Summary: We have already pointed out that the Microsoft Surface Pro is and what is not, and should therefore be evaluated as such: it is a hybrid Ultrabook almost unique in its kind. However, unless a hybrid is not exactly what you’re looking for, do not believe a purchase to do at all costs. The Microsoft Surface Pro represents the best of both worlds.
Pros: Screen very nice, original design, Windows 8 and 64bit Intel Core i5 enclosed in the form of a tablet, Wacom pen.
Cons: Overweight use as a tablet, Battery life is insufficient, Noise and heat sometimes annoying, The absence of a suitable accommodation for the pen.
Conclusion: The Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro is the Windows 8 slate tablet to beat when you need the performance and convenience of a PC in a compact tablet form factor.
Pros: Compact. Improved UI: Things don't look "too small" in desktop mode. Comes with pressure-sensitive stylus. Works with Surface covers. Truly Windows compatible. Ultrabook components. Full 1080p HD screen. 10-finger touch screen.
Cons: Keyboard cover is an optional extra. Only one USB 3.0 port. VGA and HDMI require optional adapters.
Summary: We advised you to wait for the Surface Pro instead of the Surface RT, and we feel that was the right advice, even though the wait was so much longer than we could have imagined. It's true that the Surface Pro is a pricey bit of kit - much more expensive than a tablet - but it's so much more than a tablet. This is really a laptop taken to its most portable limit.
Summary: A balancing act. The Surface Pro is an interesting concept tablet that Microsoft developed to showcase the strength of the Windows 8 platform on a touch-capable device. This is another Wintel collaboration that is able to use the ecosystem of apps available for the X86 Windows platform. This review points out the strengths and weaknesses of this form-factor.
Pros: Very good tablet performance, High contrast and bright display, Multi-touch + pen entry, Very good case quality, Integrated display support (kickstand), USB 3.0 + DisplayPort, Magnetic power connection, Power supply with USB port, High performance, input pen included, x86 version of Windows 8 for compatibility.
Cons: Available storage capacity (64GB version), Cooling fan is clearly audible when utilized, Heavy weight, Low camera resolution, Moderate battery life, More storage capacity, lower system noise, lighter weight and longer battery life.
Conclusion: It's been several months after the release of the Surface RT, and it's unknown how well Microsoft's slate was able to penetrate the market, since the Redmond based company hasn't been vocal about actual sales numbers. Regardless, it was something that Microsoft was banking on to take on some of the titans in the industry, but as we've witnessed, its fortunes have been unseen.
Pros: Full Windows 8 Pro experience, Vibrant and sharp looking display, Distinctive and solid design, Useful pressure sensitive stylus, Peppy performance
Cons: Terrible camera, Battery life is less than other tablets, Not enough apps make use of the stylus
Summary: The Surface RT was riddled with compromises, from the odd omissions — five-finger multitouch rather than ten — to the dealbreaking performance problems. The Surface Pro has none of those. It's as fast, consistent, and capable as any ultrabook I've tested in the last several months, and from a touch and responsiveness standpoint may be the best I've used. It has no confusing app incompatibilies, no weird performance issues.
Pros: Fast, consistent performance, Handsome and well-made, Fantastic display
Cons: Poor battery life, Heavy and thick, Really hard to actually use on your lap
Conclusion: The Microsoft Surface Pro isn't just novel, though that certainly is part of its appeal along with the sexy design and high quality look and feel. It's a landmark marriage of computing power and portability. The question is: do you need a miraculously portable tablet with the computing power of a Core i5 laptop inside? That's for you to answer, and I know many of you do crave extreme portability on the road.
Pros: Classy and good looking, great build and materials, fast, clean Windows 8 Pro install, comes with digital pen, 1080p display, wildly portable for a Core i5 machine.
Cons: A little heavy for a tablet, a bit small for a laptop; but a valiant attempt at marrying the two. Battery life passable but not laudable.
Conclusion: The Surface Pro offers some improvements over the RT but they're more than reflected in the price. The big advantage is that you can add other software that doesn't come from the Windows app store, and the more powerful processor can handle just about anything you care to throw at it, including HD games.
Pros: Sturdy build, tough kick-stand, fine screen, terrific keyboard covers, full-size USB port, good battery life
Cons: Not cheap, bulky and heavy, battery life not great, low-spec cameras