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The Microsoft Surface RT and Pro tablets are popular choices for users looking for a light-weight device to use for email, web-browsing, and Microsoft applications. Starting at $299, the Surface RT also appears to be a more affordable Windows laptop option. Unfortunately, the limitations of the RT make it a poor choice for use on our campus. This article will explore the differences between the Surface RT and Pro.

If you are considering purchasing a tablet - Microsoft or Apple - with college funds, please discuss the options with your TSP. Contact the CIT HelpDesk at 585-245-5588.

The Basics

This graphic found at shows the basic differences between the three Surface options.

Technical Specifications & Geneseo Service Access 

The Surface RT / Surface 2 should not be considered as a laptop replacement. Due to limitations in the Windows RT operating system, CIT is able to provide only basic support for the device including connecting it to the secure wireless network. Surface RT owners should not use the device to store or access confidential data or campus services such as Banner.


Surface Pro

Surface RT /
Surface 2

Wireless Network Access(tick)(tick)(tick)
VGA (external monitor) connection
adapter purchase required 
Full access to Geneseo network services
(including software and printing)
limited access to
Geneseo servers 

Geneseo VPN Connections

Security - full disk encryption(tick)(warning)
personal microsoft
account required
Windows Application Compatibility(tick)(warning) 
can only run apps
available from the
Windows Store 
can only run apps
available from the
App Store
Full Version of Windows 8.1 Pro(tick)(error)(error)
Alternative Browser Installation(tick)(error)(error)
Java / Flash Plugins for websites(tick)(error)(error)
Digitizer Pen Input(tick)(error)(error)
myCourses Compatibility(tick)(error)(error)



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