Microsoft Surface Pro Reviews go Live. Surprise! It’s for Professionals. Consumers should wait for Surface V2

Posted on 06 February 2013 By


Microsoft Surface Pro _1_

A 10” PC running a Core i5 CPU with 4hrs of battery life, in 2lbs of weight – that’s one amazing achievement. It’s the smallest Core-based PC you can buy and one of the lightest too. There’s no question that for road warriors, hot-deskers and those wanting one PC for everything, it’s got be near the top of the list. The reviews are  praising the WiFi performance and SSD performance, low-noise and build-quality so it seems that the Surface Pro has delivered one of the best possible all-round ultra-mobile PCs. For the consumer, it’s not your ideal tablet.

You’ll find all the specs, new videos and links to many reviews in our Surface Pro specs page.

Specs to watch

I’ve read through a ton of reviews for you this morning (all listed here) and have picked out some of the specs and information that was missing. First to note is that the Surface Pro is running on a classic Ultrabook platform and not one of the new low-TDP core CPUs. Combined with a quality SSD and WiFi it puts the performance up there with some of the better Ultrabooks.

WiDi/Miracast is missing which might annoy some as time goes on and there’s no GPS or NFC hardware which could have given developers some more interesting features to play with and covered every possible angle but that won’t be an issue for most.

The biggest issue we can see though, and we think it’s going to affect a lot of pro users, is that there’s no docking station or docking keyboard. Yes, you’ve got a couple of optional keyboard options but neither will have USB, DisplayPort or an additional battery like the ASUS Transformer Book. A built-in stand helps and we know it’s possible to dock via a single USB3.0 port but even so, 2lb of quality dock with backlit keyboard, battery and ports would have been very useful, especially as there’s no removable battery on the Surface Pro.

Missing from the Surface Pro: Mic array, Smart Connect, WiDi, Wi-USB, GPS, NFC, removable battery, TPM (unconfirmed), VPro

Battery Life

As we predicted, battery life is an issue for those coming from consumer tablet space. For those coming from a TabletPC of just 2 year ago will be impressed though. For the weight, 4-5hrs of screen-on, WiFi on usage is a dream.

Weight

2lb of tablet is heavy when you’re casually consuming but again, for those coming from the professional space the 2lb digitizer-capable device is a dream.

Price

$899 for a 64GB Tablet is heavy,if you’re looking at it from the consumer space. $899 for a TabletPC with digitizer and full HD screen for the pro is, you guessed it, a dream.

The Microsoft Surface Pro is for professionals. That market isn’t huge but it’s a market that’s crying out for a new ultra-mobile solution. Consider the Microsoft Surface Pro from that angle and I think you’ll agree Microsoft have come up with a very attractive product.

Alternatives

You’ve got 5 alternatives to the Surface Pro. View them all in our database here.

Wait for Surface Pro 2?

If you’re looking at the Surface Pro with a casual eye I say wait. 4th-gen Core will be bringing some big improvements in the latter part of 2013. Surface Pro 2 could be so good that Microsoft only need one model.

We’re working on picking up a Surface Pro at the weekend.

You’ll find all the specs, new videos and links to many reviews in our Surface Pro specs page.

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  1. #1 by alex on February 6, 2013 - 13:08

    No WiDi
    No dock keyboard with battery and extra port with backlit keyboard.
    No thanks i prefer Transformer Book even without wacom pen,when Asus eventually release that hybrid pc which is becoming the BigFoot of the computer world. Everyone is talking about it, people have seen it, but no one can get their hands on one yet.

  2. #2 by Bart Wilson on February 6, 2013 - 14:12

    What sort of ‘pro’ are you recommending this to? I honestly can’t see what makes it so great for business but bad for consumers.

    Are the so-called pros really calling out for something that’s half a kilo lighter than a laptop, has only 4gb of ram, poor battery life and doesn’t have a proper keyboard? The only thing you really recommend it for is being a ‘digitizer’.

    As for waiting until the latter half of 2013… if you want a surface buy one now. If no-one does there won’t be any more coming.

    • #3 by Steve Chippy Paine on February 6, 2013 - 16:43

      I’m referring to the sort of people that need a high-quality tablet with ‘real’ fast SSD, high quality WiFi, USB3.0, digitizer etc etc.Try finding one that’s this light, with these features, Win 8 Pro, price and build quality.

      The Surface Pro is mainly for the sort of professionals that want to hot-desk or BYO, use the tablet on the commute and then on the sofa at home. For whom some security is important too. (Bitlocker) For those that want a fully-featured and fast tablet Web experience, Win 8 app developers, photographers, trade-show stand presentations and and and…
      As an all-in-one it’s also an exciting device. Shame Microsoft isn’t building a series of docking stations for it.

      Chippy

      • #4 by Bart Wilson on February 7, 2013 - 01:15

        So it’s for professionals who want to use it at work and on the sofa?

        As for real fast SSD – it’s insane to suggest (other) tablet users are sitting around waiting for apps to load. None of these tablets have spinning disks, what are you suggesting?

        (Honestly can’t believe that one of the ‘pros’ you are recommending this to are Win 8 developers – seriously? It’s like recommending air to humans)

  3. #5 by Cusi on February 6, 2013 - 15:29

    Really nice device and good price point. However that’s not for me, programming or writing articles with that keybord/cover should not be that good and screen is too small, also considering DPI scaling.
    I really love that design however!

