Surface Pro: Twice the Price, Half the Battery Life

Surface ProIt hasn’t been long since the Microsoft Surface hit stores and started being picked apart by every technology pundit and reviewer out there. The dream of a Microsoft-produced computer that ran Windows has been in the back of the minds of many a Windows user for decades. The reality of the situation was a bit disappointing to some.

Perhaps the last commercial hope for the Surface brand might come by way of the Microsoft Surface Pro. With a next generation Intel Core i5 multi-core processor onboard, the performance issues seen with the less-powerful Microsoft Surface should be mitigated. That’s the hope, at least. The addition of a full version of Windows 8 rather than the stripped-down mobile Windows RT also puts the Surface Pro at an interesting advantage.

So, what’s the price of this highly-anticipated item going to be?

  • $899 – Microsoft Surface Pro 64 GB
  • $999 – Microsoft Surface Pro 128 GB

This information was confirmed by the Official Microsoft Blog and I’m personally very surprised at this development. It was expected for some time that the starting price for the Microsoft Surface Pro would be around $999, but at $899 it feels like a tiny bit less of a punch to the wallet than expected.

The Surface Pro comes with Windows 8 Pro (the equivalent of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition on the new OS) as well as the Surface pen, a stylus which is used (in addition to palm blocking technology) to make note taking a little easier for the user during meetings. It could also prove useful for an artist wishing to jot down concepts while they’re out and about.

Downsides to the Surface Pro

Even at $899, it’s a high price to pay for what consumers see and perceive as a tablet computer. It’s a hard sell to push something the size of a netbook at a costs closer to that of an Ultrabook. In addition, the battery life on the Surface Pro will suffers due to the more power-hungry Core i5 processor. It’s currently estimated that the Surface Pro will have just four hours of battery life. This is a far cry from the nearly 10 hours most larger (and less pricy) tablet computers on the market currently boast.

Touch covers are still sold separately, so the $899 entry-level price is actually just a starting point. If you want a keyboard, you’ll be looking at a price in the low four figures at minimum.

I’m still not sold on the Surface as a first-generation product. Early adopters have been burned by the Surface already, and I would hate to recommend anything that hasn’t had at least a generation or two of development behind it. 90 days isn’t a very long time to learn from the mistakes of the first Surface, and introducing a more powerful processor and additional RAM doesn’t exactly fix what comes down to software optimization. Granted, Microsoft does have the ability to fix a lot of these issues through software updates, but you should never buy anything on the hopes and promise that updates will eventually come.

Are you going to buy a Surface Pro?

Image: Microsoft

85 comments On Surface Pro: Twice the Price, Half the Battery Life

  • At these prices I wish I didn’t get my RT model.

  • $899 is a ridiculous amount.

    • Microsoft Surface is competing against traditional Windows 8 and other notebook computers including MacBook
      In the tablet format, without mouse and keyboard, writing of longer documents, or use of Microsoft Office is impaired – Microsoft Office is not touch friendly currently
      Immediate fail unless they get the price down to around the $600-$650

    • No pricing is announced….

  • Twice the price, half the battery life, and three times the awesome? 😉

    Seriously, it is quite a gamble. Looks to me like Microsoft is not trying to undercut anyone here, this hasn’t got any direct competitors. Other than perhaps the MacBook Air, in that both are ultra portable entries to the big boy OS world provided by the makers of the OS. And against the Air the price is looking comparable, given that the Surface Pro comes with some features that the air doesn’t.

    As for your last question, not getting a Surface Pro. It looks nice for a tablet, but it is too close to a laptop in spec and price. In many ways I am quite happy with my tablets being nothing but overgrown GameBoys.

    • No pricing is announced, or battery information.

    • “And against the Air the price is looking comparable, given that the Surface Pro comes with some features that the air doesn’t.”

      Like what?

      • Besides a touchscreen, of course.

      • The screen. The screen isn’t just a mere touch screen, it also comes with the stylus.

