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185

Embargoes lifted, reviews of the Surface Pro are in

 

Surface Pro

Earlier this evening the embargo was lifted and all the tech sites posted their reviews online of the Surface Pro. Big brother to the Surface RT, the Pro was meant to be a truly no compromise device. It promised to give users the best of all worlds: tablet, ultrabook, x86 legacy software support, and new Windows 8 only apps. So, what does the web think of Redmonds second and latest computing device?

Let’s get the formalities out of the way and jog your memory of specs. Like mentioned above, this bad boy can run x86 software, so it is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor (1.7GHz Core i5-3317U, Intel HD 4000). Your eyes can ogle its 10.6 inch ClearType Full HD display, cramming 1920x1080 pixels into that 16:9 ratio screen. You also get a multifunction stylus and is powered by some Wacom magic, giving you 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity to annotate and draw till the fat lady sings. It is also half a pound heavier than the Surface RT and a few millimeters thicker. I won’t bore you with the specs, hit up the Surface Pro site for the rest of the specifications.

So what is everybody saying about the Surface Pro? The majority of the blogs all find the Surface Pro to be a solid device, held back by one big thing – battery life. Let’s pull some choice summaries from the web.

Engadget – These guys were impressed with the solid-feeling design, great 1080p display, and good performance. Not pleased with poor battery life (3:46), noisy-annoying fan, and un-optimized experiences. Their bottom line: Microsoft’s Surface Pro is the best tablet running Windows 8 we’ve yet seen, but still feels like a compromise when used as a tablet or laptop.

The Verge – Echoed similar feelings as above. They found fast, consistent performance, the Surface Pro was also handsome and well-made with a fantastic display. Lamented was the poor battery life, a heavy and thick device, and it was hard to use on the lap. Not quite a tablet and not quite a laptop seems to be the takeaway.

Paul Thurrott – If you don’t know who Paul is go bury your head in sand right now. Anyways, Mr. Thurrott got to play with the Surface Pro and gives the device his ultimate endorsement, but warns buyers to go play and see if the device is right for themselves. He really enjoyed the device, but does knock the screen resolution and battery. Contrary to other reviews, he faults the high resolution on the desktop for a tiny physical screen.

AnandTech – The level headed folks over at AnandTech give one of the best reviews of the device. And by that I mean the most logical, well thought out review. I’m not even going to spoil this one, just go read it. Just make sure you realize they have multiple pages for the review and you’ll need to go through it all to appreciate it.

TL;DR Great design, performance and screen, all hindered by poor battery life.

What do you think of the Surface Pro so far? Obviously I’d prefer if we all voiced our opinions after actually handling the device, but this is the internet and we’re all entitled to opinions. Are you now hesitant to pick one up? Are you going to wait for another device like the ThinkPad Helix? Or is the Surface Pro still the device for you? Sound off below!

We have a thread in the Windows Phone Central forums dedicated to all of the above reviews and more! Think of it as a mega collection of opinions on the Surface Pro. Hit it up.

P.S. Do not call it Surface with Windows 8 Pro. If you do I'll stop talking to you, just call it the Surface Pro. I'm serious. 

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Comments

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kingkoopa09 says:

Trying to save up now don't care about battery too much oli got a surface rt which goes everywhere with me, most people don't notice its a tab until I open it . I'll just use AutoCAD and visual studios andnof course some Diablo 3 wasn't planning on long battery with those

wpguy says:

This is only valid for people within the Microsoft Store's standard 30-day return policy.

Diablo 3? People are still playing that???
Good call with AutoCAD. That's what I'm throwing on mine as well along with some light-duty 3D apps.

Iumia says:

Who is this Paul Thurrott? I'm not sure why he would have a problem with the Surface with Windows 8 Pro ;)

L0gic Bom8 says:

-.- *Dies laughing*

Mroofie says:

Amm no seriously who is he

Tomasz S. says:

He is a celebrity in the internets.

L0gic Bom8 says:

He did a Windows Phone website called WindowsPhoneSecrets.com and runs the website WinSuperSite.com. One of the biggest eggheads who loves his Microsoft stuff. Check out the latter site.

AngryNil says:

How is Thurrott an egghead?

L0gic Bom8 says:

Sorry. My translation of egghead: a technology geek. Like me and others into tech like computers, smartphones, etc.

x I'm tc says:

Are you saying he's an idiot?

jsnod25 says:

No egghead is nerd speak for computer guru... Like why the site newegg.com sells computer hardware. There used to be a computer store like best buy called eggheads... Its not a bed thing.

L0gic Bom8 says:

@xlmtc: Now you're overreacting, dude. What I said doesn't mean he or anyone else is being singled out. If you want to insist it further, go troll someone else.

RonV42 says:

Paul doesn't "love" microsoft.  He reports as he see it.  Anyone that has listened to What the Tech or Windows Weekly podcasts know that Paul is not a shill for MS.

L0gic Bom8 says:

@RonV42: You're right about Paul not being a shill. I misconstrued it. Sorry for that. Yes he reports it, but I mostly see him covering Microsoft info.

GSOgymrat says:

I didn't know who he was either.

The1nChicago says:

In all honestly, the only review listed that really is unbiased as ALWAYS is Anandtech.  Those guys are the only I respect because they give a true review with technical comparisions.

Sam Sabri says:

That's why I felt they needed to be on this list. Great review. 

The1nChicago says:

In all honestly, the only review listed that really is unbiased as ALWAYS is Anandtech.  Those guys are the only I respect because they give a true review with technical comparisions.