    • #6 by Steve Chippy Paine on February 6, 2013 - 16:44

      How about a 13.3″ version?

      • #7 by Cusi on February 6, 2013 - 21:46

        Yeah, maybe a 13.3″ with 2 USB port would be ok, but i still prefer classic ultrabook since you can use them on your lap with a nice and solid keyboard. However that’s only my type of use, the device itself it’s awesome imho!

  4. #8 by curaga on February 6, 2013 - 20:19

    Why would Microsoft target the small BYOD professional crowd? IT departments probably won’t pick this up due to the missing features you mention. Low Surface Pro sales will set the whole Windows 8 launch back even further by making people think: “The Surface RT/Pro isn’t selling well? Then I guess I’ll stay away from Windows 8 devices and not even upgrade my existing PCs either.”

    Of course, I’m currently waiting for my Dell Latitude 10 to be delivered :) .

    • #9 by Steve Chippy Paine on February 6, 2013 - 21:41

      I’m not sure many IT departments require VPro for BYO devices although I do agree that the BYO market is relatively small. But, this could be quite a good option for companies looking to offer their staff a selection of BYO devices. In fact, it’s the sort of device that could bring the BYO market into real numbers. I don’t know the answer to that to be honest but BYO is only one possibility. I see some health inductry (large market) applications and blue-light applications too, given the right mount and protective casing. Developing a touch Windows 8 app for in-car rescue, emergency and similar services could become cheaper.

    • #10 by hez on February 6, 2013 - 22:43

      I know big companies where half of a board meeting is spend on the topic “Why cannot we have iPADs”. IT departments will be happy to offer Surface Pro as a compromize and those guys will be happy to forget about their corporate lap tops. I do not know what is big and small market but I gues iPAD sales will drop 50%.

    • #11 by me on February 7, 2013 - 02:31

      http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2013/02/04/it-workers-take-a-shine-to-surface-pro/

      “32% of global information workers said they would like to use the Microsoft Windows operating system for their next work tablet, according to a new survey by Forrester Research Inc. That translates to about 200 million global information workers who may be receptive to Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet.”

      That’s a lot if those employees work for companies that allow BYOD or will issue Windows 8 tablets.

  5. #12 by Chuck Daly on February 7, 2013 - 03:22

    It wasn’t that long ago when, this was the device we all hoped for when the iPad was released. I don’t understand why the press is so underwhelmed by the Surface Pro, granted Samsung did build an incredibly similar device with its Slate Series 7 over a year ago. My issue with it, is its screen size; too small.

    • #13 by curaga on February 7, 2013 - 03:43

      For mobile tablet use, I want the screen/device to be even smaller and dock it when at my desk.

      • #14 by Chuck Daly on February 7, 2013 - 14:27

        I could never productively use UMPCs when they first came out, but whose to say Viliv won’t announce their Windows 8 Pro devices soon in 5-7″.

  6. #16 by dean on February 7, 2013 - 07:05

    the display port can handle a much better signal than an hdmi port. i don;t see any issues with connecting with the display port… i port i am sure is in the works and after they sell enough keyboards i would bet anything that they will be announcing a keyboard with an additional battery… gotta keep making money on those accessories! it’s funny how they make such a big deal about how the stand cannot change the angle but it’s ok i guess when it’s an ipad that doesn’t have one at all! as far as all the cmments about using it on a bed or lap i am sure i will be just laying it down. thats what i do with my ipad now….. you really think their won’t be third party cases with stands coming out? i have one now that would work perfectly! is it true the MBA has the same battery life? i wish it had a regular sized sd card slot but it’s not a deal breaker i actually find inserting the micro sd card in the back to be a part of the thing …hidden away and forgotten about.. no GPS is something to think about and the issue with the HASWELL chip (or whatever it’s called) will be a great upgrade but i can;t wait for 10 months…. i will gladly sell this one by that time!

    i keep hearing all these complaints about it, give it some time! i have waitted for so long for the ipads and androids to be able to do things. this does about everything i can imagine right off the bat! and with all the “WEB ONLY” streaming going on it will be a pleasure to bypass that. and i agree , it’s not for everyone, but i will give it a try for sure!

  7. #17 by Luc on February 10, 2013 - 22:29

    Steve Chippy Paine :
    Unfortunately Viliv are no longer in business.

    Yes but let’s hope the rumor holds true that HTC is working on a 7″ Windows 8 device. Especially with GPS inside like Viliv S5.

  8. #18 by GWGehring on February 14, 2013 - 20:21

    Is no one else concerned about M-soft’s “Big Brother” requirement that I sign-up for an M-soft account (Hotmail, Bing, I-Explorer) in order to USE the Pro.
    I just don’t get it.
    I find ALL of M-soft’s “cloud-service” software deplorable. Security with M-soft is always dicey.
    I was on the brink of buying a Pro when I found out I HAD to sign up for “M-World”. Not me….

    M-soft would do well to realize that the ONLY way to “sell” Hotmail/Bing/Explorer/et-al is to make them better than the competition: faster, more fun, more efficient. Trying to “force” me to use their clunky software/webware in order to use their (temporarily) unique device is not marketing — it’s anti-marketing. Like BMW insisting that to drive their cars you have to pull an old Ford Pinto behind them.

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