        The stylus could be quite a big deal in the creative community. A good graphics tablet with screen usually costs a lot of money (around $1000 or more), if it all works well with the Surface Pro then it could be the obvious choice for many people.

        I have to admit that I am not 100% sure if the stylus is pressure sensitive or not, but more likely than not it is. If this is indeed the case I bet there are many graphics designers who will be interested, even if it runs Windows and not OS X.

  • I’d also have to say $899 is just a little steep. The problem with the Surface (beyond what I think of Windows 8) is that it is neither the best Tablet computer, nor is it a very good Notebook computer. Without clearly defining its role, and topping the charts in at least one of those categories it becomes somewhat of a joke to anyone who’s familiar with technology; and the real problem is that these types are the people who actually would consider purchasing the Surface in the first place.

    You would never catch anyone such as my girlfriend, mother, father or anyone who’s not a tech enthusiast honestly saying “the fact that I can run legacy Windows applications seals the deal for me”, nor would or have any of them claimed that Surface with Windows 8 is easier to use or better in any way shape or form than an iPad. If you compare it with a laptop, it even loses to your regular run of the mill $650 Windows notebook and even further to anything at all that Apple produces.


  • At first I was considering the Surface Pro. But I just don’t have Surface Pro kind of money. Especially at that price, for a tablet/computer, without as many apps, (Sure they will come, but that will take years). I just don’t see the Surface Pro making a big dent in the market, because as the crappy battery life, I’m better getting a Dell XPS Duo 12. Sure it’s bigger, but its basically the same thing.

    I hope to see more from the second generation Surface Tablet. Especially they need to do something with the price, because in this economy, it’s outrageous, and consumers are not going to want to buy it. I think they are aiming to the wrong people. They need to aim to consumers, just like Google did with the Nexus 7, or Apple with the iPad Mini. Lower cose tablets, though less powerful, and can’t do heavy app things, it is what consumers are buying.

    • This is exactly where I was coming from bellow, I don’t think the Surface Pro as it stands is for me when there are laptops like the XPS Duo 12 around which beat it spec wise hands down.

      I’m perfectly happy with my tablets being purely for browsing and playing. I’m relatively happy on that front with my iPad, if I wanted a tablet with a little more functionality for doing a little bit of work then the Surface RT looks like the perfect choice price wise.

      It also helps that I am quite biased towards Dell XPS, Latitude, and Precision laptops. Or anything with a Thinkpad label on it. I’ll admit to that 🙂

    • You can use the same apps that you’ve already been using for years on a Surface Pro.

      That’s the point of Windows 8. You can use the new stuff, and the old stuff. 😉

  • Isn’t the discussion pre-mature? Let’s see it and then make a call.

    • I’m optimistic about this particular release. The title reflects our founder’s initial thoughts on the announcement (made by Microsoft) placing the price at double that of the Surface for RT with half the battery life.

      • You mean the same battery life as the iPad 4 right?

      • Is the Macbook Air twice the price and half the battery life of the iPad?

        • The MacBook Air is a laptop……not a tablet. It was never promoted in ANY manner as a tablet

          • The Macbook Air is being marketed as an ultra portable. It has similar price points to that of the Surface Pro. It’s going to be a competitor, IMHO.

            That said, if you have *2* versions of a device: RT and Pro and you market them differently: one being about battery life, lighter, and cheaper and the other being about power and versatility…then what is the issue here?

            Does the tablet moniker instantly have to mean superb battery life no matter what options are available to the user?

          • Fair enough…let’s compare to the iPad.

            The Pro offers up to 128GB, twice the largest capacity current generation iPad.

            At 64GB there’s a price difference of $200.
            Let’s say that at 128GB the same price difference would exist (being generous here).

            With the iPad you get iOS, a reduced version of OS X essentially in certain ways. It’s not meant to replace a desktop OS, but meant to be for media consumption, with a little bit of content creation capabilities, but very limited in function.