Duffau says:

At least the verge was a little less biased than usual. I was pretty surprised.

Freuder says:

I was going to buy a Surface Pro, having already bought a Surface RT on release, but last week I upgraded my laptop to Windows 8 Pro and with the latest Synaptics driver enabling the swipe-from-edge gestures it's all working very nicely, so nicely that I'll stick with the RT when I need a tablet and my laptop when I need a laptop.

Tomasz S. says:

Win8 gestures on a touchpad? I had no idea. Gotta go upgrade my synaptics and check it out.

Logitech also sells a pretty cool mouse that allows for those gestures. I tried it out when Windows 8 first released, but it's not something I could ever play games with, so I left it at Best Buy.

Freuder says:

Also worth checking out the Logitech T650, a wireless touchpad with multi-touch, great with Windows 8 on my desktop PC.

Tomasz S. says:

I wish the Touch Mouse had gestures optimized for Windows 8. So far it hasn't been updated at all, so you can't even snap metro apps to the edge of the screen. Microsoft blew this big time.

gc8rex says:

Not being able to snap is usually a problem of not high enough screen resolution, its a limitation of win8

Tomasz S. says:

It's not a resulution problem, when I can snap using mouse on the same desktop or laptop, isn't it?

Tomasz S. says:

Swipe left to switch apps doesn't work on my hp probook for some reason :/

HaibaneReki says:

exactly, who needs a touchscreen, right? ;)

Curtieson says:

I figured he meant a touchscreen laptop.  I bought one because it was only $500 vs. $1000 for the Surface Pro.  Love it so far. [It's an Acer V5, not the fastest ride out there, but gets the job done]

Battery live and storage alone pretty much kills any hope for this being successful

Tomasz S. says:

Cool looks, performance, touch cover, stylus and attractive price compared to ultrabooks will make it sell better than the RT version.

You don't get a touch cover with the tablet. With a touch cover and half decent storage of 128GB you're looking over $1200 for this. Is it REALLY better than competing ultrabooks that offer 2x the battery and the versatility of a full fledged laptop?

AngryNil says:

I don't think you know what versatility means.

I don't think YOU know what it means. Go read the review of the Lenovo Yoga to see what it means

theefman says:

Don't forget getting actual support from Microsoft rather than the sell and forget attitude of virtually all PC OEM's. After years of dealing with companies that release buggy products and don't bother to fix them going with Microsoft and the good support they have given to RT owners makes the price worth it.

pressstart says:

What support are you looking for? PCs have always been an update drivers for yourself. Microsoft provides the Windows updates too. These Windows 8 laptops/hybrids aren't smartphones where manufacturer support is truly needed for os updates.

Duffau says:

Half? 83 GB was the preproduction model from the get go, MS said it was more free space than that on the release units, and the backup takes a significant amount of space which can be cleared if desired. Unless you meant that the 128 GB has half decent storage as an opinion, then I completely disgree.

1jaxstate1 says:

Less than 4 hours of battery life is pretty bad, but not a deal breaker for me. Im still going to grab one, after I see someone load Steam and see some gaming performance.

the battery will last 5.5 hours!!!! less than 4 hours is only because "tests loop a 1080p video until battery dies".

1jaxstate1 says:

I'm getting one for sure. I'm around a power outlet most of the time. I just want to see some performace test. This is going to replace my laptop.

chrgeorgeson says:

Anandtech showed that Surface Pro has a kind of "Quick Charge" as well. It went from completely dead to 100% battery charge in about 2 and a half hours. 
I wouldn't be surprised if you get to 80% charge rate in about an hour with this device. Usually the last 20% charges slower. 
So in other words on your lunch break a quick charge up will really help get you through the day. 

Etyrnus says:

It has similar specs to my laptop, and I can run puddle, magicka, and airmech fine. Haven't tried many other games.

As someone else said, it was less because they were running a 1080p video the whole time.  So you can get through a long movie on a full charge. 
I'd guess that standard use using web browsing, email clients, etc would allow for much better battery life.  The new chipsets will make it better, if they use them in the future and Haswell could really push the battery life up. 

inteller says:

well that's not going to magically fix this one! 

wpguy says:

Isn't that the trade-off with every computer that ever has been, is, and will be available? The instant a computer is bought, there is always be something better coming.

Thought about getting this for my DJ set up but good battery life is a must so I will skip this.. Maybe the Surface Pro 2?

So you're a DJ but have no access to outlets when you're on the job?

Jf.Vigor says:

He's saying it would be more beneficial if he ddid not have to give up a socket. (ipods/zunes dont need sockets for a DJ set)

So now we are comparing the Surface Pro to ipods/zunes? How about gaming? My Coleco Handheld Football device lasts WEEKS on a single 9v Energizer Battery using 30 year old technology. Should I be upset the Surface Pro won't run on 9v batteries?

Jf.Vigor says:

Not sure of point?

There is none, really. I love lamp.

GhostITMG says:

Are you just picking out items in the room and saying you love them?

Hanhua Yin says:

I love turtles.

I DJ at outside pep rallies for colleges, tailgates and field parties.. So access to outlets is not always possible. Having a tablet that can run for at least 6 hrs would be great. I have a laptop, but that's boring I wanted to be able to say I use nothing but a tablet as my center piece for my setup! And its running real programs not some light weight app..

the92playboy says:

Would Surface RT suit your needs then? I believe it has considerably better battery performance.

learntopop says:

One word: turntables.

