There might only be one tablet computer on most peoples' minds this morning, but Microsoft is about to come out with its own competitor very soon - and the word is that it's worth a serious look.

The Microsoft Surface is a tablet-laptop hybrid product which runs Windows RT - a touch-based operating system which is almost, but not quite, Windows 8.

Featuring unique industrial design, including a kick-stand and the option of a touch-sensitive keyboard cover, the Surface is visibly and intrinsically different to the iPad.

But what did the reviewers make of it?

Over in the States the embargo for Surface reviews has just broken - so here's a selection of their thoughts.


The Verge: 'Not Quite There - And The Clock Is Ticking' (7/10)

"The promise of the Surface was that it could deliver a best-in-class tablet experience, but then transform into the PC you needed when heavier lifting was required. Instead of putting down my tablet and picking up my laptop, I would just snap on my keyboard and get my work done. But that's not what the Surface offers, at least not in my experience. It does the job of a tablet and the job of a laptop half as well as other devices on the market, and it often makes that job harder, not easier. Instead of being a no-compromise device, it often feels like a more-compromise one."

Engadget: 'Where are the apps?' (No score)

"If gaming and music and movies and reading are what you're looking to enjoy, then we might advise sitting this one out for a few months just to make sure that all your bases will indeed be covered. If, however, you're looking for an impeccably engineered tablet upon which you can do some serious work, a device that doesn't look, feel or act like a toy, then you should get yourself a Surface with Windows RT."

Wired: 'Microsoft Has Surfaced A Hit' (8/10)

"This is a great device. It is a new thing, in a new space, and likely to confuse many of Microsoft’s longtime customers. People will have problems with applications — especially when they encounter them online and are given an option by Internet Explorer to run them, only to discover this won’t work. But overall it’s quite good; certainly better than any full-size Android tablet on the market."

New York TImes: 'Sleek Tablet, Clumsy Software' (No Score)

"How would you like to move into a stunning mansion on a bluff overlooking the sea — in Somalia? Or would you like the chance to own a new Ferrari — that has to be refuelled every three miles? Would you take a job that pays $1 million a year — cutting football fields with toenail clippers? … what lets the Surface down is supposedly Microsoft’s specialty: software."

Wall Street Journal: 'Hardworking Tablet With PC Chops'

"Microsoft's Surface is a tablet with some pluses: the major Office apps and nice, optional keyboards. If you can live with its tiny number of third-party apps, and somewhat disappointing battery life, it may give you the productivity some miss in other tablets."