Microsoft Surface Pro: The Verdict is Out

The Surface Pro has quietly entered the market and everyone’s reviewing it, so we decided to save you a lot of effort by reading every single review on the internet and rounding it all up into one jam packed piece of literature. Microsoft heavily publicized the Surface RT which was a big mistake, because the Surface RT was not a good product and without an advertising campaign to point out the differences between the Pro and the RT, no normal consumer can tell the difference. Contrary to what it may look like there is a big difference between the two, especially in price, starting at $900 this is $400 more than the RT and only gets more expensive as you increase the storage and buy the highly recommended keyboard covers.

It’s a tablet. no, it’s a laptop. no, it’s the Surface Pro

So what is the Surface Pro? Think of it as a Surface RT with a real computer in it. The Pro comes with the full fledged Windows 8 that you see on normal PC’s rather than the stinted RT one that can only run special tablet apps. This means that everything you can do on your laptop, you can do on your Surface Pro. The Pro looks like a thicker and heavier RT and comes with the same touch and type cover, so let’s go ahead and call it a hybrid for now.

Build,design and weight

As I have said before this look a lot like the RT version which is actually a good thing from a design stand point. A full fledged computer in the form of a tablet? that can only be good. The Pro pulls off looking simple and good looking at the same time.
At 2 pounds this is heavy for a tablet, but light for a laptop. Though, why should we not consider it a laptop? It has the internals, software and screen of a normal laptop, so we are going to go on a limb and call this light. No matter what other reviewers say. Despite what we think, the Pro was designed to be used as a tablet also. This is not recommended due to its difficulty. It also cannot be used on your lap and just falls down every time you try. This makes it a viable option only for people that travel from desk to desk and need something comparatively small that can double as a tablet at times. No offence Microsoft, but that seems like a pretty small market to me. But, the sheer creativity and novelty of the device assures it a decent amount of sales.

Display

The Surface RT has good, but low resolution display which has limited screen real estate and a low pixel density. Since the Pro was designed to be a portable work station , they decided to up the resolution to a gorgeous 1920 x 1080. Thats Full HD for anyone who’s wondering. The contrast ratio, brightness and viewing angles wows on this 10.6-inch piece of wonder glass. The best part is that it’s optically bonded which reduces glare. This feature would come to good use if you could use the surface on your lap outdoors. Having such a pixel rich display causes a slight problem with scaling the user interface. A lot of things are made too small by having pixels so close together, so the software tries to scale that up to 150%, which makes some things too big and blurry. Scaling back down to 100 percent makes everything look good again, but also makes some things too small, especially on desktop mode. Thus bringing us to our previous dilemma. Microsoft should have really thought that through a little better.

Performance and battery life

You’d expect this confused love child of a laptop and a tablet to be slow and painful to use. But no, Microsoft have really not skimped on performance here, the 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 and 4GB RAM allow the Surface to fly through the UI and all your apps. The Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics do a bang up job of video editing and very light gaming. Not skimping in performance has forced the Surface to skimp on something else, battery life. A measly 4 hours is a pretty shameful battery life in this day and age. But don’t forget people, this was designed to move from desk to desk. So, is it really that hard to plug it in at work? It’s like you can use it very portably any way. I prefer killer performance to class leading battery life in this case, but that’s just me.

Apps

In today’s mobile world one of the most important things are apps, what’s the point of a device that you can’t do anything on? Thankfully the Surface Pro can run just about any app ever made for windows. Thats beats the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, by a mile, or ten. Are these apps any good on the Surface? Till now Windows was designed for use with a mouse and keyboard and not a touch screen, so the Surface’s touch screen would not be well optimised here. Thankfully, it has a keyboard and trackpad if you get one of the covers. Also, with the arrival of Windows 8 all new apps will presumably be designed for use with touch screen.

Conclusion

This Surface Pro is a creative new product. It’s a very good all rounder, but fails to be best at anything. If you want to do work, get a laptop and if you want to do leisure activities, get a tablet. So its really unclear who this is really for. Making it a beautifully flawed product that appeals to everyone and no one. period.