The Surface Pro…a new horizon or simply another lackluster contender?

The Surface Pro...a new horizon or simply another lackluster contender?So, it has been a super long time since I have written a blog on here and I apologize for that. During this past month, I have been playing with my new toy: the Microsoft Surface Pro. This thing is absolutely awesome!

As this guy is a pretty hefty purchase at $999 for the 128GB version (which is basically necessary due to OS size), I was cautious and anxious when buying the tablet, making sure I had a return policy ready. Since the moment when I saw how quickly the surface pro boots up and how responsive the OS is, I have quickly fallen in love with this device; it does everything a tablet should do: be a complete mobile computing solution. The tech specs include a high end i5 series processor with 4GB of 1600mhz DDR3 RAM…all pretty impressive considering this is a tablet!!

Using the Surface Pro for every day tasks is an absolute joy and it will not only do your mundane tasks, but also, your work tasks, even for power hungry artists using Photoshop CS6 64 bit. Multitasking is easy with the new Windows 8 interface and design, plus everything is super fast because Windows 8 is much slimmer than any other Windows OS before it.

In my opinion, with the ever growing tech industry users wanting more and more out of their devices, Microsoft has nailed every detail on the head, perfectly. iOS is simple and austere; it will make only Apple fan-boys who don’t know better happy because at the end of the day, iOS leaves SO much potential lying around not being used. Even my beloved Android is too only a shadow of a device compared to what the functionality of a Surface Pro can offer. We now have the ability to have a (somewhat) affordable, well made, higher-end FULL computer with us wherever we go with the Surface Pro. And, as a final note, to those who complain about the battery life of the Surface Pro, I call you simply fools looking for excuses to down a product. I get almost six hours of hard computing time with my Pro and I only put it on power-saver mode which doesn’t dim the screen much at all or change the computing power, and the battery charges from zero to full in less than two hours.

The Coolsmartphone Podcast - Episode 39
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini pictured
  • John Kyle

    Maybe you could answer a question or two for me?
    A) How quick is the start up time?
    B) I take it that you cant put the unit into a standby/screen off mode? It’s like a normal pc, sleep or hibernate?

    • Anonymous

      I have a 128 GB Surface Pro. From Power Off to Lock screen it boots up in about 3 seconds. Yes has sleep/hibernate. Sleep to on is pretty much instant.
      I agree with the reviewer, I have several tablets and I think people aren’t really being fair on the Surface Pro. It’s got the benefit of being used like a tablet, magnetic keyboard is awesome for attaching/detaching the keyboard. I have an Asus Prime with Keyboard and it’s like night and day in that area. For tablet use, it’s definitely on the heavy side but when I’m sitting and holding it on my lap it’s no big deal. The stylus is really cool, keep finding new uses for it. I’ve walked around with it in the office, still no big deal. I picked it up because I was looking for a small laptop and this is even smaller with a higher resolution (1920×1080) than most netbooks. Performance is amazing and unlike my other tablets, I can run real apps on it. Another thing reviewers knock is you only get around 80GB free because of the OS but they forget to mention Office is already installed (just needs a key). Haven’t had an issue with space as I put some movies on a 64GB microSDXC card. Overall very happy with the unit as well. Only thing I would say to anyone is don’t get cheap. At that price, get the 128GB model if you’re going to get one!

      • John Kyle

        Thanks for the feedback. The place where I work were going to get a few of us ipads. I was trying to convince them Pro’s would be a better bet considering it will work better with our programs. That said, the Pro really needs a sim card and 3g for picking up emails on the road!

        • Anonymous

          Tablets for work never really made any sense to me. I’ve tried them all, iPad, Playbook, Android. iPad had a lot of solutions for alternate apps, Android had a lot more flexibility and Playbook had a nice advantage of bridging to my work blackberry which gave me internal access to the company network. Problem I had with all of them is I always felt I was looking for apps to perform tasks harder than I did on my work computer. Keyboard solutions were always a must for those devices as well and they just don’t work as good short of typing emails and performing basic tasks. Another thing people gripped about the PRO was it’s size but when I add a keyboard solution to any of my other devices it’s the same bulk. I just wanted a smaller laptop that was easy to carry around. Surface for me is really just that with the added touch display for the train and leisure time where I can sit down and kick my feet up….which in the latter, I find is the real reason why people want tablets for work. :)

    • The tablet does have standby mode also, John. My last BIOS boot up time was 1.7 seconds.

  • The OS size is definitely enormous, but, if that is the main complaint, which I think it is (other than the crappy rear camera that no one even uses), count me in.

    I can also say that I see people buy the surface pro every day at a place that I train employees part time and I have yet to see a single one come back. People LOVE this tablet and that is a fact.

  • Anonymous

    I’m pretty surprised about this – I fully expected this tablet to be poorly received in general. I’m conflicted about the purpose of these things.

    I still believe that if you’re going to use a tablet, it needs to do the basics well (which iOS and Android tablets definitely do these days). The more advanced things you’d traditionally do on a PC are much more suited to a proper workstation. I really can’t think of anything worse than attempting to do something productive on a tablet form factor. Tablets, in my opinion, are mainly for the retrieval and presentation of information. Anything else they do is generally (a lot) less effective than using something with a proper keyboard, mouse and fixed screen (being that these are definitely still the most effective modes for computer input).

    I realise this makes me sound a little old-fashioned, but there’s nothing like typing on a proper keyboard, and then not having to extend your arm to the screen in order to manipulate the GUI. People may well love the tablet initially, but I think like my old Windows XP Tablet Edition based Tablet a number of years ago, it was eventually consigned to the cupboard. I don’t really see a compelling use case for something like this.

    I wish my current tablets could do a little bit more sometimes (just for convenience sake). I sometimes wish I could edit code a bit more easily using this device and use some of the more advanced image processing functions you find in commercial PC/Mac software. That said, it doesn’t happen too often, and I’ve found ways around it which frankly make this particular Wintel device look rather pointless.

    I’m still going to try one out though… :)

    • Dale Wilks

      The purpose of the Surface Pro (I have the 128Gb version, too) is that it can do the ‘tablet factor, retrieval and presentation of information’ AND the ‘proper keyboard, mouse and fixed screen’ computing.

      You certainly don’t to type (on a USB keyboard, or the Type Cover keyboard, you can even type on the Touch Cover keyboard – sort of:)) and touch the screen as well – the Type and Touch Covers have trackpad’s built in – or can plug in a mouse.

  • Steve

    6 hours battery life is poor for this form factor.

    • Steve, I initially agreed, HOWEVER, we must remember that this is an entire computer, not a tablet as we know it currently. Once I realized that thought process, it made complete sense to me. An i5 has a ton more power and abilities than any mobile processor can offer and likewise takes more power. Functionality, unfortunately, comes at a cost somewhere and here it is in battery life.

      • Steve

        That’s a fair point, but then with a full OS,p it is not clear whether this is a tablet or a laptop.

        • Exactly….the line is becoming more blurred which is the point. We have the mobility of a tablet and the power of a full computer.