Review

Review: Microsoft's Surface Pro

The Surface with Windows 8 Pro, the bigger brother to the Surface RT and Microsoft’s first hardware device to go head to head with its OEM partners in the full-spec’d PC space, represents Microsoft’s new direction at every corner. The Surface Pro is a device that gives you laptop class performance in a versatile form factor, and is marketed for nearly all usage scenarios including the consumer and the enterprise.

The Surface Pro is a fully functional laptop that has been packed into an extremely small form factor. The form factor is quite similar to the Surface RT, but there are a few notable differences.

For one, the Surface Pro is a bit thicker than the RT (Pro is 13mm and the RT is 9.30mm) and the kickstand has been adjusted slightly to 26 degrees whereas the Surface RT sits at a 22 degree angle. Beyond these two differences, the physical appearance of the two tablets is quite close and it’s abundantly clear that they are a part of the same family of devices.

Hardware

The Surface Pro that we are reviewing is decked out to the nines with a 128GB SSD, 64GB SD card, black Type and Touch covers, and enough peripherals to truly make this one device, your complete mobile solution.

To knock out all the features, the rundown includes a 10.6-inch, 16:9 display at 1920x1080, 3rd Gen Intel Core i5 processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, two 720p HD cameras (front-facing and rear-facing), a USB 3.0 port, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, a microSDXC card slot, Mini DisplayPort, Cover port, 42 Wh battery, stereo speakers, Bluetooth 4.0, and a microphone. For the complete spec sheet, you can download the PDF here.

When you pull the Surface Pro out of its box and you make contact with the VaporMag casing, the feeling of quality engulfs the senses as the mass of the device, which is about 2 lbs, gives you a sense of confidence that this is not a toy and it is designed for work.

Even though the device is heavier than the Surface RT, it still feels fantastic in your hands - and I say hands because holding the 16:9 with one hand is a bit awkward; not impossible, but there are certainly some compromises in place for choosing a widescreen layout as opposed to a 4:3 display.

This is where you have to begin to define the Surface Pro as a laptop, crammed into a tablet form, and not a tablet that also has laptop capabilities. I say this because, even though the Pro is only slightly thicker than the RT, when compared with tablet only devices, the Pro feels quite thick. But, if you compare it to a notebook or Ultrabook, its thickness is certainly in line with expectations.

One of the few complaints about the Surface RT was the weak magnets for the power connection. Fortunately, Microsoft has improved the strength of these magnets and connecting is a much easier affair with the Pro; we hope to see this improvement passed along to its RT sibling as well, perhaps in a hardware revision.

It is now far easier to affix the power cord to the charging port and the connection snaps in with a reassuring click to let you know that the connection has been made. On top of the power connector is a small white light that indicates the device is connected and juice is flowing.

It’s a good thing too that Microsoft increased the strength of these magnets, as they now play two roles: included with the Surface Pro is a pressure sensitive stylus that can be attached to the charging port for storage. We do wish that the stylus had a built in silo as we can imagine the stylus being knocked off when traveling in a laptop bag, but we must admit it is a creative use of the charging port when it is not in use. It is worth pointing out that the magnets in the stylus/Pro do hold the peripheral in place with confidence.

Speaking of charging, while we typically don’t gush over power bricks, Microsoft has included a handy charging USB port directly on the power brick that makes charging an additional device a breeze. This is quite convenient as it reduces your need to carry another power brick for any device that can charge over USB. We should point out that it is only a 5W USB port, so larger items like iPads will take a considerable amount of time to refuel.

Display

The display on the Surface Pro is top notch and it matched or exceeded our expectations. The 1920 x 1080 resolution is a much-needed improvement over the RT and the ten-point multitouch digitizer sweetens the deal.

Viewing angles and color reproduction are fantastic and if you were to take the Pro on a plane and be stuck in the middle seat with two friendly companions on either side, they would have no issue watching a movie with you. The sweet spot for viewing the device is still head-on but if you find yourself off-center, even by a wide margin, the colors do not fade.

Touch input is another key area in which the Surface performs in stride. As mentioned, the display can support up to ten touch points at one time and we had little issue with the accuracy and gestures that we initiated with the Pro.

Swipes, taps, highlights and the like all responded in a timely fashion and the Pro never hesitated to react to inputs, while generally provide a pleasing experience when putting fingers to the glass.

It’s hard to describe how much better the display is on the Pro than the RT and once you get used to this, going back to the RT is a drab experience. 

Stylus

Microsoft has included a multifunction stylus with the Pro and uses Wacom technology that has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity. The pen offers up pressure-sensitive input when writing, right-click capabilities and if the application supports it, the ability to erase content too. Conveniently, the stylus will attach to the magnetic port that is used for charging for traveling.

Using the pen with OneNote is quite possibly our favorite thing about the Surface with Windows 8 Pro as it feels natural and easy to use, and the flexibility of the tablet allows you to keep moving through your day with only one device.

Because the tablet packs Wacom technology under the hood, one thing you can do with the tablet is set it up to be a drawing pad. By connecting it to an external display through the mini DisplayPort, you can use the tablet as a drawing pad. While most may not use this feature on a daily basis, it is a neat addition and a use that many may not think of when purchasing the tablet.

One complaint about the stylus is that it feels quite cheap. Compared to the Pro, which is made out of quality metals and clean lines, the stylus is all plastic and leaves room for improvement.

Performance

The Surface Pro is, in its specs and its heart, a laptop; make no mistake about it, as our unit has a 128 GB SSD and a Core i5 processor, this machine has the power RT devices dream about.

Using Windows 8 with the Pro, the machine was nimble, quiet, and to our surprise, we had no heat issues at all while running the machine. Seriously, Microsoft deserves some praise for the heat management and fan noise, it’s an incredible achievement compared to other machines as it is whisper quiet.

Booting up the Pro is a dream as by the time you get done hitting the power button, flipping out the kickstand and finding a suitable surface to place the device on, it will be ready to go. Our machine was consistently able to get to the login screen from power-on in under ten seconds.

Note that the "result has problems" warning refers to the video driver not being verified by 3Dmark


Battery Life

Moving from the RT to the Pro will net you more horsepower under the hood, but this comes at the expense of battery life. We ran the Pro for several days from heavy video to light web surfing. On an average of six runs from full power to having the machine shut itself down, we scored an average of 4 hours and 29 minutes of battery life.

Like any other products, when watching video, the battery will drain rapidly and only using word processing will allow you to sip the battery juice and extend the life of the device. We ran all tests with 75% brightness with WiFi and Bluetooth always on.

Audio

The Surface Pro features a pair of stereo speakers, and as you would imagine on a device of this size, the speakers are bland at best. This is not a surprise as space is at a premium when everything is so tightly packed in, and without a proper cavity behind them, the tiny speakers never stood a chance at blowing your socks off.

That being said, the speakers will work well for light listening and the occasional YouTube video. Don’t expect exhilarating highs or lows, but the mid-range holds up well enough to be used on occasion. Even so, we recommend brining your own cans for any serious listening.

Heat and Fan Noise

During our time with the Surface Pro, we were impressed at how quiet the machine is under normal load. During our review and even during our 3DMark test, you could hear the fans running but it's only when the machine is under a serious amount of stress that you could hear the fans kick up a notch. With any amount of ambient noise, you will likely not hear the Surface's fans and you will hardly feel hot air hitting your hands thanks to the many dispersal points on the product under normal operation.

