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  • bobjones32 - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    Since the Surface Pro is basically half-tablet and half-laptop, wouldn't it make sense to include a graph that compared it to other laptops too? Based on the numbers here, it seems like the Surface Pro would come out well ahead of the Macbook Air 11", for which its specs and price seems to most directly compare to. Reply
  • karasaj - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    I second this. I would like to see it compared with laptops as well - a lot of the other tests included laptop comparisons as well. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    The problem is our Windows 8 battery life suite only has one datapoint at this point: Acer's 13-inch S7 ultrabook, which I did include in a table below the graphs on the battery life page. I will try to run the 11-inch MBA this week/weekend in the new suite to get a good reference point though.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • remain_insane - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Awesome! It will be nice to see that included in here so we can see that comparison and have the PRO be put into against another similarly priced competitor.

    :)
    Reply
  • bobjones32 - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Cool. I was specifically looking at your 11" Macbook Air review from last year where it got around 4 hours of battery, vs. the numbers here.

    Anyway, great review! Thanks.
    Reply
  • JanieMartin - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online.(Click Home information)
    http://goo.gl/VkxIT
    Reply
  • phillyry - Friday, February 15, 2013 - link

    ^That's SPAM right above me ^ Reply
  • apollomission19 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Dont click the LINK in previous comments... pure SPAM! This should have a "report" button or something to report this piece of *hit. Reply
  • TwistByrn - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I would also like them to specify that the RT and the PROs 128GB of storage is partially used up by the operating system were as the iPads storage is not used by the OS. Reply
  • ATGS-Jason - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    Actually, the iPad's storage IS used by the OS as well, they're not separate. More importantly, iOS is nowhere near on the same level of capability as Windows 8 or RT. With regards to the Pro, the proper comparison is to the Macbook Air, which uses almost exactly the same amount of the integrated SSD as Windows 8 Pro does (within 2GB), except that the Win8 Pro total on Surface Pro includes a complete recovery partition that can be offloaded to a USB drive. When you do that, Windows 8 on Surface Pro actually takes up about 7GB *less* than the Mac OSX stock installation on an Air. Reply
  • ghost03 - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    Most of what you say is accurate, but I disagree that this can be compared to the MacBook Air (or any ultra book for that matter.)

    A key feature of laptops is that they function on your ...lap... (or other surfaces which are not flat or angled.) Juggling the kickstand and the hinged keyboard is cumbersome at best for most non ideal use scenarios. And frankly, if I am set up with a flat table and room to work, I hope I have my 15" notebook with me.

    This is an attempt to satisfy too many interests--likely a victim of design by committee--and it is not a product that I can see many people enjoy using.
    Reply
  • utdcometsoccer - Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - link

    I've used it some and I found it was a joy to work with! Also, strangely the dual use design - tablet and laptop suits me because I don't want to carry a tablet and a laptop if I don't have to. Reply
  • rburnham - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Agreed. Seeing it compared to ARM tablets seems unfair in the context of this article. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Agreed. It's basically the upgrade from the Tablet PC's before the IPAD was born. I still have a Motion Tablet PC (LS800) in my office and the only reason I don't have Win8 installed on it is the screen resolution limit. The Motion Tablet PC resolution is a very small/old 800 x 600.

    I like the fact that Anand did a dual comparison between today's tablets and ultra-books for the Surface-pro. Regarding the issues on lap use, I believe the addition of a keyboard dock similar tot he transformer would allow the Surface to convert between being a tablet and ultra book when the user needed/wanted.

    All in all, I think MS has a good start. Now with newer/smaller CPU's from Intel or AMD (if they can get their die smaller) will allow MS to be even more competitive.

    At the end of the day, each consumer has to figure/know what their needs are to select the right tool for them. Tablets are great for content, but still very limited to APPs. A tablet that can run full programs for those needing that kind of flexibility stands above Android and IOS devices.
    Reply
  • AssBall - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    Possibly a little more in depth than need be for the target demographic. Reply
  • AssBall - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    On second thought though, that's exactly the kind of info that makes the target market drool. Reply
  • PsychoPif - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    It's exactly for those kind of insight that I come here. If I wanted an half assed job, I'd read the engadget review. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    Right on. Reply
  • mmrezaie - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    but I still like to know gpu comparison between this and iPad 4. Reply
  • B3an - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Stupid comment is stupid. Go back to Engadget or the Verge. Reply
  • Mumrik - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I'm pretty sure Anandtech's core demographic wants all the details possible. Reply
  • pfroo40 - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    The depth and detail of reviews on Anandtech are precisely why I read them. If I want biased and superficial reviews there are plenty of tech sites I can go to. Reply
  • vision33r - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    In the Post PC Era today, majority of folks don't really need a high spec tablet. Most work is done by an app that's touch friendly and easy to use. Folks are getting by with an ARM based tablet for general web duties.