            With the Surface Pro, you get a full Desktop OS, with a nice tablet interface as the primary.

            It’s designed with a no-compromise solution that allows both for full on consumption and creation of content. You can do real work on the tablet thanks to the active digitizer. Need to do some photo work? Photoshop can be put on it…a full version of Photoshop.

            Need to do some dev work? Visual Studio can be loaded on there.

            Want to play a game? Guess what…the stuff that works on your Windows machines? It will work here too, even the non-Metro games.

            So it does all the things an iPad and a MacBook Air/Pro would generally do, all in one device without the need to pick or choose. It can be both, and do both equally well.

            So you wanted to make that comparison…are you sure you wanted to go there?

          • So, you’re admitting that Windows 8/RT is Frankenstein’s monster? Gotcha.
            I’ll go back to doing productive things (and playing games) with my iPad at half the price.

          • Got it. You’re admitting that you have no intent to actually look at this logically or have an actual conversation about it.

            You want to keep up this iFanboy persona that you know keeps the funds flowing. I totally get that concept believe it or not. I just think it’s intellectually disingenuous of you and makes me not have a lot of respect for you.

            You probably don’t care about that at all…and to be honest I don’t particularly care if you care.

            It’s just that I know you’re an intelligent person…and you’re better than this pretend iFanboy crap that pays your bills. 🙁

          • Yes, suggesting that I get “real work” done on my iPad is illogical – when I know I get “real work” done on it.

          • So you can do intensive dev work and do ad copy work with a full version of Photoshop on that iPad? I didn’t know that.

            Huh. Here I thought it had stripped down version of those type of apps…

            Mind pointing out where those can be downloaded?

            BTW, nice that you’re actually not addressing a bulk of what I’m saying in order to try to find small points that I can still decimate. The funny part is it won’t matter since you’re just keeping up the persona…and like I said…you’re better than that.

            Don’t worry. As I said I’m sure that what I have to say doesn’t really matter all that much to you. You’ve got the persona to keep up and chances are you won’t really address what anyone has to say unless it’s something in your favor. 🙁

          • You assume the only “intensive work” is in a development environment or in an unwieldy version of Photoshop.
            Who is being illogical here, again?

          • Got it…when you can’t counter an argument try to discredit the argument without offering any actual examples of your own.

            Again Chris you’re disappointing me. I mean come on, you’re a smart guy. Make a compelling argument here rather than just jumping on the hate bandwagon.

            I’m pointing out several points and you’re not countering them at all. You’re literally doing the equivalent of the Monty Python argument skit.

            It’s funny when they do it…it’s depressing when you do it.

          • Yes, suggesting that I get “real work” done on my iPad is illogical – when I know I get “real work” done on it.

          • i think the fanboy here is you , defending a product that hasnt been launched yet and think it is the best just by reading the spec sheet.. poo

          • Wait so it’s not a fanboy move to attack a product that hasn’t launched yet, but it is a move to take the opposite side and point out using facts the actual good points about a the product in order to make things more balanced?

            So basically if I call your mom ugly that’s ok even though I haven’t met her…but if you say no she’s not I can ridicule you for being a mama’s boy? Ok that logic is awesome.

            Think about it…your logic fails.

          • So, you’re admitting that Windows 8/RT is Frankenstein’s monster? Gotcha.
            I’ll go back to doing productive things (and playing games) with my iPad at half the price.

          • gosh the amount of fanboism so so thick here.. the Surface Pro not even out yet and these fanboys already think its the best thing since.. since.. i dont know since RT ?

            try running games on any ultraportable and you be lucky to get 1 hour battery life on massive 3D games.. try running high performance apps on any platform , you will get minutes of battery life instead of hours..

            not everyone NEED stylus for drawing.. as for Visual Studio , yes you can load it in Surface Pro but doing any Dev work on it ? on a 10 inch screen ? i guess making a ‘hello world’ is the extent of your programming experience…

            Macbook Air , Macbook Pro or pick any laptop, every one of them will suffer from battery drain if you use it to ran high performance apps especially games.. unless you play Plant VS Zombie or Angry Bird

          • Where did I claim anything to the contrary as regards gaming or high performance apps?

