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Microsoft Surface Pro: Sleek & sexy come with a high price

Microsoft Surface Pro: Sleek & sexy come with a high price



10.6in ClearType 1920 x 1080p Full HD, 16:9 ratio, 10-point multi-touch with pen input


3rd-generation Intel Core i5 with Intel HD Graphics 4000


up to 128GB storage, dual-channel 4GB RAM


720p HD LifeCam with True Color (rear and front)


Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology,


microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, cover port, headset jack


275 x 173 x 13mm, 910g


US$899 (64GB), $999 (128GB)


The Surface Pro is the Tesla Roadster of Windows 8 devices.  Expensive, sexy, sleek, and forward-thinking but wholly impractical on a number of levels.

User Rating

There’s a certain sleekness to taking the Surface Pro from under your arm, flicking up the kickstand, and flipping down the cover to reveal a full-size QWERTY keyboard.

Just like the Surface RT but slightly heavier and thicker, the Surface Pro is clad in the stunning VapoMG casing and topped off with Gorilla Glass 2. It is just about the best-built tablet in the market right now—feels even sturdier than the iPad.

The 10.6-inch ClearType full 1080p 16:9 HD display is superb for Windows 8 and Metro but not great on the OS’ desktop mode. But it’s still great for surfing, watching videos, and playing games.

The built-in kickstand isn’t very versatile but works with the magnetic Touch Cover to create a minimalist notebook experience.

Having similar specs to thicker, larger Ultrabooks doesn’t hurt either. This is where all post-PC computers are eventually headed. That said, you can probably buy a more complete portable Windows 8 with the money that Microsoft is asking you for the Surface Pro.

In terms of performance, the Surface Pro handles most everything you can throw at it, and has the added bonus of having a stylus for those who need it. It is powerful enough to run thousands of Windows 7 applications and can also deal with the latest Windows 8 Metro apps. But Windows 8 Professional is still a beast in terms of size, leaving only 23GB of free space on the 64GB model.

The Surface Pro has front- and rear-facing cameras. These two 720p HD LifeCams with True Color are nothing to write home about but are effective for apps like Skype.

It is the battery performance where the Surface Pro stumbles. The five-hour battery life of the Surface Pro is unreasonable for a mobile device. Users will be tethered to the power adaptor to get any real work done. Microsoft also fails to offer any external power by way of case accessories.

The Surface Pro’s functionality, ease of use, and value are debatable but defeat any of the current Android tablets. It is the Tesla Roadster of Windows 8 devices—expensive, sexy, sleek, and forward-thinking but wholly impractical on a number of levels.

Review by Gadjo Cardonas Sevilla

First published in Speed May 2013

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