    It's tough to price something for this much productivity while most folks don't really need the power.

    A $200 used iPad is sufficient for most folks to do light web, Facebook, and email.

    Very tough to justify such a device for media consumption.
    Reply
  • Fleeb - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    "Apple has remained curiously quiet on this front, but I suspect that too will change in good time." Reply
  • karasaj - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    That has nothing to do with Surface Pro... imo. More really criticism designed at the pricing of Surface RT, or possibly Atom based W8 tablets. Surface Pro is essentially analogous to the MBA. Reply
  • c4v3man - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    An iPad is a joke, especially at $200+ for a used first gen. While it works, so does their Pentium 2 400Mhz pc running windows 98.

    Anything else in the 200 price range is going to far exceed the real life performance of an iPad. And they'll have a warranty. And a non-replaceable battery that is suffering at this age.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    Sadly, because Apple products hold their value well irrespective of actual worth, they hold their value well irrespective of actual worth. See how it works? Reply
  • Arsynic - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    This device isn't aimed at consumers but rather productivity folks. My boss would love one of these. Physicians and nurses would love this.

    Surface RT (when it has more apps--in time) will suffice for everyone else.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Just a guess, but I'd say that most physicians and nurses would be fine with lighter, non-fan Atom Win8 platforms. I can't imagine their programs needing the horse power of a Core i5. :) Reply
  • cknobman - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Not really.

    Atom cpu power is starting to approach the realm of tolerable but Intel still neuters the platform with abysmal graphics.

    So no Atom Win8 platforms (centered around a touch driven graphical interface) are not going to cut it.

    We attempted to try that at my workplace and the Atom platforms were quickly tossed out in favor of Core platforms.
    Reply
  • DogmaHunter - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    You'ld be surprised.

    It wouldn't be the first time I see pc's in hospitals or private practices rendering a 3d model of for example shoulder joints or whatever.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Consider me surprised. :D
    I thought that tablets for medical purposes would serve as clients to a server running in the background.
    @cknobman: what kind of company do you work for and what did the Atom tablets fail to do? I agree completely that Atom is still anemic. But it would be good enough for my wife for example. Her flash heavy websites would suffer a bit but there would be pros in other areas. :)
    Reply
  • Jollydogg - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I'm a nurse. The last thing I'd want to do is sit down and do productivity work on this tablet during or after a long shift. I own a Nexus 7 (from which I'm using right now while out to lunch) to get me through times I'm not at a PC.

    I'm also in grad school. I can see one of these being AWESOME for someone who is continually out of the house and is in a grad program that requires short, frequent sessions of checking PDFs and online articles. Then again, any used laptop can do the same thing.......and for far less.......that includes a keyboard.......for far less money........see what I mean?

    I think the design is conflicting. Its like its meant for a very narrow, specific target audience, and even at that, its not competitively priced. Its meant to be a laptop replacement with tablet/portability convenience, yet the situations in which you would need to be in to use it effectively are basically the same ones in which you use a laptop. Somewhere stable and comfortable.

    I mean, I love this concept, and I really, really want one. I just can't really justify the cost, then having to pay additional for a keyboard, and then also only having 23gb of use able space. I'm not a space hog, but damn, if my unit is going to substitute as a laptop, I'm gonna need more than that.
    Reply
  • Jollydogg - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    When I meant used effectively, I meant used effectively for productivity, not just common usage. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Any used laptop will be heavy and get lousy battery life. 5-6 Hours battery life is pretty good by laptop standards.

    It's not that expensive compared to an ipad with the same storage, and intel charges $225 for the cpu, which is basically the entire reason for the price difference between the ipad and surface pro.

    I think it'll sell fairly well for a device in it's price range.
    Reply
  • Alucard291 - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    5-6 hours of battery is about double compared to this... Shocking piece of... technology... Reply
  • DogmaHunter - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    You can free up another 20gb by making a copy of the recovery partition.