Tomasz S. says:

When surface pro 2 arrives, you'll be complaining that it doesn't run on next next gen CPU and decide to wait for Surface 3.

longcipher says:

Played with one yesterday at BB for about 20 minutes. I already own a Surface RT. Bottom line: it's fast! My issues are, of course, battery life and heat. The demo model was very warm. I don't know -- before playing with it I was convinced I wanted to upgrade to a Pro, but now I'm not so sure. Think I'll stick with RT for now (which has really been great) and wait for Haswell.

it was already on before you touched right?

It does run warm. I saw one idle for 2 hours on a charger, with a demo loop playing (I dont know the resolution of the loop). It was warm to the touch.. not as warm as a Lumia 920 with NFC on, but warm enough for me to make a notice of it being a little bit uncomfortable.

zacman says:

Less battery than a Nintendo 3DS. Plus noisy fans. Back to the draw board Microsoft!

Raesu says:

3ds has like 2 hr battery

so will this if you play a game

ladydias says:

Actually the original 3ds has closer to 4-5 hours playing a game with 3d on. 3ds XL has even more. Still, it's ridiculous to compare the Surface Pro to it.

iruel865 says:

Are you seriously comparing a PC to an ultra portable gaming device...? -_-

Tomasz S. says:

People just love to complain. When Surface RT launched they compared it to regular PCs instead of ipads and androids. Idiotic, isn't it?

DigTheNoise says:

Yeah, but I bet it runs Office, Visual Studio, Steam, etc. a lot better than the 3DS.

VagrantWade says:

Noisy fans? Every review said the complete opposite. Troll harder.

jholso says:

As long as my tax return deposits before Saturday I will still be in line come Saturday morning. I just need it to replace my personal laptop, I do 99% of my work on my work laptop and when I go on trips only having to carry this instead of two laptops would be much better.

The Surface with Windows 8 Pro, offers admittedly disappointing battery life... regardless of how you compare it (tablet or ultrabook), but I believe it is exactly what's been promised in every other way. I think it's a highly portable device with infinitely more usefulness than its tablet competitors. I wish it had a Haswell chip and more battery life, but otherwise I can accept the rest. The Helix while more ideal is too expensive and too far off, and I've already been waiting for Surface for months. If I keep waiting for "the next big thing" I'll never get something at all, and that will kill this market.
 
So yeah, I'm buying the Surface for me, and if the Helix impresses, I'll probably endorse them for work.
 
EDIT: Rich text formatting apparently doesn't work very well, since I used strike out for "with Windows 8" and it doesn't show up. Please Sam, it was just a joke! :P

VagrantWade says:

I get like 2 hours tops with my Samsung laptop. Going to 5 hours will blow my load.

wpguy says:

... about 2 1/2 times. ;)

Sam Sabri says:

Friendship terminated!

Insert Epic No Montage here...

JLP says:

Battery life is not a deal-breaker for me....most of the time when Im using a laptop, its plugged in anyway, so it probably wouldn't be any different for me with the Pro. The only time it might be a concern for me is traveling, and trying to pass time on a plane. Even then, not many flights I take are more than 4 hours :)

It will last you almost 6 hours if you are not doing intense tasks. Reviews are not entirely genuine because most don't mention the battery for average users and tasks.

tboggs13 says:

Perhaps, but it is the same benchmark that is run against all other devices. It is useful for comparison. Since there is no real way to quantify "normal" use, it is the best benchmark we have. A device with lower results should be expected to have lower battery life in real world usage.

sholokov says:

I expected the fan noise. I had once mentioned a few days ago in comments somewhere under a different topic that expected fan noise was one of the reasons why I opted for an RT. I didn't want a tablet that feels hot to touch and constantly runs a fan while holding and using it. I think it was a reply to someone who said why would someone want a Surface RT when Pro was coming out.

Bugbog says:

That was why I was happy to get an RT! I'd already run the multiple Windows 8 previews on an Acer W500 for over a year prior to the RT's release.
Initially the fan wasn't an issue, as it came on every so often. But then as you use it more, and have more stuff loaded, the fan starts popping up more and more. The air vent becomes much more active, and the heated back becomes much more uncomfortable to hold.
I also found myself less and less interested in attempting to load legacy apps for use with the device, either because they just didn't work all that well with touch on the device (and not being willing to use a mouse!!), or, for those that did work, not looking all the good in content management.
 
Did I also mention the weight??
 
So, having run my own trial of an x86 device with Windows 8, I was definitely up for acquiring the Surface RT, and in No Way interested in obtaining the Surface Pro!

MadMup says:

Here's what I want: a tablet that runs Windows Phone 8. Way back when the Surface was announced I was hoping that's what it would be. I don't have much use for a Windows 8 tablet, even though I've been trying to find one :/

badMojo69 says:

OMG This!!!!!!!!!
 
RT needs to die.

DaveGx says:

I'll wait for the next version. Battery life that bad to start with, imagine in a year or two how bad it'll be.

wpguy says:

I expect it to be about as good in a year or two or three. I've got a laptop on the high end of 4 years with a battery that still lasts about 75-80% of its original. My two-year-old netbook's battery still gives me about 90% of original. Depends how badly you abuse the batteries.

dougwallace says:

I have the Samsung Series 7 Slate and other than the cool cover I can't tell them apart. And I have a port replication dock. I want to want the surface pro.

stephen_az says:

The Samsung slates I have touched all look and feel like they pulled the clamshell display off a netbook. Typical Samsung lets shoot for the cheapest looking way to get a job done. The one thing that stands out about all Surface tablets is the design.  Nothing else looks like them and Samsung would only copy that if it proves successful - that is afterall their corporate MO.....

