Should I Buy Microsoft Surface Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro or an Ultrabook

Recently Microsoft announced availability of its first tablet running Windows RT. Even though the pre-orders have run out the biggest confusion that’s drooling around are

  • What is Windows RT
  • Is it right to buy Surface running Windows RT ?
  • What is the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8
  • Will everything run on Windows RT like it was running on my PC ?
  • Is getting an Ultrabook a better choice.

What is Windows RT ?

Its Windows and it looks exactly as Windows 8 but its optimized for tablet experience and its different in many aspects compared to Windows 7 or Windows 8 running on your PC.

The only way to decide if you should go for RT / Surface or you should go for Windows 8 Pro Tablets or an Ultrabook running Windows 8 is by asking yourself and your need.

Microsoft has official answered a lot of questions about Windows RT which I have collected at one place. Please read it here.

Simple view on Windows RT vs  Windows 8 Pro vs Ultrabook

  • Surface running Windows RT  : Casual Usage of Windows with power of editing office documents, Apps to connect your social media need, less crappy software and longer battery life.
  • Surface running Windows 8 Pro : This is very close what your desktop is only limited by hardware spec here and there but still lets you run all your legacy apps and exe and do all high end work.
  • Ulrtabook running Windows 8 Pro : If you don’t want to get bounded by any Microsoft hardware or you want more customized solution with wider range of choice and looking for more space but still a thinner solution, this is for you.

First Conclusion on Surface running Windows RT :

In simple words, If you are looking for Tablet  which has power of Windows but you are not looking for a very hard core work like running your native exe applications or do some high end video editing work but still want Windows,  Windows RT is for you.

However if you want a tablet with all goodies of Windows where you can run native apps, do anything like you been doing on your traditional PC, Windows 8 Pro is what you should be looking to buy forward to.

So Windows RT cannot do everything while Windows 8 pro can do everything your PC was doing till date. They both are fast and look same. So below are the points for you to decide :

What Windows RT cannot do

You cannot download and install any other program from Internet and run it. This includes even the games which have a EXE file. This means if you were running any software of your company or any other legacy app, that will not run either.

This alone will mean a lot to you because we are used to do anything we wanted on Windows which includes free software from internet. Now even though Windows RT will be able to grab free apps from Store but you need to wait for a while.

You cannot run Windows Media Centre : Honestly speaking I never did before but if you are a super fan of this, you are going to miss this.

Business looking for Active Directory Support, you need to wait, but Windows RT will have support to disable Store apps and allow IT admins to install company apps.

It comes Pre-Installed which means you cannot just buy a setup and install it over a ARM based configuration and since not much is known about hardware spec required for Windows RT, we will have to wait for a while for this.

Why Buy Windows RT ?

Even though Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro  are more or less same but there are few advantages of buying RT.

  • Its a true Windows Tablet which will not have crappy software installed as it does not support any exe which means the hardware vendors will make less mess of your new PC.
  • Windows RT now supports microsdxc which means your storage space will be even bigger and access will be much faster.
  • Longer Battery Life compared to Windows 8 PRO. Apps from Store will be optimized according to OS which is already pretty fast & you do not have tons of other software which works on background without letting you know. This means your battery will last longer.
  • Windows RT runs on ARM based architecture which is optimized for Mobile devices. This means it will be consuming less battery power just like iPad which runs on same architecture.
  • Windows RT will have Office 2013 pre-installed or will come with the updates. This means you don’t have buy or crack to have office on your tablet. This means all your editing work can start as you turn on your  laptop.

Other things about Windows RT in general

Microsoft Surface WIndows RT vs Windows 8 Pro

* MicroSDXC is now supported on both the devices.

Lighter & Thinner :

Surface Windows RT is not only 300g lighter but also 4.2 mm thinner compared to Windows 8 pro. Even though both are lighter than any traditional laptop but RT version of Surface wins this place if you are looking for something really light.

Display :

Even though Surface Windows RT wins the race for lightness but for users who want to have Full HD display i.e. 1080P,  will need to choose Surface Windows 8 pro as the RT version only supports 720P.  Apart from this difference, both have Clear Type Display with 10.6 Inch screen size.

Faster USB : Another reason to buy Windows 8 pro version is the USB 3.0 which is way faster than 2.0 coming in RT version of Microsoft Surface.

Storage  Space : 

After introduction of micrSDXC support for Windows RT Surface tablet, you can have TB of space for Music and Media. Remember it will not allow you to install Apps on it.

Battery Power : 

Taken a look at what each of them has, Its pretty clear that Windows RT version of Surface will have more battery power compared to Windows 8 pro version.  The best part is that its going to be ARM based Tablet ( that’s what Windows RT is built for ) which consumes way less battery than anything else.

Pricing :

It costs 499$ for 32 Gb which will have 20 GB free space which is more than enough to start  and install apps on the move from the store.


About Ashish Mohta

A Professional Tech blogger, Editor and Writer who talks about solving day to day problems of people who use computer. His expertise are in Windows 7, Microsoft Office, Software, Mobile Apps and Video Posts.

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