I recorded the sound of the fans when they were running at their max speed during the 3DMark test. While you can certainly hear the fan when the machine is running at max capacity, for the most part, the Surface Pro remains silent and compared to a Samsung Series 7, for example, is much quieter during routine activities.

The Surface Pro comes with Windows 8 Pro installed and a slew of applications that has caused some controversy before the tablet has gone on sale. Our 128 GB model had a little over 80 GB space free (20+GB was free on the device after it was setup and we downloaded a few essential applications, added our photos, music, videos and a bit more). While not a major issue, if you need more space, it can easily be added with the addition of a microSD card.

Along with the Bing applications that come with Windows RT/Windows 8, one of the many questions about the Pro was if it would come with a copy of Office like the RT. While Microsoft did state, many times, that Office would not come pre-installed, if you are new to Office 365, you can get a 30-day trial of the platform, and Microsoft includes an icon on the Start screen for easy access to this.

Cameras

The Surface Pro has two cameras, one up front and the other on the rear. The front facing camera is nothing special but makes video calls easy to perform and delivers the type of quality we have come to expect out of a forward facing camera.

The rear camera, like all other tablet cameras on the market, is adequate for your third-string setup if you are unable to find your DSLR/point-and-shoot or your cell phone. The pictures are grainy and will get the job done in a pinch, but don't expect anything marvellous out of it. Typically, I would crop the image above to cut-out the areas outside the white backer board for the image, but I wanted to show how an untouched image will look with the Surface Pro.

Conclusion

The Surface Pro has been well-engineered and the build quality is absolutely incredible - but the problem with the Surface Pro is that it has an identity crisis.

Let me explain what I mean. The RT is a lightweight, but incredibly versatile consumer machine with a lower price point and is directly targeted at the iPad/tablet market. The Surface Pro, as the name implies, is targeted at the laptop crowd and the enterprise environment and is priced to compete in these markets.

When you look at the Pro, starting at $899 without a keyboard, you are given a tablet that is a bit thick and has poor battery life but has incredible power. But let’s face it, you won’t be using that power with touch input alone, you need a keyboard and mouse. Okay, so you opt for the $999 model with a keyboard, but that brings you to the same price point as the Yoga 13 which will have a better keyboard, larger screen, a more integrated form factor, and it bests the Surface Pro in most regards for usability while on the road.

The Surface Pro lands somewhere between being a laptop and a notebook but in each class, has considerable compromises, whether in functionality or the price point for the specific target market.

Another issue to note is that the Surface Pro simply does not work well on your lap. I preferred the Type cover, but trying to use the kickstand on my lap with the cover offered a poor experience. The keyboard flexes a considerable amount and the kickstand on your knees makes you feel nervous that it could topple at any time, which means for the road warrior, the Surface would not work well.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the Surface Pro, far from it. It has incredible build quality, the screen is gorgeous, stylus input is fantastic, and it runs Windows 8 with ease - and for the right market, it will be the perfect device. 

While it may not be the perfect machine for all consumers, for those who are willing to work with the Pro and understand its limitations, it will be a great machine that will serve its purpose well. But, unfortunately, the target market is not well defined for the Pro and even though the device is big on ambition, it comes up short on practicality.  

It's clear that Microsoft has the vision the turn the Surface into the ideal device that will truly replace your tablet and your laptop. While the first iteration of the Surface Pro may not appease all users, Microsoft has the vision it needs and is headed down the right road. 

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

T-Mobile confirms no Windows Phone 7.8 for Lumia 710

Next Story

Unboxing: Surface Pro

160 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

So does anyone know if the Surface Pro definitely has a TPM 2.0 chip in it? It's not listed on the system specs.

wow wow wow wowo wow cheap stylus??????????????????????????????????????????????????? wrong. wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better than the S-Pen. has an eraser, magnetic, right click button, and is better than capacitive. by no means of the imagination is it cheap and you are lucky it is included.

I can see why this would be useful for some folks, but it isn't for me for the following reasons:
1. Huge/heavy/clunky
2. Battery life
3. Only really useful in a "laptop" form factor (with the keyboard)
4. The thing is huge, yet nowhere to put the stylus. Magnetic is fine for 3rd party stylus as additional accessory. I could see myself using this at work all the time, but I wouldn't want to remember to grab the stylus or check that the stylus is attached to the thing everytime I leave my desk with it.

Performance looks good for what it is, and the screen is really nice. The price point is a bit high IMO. The real BENEFIT of using this is "full Windows" but you would need the 128GB model just to have enough free space for a handful of "full Windows" software. You also need the keyboard, as the appeal of this device is tied to that accessory.

$1000 for Surface PRO w/ enough storage to be worthwhile. $130 for the keyboard..... might as well get a MacBook Air for $900 and an iPad Mini for $329 if you want the best of both worlds. The Surface Pro is not the best of both worlds, it is a compromised mess.

Another cool tidbit: The fans change rotation depending on the orientation of the device so warm air never hits your hands.

To concur with the target market - People who want a tablet when lounging on the couch but a notebook when at a desk. If you want a 'laptop' then clearly an ultrabook is the competitor.

I enjoy them but confirms the RT was a perfect fit for me.

I see some people here complaining about the low score but i think the minus pointed out by tech web sites are totally legit.

As a tablet it's heavy, has bad battery life and some slight fan noise. The design is great but the hardware is still not there. x64/x86 hardwares will have to improve for it to have a viable battery life. As a tablet it can't be considered great.

As a notebook it's too expensive.

As a laptop it looks like the stand is a problem. Every reviews i'Ve read talk about it.

I'll wait for a better solution. My niece just bought that RT tablet form Asus. I really like it and wish Asus will make a Pro version of it.

I would like around 6 hours of battery life for normal use. No fan would be a plus too. Not sure it's possible on current hardware tough so i'll probably wait next year. Might buy a RT tablet but i'll wait for Windows Store to mature a litle bit. Probably next year fot this option too.

Anyway know if there's a good code editor for RT with ftp support yet ? Like Sublime RT or something like that ?

Edited by LaP, Feb 6 2013, 4:41pm :

There is a huge price premium being paid for Microsoft's response to Apple's iPad. As for the add-on keyboard, if that is really necessary, why not just buy a laptop for much less? (You get both pieces, along with a better keyboard, in one package.)

Looks great, I have a Surface RT but will probably get a Pro whenever the next models come out.
Not worried about space as much as everyone else is. I store all my personal data on the cloud or on a microSDXC card.

a 128GB SSD is not bad, I'm sure they'll double that for the next model.

10" + full hd + windows = tiniest fonts.

While in Windows is possible to change the font size but a lot applications does not work correctly with other font size than the default one.

In my case, even in my 16" notebook, full hd is a bit a burden.

Just want to note that saying it's available "Winter 2013" is very vague. Because that could mean January, February or December 2013.

Lamp Post said,
Just want to note that saying it's available "Winter 2013" is very vague. Because that could mean January, February or December 2013.

Oh. Now I understand. I was wondering how they justified calling it "Winter 2013".

Can't any advance users just extract the Windows 8 Pro Serial and then format the damn thing from scratch use as little as space as they want? Or would it have driver issues?

wrack said,
Can't any advance users just extract the Windows 8 Pro Serial and then format the damn thing from scratch use as little as space as they want? Or would it have driver issues?

This should be doable, I cannot see any reason why it wouldn't work like any other laptop (where I have always done what you described).

LOL.. Microsoft recently blamed Pc makers for lack luster sales. so MS tries to push the product and it turns out... bummer!

Goes to show, you can't force the market unless you can sell the idea

As expected, it's being slaughtered at the big 'tech' websites.
It's different, and there's not a fruity logo on the back, so people don't like it.