Tomasz S. says:

Has the integrated kickstand been patented, or should we expect a Samsung knock-off soon?

I'm definitely getting on, I know how to squeeze more battery life out of it. Besides, they're tests are subjective. For me, when I have a laptop on the go without a power source, I set it to power saving mode and other slight tweaks. I'm pretty sure I'll get over 6hrs of use easy.

FFugue says:

If you do manage to run it for 6 hours please let us know how you did it. Maybe WPcentral would be nice enough to post it in an article to help us all. Although personally I don't think I'll be able to use any of those techniques (tell le otherwise if I'm mistaken) since I want to use the tablet primarily for photography. So I'll need the screen at full brightness and I'll need all the power I can get to adjust my pictures in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop...

Jf.Vigor says:

What's the best way for me to sell my RT and get the pro? I love the form factor and battery of the rt but sometimes it chugs. Idk maybe I'm too much of a power user? (or maybe Xbox music just sucks that bad that it turns me off to the entire tablet). I want a version of the surface that does not stutter and will give me great performance in 2013 and 2017 like my old recently deceased laptop did

Tomasz S. says:

Indeed, Surface RT is as sluggish as an Acer W500 running on a 1GHz AMD. I expected it to be at least a little faster.

FFugue says:

Anyone knows if the battery can be replaced when it starts to die after 30 minutes after a few years like every laptop? Because if we start of with 3 hours of battery life, I'm scared that after a year or two it might become unusable without being plugged in if the battery starts to fail, like most laptops and tablets and phones. Please tell me we can change the battery without having to send it to Microsoft to get it "repaired" like we must do with Apple products.

AngryNil says:

It's very interesting how favourably Anandtech received the device. Arguably, it's the only review from people who deal with the PC market through and through - the likes of Engadget and The Verge are run on Apple and they just cherry pick a few noteworthy laptops each year to test.
Surface Pro 2 or the next generation Asus Transformer for me, though. Battery life isn't up to snuff for tablet use.

JacksonSQD says:

I actually thought Anandtech's review was pretty objective..

joeynox says:

Less than 4 hrs of battery life means this is a piece of junk and Microsoft can keep it.

gsquared says:

The reports of battery life and fan noise are dissapointing. My Acer W500 runing Win 8 Pro gets around 5 hrs battery life and there are no fans to make noise.

Tomasz S. says:

The 3 hrs score is under load. You'll probably get 5 when doing the same stuff as on your heay and clunky Iconia, which clearly has a fan exhaust on the top left, with stinky hot air blowing out of it, and the fan is hearable under heavier load. Yours must brand new, or a really good sample, if you didn't notice it has a fan. I gladly switched that slow and heavy monster for a handy Surface RT (which is still slow, unfortunately). I can't wait to see how awesomely fast the Surface Pro is, when I manage to get one in Poland.

Quarien says:

Yeah, but I am afraid of our price change. For example in Vobis Surface RT 32GB+touch cover costs additional $320 (~1000zł). I can't even imagine how much would Surface Pro 128GB cost...

Tomasz S. says:

I got mine (a US, not UK version) from i-sklep.com.pl in Warsaw much cheaper than Vobis. They seem to be a legit store, and don't lie about the warranty.

theefman says:

You must mean the W510 cos my W500 def has fans and they are not silent, even after lowering the voltage to run cooler. Plus a 1.0 Brazos CPU doesn't compare to an i5.

Cristoby says:

I own a Surface RT and I like it. But the idea of a tablet with fans and < 4 hrs of battery time do not attract me. I'll wait until next year to see if the newer chipsets permit a fanless design.

sl#WP says:

I don't know why you believe in the reviewer, most of them are assholes, if you don't already know that. Go get some real reviewer, like Ed Bott. He run it for the whole day only hear the fan only once, and it is quiet. 4 hours is extreme test, a regular use would double that time. Most of time you use it as laptop, you would plug it on the power. If you take international flight, that maybe a problem. For almost any situation, it is enough.

dajunga says:

You should include Andy Ihnatko's review. Its also a level headed thoughtful review by the host of Macbreak Weekly no less!

http://www.suntimes.com/technology/ihnatko/18034645-452/andy-ihnatko-mic...

Vallos says:

That was nice and objective review.
 

cdb033 says:

I'm saving for this thing, and could careless how thick it is. I carry my laptop around and I know the surface pro isn't as thick as that. So I'll be fine. Just have to keep a charger with me at all times.

Tomasz S. says:

"could careless" now that's even funnier than "could care less".

1101x10 says:

Can't really see the point of this. If you want to run power apps get a laptop otherwise for a tablet you want a low energy CPU like ARM or Clovertrail.

BKsInBarre says:

Yuppers Surface Pro will be coming home Saturday... ^_~

Morq says:

Two things I noticed on the spec page:

OS

Runs current Windows 7 desktop applications and integrates with your existing enterprise management infrastructure. Use the programs and the apps available in the Windows Store."

 
and
 

CPU

3rd Gen Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000
4GB RAM—Dual Channel Memory

First one is funny because how company tries to hide "Windows 8" from the customer (I myself love the system but know a lot of people are complaining terribly about it". Second is sad because it lacks both ram and proper gpu. (I know not many people needs that at their work, but well... I do, and I find a proper gpu (with cuda 1.3+ support) essential). Intel gpus are good for ms word and alike.