            Also I don’t think you understand the relation between screen size and resolution.

            A screen with 1920×1080 pixels has the same ‘workspace’ if the DPI in the OS remains constant. It’s made smaller in scale, but still retains the same amount of workspace. I can still write the same amount of code on that screen and have it be visible as I could on a 22″ 1920×1080 screen. The size doesn’t change that at all. It just makes it smaller in actual size.

            As regards my experience…I can almost guarantee that I’ve worked on (or had input on) at least 2 products in your household.

            Pfft…as if that matters though…remember I’m just a fanboy… 😉

          • NoelEmerald

            That’s true, but unless you have eyes like telescopes, you’ll probably have to bump up the font size just a tad, no? Which takes up screen real estate, which means you’re really not getting all that much done before running out of space. Doing PS work on my 13″ MacBook Pro is already pushing it just a little, never mind on a 10″ screen. And frankly, I must agree with Chris when it comes to PS and Microsoft Word NOT being the only benchmarks for a device being productive or being able to get work done.

            Frankly, I have absolutely no idea what the point of the Surface Pro is. Simply for the fact that I can’t imagine why anyone would want to get heavy work done on a screen so small. Tablets, in my opinion, are for media consumption, mostly. It’s possible to get light work done, yes, but in no way would I ever try to design or develop on a tablet.

      • It’s funny Ryan. I brought up this point that the title reflects his feeling on it, and not necessarily your feeling on it over on his FB post linking to this article…and now I can’t view the comments on that particular post.

        I think he may have set it to have comments off somehow after me and at least one ‘softie pointed out some fallacies, such as the whole MacBook Air pricing thing mentioned below…and I don’t think he liked it.

        Then again he was being disingenuous by saying, “I WANTED this to work for you,” not more than a couple lines after bashing it…an unreleased product.

        Shows his true colors a little too well sometimes. 😛

        • What I’m bashing is the expectation that this is anywhere near an iPad killer.

          • A quote from you…context completely intact:

            “Are you interested in the Surface Pro? Would
            you still be buying after learning the battery is horrific while the
            cost is insanely high?”

            I don’t see the iPad mentioned…nor a comparison to that anywhere.

            You claim 5 hours of battery is horrific, and that the cost is insanely high.

            It’s $200 more than an iPad, and $100 less than a MacBook Air. Considering that the specs are practically identical to the MacBook Air (including the fact that it also has the ability to function as a full PC, not just as a tablet) that means the price is actually pretty fair based on what you’re getting.

            On top of that the battery life on a MacBook Air is rated at 5 hours of wireless web usage…same as Surface.

            So would you rate the MacBook Air as a terrible product Chris since it’s missing some key features that the Surface has and it costs more?

            BTW, who has that expectation? It’s already been said by Microsoft that the Surface is meant to set the bar for OEMs. It’s not meant to be a killer for anything. That said it’s actually a nice piece of hardware. It’s too bad as I said below that you have this reputation to live up to.

            I think you’re smart and selling yourself short by keeping up this persona. 🙁

          • Apple has a premium ecosystem. Microsoft doesn’t.

            For YEARS, PC owners have bragged about not paying top dollar – yet now we’re somehow supposed to swallow the idea that a major OS revision with questionable usability bundled with ample hardware can be compared to premium competition?

          • Ah so now you’re changing tactics again and going on to ecosystem & usability since you couldn’t defeat the points as regards the price of hardware, quality of hardware, or the ability to perform types of work on the Surface Pro that you simple cannot on iOS.