Don't care, still want one.....

Dutchie64 said,
As expected, it's being slaughtered at the big 'tech' websites.
It's different, and there's not a fruity logo on the back, so people don't like it.

Don't care, still want one.....

Then you want one because _______?

As a tablet, the battery is so-so, as a notebook is too small and so-so and as a netbook it is too expensive.

Because it's one of the few W8 tablets out there that 'fits' my list of specs.

A Wacom based digitizer/pen, a 'normal' Intel CPU, full W8 OS, and battery life hovering around 5 hours, depending on the work. Good enough for me.

I've been looking into the Atom variants, like the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2, or the Asus Vivotab. All come with Wacom digitizers/pens (don't like the S-Pen stuff), but with an Atom CPU. Looking at performance, these Atoms will not be faster than the 2 year old laptop I'm going to replace. So performance wise I want to step up, not down.

These kind of tablets may not be for all, but will definitely attract a certain group users. I for one am very interested, and only will move to Atom based tablets when performance is at least double of today.

Torolol said,
so, it just a mini touch laptop without HDD, which replaced with slower & lower capacity SSD ....

Please do not go on to a tech news site thinking you can get away with saying an SSD is slower then a normal HDD...

Torolol said,
so, it just a mini touch laptop without HDD, which replaced with slower & lower capacity SSD ....

It's a lightweight mini touch laptop with active pen digitizer, fast SSD with significantly more free space than a Macbook Air, magnesium casing, Intel i5 processor, the entire library of millions of Windows programs, and 4x the RAM of an iPad... in a tablet form factor.

Seriously, why is everyone slamming the Surface Pro over storage space, but singing the praises of the more expensive Macbook Air that comes with even less space for the price? ($1000 for 64GB, $1100 for 128GB)? The Macbook Air doesn't even have touch... or pen digitizer.

I honestly thought this I what I wanted, but unfortunately I will be waiting for Surface Pro 2. I just blogged about it if anyone is interested check out my profile...especially if your on the fence about buying the PRO and you already have an RT.

Keep that in mind guys. This is Intel core i5 processor. Means you can run any software on it. Anything. I am sold. I am going to get one next week.

I think what it comes down to is that the surface pro is too tablety to be a good laptop and too laptopy to be a good tablet.

For my needs, I picked up an Asus Vivotab Smart and it fits right in a sweet spot for me. It's a full Intel proc so I can run the desktop apps I need for work and it's still got the battery life we've all come to expect from tablets. It's strikes a perfect middle ground that's mostly been poopoo'ed by everyone from media to oems.

I've been contemplating exchanging this for the surface pro but I think it'll hold me over perfectly until technology catches up and we can get surface pro level performance with surface rt level battery life.

warwagon said,
Meh, i'd rather have something like the Dell convertible.

That's why Windows 8 is great, it's opened up a whole new variety of form factors and you can pick and choose between tablets/notebooks/convertibles etc!

- Delete Recovery partition.
- Disable Hibernation (hiberfil.sys).
- Reduce Virtual memory (pagefile.sys).

I'm sure you'll gain a bunch of GBs or a whole lot of GBs!
I got about 11GB extra on my Win8 desktop PC by doing the above, without any recovery partition. So, maybe you'll get more in the surface pro.

You should not have to do that. The average person knows nothing about hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys and they dont want to.

derekaw said,
The average person knows nothing about hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys and they dont want to.

Nor should they have the need.
Which is the entire reason for Surface RT.
Too bad you people convinced them they don't want that one.

I still do not think this thing has even a small chance of selling in the USA . it is way over priced and the storage fail is just a shame

The average consumer cant be expected to know how to delete a recovery partition to free up space and they have every right to be disappointed and frustrated by the amount of usable space available on a machine that is advertised with a certain amount of storage. How about battery life?

Microsoft Surface is a FAIL. What sort of tablet is this? What tablet activities can you actually perform? Can you do work with this tablet on the go? How is this new tablet any better than the tablets MS have been touting for the last 10 years? At least you can get 'real work' done while its plugged in at a desk with a proper keyboard and mouse and an external HDD.

Windows 8, Surface, Surface RT and Windows 'slates' is a horrible confusing mess. It is not surprising that Windows PC sales are in decline.

Surface was meant to be 'no compromises' but it has turned out to be all compromises.

FAIL.

How is this new tablet any better than the tablets MS have been touting for the last 10 years?

It's half the size, half the price, twice the battery life, twice as fast, and includes an actual touch UI with a growing touch marketplace. Just because it's .1" thicker than an iPad doesn't mean it's not usable. On the contrary, the iPad is unusable for me because for all its thinness and battery life, it doesn't have an active digitizer for pen input, and can't run the programs I need to do my "real work".

At least you can get 'real work' done while its plugged in at a desk with a proper keyboard and mouse and an external HDD.

For your own personal definition of "real work". My version of "real work" is not sitting at a desk in front of a keyboard and mouse, but moving around, and writing things down. Laptops don't work for me. Desktops don't work. Most tablets don't include handwriting recognition capabilities and are too slow for the analyses I do in the field, and can't run the programs I use even if they were fast enough.

It is not surprising that Windows PC sales are in decline.

It's the same reason Mac sales are in decline: a shift from desktop and laptops to tablets and smartphones. Whatever "confusing mess" you are perceiving has nothing to do with the general trend that is facing the PC industry.

Surface was meant to be 'no compromises' but it has turned out to be all compromises.

Every choice is a compromise. By purchasing a tablet, I make choose mobility instead of power. By choosing a laptop, I make the opposite trade-off. Surface is somewhere inbetween, and is the ideal mark for some users, and is actually less of a compromise then having to buy and carry around both a tablet and laptop.

A review that notes nothing of the advantages of being a full PC, and even finds a way to disparage features, like a true 16:9 screen aspect ratio.

Brad, you write with, how it 'feels' to you, or 'seems' and a ton of other personal perception that is not equated out in metrics or even described out with meaning.

This is why you shouldn't be reviewing products. Because all we learn is what YOU LIKE OR DISLIKE and NOTHING ABOUT THE PRODUCT.


Even though the device is heavier than the Surface RT, it still feels fantastic in your hands - and I say hands because holding the 16:9 with one hand is a bit awkward; not impossible, but there are certainly some compromises in place for choosing a widescreen layout as opposed to a 4:3 display.

Take this paragraph, and the obvious questions are... Compared to what? How is a 4:3 superior in balance (since math and science do NOT agree with your assessment that it naturally would be superior)?

So even your positive 'feel' of the product is personal meaningless information.

Do you have large hands? Do you have a hard time with lifting a device that weighs 2lb?

Because all this information would be necessary for ANYONE else to evaluate any accuracy in what you say, and makes this as most of your paragraphs completely worthless to the average user.

People want to know the particulars about a device, not how 'you' feel about it, or how it feels in 'your' hands. Ok?

Dude, chill out for a second. A review is an opinion on a product, if all I wrote about was "metrics" it would be a PDF listing. I have battery life, 3dmark scores, and more in the post. I encourage you to go read other reviews to form your own opinion on the device.

16:9 is harder to hold one handed in landscape because it's wider than 4:3. So the center of gravity is father away from your fingers, adding more torque on both your fingers underneath and your thumb on top. It's easy to experience yourself with a hardcover book. Hold it in your hand landscape and compare it to holding it portrait. 4:3 ratio will be closer to portrait than 16:9.