    And I think you miss the point about its versatility... the whole point of it is to be usable as a tablet, a laptop and even as a desktop by attaching additional monitors. And all that without needing to change devices and thus also shifting files around.

    You can be working at your desk as if behind a desktop, unplug the screen and take your surface into a meeting. You can go to another physical desk next to a collegue, plug in their and you're back on a desktop setting.

    No more running around with docking stations, no more syncing files through cloud or USB, no more cables everywhere.

    I think this is the wet dream of mobility.
    Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    iPads have been used in hospitals for a few years now, things like entering into patient records remotely.

    You don't need an i5 for that sort of thing, you need something very light with tons of battery life that will either run your applications or a web browser.
    Reply
  • DogmaHunter - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    I've been in a lot of companies for my job as IT consultant, including hospitals, and I have never seen ipads (or anything from apple) being used for another purpose then the "flash factor" by sales people.

    And when they return from their sales talk, they sit behind a desk with a windows laptop or desktop.
    Reason is simple: they don't want foreign devices (ie: non-windows machines) on their network for security purposes.

    While I'm sure you can find a few businesses that actually uses ipads and stuff like you described, I think you'll find these to be a very small minority... most likely with a frustrated and/or angry IT admin.
    Reply
  • seapeople - Sunday, February 10, 2013 - link

    I think you mistyped your comment... you did mean to say that you've been in a lot of caves for your job as an IT consultant, right?

    I don't see any other way that you haven't seen the wave of large/small business iPad usage popping up everywhere in your area.
    Reply
  • Scootir - Saturday, February 09, 2013 - link

    As someone who administers these types of devices for major hospital organizations I can guarantee that docs and nurses (and the administrator's who select what they get to use) would hate this device. it's poor battery life alone makes it a complete failure in this space, not to mention it's price. A clinical shift is 8 to 12 hours, not 3.something. We don't need much at all in terms of processing power - hospital electronic medical records run on Citrix farms and the Citrix receiver runs acceptably on the cheapest smartphone anyone can buy. I'm sorry, but from a healthcare perspective, iOS and Android devices make the Surface Pro look like a joke. Reply
  • jamawass - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Are you mentioning productivity, then using facebook and light web as examples?
    Anand clearly stated in the article that the Surface pro isn't for that market but can be used as a laptop replacement so one can use real Adobe products not the kids' version on an ipad for example.
    Reply
  • JimTC - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    For consumption I'll stick with my iphone5 - i certainly am not interested in carrying around a bigger version of it.

    I'm looking for tools I can use. This one seems to be it (or at least getting there).
    Reply
  • DogmaHunter - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    The "post-pc era" is marketing talk. It doesn't actually exist.

    Here's why: not a single person who has a smartphone or tablet threw out his laptop or desktop or is planning to do so.

    Tablets and smartphones do NOT replace pc's. At the very least, we are in the "pc plus era". And even that is stretching it imo.

    And tough to justify that price for media consumption?
    Here's the thing... Surface Pro is not a media consumption device. It can consume media, but so can my 4000$ desktop. Surface Pro is just a pc like any other.

    If people can justify the price they pay for a desktop, laptop or ultrabook... I see no reason they couldn't justify the price for Surface Pro.
    Reply
  • GotThumbs - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Based on your stated needs, it wouldn't make sense to purchase the Surface Pro unless you had money to burn or knew your future needs will need the power/flexibility of full program installs over Apps.

    But you could still save money and avoid Apple's Walled Garden by purchasing an Android powered tablet.

    Your choice at the end of the day,

    Best Wishes on your selection,
    Reply
  • Daeros - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    Seems a little steep for what you get... I think the Yoga 13 or MBA does better for the same amount of money, and several ultrabooks are a bit less if you don't need the "tablet" experience. Reply
  • DogmaHunter - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    I bet you can't find me a single device with the same or comparable specs for much cheaper. Reply
  • Alucard291 - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Which just means that all typical devices in this spec range cost roughly the same. So you start picking from other things, like battery life (which this piece of trash has none of) and screen quality (welp not this trash again too bad) and so on :) Reply
  • yesno - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    I appreciate the focus on performance, but what about the size, aspect ratio, and weight? The smaller size of the iPad mini, and the ability to read off it one-handed, makes it a better tablet than the iPad 4 in my usage. But it is creamed in every benchmark you could imagine.

