The Microsoft Surface Pro is out. If the Surface RT did not cut it for you because of its limitations, especially its inability to run off-the-shelf apps, then this is Microsoft’s answer for you.
So what should we expect from this new tablet? Here are the good and the bad:
Full Windows 8
Not the confusing Windows RT anymore. This tablet features the full Windows 8 OS so it can run legacy apps that the RT version could not. It packs the whole PC experience in a tablet form. Sure this is not the first tablet to feature the Windows 8 OS but this certainly is the best.
Core i5 Processor and 4GB of RAM
The Surface RT only featured an ARM processor and can only compete with other tablets. The Surface Pro packs more power and more RAM because it is more like an ultrabook in tablet form. This device is able to handle almost anything you throw at it – from running streams, Java, Flash, to VoIP services, and even legacy Windows apps.
A new feature of the Pro that cannot be found on the RT is the Surface Pen. The tablet supports pressure sensitive styli and it includes one of its own. Using the pen feels very natural and the screen is very responsive to its touch. When not in use, it can magnetically stick to the side of the tablet.
The screen is pretty crisp and bright, and the IPS display is one of the best featured in a Windows tablet. The screen is pretty responsive to touch and navigating through the interface felt very smooth.
Type and Touch Covers
Though these cover keyboards have already been featured in the Surface RT, it makes more sense for the Surface Pro. With the Pro featuring a full Windows 8 OS, you are expecting more productivity than your average tablet can give you. The Type and Touch Covers’ design lets you use the Surface Pro like a real, everyday PC.
Vapor MG Magnesium Body
This tablet, though a tad ticker than the Surface RT, is still light and very comfortable to hold. And the design; the industrial magnesium chassis of the device, is a sight to behold. The technology Microsoft used to mold the body gives the Surface Pro a premium sexy look.
Disappointing battery life
With all that power, it turns out that it doesn’t have enough juice to last it through the day. Tests show that the battery of the Surface Pro provided average life. You can probably use it for a whole day but you better have your charger with you just in case.
The Surface Pro is like an ultrabook, and when you buy an ultrabook you want a lot of ports. The Surface Pro only has one USB 3.0 port, Micro SDXC card slot, and mini Display port. There is not Ethernet port and no regular SD card slot.
Smaller than expected free storage for 64GB model
According to Microsoft, only 23GB of the 64GB hard drive can be used for user files. That is a pretty significant chunk of memory out of your reach. You may want to opt for the 128GB model for more hard drive space.
No Microsoft Office
The RT had it but it turns out that the Pro will not. You can install it in the future but it will not be present out of the box.
The 128GB model’s price is $999 and the 64GB model is $899. That does not even include the Type or Touch Cover Pad. Those are approaching Apple level prices.
Great design, fast performance, and keyboard covers that can let you use your tablet as a laptop or ultrabook substitute. Even with a disappointing battery life, this is still the best Windows 8 tablet in the market right now.