I'm writing this on a vivotab smart that even though it's lighter than an iPad, is less comfortable to hold in landscape than the iPad because on the iPad, your fingers can actually get under the center of gravity, balancing the weight out and removing strain from your thumb.

Or maybe I just have small hands.

No comparison with a laptop or desktop. So, depending on one's computing needs, pick the form factor that suits you. The OS choice is equally easy--Windows-8 for the tablet and Windows-7 for the laptop or desktop (or until Microsoft cleans up the UI mess it created with Windows-8).

folks,this is why you don't read reviews from neowin. this review is an absolute joke. how about a real review, showing what kinds of stuff you can use this tablet for? battery life in metro mode exclusively? battery life browsing on wifi only,so we can compare to different devices? you do realize viewing a video being decoded by a GPU consumes way more power than dedicated video decoders done in asic?

what about the advantage of having flash,and any plugin known to mankind? having access to pretty much any application or game?

Why on earth would you buy the Pro for metro mode only, that's the RT...This is for those who need legacy applications. I ran the battery test 6 times and took an average of the runs. Also, browsing on Wifi only? There is no cellular chip or ethernet port.

bdsams said,
Why on earth would you buy the Pro for metro mode only, that's the RT...This is for those who need legacy applications. I ran the battery test 6 times and took an average of the runs. Also, browsing on Wifi only? There is no cellular chip or ethernet port.

one day I may want to run my stock trading platform, one day I may want to run metro apps only. windows 8 has metro and the tablet has a touchscreen? why isn't that reviewed?

slashgear said browsing on wifi gives 6 hours.

and do people forget that this has a core i5? the amount of time you save browsing,or loading adds up.

vcfan said,

one day I may want to run my stock trading platform, one day I may want to run metro apps only. windows 8 has metro and the tablet has a touchscreen? why isn't that reviewed?

slashgear said browsing on wifi gives 6 hours.

and do people forget that this has a core i5? the amount of time you save browsing,or loading adds up.

On the behalf of the Neowin community I invite you to stop commenting because either you can't speak English or you legitimately have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

Neowin: Surface pro has only 20gb after OS and essential applications were installed. Then Brad Sams posts a picture of a surface pro out of box and it shows that it has almost 90gb free.

Let's look at engadget's review of the surface pro:

For $899 you can get the 64GB model, but there's only 23GB available thanks to the recovery partition and, of course, the OS itself. If you're looking to buy, we'd highly recommend stepping up to the 128GB model, which has a far more livable 83GB free. (Note that you can delete the 8GB recovery partition, which helps a bit.)

83gb free out of box, and if you delete the recovery partition you get 91gb. That's quite a lot of space. Sure Windows taking up 30gb is higher than you'd like it to be but its not like you only get 20gb of free space.

Please, Neowin, for the love of all that is good and holy, post screenshots of the Surface and the disk space issue. Use Windirstat or something similar to show us how it's being used. Put an end to the speculation once and for all. You said 23 GB, well give us the breakdown.

You said 20gb of free space in the article but that picture in your reply shows that OOB you've only used up 31gb. That means on a 128gb model, you have almost 90gb left.

What are these essential applications that you downloaded that take up 70gb? Office and Photoshop do not take up 70gb.

I added to my post this was syncing my account, adding Office, adding photos, music, videos to edit for this post as well as the unboxing post, 3d mark. Basically getting my machine to where I don't need my laptop with me and use this machine all day, every day.

I added to my post this was syncing my account, adding Office, adding photos, music, videos to edit for this post as well as the unboxing post, 3d mark. Basically getting my machine to where I don't need my laptop with me and use this machine all day, every day.

So you add videos, music, photos, office, 3dmark, photoshop etc and claim that's all essential stuff leaving you with just 20gb?

Sorry that's hardly considered essential. Out of box the surface has 80-90gb of free space. At least point that in the article and THEN say after you'd filled it up you had 20gb free. Nobody cares what you did to use up the space.

bdsams said,
ask and yee shall receive, granted I already reflashed my machine to get it back to stock so this is w.o Office, Photoshop or any move editing software installed, 0 photos, 0 movies etc http://i.imgur.com/OyHBUXp.jpg

You're the man. That makes a lot of sense and thanks for clarifying. So disable hibernation, gain a few gigs, a few little tweaks and it's good.

Not so bad after all

siah1214 said,

So disable hibernation, gain a few gigs, a few little tweaks and it's good.
Not so bad after all

Careful about disabling hibernate on Windows 8, since it uses the hibernation file (hiberfil.sys) to achieve the magic startup times. If you disable it, you're back to Windows 7 startup times. Probably not a big deal for a device that won't be restarted often, but it's something to be aware of.

Careful about disabling hibernate on Windows 8, since it uses the hibernation file (hiberfil.sys) to achieve the magic startup times. If you disable it, you're back to Windows 7 startup times.

Well it uses a SSD so startup times are going to be fast even with hibernation disabled.

bdsams said,
I added to my post this was syncing my account, adding Office, adding photos, music, videos to edit for this post as well as the unboxing post, 3d mark. Basically getting my machine to where I don't need my laptop with me and use this machine all day, every day.

But you could say the same about any computer. My desktop has a 2TB HDD. After installing the OS, Office, Photoshop, VS, Blend, SDKs, video software, my music collection, my pictures, a couple videos, sync my SkyDrive, and have very little space left. I have external drives i would like to copy onto the HDD but can't because of limited space. No computer l, short of attaching a bunch of external drives, can hold all you want. But i can attach external drives to a Surface also. Yes, the Surface Pro has less space than a desktop or a laptop with a HDD, but that is expected since it is an SSD.

You are not doing this, but i find it comical that a real computer like this, the limited space has suddenly become an issue. Macbook Air has the same formatted space with a few extra GB being taken up on the Surface for the recovery partition,, but i don't ever recall any MB Air review complaining about after installing software, music, pictures, etc there was not much space left. Surface uses an extra what, 6GB more because of the recovery partition, and suddenly it is a fatal flaw? It seems like people are looking for a reason to complain.

ModernMech said,

Careful about disabling hibernate on Windows 8, since it uses the hibernation file (hiberfil.sys) to achieve the magic startup times. If you disable it, you're back to Windows 7 startup times. Probably not a big deal for a device that won't be restarted often, but it's something to be aware of.

Yes and no, they do indeed use hibernation to achieve faster boot times, but i wouldn't call them "magical", you can reduce boot times a lot without it, and in fact pre-boot is usually still the biggest issue with devices that needs to be started up in legacy BIOS mode, instead of support UEFI.

nohone said,

...the limited space has suddenly become an issue. Macbook Air has the same formatted space with a few extra GB being taken up on the Surface for the recovery partition,, but i don't ever recall any MB Air review complaining about after installing software, music, pictures, etc there was not much space left

Precisely! This whole "not enough space" was never brought up in other products but it has magically become a problem now... Look back at any of the 64GB macbook air reviews "10/10" and all this bogus...

ingramator said,
Precisely! This whole "not enough space" was never brought up in other products but it has magically become a problem now... Look back at any of the 64GB macbook air reviews "10/10" and all this bogus...

What nonsense. You can't compare reviews of two different products with roughly 5 years in between the two. That just doesn't make any sense...

dead.cell said,

What nonsense. You can't compare reviews of two different products with roughly 5 years in between the two. That just doesn't make any sense...