    Whatever its performance, the Surface won't make a good tablet if its not comfortable to use as a tablet--even though this is much more subjective.
    Reply
  • LetsGo - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Agreed, I'd love a true 8Inch portable Windows Pro machine.

    It should be under 700g if 10inch or greater this is no good.
    Reply
  • Morgifier - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    The design of the (as yet unreleased) Asus Transformer Book seems preferable, with the external keyboard providing rigidity, additional battery life and extra storage. I wonder if Microsoft have considered this?

    Although I'm yet to use Windows 8, I do like the idea of device convergence...
    Reply
  • cmikeh2 - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    I totally agree with you that Transformer Book seems a lot nicer (especially with the bundled dock) but they're sort of in two different product classes since the Transformer Book (1.9 kg) is about twice the weight of the Surface Pro. Reply
  • althaz - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    If you want something that is three-in-one (desktop replacement, tablet, notebook replacement), the Asus or the Samsung ATIV with similar specs to the Surface Pro are a much better choice.

    For me though, I never, ever want to type with this thing in my lap. I want to watch videos or play games (mostly Football Manager) while I'm on the train. I want to hook it up to a bunch of XBox controllers and a TV for playing on the multitude of old-school emulator with my buddies, I want to plug a keyboard and mouse into it to play starcraft at my mate's place and my wife wants to surf the internet and play angry birds at home.

    I have a desktop at home and at work, this is for everything else which means I don't need the dock (the touch cover would be handy for typing things up when I'm say, on an aeroplane or on a holiday though), or the added weight and price it includes.

    I can't wait to get one of these!
    Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    The Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro has typical Samsung tablet build quality. I wouldn't touch that thing with a 10" pole. Perhaps their Ultrabooks are of better build quality, but the ATIV isn't it. Reply
  • LetsGo - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Nothing wrong with my Samsung 7.7 Tabs build quality.

    When they update there 8" Note to a Octo-core I will get one, a tablet should be light therefore being made out of plastic is good design.
    Reply
  • B3an - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Does anyone know when the Transformer Book is actually going to come out? Been waiting for this for ages. Asus are taking the piss. Might just go for Surface Pro. Reply
  • PubFiction - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    IMO, the whole point of surface was to bring to market something the other OEMs were not doing. Transformer is a great form factor, but so what ASUS whom is a big MS partner is already making it why would MS step in and build another transformer when one already exists? The draw to surface is the light ultra thin keyboard. But are you going to get the best typing experience from that? No, of course not, will it be better than typeing with the softboard? Yes.

    Surface brings one major thing to the table, the ultra thin tablet / laptop combo device. It can do everything, but of course in certain situations it will not be the best device. But compared to the price of other ultra books it is very good. It sports a good CPU, touch screen, digitizer etc. Ultimately you see an over abundance of negative posts which are simply stupid because they compare apples to oranges. People compare this to a mac book air, which has no, touch screen, no tablet mode, and no digitizer. Well duh if all you want is an ultra book then this isnt for you but its ridiculous to even bother comparing a device which is so different and lacks so many features.

    What we really need is for the OEMs to fill in the gaps in product lines not try to compete with each other in products that already exists. What we are still missing is a gaming level convertible. Alienware, samsung series 7 gamer, clevo et al. Lenovo has built alot of combinations of tablets and laptops but now we need something sporting at least a 660M that can flip into a tablet and has a built in digitizer.

    My biggest complaint with this device has to be the lack of slot for the digitizer pen, the big strength of surface was the compact all in one nature where the keyboard is not a clumsy accessory but an integral part of the device. The pen should have followed that lead.
    Reply
  • PubFiction - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Of course the other issue is non remvable battery which means if you are dropping $900+ on this it wont last more than 2 years before the battery craps out like all sealed batteries. Reply
  • Netscorer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    most ultrabooks have non-accessible battery. Not sure what your point is. If it is important to you to be able to access memory, storage, battery and other internals, buy a regular laptop, not a tablet.
    And realistically, batteries last more then two years. The performance may become degraded after some time but I've had batteries lasting 3-5 years on all my devices and by the time they are truly dead, the device is typically obsolete and needs replacement, anyway.
    Reply
  • spencer.p - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    That's true.

    I would recommend perhaps getting a Surface Complete warranty for it (if you get it from the Microsoft Store). $99 for two years of accidental, too.
    Reply
  • faizoff - Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - link

    This hits pretty much all the expectations I had for this device. I've accepted the price point as a fair price, if you search for a device with a 1080 screen resolution on a touchscreen the pro would be a cheaper option.