Don't know what kind of gpu you would want in a form factor like this. The only ones better are the and in that vizio tablet and razers tablet...?

Morq says:

Hey, cheers for the answer, but could you specify the names of the tablets?
If you mean razer fiona, then it has a high chance of having what i need (since its nvidia card, and cuda is nvidia tech), but exact specs are nowhere to be found.
I'm not sure which vizio tablet you have on mind tho, could you post the name?
 

steppa75 says:

Razer tab is called edge and is on their page $1299.99

NIST says:

The Endgaget and Verge reviews were exactly what I thought they would be. Same with old man Walt at WSJ. These are the type of people that try to compare it to an ipad of all things.
The only concerning issue is the battery life, but when you see that their tests don't mirror anything most people would do in real life, it kind of diminishes the concern. I've already got a Surface RT. I find very few things that I can't do on it. The Surface Pro neatly fills in those gaps. And comparing it to an ipad is simply retarded.
I'll be in line day 1 for mine.

Neusyn says:

HD 4000 graphics and dismal battery life, hah. I'm waiting for either the Surface Pro 2 or Vizio Tablet PC, both of which are supposedly sporting an AMD "Temash" apu.

Coreldan says:

While Surface Pro is sexy in many ways, even if I had the extra money I couldn't consider "upgrading" my Surface RT for a Pro simply due to the battery life. Long battery life is probably one of the single most important factors for me when I bought the Surface RT. On another note, the fanless and mostly heatless design is great too.
 
Sure, running x86 apps on the RT would've been great, but there's maybe.. one app I would use on my RT in the usual way I use it in and that's Steam, mostly for the chat. At home I can remote desktop my desktop PC if I wanna lazy on the couch. On the move it would be nice to keep in touch via Steam, but I'll definitely manage without it and keep loving everything else about the RT.
 
Short from the app selection, I fail to understand why Surface didn't become more popular than it was. Regardless I hope that the Surface formfactor will live on. I will find hard to justify going back to any other form factor (be it a laptop or a "pure tablet") for my on-the-go needs

FFugue says:

The Surface didn't become more popular because Microsoft has a bad image. They're known for doing great but ugly software. And people now want something that does the job, and looks good while doing it. The Surface definitely does that, but people don't know that. They just hear it's a Microsoft tablet and they're sure it's a piece of crap with a blue screen popping once in a while (although I haven't seen a blue screen in more than five years...). Microsoft needs to do a huge marketing job to show that they've changed! Their product is great! But people don't take the time to look at it, they just hear Microsoft and they turn away.

Tomasz S. says:

Some people even consider a Surface untill they read all those unjustified bad reviews about the Surface not being an x86 PC (which it was never meant to be) and the overrated lack of apps (like if everyone needed thousands of fart apps).

FFugue says:

Question: If you use the mini-display to hdmi adapter, will you get sound also or is it only for image? I'd like to use the tablet as a media center once in a while, but for that I need to make sure the sound is included in the hdmi, unlike when you use a standard display port to hdmi adapter.

Chill510 says:

If you need the power and portability of the surface then go ahead and get it. I think realistically battery life is gonna be more in the 5-5.5 hrs of battery. Which is pretty standard for any laptop. On the other hand, if all your doing is basic web browsing and some documents and home computing.....purchasing this is a mistake. Because if that's all your doing you can easily get by with Clovertrail processor. (hp Envyx2, Ativ smart PC, etc...) they cost less, come with keyboard attachments and battery life is way better. Anybody purchasing this should really ask themselves what exactly there deal breakers are and what there needs are. I thought I wanted this until I got a good deal on a Samsung ultrabook series 5 laptop running Win8. I now realize that what I want is portability....nott power. So I will be getting the surface rt. Used if possible.

Tomasz S. says:

If all you need is basic web browsing and some document editing the Surface RT is a right choice.

enahs555 says:

The poor battery life is confusing to me. I am using an Acer Ultrabook, with the exact same CPU/GPU. But I do not have a SSD, I have tradational HD. I also have a larger screen, which requires more power.
The battery in my laptop is only slightly higher rated then the battery in the Surface Pro (~5%). But the battery in my Ultrabook last fantastically longer then that.
Perhaphs there is a driver issue or something going on causing excess battery to be drained, or the devices were set to full power mode at all times and not doing anything to save power?
 

inteller says:

Maybe, hopefully, this is a trojan horse and MS just needs to concentrate on getting more Metro apps in the store.  If they can close the app gap then obvisouly the Surface RT is the best tablet.  They can't get rid of Desktop fast enough.

mattybsrs says:

This is exactly how I view the Pro and Windows 8 on the PC as a whole, which is why I was so confused to see the RT come first. MS needs to leverage the existing base to upgrade the ARM base.

steppa75 says:

Ye the apps in store is still lame. Hardly any big name apps people want here in UK anyways. Games suck too, gameloft etc seem to be ignoring RT

vlad0 says:

There is a fundamental flaw with this. The processor is too power hungry for thet small battery. This form factor begs for a lower TDP CPU, and also more storage space.
They should have waited for the 13-7w TDP Intel chips which are shipping now. Haswell should be out late summer, so they can do a Surface Pro 2 in September or so, which would be able to to what they meant to with this one.
Also, we have the new AMD chips Kabini and Temash which have some pretty amazing graphic capabilities.
I wouldn't buy this. The real "all in one" will come with the next gen APU/CPUs .. Windows 8 is a bit ahead of the hardware curve, that is all.

