The whole "recreational" tablet, and the "media" tablet appellation before that is Microsoft's way of trying to create a separate product category for their tablets. If they can avoid having their "tablet" offerings compared to Apple's, by attaching a different label to them, they can be the leader in "productivity" tablets, even if that's a pyrrhic victory.
But, I have to agree with an earlier comment that these are designed to be the new netbooks, and, as such, they'll be even worse than a netbook for "productivity". As a tablet, they won't be much for "recreation", either.
When you are designing devices, you always have to choose between compromise and dedication to purpose. A 27" iMac represents dedication to productivity. The iPhone represents a dedication to portability. The design of each, from the hardware to the OS and apps, represents these commitments. MacBooks are a compromise device skewed toward productivity. iPads are compromise devices skewed toward portability, with the Mini even more so. Apple has a clear vision of what each of these devices is and their designs reflect that, each fulfilling its purpose admirably.
Microsoft suffers from two problems. The first is their obsession with the "Windows everywhere" philosophy, which, first, made them design their mobile software as a scaled down version of Windows 95, then, to design their desktop software as a scaled up version of Windows Phone. The latter decision seems as big a mistake as the former. Their second problem, related to the first, is a lack of understanding of the idea of designing to purpose. Thus, they repeat the same mistakes over and over, trying to make all devices be the same, and ignoring the principle that different devices have different purposes. Their mistake with the Surface is not committing to what the device ought to be but attempting to impose a paradigm on it that doesn't fit its nature.
In other words, it's just another compromise device from Microsoft where they've made all the wrong compromises.