    My curiosity however is the usability of 1080 resolution on a 10.6" screen. Is it difficult to touch and use? I guess trying it out in store would be the best place to find out.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I didn't have any usability issues with the 1080p 10.6-inch display. In modern UI everything is optimized for touch with big touch targets. On the desktop, the 150% DPI scaling helps eliminate any issues in apps that properly support DPI scaling. It's the apps that don't where there's a problem.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • faizoff - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Thats good to know. I should've probably mentioned I was concerned with the touch usability on the desktop more than Modern UI. Thanks for the answer. Reply
  • faizoff - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I normally don't set the DPI to 150% on my windows desktop. I just set it to 150% on my win 8 pro VM and on desktop mode Chrome looks quite blurry.
    Just like you mentioned those programs that dont scale in higher DPI will suffer.
    Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    It's not designed for touch and probably never will be. Microsoft can make some adjustments to touch target sizes without visually changing anything but ultimately if you want to have any accuracy in a desktop environment, you'll want to use the stylus. Reply
  • GTRagnarok - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Third page: "Type Cover will set you back $119 while Touch Cover is $129"

    You have the price switched around.
    Reply
  • Netscorer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    This is a very comprehensive review that is long on technical details and very short on actual usability of the Surface Pro. Sometimes Anand gets too enamored with charts, while forgetting that most folks want just first hand experience.
    There is very brief mentioning of working in legacy UI and regular programs, with no mentioning of how easy (or, rather difficult) it is to navigate interface with your fingers (and no mouse tracking support for stylus is a show stopper as you can't use it to replace your mouse). I wish, Anand would use one of the programs (like Chrome) and tried some of the more popular web sites (Google+, YouTube) and let us know if he was able to get even 50% hit with his fingers on the small buttons that pepper the screen. There is not even a mentioning of the atrocious virtual keyboard for non-metro apps. Windows scaling is simply not working how it should on the device of this type, yet we get a very diplomatic two sentence non-commital response.
    Tap dancing around storage issue is another breaking point. 128GB is not only recommended, it is the minimum that people should consider. $899 64GB storage option leaves only 23GB left even before user installs anything (ANYTHING!) on the device. Add to this Office, inevitable restore points and huge MS regular updates, few photo or video editing programs and you won't have space left for anything else but some small documents. No music, no video, no Steam, no nothing. And we are talking about using this as a laptop substitute?
    Reply
  • faizoff - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    From my experience this is usually the type of review done for any device here on Anandtech. Doesn't surprise me much.

    I too would like more info on actual usage on the desktop but as such those can be easy or difficult per user.

    I'm curious how you know that windows scaling is not working on a device of this type. Or is that just your opinion?
    Reply
  • althaz - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Are you sure you can't use your stylus as a mouse? I've read a couple of other reviews where this was explicitly mentioned as being possible (and comments on how well it works). Reply
  • faizoff - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Was watching the video review on The Verge and they show the stylus being used like a mouse pointer briefly dragging tiles around. Still not sure how the stylus can be used on the desktop mode in terms of scrolling the page,etc... Reply
  • Netscorer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Anand, is it possible for you to clarify your statement that:

    <QUOTE>
    Wacom’s own tablets let you switch to mouse mode, allowing you to use the pen as a mouse to place your cursor wherever you want it. Pen mode is something you may or may not be able to get used to, but it’s worth pointing out that the inflexibility is a limitation of Surface Pro’s pen implementation.
    </QUOTE>

    Does this mean that included stylus can not be used to navigate Windows UI, i.e. use buttons, scrollbars, dropdown lists, etc?

    This is IMO a huge limitation that makes surface a nightmare to work with in a tablet mode if target program is not touch friendly.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    That paragraph has nothing to do with normal desktop mode usage. It is about using the tablet as a Wacom graphic tablet. You can use the stylus as a mouse. Reply
  • The0ne - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    The stylus could be implemented to act like a mouse with more features. For example the S-Pen on my Note2 has buttons you can press and change to do what you want it to do. I don't think this is a hardware limitation rather than is there a market for it, demand, price and application support. Reply
  • Doominated - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    After removing things like the recovery partition, hibernation file, random installed apps, etc, you can EASILY reclaim enough space of the 64GB version to get to 40 GB of usable space. Office alone is 2.3 GB preinstalled to the machine, while the almost entirely useless Hibernation file takes up 3 gigs of space. Plus you could very easily get a 64 GB mSDXC card and mount it into an NTFS library, doubling your space for ~$50.