The Surface Pro has a much brighter display than the Samsung ATIV-S Smart PC Pro T700 or Macbook Air. This might be affecting battery life because most of the other internals are pretty much the same things. In any case I get around 5 to 7 hours of normal use of my Ativ-S Pro. Browsing and doing MS Office work, using non game apps.
If you look at the price Surface Pro or Samsung Ativ-S Pro... about the same with keyboard, but the Samsung will be more a notebook with its keyboard attached as it is a docking station.
In any case, people should always try a device at a store if possible. I have the Ativ-S pro and it ridicules any other tablet performance wise except of course the Surface Pro which is as fast but has a better display. Price being the same, maybe the Samsung is the more versatile hybrid.
The perfomance is excellent... this in not for 3D heavy games but working... I can tell you that they're perfect for that.

joeynox says:

Can someone tell me how the os can take 41 gigs? It doesn't take 41 gigs on my home PC. It doesn't even include office. Once again Microsoft ruined a good product. They will never have a successful hardware line with morons running the show. Don't mention the Xbox because the first 3 years were rrod days. This is a disaster just like the rt

FFugue says:

Apparently it includes a 30 trial of Office. It also includes a 8 gig windows recovery in case you want to format and reinstall. You can uninstall Office if you want, and you can transfer the 8 gig recovery to a bootable usb stick to save some space.

penetronn says:

I'm waiting for an x64 atom-based version of the surface. An adjustable kickstand would allow you to use it on your lap as well. No compromises.

preriz says:

Hate this. Expected a lot more battery life. That is what a laptop/Ultrabook/tablet should stand for; Mobility.

bawboh86 says:

As someone who was looking into getting a Windows 8 device to do programming on the go, battery and typing were both concerns for me. I needed something larger than 10" and something that would last at least 5-6 hours. I ended up with the Yoga 13", but it was all personal preferences. I think this is a very capable machine that just didn't fit my needs.

lippidp says:

10.6" screen for a laptop is nuts. My current laptop (what used to be called a Tablet PC) is 12.1". There is no way I'd ever go smaller than that. Surface Pro is a pass on this spec alone.

DJCBS says:

Honestly, at that price and with shitty battery life, thick, heavy, with noisy fans, I would have to be completely insane to even consider buying a Surface Pro. A laptop would be a better investment (and I don't like laptops)

Besides, if the rumours around the Nokia Tablet are true (specially regarding the battery and the extra-battery on the cover), I'd rather save my money for that one. If nothing comes out, Asus has amazing Tablets running W8. So I think the Surface (specially the Surface Pro) is really only for blind-MS-fanboys who love to waste money.

cashcar1979 says:

Yup...XPS 12 or Yoga 13 are much better choices...

Tomasz S. says:

Are you seriosly calling Surface Pro heavy and thick? Compared to what? An iPad mini?

jfivieght says:

In my experience, I compared it to a Samsung Series 7 slate which is 11.6" and 2lbs. When I played with it yesterday, I thought the Surface Pro was heavy because it was smaller at 10.6" with the same weight distributed through less space. Surface Pro and iPads are not even in the same category-let alone the same user base, in my opinion. I'm still undecided on the Pro though.

Tomasz S. says:

Apart from the 7 Slate, which is fraking expensive, which other x86 tablets are lighter than Surface Pro?

jfivieght says:

If you were making a point there, good point. Maybe the Surface Pro is as good as it gets weigh wise in its class (with an i5 or higher). However, the Kupa Ultranote x15 is 1.7 lbs with an i7 but more expensive.

Tomasz S. says:

Indeed that was the point I was trying to make. Surface Pro seems to offer a really good quality and feature to price ratio. And even if it's not the lightest x86 tablet ever, don't forget about the kickstand, tilted camera, additional charging port, two digitizers and a high quality stylus. I guess Microsoft Hardware can afford putting all of that in the package as they got a good deal on the Windows 8 Pro OEM licenses ;)

pyrosol08 says:

Any thoughts on comparing the Surface Pro to Razer's Edge Pro ? http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-edge-pro
 

cashcar1979 says:

My Dell XPS 12 is a superior device....if the Surface Pro had 10 hour battery life and was thin/light I would have different thoughts. I agree with the Engadget review...

Is the dell xps thinner and lighter than the surface with similar better specs?

cashcar1979 says:

Nope...but its much more functional. The Surface Pro is limited as a tablet and limited as a laptop. The XPS 12 shines in laptop mode and can be used as a tablet when needed...

FFugue says:

Either they can make it thinner, or they can make the battery last longer. I don't think they can do both with today's technologie. How can you make a smaller battery last longer? Don't forget it's not just a tablet, it a real pc. And personally, none of the people I know who have laptops can use it unplugged for 10 hours!!! And their laptops are much much ticker than the Surface Pro!

bawboh86 says:

So, does anyone know if you can change the resolution on the Surface Pro? I mean, it's a full-fledged OS with Intel Integrated Graphics 4000HD, so it should be possible. Wouldn't this fix the battery issues, and the touch issues?

FFugue says:

From what I read, yes you can change the resolution. I don't know if it impacts the battery. Someone would have to test it.

