Back in January Microsoft announce the release of the Surface Pro and now with the release date of February 9th fast approaching, many of you will be wondering what is so great about this device and whether it is really worth the money. Here is the review, both good and bad, so you can make an informed decision on whether the Surface Pro is the device for you.
The burning question – will the Surface Pro be the missing link between tablet and laptop?
The Surface Pro comes boasting a 10.6” ClearType Full HD Display capable of delivering beautiful quality 1080P resolution video.
Viewing widescreen films is no problem here with the 16:9 widescreen display but you really have to watch a video in HD to truly appreciate the quality.
The display is quick to respond as you would expect from a premium tablet such as this but is quick to gather finger prints which can make viewing the screen difficult – Microsoft have thought of the answer to this problem and ship the Surface Pro with its own pen/stylus; this isn’t an afterthought as it’s been specifically designed to work with the device.
Now, the hardware is things get really interesting and where the Surface Pro really shine; for your money you get a 3rd Gen (Ivy Bridge) Intel Core i5-3317U Processor along with an Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip and 4GB of DDR3 Ram.
It’s this spec that brings the Surface Pro closer to the type of spec we would expect from a laptop.
What about storage? There are two versions currently that will be shipped; 64GB and 128GB SSD.
This isn’t close to the sort of storage you would expect on a laptop, but for its size you can’t grumble at these numbers.
The Surface Pro comes equipped with both a front and rear camera but the quality of both is not up to scratch with what is already available on straight up tablets such as the iPad.
The front facing camera has a resolution of 1 MP and the rear facing camera has a resolution of 0.9 MP while both are capable of delivering 720P video capture.
While 720P isn’t all too bad, the resolution of both camera’s strikes me as quite poor but the important thing is how the images and video looks – which unfortunately is not as good as I was hoping.
Now the question is – Is the camera really necessary? We’re used to camera’s being on tablets and similar devices, but why would you use a tablet if you wanted to take a good picture?
Personally I would leave this up to a decent camera and would prefer to see better hardware or improved performance.
The Surface Pro is designed to perform, as I previously mentioned you’ve got an Intel Core i5 Processor which fast for this type of device and while it comes clocked at 1.7GHz but can be pushed up to 2.6GHz if needed.
We have come a long way from cut down mobile processors in tablets and netbook’s and moved up to a level of hardware that the average consumer would be happy with in a full size laptop.
It gets better though because you don’t just get any run of the mill storage here you get either a 64GB or 128GB SSD that can only be described as extremely fast.
The downside of most laptops on the market is the load time of Windows but the Surface Pro will boot up Windows 8 in around 12 seconds so there won’t be much waiting around here.
The biggest issue with any tablet usually ends up coming down to the battery life; as devices get more powerful, displays get brighter & higher quality, specification gets better and performance improves the one thing that suffers is battery life.
Unfortunately the same is true for the Surface Pro which will give you around 4 and a half hours of time to surf the web.
On a plus side when connected to a power supply you have the benefit of a USB connection to charge accessories with so all is not lost.
How much of an impact this would be to you really depends on how long you would sit and surf the web on a device such as this and whether you would have the opportunity for a recharge at any point.
The Surface Windows 8 Pro isn’t the missing link between tablet and laptop but it’s the closest that any device has come so far so if you want something that is fast and versatile this is definitely for you.
If you’re looking to take pictures or record video this isn’t the tablet for you, but then again there are those that will give you better quality images and video but that won’t even compare to a good spec camera or video camera.
In comparison to the iPad Wi-Fi 128GB ($799) version you’ll be paying more since the 128GB Surface Windows 8 Pro comes in at an ERP of $999.
Is it worth the money? In my opinion definitely, it’s sleek, fast and there are some great accessories such as the touch pad ($119) and type pad ($129) that will be available for you.
About the Author: Shelly Flaherty loves everything about technology and she loves to research and review a variety of things, but more than anything, she loves receiving new devices and removing them from the protective packaging so she can learn more about the products first-hand.