    And I think you're forgetting that you get a pen tip stylus with the tablet. Tapping "small icons" on regular desktop pages isn't going to be much of a problem, unless you're flat out the most uncoordinated person on the planet.
    Reply
  • Netscorer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    A: Rearranging partitions is not a novice job. In fact, I would state that you need to have a pretty certain experience working around Windows 8 partitions to do what you said here.
    B: Removing hibernation partition on the Ivy Bridge-based tablet is inadvisable as you would not be able to go into deep sleep and would either have to shut down tablet every night or wake up to fully partially discharged device,.
    C: removing recovery partition means that you need to have an alternative way of rescuing Windows in case of corruption. Yes, you can create a bootable flash drive as an alternative, but this is again is not a job for novice users and can not be typically expected to be performed by a typical customer.
    Reply
  • sherlockwing - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    "B: Removing hibernation partition on the Ivy Bridge-based tablet is inadvisable as you would not be able to go into deep sleep and would either have to shut down tablet every night or wake up to fully partially discharged device,."

    Easy solution: plug in the charger if you are going to leave it on over night. If you can't charge then shut it off before you sleep.
    Reply
  • pmhparis - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    Even better solution: Glue the charger to the side of the device so that it is always charging....

    MS claims that Surface is the best of tablets wedded to the best of PCs. Removing some of the greatest advantages tablets have (their 10h use between charges, their ability to resume exactly where they were left without loosing context), exposes the falsehood is Microsofts claim.
    Reply
  • oolzie - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I disagree completely. I thought this review was about as good as you can get because it gives actual facts. He didn't avoid mentioning any of the con's, but the storage is what it is. They give you options to remedy that and they were discussed. What more do you want?

    FWIW, Mouse mode with the stylus simply changes teh movement scale. You can still tap buttons, close windows, drag stuff just like you would with a finger, but with a tighter control point.
    Reply
  • remain_insane - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    STEAM...no one seems to be talking about STEAM and what it means for a tablet of this size with this hardware. I am not talking about playing demanding games, but free to play titles, indie game, FTL, dead light, these are all very playable on this hardware. Not to mention League of Legends which is arguably the most popular video/ computer game on the planet. This form factor encompasses the perfect college student life style. Note taking? Office, or hell open office? Visual studio? After that throw in some light indie gaming to kill some time and hook up to a larger display. I LOVED this review, probably the ONLY website that "gets" the surface pro, and where this product fits in. I wish the article did contain some more comparisons to Ultrabooks, including prices so people will understand that this is not just a tablet that is competing among tablets, that this is an Ultrabook in tablet form factor that can be used as such but at a cost of Ultrabook battery life. Reply
  • Netscorer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Steam games require keyboard/mouse to operate. Very few games are touch-friendly and those few that are have plenty of bugs because they are still built around mouse interface and not 'fat fingers' interface. Civ V is the only AAA title that has full touch support and optimization for Ivy Bridge-based ultrabooks. But given CPU usage in Civ 5 and very bad battery life in Surface Pro, you won't last the flight from Boston to New York playing it.
    For the rest of the games you'd better take out proper bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo and put Surface Pro on the desk.
    Anand mentioned that stylus, included with Surface does not support mouse tracking mode, so you can't even use it for simple flash based indie games on Surface.
    Very, very disappointing.
    Reply
  • Doominated - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    God forbid you have to play games just like

    oh my god

    every other device has to play games

    People that want to play battery killing games are obviously going to carry a secondary charger with them, as well as a halfway decent portable keyboard/mouse. This is a limitation EVERY "mobile gamer" would have to deal with, not just one who has a Surface Pro.
    Reply
  • remain_insane - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    That is what I am talking about, not play touch based games, unless baldur's gate gets ported to windows 8. Or even carry an xbox controller with you when you are on the go! There are a lot of games that have seemless controller support(with other games that don't). You can even search steam for games with controller support. I am by no way implying that this is a gaming machine, but it will work quite nicely with the rise of a lot of indie games, and older games with controller support. A lot of games on steam backup save files to the cloud so you don't have to swap save files around from one machine to the other. This is just my 2 cents, sorry I was not as clear originally. Reply
  • sweenish - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    So, thought I'd chime in and mention the fact that most games require you to just click on the screen, and maybe use some hotkeys. But plenty of games are purely mouse driven, and for those, touch translates beautifully. Reply
  • Pfffman - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Gaming benchmarks in general seem to have been missed, we could have some graphs and numbers.