Here is a review of the MB Air from August, a little over 5 months, not years:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/...-air-13inch-mid-2012-review

Let's look at the review:
1) Even though the screen is 1366x768, it is "quite usable" and "near perfect." Of course, most Win8 computers are at this resolution, but that is a negative for the Win8 computers.
2) Expandable memory through external drives via thunderbolt will "give you the best of both worlds." Of course, 128GB on a Surface Pro is horrible, and don't even talk about trying to extend the device with external drives because that is not optimal.
3) For the battery, it is not a problem, if you need more then get the larger device. No running around with your hair on fire while screaming because the battery only gets 4-5 hours, it is just an attitude of if you need more, then upgrade.

So Microsoft produces a device comparable to the current offering from the competition, but we need to make sure the Microsoft product is condemned while the Apple device is praised for the portability that the same limitations impose.

nohone said,
<snip>

My bad, he said look back, thought he was referencing when the device first hit the market, not current offerings.

Regardless, I don't see Anandtech slamming the Surface Pro at all by comparison. http://www.anandtech.com/show/...icrosoft-surface-pro-review

I'd rather the authors here be overly critical to allow us to make a decision highlighting any possible problems or areas of concern, than to just sound like an advertisement. As with anything, it's best to generally read more than one review too, just to cover your bases as each individual is different, and the review will be scored accordingly. (even magazines often have a "second opinion" review)

dead.cell said,

My bad, he said look back, thought he was referencing when the device first hit the market, not current offerings.

Regardless, I don't see Anandtech slamming the Surface Pro at all by comparison. http://www.anandtech.com/show/...icrosoft-surface-pro-review

I'd rather the authors here be overly critical to allow us to make a decision highlighting any possible problems or areas of concern, than to just sound like an advertisement. As with anything, it's best to generally read more than one review too, just to cover your bases as each individual is different, and the review will be scored accordingly. (even magazines often have a "second opinion" review)

No, the Anandtech review was quite fair. But let's look at it this way. In the 2012 review of the 13" MacBook Air (http://www.theverge.com/2012/6...air-review-13-inch-mid-2012), TheVerge gave the device a 5:34 hour rating on the battery. They gave the Surface Pro 3:59. The problem is that Apple themselves say that the battery on the 11" is 2 hours less than the 13". TheVerge did not review the 11", so we need to assume the 11", the device the Surface Pro compares to because they use the same processor, would get 3:34. And they say the battery is not great, but if you need more power they suggest you upgrade to the 13" for $200. So if an Apple device gets worse battery performance, just spend $200 more. A Microsoft product gets better battery performance, and it is a complete failure.

I agree, in a review give us the good and bad. But don't condemn one product for a failing, while ignoring or excusing an even bigger failing of another product.

Honestly, some of the conclusion in the review just doesn't make sense to me.

"The problem with the Surface Pro is that it has an identity crisis. Let me explain what I mean... that brings you to the same price point as the Yoga 13 which .... bests the Surface Pro in most regards for usability while on the road."

Doesn't sound like an identity crisis at all. Sounds like the Yoga 13 is better for your dollar.

"I preferred the Type cover, but trying to use the kickstand on my lap with the cover offered a poor experience."

I'm not sure they intend you to use the keyboard on your lap, pretty sure its meant to be used like the Surface RT until you get to a desk.

No, not if you need to use the keyboard or desktop apps on your lap. That's not necessarily the point. The fact that you can dock an iPad into a keyboard stand doesn't make it a bad tablet. The fact that you can use a Type cover doesn't make the Surface a bad tablet. The fact that you can't use the kickstand/type cover on your lap doesn't make it a bad desktop device on a desk.

bdsams said,
The Surface is supposed to replace a tablet and a laptop, it doesn't replace either very well.

For your needs, perhaps. But to others, such as myself, the Surface Pro is much better. The yoga has a 1600x900 screen - which takes away from your praise of the Surface Pro's screen, and the Yoga has a larger screen decreasing the PPI. The yoga is larger in each dimension even with a Type cover added to the Pro, 1.4 lbs heavier (you complained about the weight of the Surface) and add the Type cover to the Pro, the Yoga is still 1 lb heavier. The Yoga only has a SD card reader, not an SDXC, meaning you can store and read much more from a card. The Yoga doesn't have a video out port (according to their web site specs) so I can connect to external monitors.

It seems the Pro is much more portable than the Yoga, and with an attached Type keyboard, it becomes a real laptop.

Could you fill in more specs of the system such as what cpu and speed? Apps you had installed so we can stop some of the troll comments about space, etc.

MorganX said,
I'm not sure Microsoft actually made up their mind what the Surface was supposed to replace.

I can explain it pretty simple. They expect you to carry around the device as a tablet, use the Metro interface, then when you get to your desk for "real work", stand it up with the keyboard, and use the desktop interface.

Its designed perfectly for that.

No, if you need to use the keyboard on your lap, its not designed for you, although you can use a touch keyboard in that case.

IMHO, the surface with the type cover is not a laptop replacement. The type cover, on your lap, is not even remotely close to the experience you get on an ultrabook. The type cover flexes, the trackpad is small, it's cramped.

I wanted to love the surface and dump a tablet and a laptop but trust me, the Surface Pro replaces neither of these devices very well.

Sounds like the Yoga 13 is better for your dollar.

The Yoga for $1000 is also heavier, thicker, has a lower resolution screen, much lower DPI, slower Core i3 processor, and no pen digitizer. On the spectrum of hybrid devices it's a better laptop than Surface, but it's a way worse tablet. If that fits your use, then perhaps Yoga is a better buy, but for those of us who have more tablet-like needs the Surface is more usable on the road than Yoga.

bdsams said,
IMHO, the surface with the type cover is not a laptop replacement. The type cover, on your lap, is not even remotely close to the experience you get on an ultrabook.

Maybe not for you. But in the last 3 years I've owned my current laptop, I have not used it in my lap once. That's because in every situation I've been in where I would have been using it in my lap, I was using my iPad instead. Surface Pro just means I'll be able to leave the iPad at home (actually I already sold it in anticipation of Saturday).

bdsams said,
IMHO, the surface with the type cover is not a laptop replacement. The type cover, on your lap, is not even remotely close to the experience you get on an ultrabook. The type cover flexes, the trackpad is small, it's cramped.

I wanted to love the surface and dump a tablet and a laptop but trust me, the Surface Pro replaces neither of these devices very well.

Well, IMHO, you are wrong. I have spent the past year using an Asus EP121 slate (Win8 installed since the first dev preview). Larger, heavier, with 64GB of drive space, a much lower resolution screen, a small Bluetooth keyboard and MS 5000 mouse, and about a 3 hour battery. I have developed a few apps for Win8 that are on the store now using that device, worked on large web site projects, but have turned on my desktop only a few times to test my apps and I did quite well with it. I thought about buying a new laptop, but based upon my previous experience using a real slate, I would pick the slate every time.

bdsams said,
The Surface is supposed to replace a tablet and a laptop, it doesn't replace either very well.

To,me the Surface looks like a Slate Tablet... not my favorite format, I prefer Convertible ones, but it is a Tablet.

bdsams said,
IMHO, the surface with the type cover is not a laptop replacement. The type cover, on your lap, is not even remotely close to the experience you get on an ultrabook.

It doesn't make sense why someone would try to use a tablet form factor device, free-standing, on your lap. It's not even possible to attempt something like that with an iPad.

In fact, it's not even possible with many notebooks out there either. A number of them include intake vents on the bottom and/or have hot spots that could melt the flesh off your legs.

It seems to me, that if you do not have a table available, the idea is to use the touch screen and on-screen keyboard. Microsoft introduced a seemingly very functional on-screen keyboard in Windows 8 (I particularly love the idea of the split keyboard). Can you amend your review with your experience in using it instead of only the cover?