            As you know the ecosystem for Windows 8 is brand new, and already starting to have some top quality apps available from the big players. Kindle, Nook, Hulu, Netflix, ABC, Cyberlink, etc are all already there, and the app count is growing very quickly. The game count is growing swiftly and already has a lot of the major movers & shakers there as well.

            Now as for usability, would you mind giving an example of this questionable usability, and how iOS or MacOS handles it in a super fashion?

          • I never set out to compare this to anything else, mind you.

            For a reason.

          • Right, but you’ve claimed that it’s twice the price of the iPad. So I’ve been more than willing to have that discussion.

            $699 for 64GB WiFI iPad vs $899 for Surface Pro.

            That’s a difference of less than 30%. Twice would be $1398…so you blew the mark by almost $500…and I know you’re smarter than that.

            I’ve pointed out the 10-point touch, the included stylus, the active digitizer, the fact that you can jump between the full tablet experience, and a full desktop experience with ease. You can have the equivalent (if we’re using Mac products here) of both an iPad and a Macbook Air. Heck the hardware specs blow the iPad out of the water, minus the battery life (expected since it’s running much more powerful hardware) and the screen resolution which is still Full HD.

            The battery actually matches that of the MacBook Air, which means Apple isn’t really doing anything special with their battery life either…

            What about it justifies the tagline of ‘twice the price, half the battery life’? In reality it’s ‘29% more expensive, more computer power, half the battery life’.

            BTW, don’t think I hate you. As I’ve said I think you’re a very smart guy. I just don’t see why you aren’t seeing the actual logic of this here. It’s not something that’s hard to grasp. It’s pretty plain to see.

          • DerekWyland

            I’d really set to compare it to the 16GB iPad WiFi in price as base models though. Developers for the iPad know of space limitations with some users, so in the end they try to keep the space down while keeping the content high. I’ve got a 32GB 1st Generation iPad that after several years of usage STILL isn’t full, even with my music and video library.

          • So you would compare it to a product with 1/4 the storage in order to get that ‘fair’ comparison? Sorry, but no. 🙁

          • Right, but you’ve claimed that it’s twice the price of the iPad. So I’ve been more than willing to have that discussion.

            $699 for 64GB WiFI iPad vs $899 for Surface Pro.

            That’s a difference of less than 30%. Twice would be $1398…so you blew the mark by almost $500…and I know you’re smarter than that.

            I’ve pointed out the 10-point touch, the included stylus, the active digitizer, the fact that you can jump between the full tablet experience, and a full desktop experience with ease. You can have the equivalent (if we’re using Mac products here) of both an iPad and a Macbook Air. Heck the hardware specs blow the iPad out of the water, minus the battery life (expected since it’s running much more powerful hardware) and the screen resolution which is still Full HD.

            The battery actually matches that of the MacBook Air, which means Apple isn’t really doing anything special with their battery life either…

            What about it justifies the tagline of ‘twice the price, half the battery life’? In reality it’s ‘29% more expensive, more computer power, half the battery life’.

            BTW, don’t think I hate you. As I’ve said I think you’re a very smart guy. I just don’t see why you aren’t seeing the actual logic of this here. It’s not something that’s hard to grasp. It’s pretty plain to see.

          • The Microsoft offering is incredibly broad, you cannot pigeonhole it that easily.

            For years people have been running Windows on a huge range of hardware. You can get Windows on a cheap little netbook worth $200, but you can also get it on a premium Alienware laptop worth over $3000, and a workstation worth over $10,000, and a server worth over $50,000, and a supercomputer worth several million dollars. That’s the wonderful thing about an OS like Windows or Linux! You have so much freedom when it comes to hardware choice. That’s what PC owners you are referring to are bragging about. Because really, hardware is roughly the same price be it Apple or something else. When you go for the same spec and build quality you will pay roughly the same amount.

            It is a matter of choice for PC owners Chris, not a rule that states that hardware sold bundled with Windows has to be cheap. That’s really never been the case.

            You do have a point, when it comes to consumer perceptions of Microsoft branded hardware. Will consumers see them as premium products? Only time will tell.