    Still looking forward to the case where we can plug in a tablet a the end of the day to keyboard, monitor and mouse and just use it as a desktop. Almost could do it for this, just a bit cumbersome not to mention space management would be a pain.
    Reply
  • PsychoPif - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I agree. It's the only thing missing from an otherwise perfect review.

    I'm hoping that the Surface Pro get revisited as a portable gaming PC. I'm obviously not talking FPS, but League of Legend, FTL, and others would be games I'd like to play on the go.
    Reply
  • Netscorer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    If you want to understand a gaming performance, look at any ultrabook review. Surface is not going to be magically any different, except that you should not expect to go very far on battery alone and once you connect it to the charger, one of the biggest advantages of Surface (portability) vanishes.
    The Ivy Bridge CPUs come with Intel HD4000 GPU and it is OK for older games (2009 and earlier) and only on reduced resolutions and medium to low settings.
    My personal experience gaming on ultrabook:
    Skyrim - no go
    Fallout: New Vegas - on reduced resolution and minimum settings
    Bioshock - reduced resolution
    Medieval Total War - medium settings + reduced resolution
    Civ V - minimum settings, no need to reduce resolution (and it is touch friendly game, hurray!)
    Sorry, I don't play shooters or auto racers, so can not comment on these.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    Skyrim is playable on the surface pro on lowest settings at 720p. plays pretty well given the limitations. Reply
  • oolzie - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Baldurs Gate Enhanced works fantastically on these devices. Granted its' not "high end", but it definitely shows how cool a game like that can be on a touch enabled device. Give it time. Reply
  • Doominated - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    This review is, far and away, the best review of the Surface Pro I've seen of the 15 or so I've read. The other reviews all mostly regurgitate the same exact information; It runs fast, it has Ultrabook specs, it has "poor" battery life, it can't sit on your lap easily, It's too thick/heavy to be a tablet, so on and so forth, all the stuff we've known for the past TWO MONTHS.

    The only thing I felt was lacking between all the graphs about color calibration and wifi range and whatnot was how altering system settings would change your expected battery life. For example, assuming the battery tests were being done @ 1920x1080 with ~65% brightness, how long would the battery last if you turned it down to 1600x900 @ 40% brightness? How does the battery do with WiFi turned off? Can we expect significantly better battery life if we stay away from a desktop internet browser?

    Obviously, making compromises isn't supposed to be what the device is about, but I wouldn't mind doing a little bit of power management if it means I can consistently get 7-8 hours of battery out of it.

    Outside of that though, fantastic review. The WiFi speed chart blew me away; I would have NEVER assumed there was going to be that large of a gap. Really unique info in this review that other reviewers would have never thought of to work out, a lot of which is lowkey important in how the device is going to be used on a day to day basis.
    Reply
  • Cygni - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    This is a clear compromise product. Awkward to use as a laptop, awkward to use as a tablet. You know what happens to compromise products? Well, just ask Microsoft with the RT they just released.

    They fail.
    Reply
  • maximumGPU - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    it might not be the best of both worlds but for a lot of poeple it beats carrying a laptop AND a tablet. Reply
  • LetsGo - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    But you can't use it in your Lap so its rubbish as a laptop, and you can't use it as a tablet because its too heavy. so really its a portable desktop replacement with a digitizer. Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    It really depends on your point of view, what you see as shortcoming is exactly opposite of what I have in mind. I guess everyone has different needs, and NO one size fits all, of course unless you're iSheep, then one size does fit all.

    Anyway, I would love to give up my Samsung Galaxy S3(4.8" screen) and Google Nexus 7(7" screen) for the upcoming Galaxy Note 3(rumored 6.3" screen).
    *YES, I will be holding it next to my face to make phone calls, I'm already doing it on my Nexus 7 with wifi-calling.
    *YES, I can do it next to those iTiny with 3.5" or 4.0", so they can laugh at me, or I can laugh at them, lol.
    *YES, I am able to fit it into my pocket, I am currently carrying both S3 and N7 in my pockets.
    *NO, I do not have oversize pockets, they can easily fit into my work trouser and my jeans.
    *NO, I do not care about your opinion of me.
    *YES, I believe you over care about what other people thinks.