BloodShed said,

In fact, it's not even possible with many notebooks out there either. A number of them include intake vents on the bottom and/or have hot spots that could melt the flesh off your legs.

I have a desktop replacement notebook, not only would it be a bit too hot on my lap, but it would also be awkward there because its a bit too big. I have a notebook over a desktop primarily for portability, though I would enjoy pen input / touch features. So a Surface Pro would work for me, and maybe a Surface RT in the future if RT gets more apps, or there are more ARM compilations of Desktop apps.

I know its called a "laptop", but more commonly its called a notebook, and very few people who own notebooks actually put it to "laptop" use.

If you do use it on your lap, you usually put a pillow or something else so it doesn't get too hot.

What I find funny is how people expect Surface Pro to be the end all be all to devices. That is what different form factors are for! Everyone has their own style, niches, and ways they want to use it. The industry is exploring. This is Microsoft's take.

I agree that the point of it is to use the Pen and Touch for all portable activity. Think about a cramped airplane seat where you bring down the stand but it's clunky to pull out a full fledge laptop. With this, you just lay it down, and can use the pen or touch keyboard to type out anything you need, or read, watch movies, etc.

The only real problem with this is battery life for me, but I'm going to bite because I have been wanting a tablet for years and I want to help support it so that more, better Windows Tablets come out later. At the end of this year, or beginning of next year, all the main issue will be gone as battery life will increase to 10 hours with next-gen Ivy/Haswell chips.

bdsams said,
IMHO, the surface with the type cover is not a laptop replacement. The type cover, on your lap, is not even remotely close to the experience you get on an ultrabook. The type cover flexes, the trackpad is small, it's cramped.

I wanted to love the surface and dump a tablet and a laptop but trust me, the Surface Pro replaces neither of these devices very well.

I think the Lenovo Thinkpad Helix is the perfect device. I can't wait until that becomes available. It offers up to i7 ULV, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD, so it's got plenty of power.

libertas83 said,
If you do use it on your lap, you usually put a pillow or something else so it doesn't get too hot.

I have never once put anything between my computer and my lap. Really, the Thinkpad Helix could be the perfect device. Detachable keyboard where keyboard gives you good, comfortable keys, a large trackpad, and a secondary battery. The screen can be plugged into the keyboard to function as a normal laptop, or it can be plugged in the opposite way to use the keyboard as just a secondary battery. 10 hours of battery with the keyboard attached.

I'm interested in a machine like this, at $750 I would bite, At $1000 I'm going elsewhere. Like all the specs but the HD issue is inexcusable, oh and Office could have been a huge sway, too bad. It'll sell better than the RT only because it's capable and light.

It's capable, light, runs ALL my existing Win32 applications (something WindowsRT can't) and is far more portable and usable than most Ultrabooks in the price range. Those of you complaining about the capacity - you are seeing a device that was spec'd out prior to the fall in SSD pricing per gigabyte; I would think that a 256 GB SSD would have zero issues being swapped in (to replace the 128 GB SSD in there now). A large number of those complaints would go away once you work with the SSD (as opposed to standard hard drives - which would have been the only alternative that would let Microsoft retain that price point).

"More portable and usable than most Ultrabooks in the price range"? Except that it's limited by its smaller screen size, less memory, inferior keyboard, lack of a good mouse option and it doesn't really sit on your lap...

Any idea on what the hell is on this that is taking up so much of the storage space out of the box? Sheesh

j2006 said,
Recovery partition. You can actually get all that space back. See comments above.

Out of curiosity but does anybody knows exactly how much space is occupied by the recovery partition?

Yes, but ~83 GB out of 128 GB isn't simply explained by the recovery partition (As a comparison, I have the Surface RT, formatting and recovery took 8 GB out of the 32, and the RT has Office) The Pro is missing about 40 GB of space, formatting and the GB -> GiB conversion should account for about 12 GB, and the OS recovery about 6, which brings us to 110 GB roughly available. So again, I ask, what is taking up the extra space?

Sraf said,
Any idea on what the hell is on this that is taking up so much of the storage space out of the box? Sheesh

Remove all the crap like the travel app and the recovery partition and you've got yourself 100GB of usable space, more than enough for most users but if not then put in a 64GB SDHC (or 128GB when they become more commercially viable)! Not to mention USB 3.0 which gives you virtually unlimited storage unlike other devices like the iPad.

Sraf said,
Yes, but ~83 GB out of 128 GB isn't simply explained by the recovery partition (As a comparison, I have the Surface RT, formatting and recovery took 8 GB out of the 32, and the RT has Office) The Pro is missing about 40 GB of space, formatting and the GB -> GiB conversion should account for about 12 GB, and the OS recovery about 6, which brings us to 110 GB roughly available. So again, I ask, what is taking up the extra space?

Ok, this is just a guess but everyone says that the recovery partition is 8gb or so but is that the default size on a clean 8 pro install? If so I think the one MS has set could be a modified one that is not only the OS but also has all the apps like office in as well. So then when you do a recovery you get all the office apps and others in the deal not just the OS.

Also, what about the pagefile and maybe a hibernate file? The pro has 4Gb of ram so that adds to the pagefile and a hibernate file if that is also on. Those two alone could be another 8GB as well.

According to Ars Technica review at http://arstechnica.com/gadgets...er-thicker-faster-louder/1/

Ars Technica said,

The 128 GB Surface Pro has a formatted capacity of 119 (binary) GB and change. A total of 8.4 GB is used for recovery data, of which 7.8 GB can be reclaimed if you prefer to keep your recovery image on external media. This leaves 110.5 GB for the main partition. On a brand new Surface Pro, about 89 (binary) GB are available. Occupying that 20 GB are 3.3 GB of hibernation file, 4 GB of pagefile, 2.3 GB of Office 2013, 10.4 GB of Windows, built-in/default apps, and so on and so forth.

sviola said,

I'm not sure about the relevancy of that link because it says it comes with Office 2013 when this article says it doesn't have Office but you're open to get a 30-day trial of Office 365. Plus my computer (which also has 4 GB of RAM and is running Windows 8 Pro) only has 1400 MB (with a max of 3500 MB) of space dedicated to the paging file.

EDIT: Just looked over the article and it says this...


Surface RT comes preinstalled with a cut down version of Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote are all bundled, with no easy way of removing them. Surface Pro does not. It ships with a bare install of Windows 8. Additionally, it adds the Metro version of Skype and a full installation of Office 2013--but without a license.

"Our 128 GB model had a little less 20GB space free on the device after it was setup and we downloaded a few essential applications."

lmfao

Albert said,
"Our 128 GB model had a little less 20GB space free on the device after it was setup and we downloaded a few essential applications."

lmfao


Again, people need to be educated that if you make your own restore disk / usb drive, then you can delete the Recovery portion to get all that space back... that's how it is on most pre-made PCs. So really, it's not a huge deal.

Is this a typo? The 128gb model should have about 83gb of available storage. How many and which 'essential applications' did you download that added up to 63gb's worth of space?

Albert said,
"Our 128 GB model had a little less 20GB space free on the device after it was setup and we downloaded a few essential applications."

lmfao

out of the box, the 128gb surface has around 80gb available.

I guess the "few essential Apps" the reviewer has installed each weight a few gigabytes...


btw, a clean install of win8 takes less than 15gb, so a 64gb Surface is enough for most people.

I'm using the 64gb Samsung tablet from build2011, with visual studio 2012 installed as my main computer, and I've never been close to running out of space.