            But I think there’s a good chance that consumers will.

            Think about it this way, would you rather buy a Samsung branded phone or a Nexus? The Nexus, right? Why? Because most people trust Google to provide better service for their hardware-software combo than Samsung. Same could apply to Microsoft.

          • You’re speaking to the hardware, not the community or its ethos.

            Again, I just don’t know if people used to buying Windows PCs for “cheap” are going to be that hip on paying a premium just to have Microsoft on the label.
            How’s that Surface with Windows RT thing working out? 🙂 Spending more on an insanely visibly-similiar product (usability-wise, not necessarily speed / battery life / software compatibility) doesn’t make it any more of a bitter pill to swallow.

          • Surface RT sales are very slow, agreed. But this is about the Surface Pro.

            There are good reasons why traditional Windows buyers would not opt for RT. Primarily that it doesn’t run their existing software. This doesn’t apply to the Surface Pro.

            I will admit that I am not the usual Windows user. I tend to do dev work nowadays (long story), run massive databases, like laptops with good on-board sound, I enjoy the feeling of quality hardware, and I’m incredibly picky when it comes to the little things. So I never really spend much less than £1500 ($2404) for a Windows laptop.

            You could be right, the vast majority of Windows buyers opt for cheap supermarket laptops. I just don’t know if there are enough Windows buyers like me to make the Surface Pro a success. It isn’t for me specifically, I’m not planning in getting one any time soon, but I can see why it could actually appeal to some people.

            There are two things that I don’t think are being discussed much here. Firstly, the Surface Pro is not comparable to any other tablet, it is really comparable to ultrabooks, including the Air. Secondly, the stylus and screen. I’d like for someone to confirm this, is the stylus pressure sensitive or not? Because if it is, it could be a big hit with the creative industry, and a bargain to boot!

          • Samsung VS Nexus ? here no one bought any nexus.. why ? because its not even on the market.. maybe in US , but not here.. Samsung btw can be had everywhere with pretty good service.. ditto with Apple Products with even better service.. Microsoft’s Surface is a joke internationally.. without international distribution like Apple and Samsung, any US only release will be lost in comparison

          • its funny microsoft fanboys keep defending an unreleased product. for techies this ‘surface pro’ feature list and concessions are maybe good enough. but for casual consumers who outnumber techies their priorities are in different directions.

            as for the usual ‘macbook air’ comments from microsoft defenders, i gather these posters never even use one in person or even see it / touch it. Macbook Air’s 11.6″ screen is bigger than Surface Pro yet some people think it is too small already for real productivity. Surface Pro’s smaller screen (albeit higher resolution) will make it even worse unless user plug it into bigger monitor..

            i use both 11 and 13 inch macbook air at home and on the road and they both great machines with great battery life and good build quality compared to Ultrabooks. At home i use Airplay to wirelessly stream my MBA’s screen to 42 inch LCD TV.. I rarely use Windows 7 PC to play games anymore since most games i play (Warcraft and EVE) are better in OSX

          • It’s funny how Mac fanboys keep attacking an unreleased product.

            If you want to call me a MS fanboy you’d have to deal with the PS3, MacBook, and Kindle Fire sitting here in the house. That’s right…products from all 3 big competing companies in the house. Android, OS X, and a Sony device all sitting here.

            If I were such a fanboy I wouldn’t have any of their products here…yet here they sit…oh and the Mac doesn’t even have Windows installed on it either. 😉

            As regards an Air…I don’t own one, but I have used an Air from every single generation that one has been produced.

            You mention the battery life…and yet the Surface has the same battery life. So why mention that as a plus over the Surface when it is the same? Nice try. 😉

            Good to know that you play games that are old enough that they have ports for the Mac. I tend to play games from all Eras…including very recent releases.

