The hey-I-run-old-ass-apps-too version of the Microsoft Surface here. So, is it any good?
From the tablet perspective, Surface Pro is not acceptable. It gets too hot for a hand-held device, its battery life is woefully inadequate, and it’s too thick and heavy to be comfortable to hand hold for long sessions.
From a laptop perspective, Surface Pro falls down too. The traditional laptop has a stiff hinge to hold the screen at an angle of your choosing. It is hard to understate the importance of this hinge. I use laptops not just because they’re small and I want something that won’t take lots of space in my home, but because I actually need portable computing. I go to conferences, I stay in hotels, I ride trains, and take planes. My laptop’s hinge means I can comfortably use my laptop with coffee tables, dining tables, the little desks you get in hotel rooms, and wherever else I happen to be.
To be fair, the Surface RT version has this issue too, as the hardware is basically the same.
David Pierce at The Verge feels the same way:
Even a well-executed Surface still doesn’t work for me, and I’d bet it doesn’t work for most other people either. It’s really tough to use on anything but a desk, and the wide, 16:9 aspect ratio pretty severely limits its usefulness as a tablet anyway. It’s too big, too fat, and too reliant on its power cable to be a competitive tablet, and it’s too immutable to do everything a laptop needs to do. In its quest to be both, the Surface is really neither. It’s supposed to be freeing, but it just feels limiting.
The bad news: Surface Pro doesn’t run away with the Windows 8 hybrid crown. And based on your needs, it might not be the best Windows 8 portable you can buy in the neighborhood of $1000. This is a problem because Surface Pro needs to stand out as a kick-ass reference design, and not be just another interesting-but-imperfect hardware option for anyone taking the Windows 8 plunge.
Microsoft is Microsoft, damn it! It owns Windows. Its war chest is huge. If it can’t conceive, manufacture, and market the hands-down best Windows 8 hybrid in the world, it’s got unfinished business.
Turns out Microsoft’s “no compromises” device is still full of compromises. Shocker.
Also shocking? The boys over at TechCrunch are posting silly things:
The Surface isn’t supposed to be a tablet you drop on the coffee table and use when you want to look up something on IMDB. It’s a powerful computer with enough speed and graphics chops to give any other manufacturer’s laptop a run for its money. Previous Windows tablets have been hampered by a strange and messy amalgam of interfaces, pen input, and a focus on the slate form factor. This device, on the other hand, is a real hybrid – a laptop that is also a tablet that is also a media consumption device. You will use it just like you use a laptop whereas, by definition, the hobbled RT version of the Surface is meant to be used as a tablet.