GSOgymrat says:

I have not seen the Surface Pro yet but based on initial reports I don't think I will be upgrading from Surface RT. I am happy with my Surface RT, so much so I just gave my iPad to my mother-in-law a couple of days ago because I wasn't using it. I think whether RT or Pro is better all depends on how you use the device . I still like to sit in front of my 27" desktop monitor surrounded by high quality speakers for most of my computer use. I use the Surface mostly as a tablet media consumption device and occationally pop on the type cover keyboard to write a paper. I don't want a laptop. The Pro is appealing because of it's high resolution screen and ability to run full Windows 8 but, as a tablet, the battery life and weight are real drawbacks. The reality is I already have, with very minor exceptions, all the apps I need on Windows RT so all I would be gaining is a nice screen on a heavier device that can't last through a day of international travel.

dbgman says:

Got my surface pro reservation pass! Will be picking up one of these on Saturday. A full pc with an i5 processor in a two pound tablet is a winner for me. Your battery mileage will vary. I have read reviews that most are getting over five hours of battery life which is ample for me.
The only question I have remaining to answer myself is do I want a touch keyboard or type keyboard? Hmm...

FFugue says:

Same question for me. Touch or type... I wanted to try the touch keyboard, but they still don't have the tablets available in stores in Montréal, so I'll have to wait a little longer.

ineedapyt82 says:

As a fan of my Acer W510, I think the pro is a great device with a lot of power, and maybe ahead of its time to be appreciated. At the same time though, the form factor and battery kill it in the tablet world, and hinder it in the ultra book world. The Acer  w510 although under powered still gives you the ability to use as a tablet but also as an everyday PC, not to mention it has 9 hours of battery life, and 18 with the dock all in a 10.1 inch form factor which is the norm for a tablet. I love the idea of these windows 8 pro tablets, I just hope they can better represent the form factors and battery life, if I get a tablet it has to be 10 inches or less, all these 11-13 inch tablets are pointless and not mobile enough.

blackprince says:

Not surprised about the battery life, my laptop dies after a few hours too with heavy use. This should be no surprise to anyone who knows anything about x86 architecture and shouldn't be a huge deal either. Portable, digitizer, great looks, and runs EVERYTHING! Going sell my RT I think.

texantony says:

In reality, most people are going to get about 5 to 6 hours of battery. Which business person is going to spend $1000+ just to watch movies? My Lenovo laptop only gets 4 hours and with normal use. This is actually going to be an upgrade if I go with the Surface Pro. Right now my options are the Asus Taichi 21 (with its double screen), Sony Duo 11 (with new HD display) or the Surface Pro.

thank you for not mentioning the "review" conducted by Gizmodo/Kyle Wagner

jfivieght says:

I played with a Pro at a MS store yesterday with excitement. I walked away unsure. It was HEAVY and felt bad to hold compared to my Samsung Series 7 slate. I think it's because it's smaller and fatter. The corners felt too sharp. I wanted the RT, but could not accept the slowness. Performance on the Pro was just as good as my Samsung Series 7 slate with W8Pro. The Pro's SCREEN was great. The only issues I really have is finding out if it has WIDI and the feel of the device as a tablet. I will attempt a longer sit-down with the Pro to determine if I will get it. I really would prefer that 7" Xbox surface or something thin and under 2lbs. post-MWC.

wpward291 says:

I will never understand why people complain about weight are you that weak. God this is why I hate civilian life you guys bitch about everything.

jfivieght says:

Have you held the surface pro yet? For what it costs and what I want to use it for, I personally need it to be as comfy as the S7S I already own, which is 2lbs. and 11.6". Not complaining, giving my opinion.

Tomasz S. says:

That's cause us civilians use our tablets by holding them for a prolonged time in our hands. If we were only stocking the shelves with them, we wouldn't care about an additional 1lbs either.

wpward291 says:

Lol that's even worse. My Ssgt would hit me with the butt of his rifle if a i bitched, man this m249 is to heavy. My God its 2 pound device. No wonder less than 1% serve. We have a nation full of bitches.

pressstart says:

I was disappointed when Ars Technica pointed out that it doesn't use the upcoming 3rd gen i5 with lower power consumption. Wouldn't be no Haswell, but at least it would still have been more efficient than what's on the Surface Pro now. Don't see why they delayed the Surface Pro if it wasn't getting the refreshed Intel CPU.

wpward291 says:

I'm still picking up a rt on Friday. I have a all in one so need for a laptop or pro rt does all I need it to.

All the people complaining about battery life needs to realize that this is a LAPTOP in a tablet form, try to find a laptop (other than mac) that has better battery life. This is not in the same league as iPAD or RT and should not be compared to it. 
As far as storage, Why is anyone surprised. First off, 64 GB's is never actually 64 GB's, and then the full OS installation of Windows 8 Pro and a recovery media take up a good chunk of space. Get rid of the recovery section and put it on a usb. Second, there are good options for extended storage: SkyDrive, SDXC's, USB. People need to realize what this is and stop complaning by comparing it to products that are not even in the same league. This is an ultrabook in a tablet form, once you realize that, the con's don't seem like con's anymore. If there should be any complaint it is that Microsoft is marketing this as a tablet, they should be marketing it as a touch screen ultrabook.
 

jfivieght says:

Yea, the phrase good battery life is kind of silly when talking about mobile devices. Until someone creates a battery that lasts a year on a single charge, I'm not particular about battery life on phones or tablets.

suresh419 says:

After using my surface rt since the  day it came out, its been a great companion to me, but I'm also missing my desktop apps less now.  The RT is perfect for what i do, the only thing I would like the surface pro for is for outlook.  I'm a gamer, i don't think i can game on the surface pro
ALL OF YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOOK AT THE -  ASUS TX300 its a transformer ultrabook http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3tZT83MKKI