  • Kenshin himura

    The article name + the content pfff ofc I could expect this from lockergnome bunch of anti-ms assholes

  • How do you know? They haven’t released information about the battery and the i5 in this is 35W so i doubt it will be “power-hungry”. Also no pricing has been released, the touch cover will definitely be included (considering every model above $399 has one) or maybe even the type cover.

    Stop putting products down when you have no experience with them and clearly dont know about the product.

  • Since when were first gen buyers of the Surface burned? Now 67 reviews on with an average rating of 8.9. I had 2 people play with it at poker yesterday, one guy couldn’t put it down. The other who thought it was just a gimmick with snapping in the commercials ended up playing with it for a half hour.

    Once again, the media sensationalizes something.

    If anything, you’ll have 2 versions to buy:

    RT – superb battery life, $499 price point, won’t run desktop apps, lower resolution

    Pro – ultrabook battery life, $899 price point, will run everything, high resolution

    It’s all about how it’s marketed. Does the Macbook Air not sell even though it’s more expensive than the iPad? If we want to stay in the same realm, does the Pro not sell even though it’s more expensive than the Air?

    The thing you have to understand is target market. The Pro will be marketed to enthusiasts or people that want to do more out of their machine. Want to use it as a tablet? You can. Want to use it as a desktop? Wire it up to an external monitor. Want to use it as a laptop? Use a Touch or Type Cover or just use any of the existing thousands of keyboards/mice out there.

  • Will it come with a higher screen res?

  • Some laptops have longer battery life, this is a big let down. Steve Job was right, a tablet should be a tablet.

  • Pro – iPad 4 battery life (42 W-h)

    RT – less battery life then the pro (31.5 W-h)

    So really the pro is not half the battery life.

    • You obviously don’t read these articles before you post a dozen comments on them, do you? 😉 Core i5 processors take more power than the A6X. Battery life isn’t determined by the capacity of the battery alone. It’s determined by the hardware, software optimizations, and even the drivers.

    • RT use low power CPU, Pro uses Core i5 thats not an efficient power CPU thus requires more battery capacity.. Clover Trail CPU is lower power variant but it got bad GPU performance..

  • See, the Surface Pro is more of a laptop replacement than it is a tablet. The battery issues are expected.

  • Hi Chris, I was in the class you guest taught for at UW Bothell early this year. (if you can remember, I was about 6’8″… yeah, that guy, that was me).

    As a software engineering student I’m interested in the Surface Pro because it straddles the line between laptop and tablet. Having spent my entire college career hoofing it with a 2009 EeePC netbook (1000HA) I’m very interested in its small size, touch screen, and the bound to be incredibly useful pen functions that will allow me to jot down notes.

    Comparing it to a nice Macbook Air, I’m surprised by the backlash. If feel that I can see it for exactly what it is: a very light and modestly powered x64 Windows laptop.

    I personally see the Surface RT as a very pointless product in its current state and I’d never buy one. The Surface Pro on the other hand in my eyes is a fully functional laptop first, much like an 11″ Macbook Air (very similar specs, battery life and price), and when appropriate, a tablet.

    After spending a couple of minutes playing with a classmate’s Surface RT and its Type Pad cover my years of typing on my $350-at-launch-in-2008-netbook made the accuracy of the flat keyboard almost magical. Strange at first, but effective.

    Now, I’m not here to defend the Surface, but I feel that a lot of tech followers view the Surface Pro like a tablet. With my Nexus 7 I use the bang-for-buck tablet in a few simple ways: internet browsing, Kindle reader, YouTube, email, calendar, and occasionally note taking. A Nexus 7 at $250 can be a impulse purchase.

    But a Surface Pro? Since when does anyone impulse purchase a laptop? The “success” of the Pro should be measured against other ultra-light Windows ultrabooks and the Macbook Air, not the iPad or 10″ Android tablets.

    The RT is a nice piece of hardware but the software just isn’t there at all. The Pro on the other hand is the best of both worlds and perfectly aligns with what I believe is the future of full-functioning computing (for as long as the x86 architecture reins over ARM in functionality).

