- Editor's Rating
- Excellent performance thanks to top of the line hardware
- A full Windows 8 experience without any compromises
- Solid build with simplistic and elegant design
- Endless possibilities for productivity depending on how it's used
- Poor battery life
- Can be heavy for some people
- 150% scaling in desktop mode makes non-optimized apps look terrible
There really is no better solution for those that need a powerful-yet-portable tablet.
The Microsoft Surface Pro is not quite a notebook and not quite a tablet, but brings high-performance and increased productivity to the high-end tablet market. The device design is nearly identical to the Microsoft Surface RT, but the Surface Pro is slightly thicker and heavier. TabletPCReview found the Surface Pro to be solid and sturdy with a refreshingly simple design. The tablet features a sturdy and convenient kickstand. TPCR noted it is difficult to use the device while holding it in one hand while in tablet mode, and difficult using the device when holding it at all in notebook mode.
The Surface Pro has a 10.6-inch display with 208 pixel-per-inch resolution, which is viewable from all angles. TPCR noted the reduced glare made the tablet usable in almost all lighting conditions. TPCR also found that apps designed for Windows 8 looked great on the device, but apps that aren”t optimized for the Surface Pro and run in desktop mode are blurry and “nearly unusable without a mouse.”
TPCR found the on-screen keyboard to be responsive and easy to use. Users can also purchase two available keyboards for use with the Surface Pro – the Touch Cover and the Type Cover, the latter of which has dedicated keys and was used in the review by TPCR, which found the keyboard to be a “joy to use” but noted the built-in track pad mouse is frustrating. The device also comes with a Wacom pressure-stylus Surface Pen, which TPCR found is nice to have, but most users will likely not use. The pen is stored by magnetically clipping it to the side of the tablet, which makes it easy to lose. The Surface Pro has a USB 3.0 port, mini display port and microSD memory card slot.
The Surface Pro runs on a 1.7 GHz Core i5 processor and has 4GB RAM, Intel HD 4000 video and either a 64GB or 128 GB SSD drive, the latter of which comes at a $100 upgrade. TPCR noted the tablet runs almost any app without issues and is capable of running some games as well and “outperforms other ultraportables in its class.” TPCR found the tablet”s speakers to be loud and clear. The device has Wi-Fi compatibility, but no 4G connectivity. The Surface Pro also features front and rear-facing cameras that are both capable of recording 720p video, which TPCR found to be of mediocre quality. TPCR found the battery life, which is 4 to 4.5 hours with normal usage, to be the device”s Achilles heel.
Overall TPCR called the Surface Pro a “force to be reckoned with” and was impressed with the performance of the tablet when running apps designed for Windows 8 and its endless possibilities for productivity. However, TPCR noted poor battery life, weight of the tablet and issues running apps in desktop mode as downfalls of the device. The Microsoft Surface Pro is a good device for users who need a powerful-yet-portable notebook and tablet capabilities.