Brandon619 says:

I'll wait for a hopeful surface pro 2 with haswell for better performance and better integrated graphics for gaming and of course better battery life

driver_king says:

I wonder when Microsoft plans to release the Haswell unit. I was under the impression that the Pro was going to be delayed until June or July when Haswell units will be shipping. They are supposed to bring magnitudes of improvements in battery life over existing Ivy Bridge units, not to mention graphics capabilities.

jsh1701 says:

Bought a Dell Latitude 10 Tablet running Windows 8 Pro. I love it. Because it has the Atom processor, no noisy fan, good battery life, 6-7 hours with the standard battery. An extended battery or second battery can be purchased. Priced less than the Surface Pro.

driver_king says:

People have a justified qualm with the Surface Pro's battery life, particularly knowing that the next generation processor is leaps and bounds better than the current generation it will be outmoding within the next few months. Frankly, I may just wait for the next Surface RT with Tegra 4 and its advanced real time HDR technology plus 72 GPU cores...

MastrMeatWad says:

we want a new laptop-ultrabook. We want to spend less up to 1000, and want portability as well as performance, i5/i7. Touchscreen a must. Was thinking the surface pro, Sony VAIO t series 14 touch, or ?
Any feedback, ideas, recommendations is appreciated.

futurix says:

I don't understand why the battery life is so bad - if ultrabooks with much bigger and more power-hungry screens can get 7-8 hours of battery life (see Apple Retina MacBook Pro), why can't Surface Pro?

The display! It is extremely bright!

Lych says:

As it looks now, I'll just get an RT (if and when it finally becomes available here). Pro simply doesn't deliver on the battery and that's the dealbreaker for me since I plan to carry the thing around a lot. The RT can do basically everything that I'd use it for anyhow, and lasts longer.

stephen_az says:

FWIW, Microsoft should have outsourced Surface Pro to Lenovo or Asus (or possibly even Toshiba or HP). They all seem to have figured out how to get the best out of a battery. This battery life is absolutely embarrassing. For those who want to complain about the test, it is the same as used for other devices. I also expect that the third gen I5 is some variant on the crappy 3317 that can't seem to keep pace with the second gen 2450. The 3317 may be classified as a mobile processor but in my experience the whole series is a performance and battery life dog. Granted, I think Intel dropped the ball on the entire third gen line anyway.

For me, the fact that a Lenovo Yoga will double the battery life; offer more storage for less money; package things in stylish design, and not stick you with much more weight, make Surface Pro a product that will not appear on my list to recommend to others. Personally, I consider Surface RT to be a great device that I highly recommend. This just seems to be a non-starter. If you need to keep a tablet near an outlet, why buy one? You can get a Windows 8 hybrid or a touch enabled Windows 8 laptop with better battery life. A tablet that is tied to an outlet is like a first generation plug in electric car. It may be cool and stylish but its overall utility is lacking.

Es yo says:

This will be my computer. I want to get the 128 GB version. I know the 128 GB comes with 64 GB or 80 GB storage left, I'm not going to use all the storage however. This is only for school.

leo74 says:

I will stick with my Envy x2. It is not the most powerful device in regards to processor, but I am not a gamer and for my daily work (Office, Viso, MS Project) it is more than enough. And since I am on the go a lot, battery life is essential and the Envy gets me through a day of normal use easily. And in the evening at the hotel, I just pop off the sceen and have my tablet for skyping with the kids, surfing and light gaming.
I tried several different W8 devices, but for me the Envy does the job the way I want and need it to.
The Surface Pro just doesn't fit my needs, so it's a pass...

edchair says:

Does no one else care that there is no 3G/4G connectivity built in? I was hoping to use the Surface Pro for a business application with my employees where WiFi is nonexistent. I need the additional connectivity and don't want to carry other devices. To be really mobile, the Surface Pro needs 3G/4G.

crazygonzo says:

Surface Pro - a decent Laptop (secondary function: Tablet)
Surface RT - a good Tablet (secondary function: Laptop)

Battery life kills it sadly

jfivieght says:

I don't think any amount of battery would suffice on such a device. Real world use should be on par with similar x86 devices which is good enough. Only a battery forged from the sun would fit everyone's usage patterns.

MarkTurbo says:

I'll be getting a Surface Pro on Saturday. The reported battery life isn't an issue for me. I don't need anything that can run 4 or 5 hours non stop. I'll be dipping into it for short periods throughout each day and when I'm not using it, or carrying it, it will be plugged in and charging anyway, just like any other portable device I own.

Mark Richey says:

Windows 8 Pro runs fine and is completely usable on a non-touch laptop. My strategy always was an upgrade on my Laptop for my desktop work, and the RT for carrying around. I am now in the States and it was a no-brainer to take the Surface rather than the laptop: lighter, thinner and with only moderate use, a couple days of battery life between charges. I am in touch with my docs through Skydrive, edited on Office 2013 on the RT, and saved to the Skydrive. My only limitation was when my wife wanted to use Google + Hangout to chat rather than Skype. Otherwise, everything from catching up on my podcasts to sharing documents and uploading photos from the trip all handkled without the laptop. I have no need for the current Surface Pro.

Maybe it's time someone invents an external video card. Plug it in like an external hard drive and then underpowered tablets & laptops will be a thing of the past. I'm going to my garage now to see what spare parts I have to whip up a prototype....

JacksonSQD says:

One word: Thunderbolt.