Actually it is a big deal since the Pro is not a consumer tablet (ala iPad, and to some degree Surface) it is a full fledged PC in tablet form factor comparable to notebook, ultrabooks, and laptops.

It has been explained why this is and how to get around it, but it is a necessary step people won't be used to. ~20GB free on a full fledged PC's main storage is inadequate IMO.

Again, I understand why, and I understand how to recover the storage, but it is a big deal. The questions is, whether or not it is a deal breaker. I'm happy with the Surface for what it does, given the battery life, the storage, I don't really need one.

FWIW, with USB 3.0, external storage is fast enough to run apps, but, now you have to lug that or a Flash drive around. Kinda defeats the benefits of the form factor a bit once you start having to carry around a bunch of accessories.

j2006 said,

Again, people need to be educated that if you make your own restore disk / usb drive, then you can delete the Recovery portion to get all that space back... that's how it is on most pre-made PCs. So really, it's not a huge deal.

link8506 said,

out of the box, the 128gb surface has around 80gb available.

I'd like to know which "few essential" apps take up 60GB. I've got Adobe CS6 (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Premiere Pro) Office 2013 (Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Onenote), Visual Studio 2012 with Kinect SDK and Windows 8/RT SDK, Matlab 2012b with all toolboxes, and a variety of other smaller "essentials" installed.

These are some of the heaviest apps I can think of, and my Program Files and App Data folders take up 30GB combined. What they heck are these other "essentials" they are installing that takes up 30 additional GB??

Engadget's review:

For $899 you can get the 64GB model, but there's only 23GB available thanks to the recovery partition and, of course, the OS itself. If you're looking to buy, we'd highly recommend stepping up to the 128GB model, which has a far more livable 83GB free. (Note that you can delete the 8GB recovery partition, which helps a bit.)

So you get 83-91gb of free space with the surface pro 128gb.

MorganX said,
Actually it is a big deal since the Pro is not a consumer tablet (ala iPad, and to some degree Surface) it is a full fledged PC in tablet form factor comparable to notebook, ultrabooks, and laptops.

It has been explained why this is and how to get around it, but it is a necessary step people won't be used to. ~20GB free on a full fledged PC's main storage is inadequate IMO.

Again, I understand why, and I understand how to recover the storage, but it is a big deal. The questions is, whether or not it is a deal breaker. I'm happy with the Surface for what it does, given the battery life, the storage, I don't really need one.

FWIW, with USB 3.0, external storage is fast enough to run apps, but, now you have to lug that or a Flash drive around. Kinda defeats the benefits of the form factor a bit once you start having to carry around a bunch of accessories.

20gb free AFTER THEY INSTALLED all their crap.

20GB space free on the device after it was setup and we downloaded a few essential applications, added our photos, music, videos and a bit more.

Try reading comprehension before you engage on a rant.

I would like to know what you installed to have 20gig free??? I have also installed office 2013 pro plus, quickbooks pro, a bunch of other x86 applications, have music and videos and pictures and I still have over 60 gig of free space, plus a whole bunch of modern apps

thenetavenger said,

Try reading comprehension before you engage on a rant.

To be fair, that's not what the article originally stated.

I wouldn't even compare it to an iPad, because it's a full fleged PC with tablet capability. The iPad is more of a consumption device imho.

BoredBozirini said,

Says the 23GB free?


You can free up all that space by removing the recovery partition and making your own restore drive/dvd. So yes, it's still way better and more value than the iPad.

Actually, infinite storage since you can add memory cards that can be swapped and use them for storage (unlike the adapters for the iPad that you cannot use for general storage), USB 3.0 ports for fast HDDs, SkyDrive, and more.

BoredBozirini said,

Says the 23GB free?

how much free space remains on your iPad once you have installed Photoshop, Office, and a real browser with Flash Player?

A "real browser with Flash Player" should come out to maybe 50MB disk space, tops. 50MB to a 23GB space availability is inconsequential.

Is that the best Microsoft can do? After slamming PC makers for lack lustre products, I was assuming this was going to be a real innovation.

I wonder who Microsoft are going to blame this time when it fails to sell?

Tom said,
and yet still better than an iPad...

Yeah, waaaayyyy better than the iPad… and after 4h30, the iPad becomes the best tablet for the remaining 8 hours of battery life duh

gregalto said,
Exactly what I expected...a lot of hype but a little bit meh

it's still good and does have some great design solutions. also, calling a stylus with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity cheap just because it's made of plastic is a big stretch, considering all the wacom pens I've seen are plastic (probably because it wouldn't work with metal case) and all other Tablet PC's I've seen had only 256 levels of pressure.

Tom said,
and yet still better than an iPad...

Lets see if the sales figures agree with that in 1, 2, or 3 years. I suspect they wont.

Sales figure aren't everything. Some of the best selling devices are frankly rubbish.

Although i really don't think any one should be comparing this against an iPad, they're two completely different styles of device aimed at completely different markets.

Mikeffer said,
Sales figure aren't everything. Some of the best selling devices are frankly rubbish.

You're totally right - but ultimately it's the bottom line. Doesn't matter if your device is the more elegant solution, better built, better specced, more capable or whatever else you might care to use to compare to the competition - at the end of the day if it's not selling well, then all of that means nothing.

Tom said,
and yet still better than an iPad...

Ipad is better in
battery life
software for touch screen.
lightweight
more resolution

:-|

Tom said,
and yet still better than an iPad...

Because this is NeoWIN, so everything Apple is really bad. The Surface Pro is wonderful, even if it's not a tablet nor a notebook. It's somewhere between nothing and everything, but it's great anyway, because it's from Microsoft and this is NeoWIN.

/cries compulsively

It's a pc, not a toy, When you buy the surface your are not buying a walled garden device that is dependent on it's own restricted eco system you are buying a PC in a different form factor.

I could care less exactly what this device sells, it's popularity has no effect on me cause it's a freaking PC.

I woudlnt compare it to theiPad, since iPad is a mobile device while the Surface is not.
I would rather compare it to the Airmac, and the Asus, Acer and Sony ultraslim laptops, which have more space and better battery life than the surface.

Neobond said,
Comparing the Surface Pro to an iPad is dumb. An RT? Now that's a different argument.

There are 7 billion potentially dumb costumers in the world.

Luis Mazza said,

Because this is NeoWIN, so everything Apple is really bad. The Surface Pro is wonderful, even if it's not a tablet nor a notebook. It's somewhere between nothing and everything, but it's great anyway, because it's from Microsoft and this is NeoWIN.

/cries compulsively

Because this is Neowin (actually, the Internet) anything negative said about any Apple product will earn you a sound thrashing, personal attacks, labeling of the offender as a hater and worse by the Apple faithful.

The MacBook Air has a lower screen resolution - that doesn't matter, what matters is that the iPad and MacBook Pro with Retina display does have a higher resolution than the Surface Pro.

The MacBook Air is heavier than a Surface Pro - that doesn't matter, what matters is that the an iTouch is lighter than a Surface Pro.

Surface Pro has more apps available than OSX or iOS combined, that doesn't matter - what matters is that iOS has more apps than Windows Phone.

There, I said it. Start with your usual flames.

Brony said,

Ipad is better in
battery life
software for touch screen.
lightweight
more resolution

:-|


No antivirus needs, nothing about firewalls, etc
More comfortable to use in various situations
... the list probably goes on ...

But as Neobond says, "Hey, you can't compare this to an iPad."

