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I've read one too many "hands-on" reviews about Surface. I thought I'd write what I believe is a far more accurate "hands-off" review of what journalists actually got to do with the devices. Not much.
After seeing yet another “hands-on” review of the Microsoft Surface tablet, I thought it would be interesting to shed more light on what exactly the journalists who assembled in Hollywood this week fo...
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Love this quote "My bike has a kickstand - thats not why i bought it" - very good Danny.
What do you think of the talks that MS won't actually end up releasing the Surface tablet, that this event was just to get both customers and manufacturers psyched on Win8 as a platform and get them back in the game? Properly timed between and Apple announcement and a Google announcement, of course, so they aren't left out of conversation.
+Danny Sullivan I think they are still nowhere near done with R&D, which is most likely why they didn't release specs, price or launch date yet, and didn't let anyone touch it; they want the flexibility to up the specs based on what others do in the meantime, and just wanted to stay in the conversation. I am still not sure how I feel about the speculation I have heard that it might not be released, and I wouldn't be surprised either way. 
It's so good to read this. Has been frustrating trying to find some real 'hands-on' experience in those reviews.
However, I don't think the kickstand can be sidelined like this. It's a personal opinion (and the line about the bike is witty) but it shows that Microsoft went an extra mile to implement a simple and elegant solution that can be useful in many situations. I think there should be some well deserved appreciation for the thought that seems to have gone into this device, but perhaps not before we are convinced by Microsoft that everything works like they claim it does.
Chalk it up to BSOD fear.
Just a tad bit of perspective please..This is not the first 286 processor, this is yet another tablet, unfortunately in this case, it is being deliberately marketed to shove Windows 8 in the faces of unsuspecting consumers..
The only thing I'm excited about, in relation to this tablet, is writing all over it with the pen. It has two digitizers, one for touch and one for the pen; buuuuuuuuuuut, all digitizers are not created equal. If one of those is a wacom though, oh boy. If it's anything else- well "hands-on" reviews would be really helpful.
Thanks for writing this. I was pretty irritated by all the "hands-on" articles too. Especially since those keyboard covers are the main event and everyone is curious to hear how well they work. Guess we'll just have to wait for unknown date to find out.
You know, Dan, how is this any different from CES?  Most products when they are debuted, simply are in some form of alpha state, and not ready for the public, or the press to truly go hands-on with to any depth.  I remember when all the Honeycomb tablets were debuting at CES 2011, we were not allowed to mess with those at all - especially the Moto Zoom.  I would think by now tech bloggers would just know that, and roll with that.  Instead everyone treats the Surface debut as a launch, and fall into two camps:  either overly optimistic about something they only got to play with for two minutes; or overly pessimistic about something no one got to play with for more than two minutes.

There will be plenty of time between now and October, to truly go hands-on with Surface.  Until then, whatever.
Great piece Danny--my editor screamed at me that night begging for a hands-on piece, and I clocked my time at 5 seconds. I got to make one swipe on the screen, and open one app. That was it. At CES, by the way, we get to touch and feel products. I've never been to a more pretentious press conference. 
get over it , cant you morons understand on simple fact... people want a portable tablet/laptop they can use.. not just a stupid toy tablet, but a real device that is usefull and runs real apps. Apple does not care about you our country, or their customers or staff. They care about one thing the Dollar. I just wish Jobs was here to see his doom arriving
Paul A
Thank you microsoft for a failed sucess. wrapped in a shit samwich fed to an overwieght anroexic.
Good, honest and funny post. Thanks Danny :-)
What a fantastic review, both objective and most insightful to date. +Danny Sullivan here's my question to you: why are they doing a surprise unveiling/press conference when they don't even have a working prototype of the hardware?

Edit: do you foresee any disruptive technology in the coming months that would steal their spotlight?
TBH I think Microsoft is really trying hard, and finally listening to what consumers want, just like with Bing (And its new Webmaster Tools). I am happy to support Microsoft now, even though they have made some mistakes along the way. As soon as it is available in my country I will definitely be purchasing a Surface Tablet and a Windows 8 Phone.
+Calvin Ho They did have working products. I mean, one guy was signed-in, so he clearly uses that one personally, probably a lot. I'm mystified about why they didn't let us use them, other than they're trying to do some type of Apple stealth play, maybe.
Thoroughly enjoyable and interesting article. I couldn't stop thinking of you as some sort of tech ninja/agent when you tried to figure out the resolution.
+Danny Sullivan great post. I had the same reaction when I read the reviews even though I wasn't there.  I also have trouble with the use of the word review for what actually should be considered a preview. I thought a review only meant a final analysis with final hardware. It was a bit perplexing seeing all those hands-on reviews of a piece of gadgetry that hasn't yet released and that people only had in their hands for a minutes at most.
Great post, I've been thinking the same thing while reading all of these link-bait titled articles about "hands on" which tell you nothing new.
Thanks for calling it out Danny. I was under the impression all the review till date were really 'hands-on'.
+Danny Sullivan You aren't allowed to touch it? Apparently the guys doing the review at could play with it and reported about the swiping speed.
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