but as hardware evolves and developers become more diverse in their offerings, the experience will certainly become more compelling.

Riptide on Tegra 3 (WinRT)

It's hard to say how long it'll take before Microsoft's Windows Store boasts similar-sized libraries of games as the App Store or Google Play. However, sometime in the last few days Vector Unit added Riptide for Windows 8/RT, and it looks every bit as good on the Surface as it did on the Nexus 7 (the game is available for iOS too, but without the Tegra-specific optimizations).

We can't ignore the lack of high-quality games on the Windows Store, though. You can play Angry Birds, sure. But we're interested in titles that really leverage Nvidia's Tegra 3 to its full potential. We'll need to revisit this topic in the future, and hopefully before the Surface Pro, er, surfaces and woos us away with its much more flexible ecosystem.

  • mayankleoboy1
    Tegra3 is the biggest weakness in Surface. This SoC is already outdated.
    I wouldnt buy a device today which i know is going to be upgraded in a few months with atleast a better SoC, and probably a better display.
  • mayankleoboy1
    Y U NO include the iPad4 in the benchmarks ?
  • acku
    mayankleoboy1Y U NO include the iPad4 in the benchmarks ?It's on our to do list :)
  • tedx
    "Windows Internet Explorer (Not Responding)"

    Its comforting to see that not everything has changed with Windows RT.
  • apache_lives
    Already have an ASUS Windows 8 RT tablet for the mrs -- she loves this thing, and from the lounge if my media center decides to play up i can use the tablet to remote desktop in

    The ASUS also claims up to 16 hours battery life for theirs (im thinking less but still amazing if its 12+).

    These things simply WORK
  • kyuuketsuki
    apache_livesThe ASUS also claims up to 16 hours battery life for theirs (im thinking less but still amazing if its 12+).I'm assuming that's with the keyboard dock.
  • apache_lives
    KyuuketsukiI'm assuming that's with the keyboard dock.
    That is correct, but for documents and on the run its not a bad thing at all.
  • besterino
    (Even though) being an hardware (PC) enthusiast I have bought the Surface (64GB, touch and type cover) for my wife and both she and I are seriously impressed.

    For her it is simply perfect: she can do with it all she would do with an ipad (she's not much of a gamer though) AND it actually replaces her desktop-PC... she's using office without macros and addins so the RT-Office is "good enough". She just plugs in an extra monitor and USB hub (for full-size keyboard and mouse), and she is all set for productivity. We did not experience any hardware limitation related issues (obviously office doesn't start as fast as it does on a x86 PC with SSD).

    Based on our experience with the Surface RT I will definitely buy a Surface Pro for myself (I need Office with macros and addins for work) and hopefully finally have a PC that works both as a productivity tool as well as entertainment gadget. Yay! And *poof*, there goes the business notebook...

    Too bad I will still need my desktop gaming rig (HD 4000 still not powerful "enough")...
  • monsta
    The Asus Vivo Tab is much better than Microsoft's own version of surface, the display is much brighter, the keyboard dock has a battery, usb and SD card inputs. The battery life is amazing.
  • andrewcarr
    I hate when I'm looking at a computer screen and from that trying to see which picture is better of another computer screen. There seems a flaw in this logic.