And that is the problem with the Surface Pro. It can't be compared favorably to an iPad. And it can't be compared favorably to a laptop. It's a typical jack-of-all-trades, master of none. You'll get something in between. Something that can do both, but is not too hot on either.

Don't believe me? Sit in front of Windows 8 desktop for a while. Try to use the touch interface with the small widgets, and the thousands of applications that simply aren't high-DPI aware on Windows. The problem I see with desktop mode merging with touch is the Windows legacy. It's still there.

Edited by Northgrove, Feb 6 2013, 5:23pm :

myxomatosis said
Yeah, waaaayyyy better than the iPad… and after 4h30, the iPad becomes the best tablet for the remaining 8 hours of battery life duh
Battery life isn't the only thing that determines how great a tablet is.. If you had to compare the things that the Surface Pro can do and all the things the iPad can do it's clear that the Surface Pro is better.

Luis Mazza said
Because this is NeoWIN, so everything Apple is really bad. The Surface Pro is wonderful, even if it's not a tablet nor a notebook. It's somewhere between nothing and everything, but it's great anyway, because it's from Microsoft and this is NeoWIN.
You obviously haven't been to an Apple-fanatic website called CNET. They're the exact opposite. It's everything Apple over there.

The Surface Pro is a great device because it offers both UX's (desktop & mobile) and it gives you the capability to do more with a tablet than what other tablets today are capable of.

Northgrove said
But as Neobond says, "Hey, you can't compare this to an iPad."

And that is the problem with the Surface Pro. It can't be compared favorably to an iPad. And it can't be compared favorably to a laptop. It's a typical jack-of-all-trades, master of none. You'll get something in between. Something that can do both, but is not too hot on either.

Don't believe me? Sit in front of Windows 8 desktop for a while. Try to use the touch interface with the small widgets, and the thousands of applications that simply aren't high-DPI aware on Windows. The problem I see with desktop mode merging with touch is the Windows legacy. It's still there.

Why would someone compare the Surface Pro to a tablet that:
- only comes with a mobile OS
- has a walled-garden ecosystem
- only offers a mobile UX
- can't do nearly as much as the Surface Pro

Anyone who compares the Surface Pro to an iPad or an Android tablet really needs to do some research.

dtourond said,
Why would someone compare the Surface Pro to a tablet that:
- only comes with a mobile OS
- has a walled-garden ecosystem
- only offers a mobile UX
- can't do nearly as much as the Surface Pro

Anyone who compares the Surface Pro to an iPad or an Android tablet really needs to do some research.

Because for as much as they like to complain about how poorly people treat Apple/Google, they do exactly what they claim to hate. But for some reason they are just expressing opinion but everyone does it because they hate. They need to find something, anything to make sure that Surface Pro/RT looks poorly against an Apple/Google product.

The Surface Pro compares to the 11" MacBook Air because of what it is designed to do and how it works. They have a comparable battery life (Apple claims 5 hours), the Surface is lighter and thinner, the Surface has a better screen resolution, the Surface costs less for a comparable system. The only thing that the MB Air has going for it is that you can configure it with more memory and larger SSD - for a much higher cost.

But somehow, the MB Air is not criticized for the screen resolution. The MB Air is not criticized for the battery life. The MB Air is not criticized for the limited number of software titles. The MB Air is not criticized for the weight nor size. The MB Air is not criticized for using the Intel 4000 graphics chip. But you read a review, and the Surface is criticized for each of these. And nobody has tried comparing the MB Air to an iPad, because the Air would fail miserably, so that is not permitted.

Of course, now queue the line of people complaining that I am going off topic for talking about Apple, for being a hater, and the usual crap that they throw at the wall because I dare listed some faults with Apple products.

Luis Mazza said,

I not even read what your wrote.

Bla, bla, bla.

Always you... Why don't you ignore me? Your IQ is very low, deal with that.

Oh how ironic, you accuse him of low IQ yet you have no understanding of grammar.

/facepalm

Mikeffer said,
Sales figure aren't everything. Some of the best selling devices are frankly rubbish.

Although i really don't think any one should be comparing this against an iPad, they're two completely different styles of device aimed at completely different markets.

Tell that to the Android fans who claim Android is better because of how many Android devices are selling... (yes, I'm an Android user, but this is a terrible argument)

Totally agree with you though. An iPad to Surface Pro comparison is just weak.

Luis Mazza said,

I not even read what your wrote.

Bla, bla, bla.

Always you... Why don't you ignore me? Your IQ is very low, deal with that.

A week ago I wrote a well-known Apple fanboy was being condescending in how he spoke to me. Within seconds I had my post deleted and received a warning for a personal attack. A week ago I wrote something similar to "800,000 apps, the Apple App store is crappy" in reference to how many apps will run on the Surface Pro. My post was deleted within seconds and received a warning.

Here we are, an hour after Luis' post was made and I reported it for the same reason I received a warning, and yet here it remains. Good job, Engadget, er, I mean Neowin.

(and yes, I expect a warning for this comment, also)

nohone said,

A week ago I wrote a well-known Apple fanboy was being condescending in how he spoke to me. Within seconds I had my post deleted and received a warning for a personal attack. A week ago I wrote something similar to "800,000 apps, the Apple App store is crappy" in reference to how many apps will run on the Surface Pro. My post was deleted within seconds and received a warning.

Here we are, an hour after Luis' post was made and I reported it for the same reason I received a warning, and yet here it remains. Good job, Engadget, er, I mean Neowin.

(and yes, I expect a warning for this comment, also)

BOOHOO!

Neobond said,

BOOHOO!

Thanks, I take that as permission to respond to whomever I disagree with in the way that Luis did to me without warning nor having my post removed.

Neobond said,

BOOHOO!

On second thought, just delete my account. It is obvious that your web site is turning into a place where you are willing to kiss the ass of a group of disruptive people at the expense of others. I have been reading this site since the ActiveWin-Neowin merge April fools day joke, but it simply is not a fun place to read any more - and it is the admins like you that have made it that way. A few days ago a number of people left because they were "offended" when you asked if people are what those that left had been accusing them being - haters. And then you buckled when they whined and cried about it. And when there is a personal attack against me, you support that and mock me for it. So take a good look, it is people like Luis who are over taking this site, and you are just sitting back and allowing it. Well, enjoy, this is what you created. I left other sites when they turned into what neowin is, and I see that now this place has jumped the shark also.

nohone said,

On second thought, just delete my account. It is obvious that your web site is turning into a place where you are willing to kiss the ass of a group of disruptive people at the expense of others. I have been reading this site since the ActiveWin-Neowin merge April fools day joke, but it simply is not a fun place to read any more - and it is the admins like you that have made it that way. A few days ago a number of people left because they were "offended" when you asked if people are what those that left had been accusing them being - haters. And then you buckled when they whined and cried about it. And when there is a personal attack against me, you support that and mock me for it. So take a good look, it is people like Luis who are over taking this site, and you are just sitting back and allowing it. Well, enjoy, this is what you created. I left other sites when they turned into what neowin is, and I see that now this place has jumped the shark also.

You know... I did not offend you: I didn't call you names. I could have told you that one of your eyes is smaller than the other one, if I had your pic.
We only have intellectual tools here to judge other people. You're the one who trolls and stalks every comment I make. Also, based on what you said, that also happened to you in other websites. So, it's up to you to judge who's the problem.
I sometimes take things personally too... As it is a personal attack to stalk me on many occasions.
Bye.

Brony said,

Ipad is better in
battery life
software for touch screen.
lightweight
more resolution

:-|


more apps than the surface pro? so the ipad app store grew several million since i last checked it