Tech reviews from around the web have praised the Surface’s hardware. The device is snappy, solid, light and thin. However, I’m personally having a small issue that I’d like Microsoft to hear about so that they can patch it. Please spread the news with me.
I had been using a USB mouse for the device. The touch pad on the Touch and Type covers are fine but the touch areas are just not large enough for me. I have had no problems with the USB mouse whatsoever. Using the Type Cover with the USB mouse essentially turned the device into a very thin and light Ultrabook. However, recently I connected a Bluetooth mouse. I enjoy having my desk sans cords. Cords are old fashioned. Anyway, upon initially connecting (I’ll have a rant about this in a moment) my cursor jumped all over the screen as if the device dropped down below 20 frames per second. It stayed this way only for a moment and then everything was perfectly fine. This morning, however, I connected my Bluetooth mouse and my iPhone via Bluetooth. With the two devices connected, the cursor began, again, jumping around the screen. I thought it might be the mouse itself, but had a sneaking suspicion that the actual problem was that the Surface was having trouble processing data from the iPhone and the mouse simultaneously. So I turned off the Bluetooth on my iPhone and instantly the cursor went back to moving around the screen in a normal manner.
Understand that this has not been a very scientific test and in fact, the mouse is very cheap and could still be part of the problem. But the Surface definitely has some Bluetooth issues to work out.
Specifically, I must mention the fact that connecting a device via Bluetooth is very simple the first time but reconnecting that very same devices down the road causes problems for some reason. After pairing my iPhone for instance, the iPhone shows up in the “devices” list on the Surface. I don’t keep the Surface on my person all the time, so eventually the two devices will be too far from each other to stay connected. Reconnecting the two devices should be as simple as bring them near each other and pressing a button. This is how my Mac works, this is how my iPhone pairs to my car speakers, this is how my iPhone pairs with Bluetooth headsets, but it doesn’t work on the Surface. The Surface simply will not reconnect to a paired device once it has disconnected. The only way to get the Surface to pair with my mouse or my iPhone is to remove them from the Surface’s devices list and start over. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I have tried everything I can think of.
I must also add that during the course of my writing this article, the Bluetooth mouse was left untouched for a few minutes and it went to sleep. The only way to connect it after this happened was to remove the devices and start over. That’s extraordinarily annoying.
Ultimately, it’s not a very time consuming process. It’s simply a step backwards that I wasn’t expecting and it almost nullifies the fact that you can use a Bluetooth mouse.