    I had Windows 8 installed on my desktop for two days before in-place upgrade issues required me to revert to my Win 7 disc image (my unique Win 7 problems persisted in Win 8). Luckily for me it took me perhaps 2 or so hours before I was used to the quirks of 8, so I won’t be bothered by its UI weirdness.

    I fully expect to spend 90% of my time using my Surface Pro in “desktop mode”.

    So, that’s my belief: Surface Pro is a laptop… that is sometimes a tablet.

      • I certainly hope so. I just hope that tech writers don’t start their reviews in January comparing it to a $699 64GB iPad, but to a $999 64GB Macbook Air. Otherwise I’d feel they’re taking the wrong angle.

        Oh but we still need to see. It might be a wreck and I’ll be completely wrong. Oh well.

        • Microsoft muddied their own waters with the Surface with Windows RT.

          Given that it looks damn near the same (with damn near the same name) as the Surface Pro, I couldn’t fault anybody for their perspective – fair or unfair.
          It will continue to be compared to the iPad for several reasons – not the least of which is a partially-executed touch experience with Windows 8 on any system.

          • The “assumptions” by the “masses” may be challenged when its in stores and Microsoft should hope that happens and try to push it. But since I don’t have stock in Microsoft, my concerns are more selfish — “public opinion be damned.”

            Reflecting on it, you’re completely right on the muddied waters idea and it’s a really boned-headed mistake creating confusion within your own line of hardware.

            Now I wonder how it could have better been handled…
            — More varied names? “Surface Tablet” and “Surface Laptop”?
            — Release the Pro in October and RT January?
            — Release at the same time in October?

            Now I wonder if tech writers will follow the public assumption (to be fair should be fully blamed on Microsoft) and compare the Surface RT and Pro as “iPad vs. slightly-better-performing-iPad”. Or go the more, well, informed route of comparing the RT vs Pro like one would compare iPad vs Macbook Air.

          • wait for Surface RT Mini and Surface RT Table (Coffee table sized surface)

            personally i’d love to see an entertainment machine using either iOS or SurfaceRT or Android in table form factor

          • “Microsoft muddied their own waters with the Surface with Windows RT.”

            That’s potentially very true, but I can see exactly why MS decided that the Surface RT was needed. Perhaps they shouldn’t look identical, although, it is hard to make tablets not look like tablets.

  • its funny nowadays Microsoft Fanboys are more defensive than supposed Apple Fanboys..

    in my opinion, chris pirillo’s stance on Surface are right on the money to the casual users.. the only one salivating for Surface Pro are Techies type who back then predict iPad wont be a success because it lacks everything..

    iPad fills the non-techies need for basic computing use (eg consuming content) and thus force PC sales to drop. The move to Windows 8 are Microsoft’s way to muscle their way into this market segment.

    anyone here who read the history of MS Tablet PC know how useless it is for common casual users.. their philosopy for designing tablet was wrong back then and still wrong now , focusing on keyboard/track as main feature for Surface is a sign of that..

    The Microsoft fanboys/defenders (in here and other forums) secretly wants a tablet as good as Apple’s iPad so they are now rushing to praise an unknown (Surface Pro) and make it as the 2nd coming. its all because of their hidden / pent up envy for apple’s quality and thus they keep demeaning Apple’s correct decisions regarding their iOS and OSX separation while praising Win8 even worse fragmentation between mobile , RT and Pro..

  • Surface Pro is a badly confused product.. it neutered by its small screen size and battery life and pricing.. its too useless for consuming content unlike SurfaceRT and its too weak and small for real work..

    browsing thru future Win8 machines i think for real work ASUS transformer book with 12 inch and 13 inch screen size is better for a work horse machine.. realistic screen size and bigger battery. sure its heavy but whats the point of having lightweight device that useless for production work.. no one would use heavy workhorses for content consuming ..

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