    "It's amazing that some people will do anything to 'fit in' while others will do everything to 'fit out'". -some "wise" guy
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Considering the hardware the price makes sense but it just feels too expensive. For $999 I expect the full type cover at least.

    The best thing about this is the USB port on the power brick. So you can live with 1 charger and leave the one for smartphone, eReader and other gadgets at home like when you go on vacation.
    Reply
  • Jaerba - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the great review, Anand. It confirmed my worries about the battery life and kickstand/lap usability, so I'm wondering if there's a possible battery keyboard dock on the horizon, like the Helix or Transformer Prime have. Can you even do power transfer through the magnetic clip?

    It seems like that one accessory would fix all of the major issues.
    Reply
  • Byte - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Been waiting for this since my compaq tc1000. awesome screen, but one q, is it big enough to be able to play starcrft2? Not sur ehow ivy handles sc2 but I'm hoping haswell will be able to handle it. Reply
  • althaz - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Yes it plays Starcraft 2. I have played SC2 on identical hardware and it works fairly well, obviously you'll not be playing on High or Ultra settings.

    This is one of the reasons I'm picking one up as soon as is humanly possible. Portable Starcraft machine? Check. Football Mananger PC on the train? Check. Angry Birds/web-browsing from the couch? Check. Can run visual studio and photo shop? Check.

    Winner! (I don't care about battery life past 2-3 hours and find the weight quite acceptable, ymmv).
    Reply
  • tdtran1025 - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    So it's the fastest tablet out there, but for what? RT is sluggish, Windows 8 did not take off like MS expected it to, what else is there? Maybe XBox 720 will rescue MS. Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    RT will be fine when they get tegra 4 or Snapdragon S4 pro in the next iteration along with more apps.

    Windows 8 is doing just fine, they're having decent market shares, I also bought a copy for my 5 years old (athlon x2 @ 2.5ghz) and it works great :)
    I do plan on getting that awesome Lenovo Yoga to take full advantage of touch.

    MS has more than xbox, they have the heart of business world.

    The world can live on if suddenly facebook or Apple cease to exist, but the world will crumble if Google or MS falls. Just my 2 cents, probably why Apple(fashion) stocks UPs and DOWNs like crazy, because it can easily be replaced.
    Simple test here, imagine tomorrow morning if your iphone/ipad/ipod ceased to exist, huh, just pick up some other replacements. Now imagine, tomorrow windows ceased to exist, lol, god forbid.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Scrolling in web pages, application install time, file copy time, everything is just significantly faster on Surface Pro than on any competing tablet. Oh, and it boots (from full power off) in less than 10 seconds. It’s really the combination of the great CPU performance and fast SSD that deliver the responsiveness of the Surface Pro.

    cpu performance that's all nice, questionable if it is really needed vs the reduced battery life, you get, higher cost, weight and size. but anyhow.

    NO GPU performance benchmarks? Is it really usable with the downscaled GPU ghz, typical issues with even general adobe flash games crashing with these kind of gpu, afterall that is where some of these tablets end up, a kid playing on internet games....
    Reply
  • amrs - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I'm also wondering why the SSD benchmark showed only throughput? No 4k random access or access time tests? Reply
  • jack.fxx - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Surface Pro has 5 times greater performance than competing ARM tablets with half battery life. Reply
  • nangryo - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Considering cellular cell draws more power. I think you should separate the result of the wifi test and cellular test. Because makes the Galaxy Tab chart below Surface whilst it is using cellular connection makes it a bit inaccurate Reply
  • maximumGPU - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    can someone block this douche who's been polluting a lot of AT's threads? Reply
  • milli - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    After reading this review, I have to conclude that Intel is ahead of ARM in regards to power efficiency on every front. Before this review, it was obvious that Clover Trail is competitive to the current ARM offerings on power usage and speed. And it's soon to be upgraded with the Silvermont core and 22nm.
    But Intel's i5 ULV seems to be better at performance/watt too. >5x faster while offering half the battery life. Even on a TDP level compared to Exynos 5 it's twice the power (8W vs 17W) while offering >4x the performance on the cpu front and at least 2-3x the performance on the GPU.
    With Haswell and 22nm Atoms coming, it's seems ARM's stand against Intel is going to be more short lived than many believed.
    Reply
  • LetsGo - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    In your dreams, the Nexus 10 drives a much higher resolution then the surface pro and is the first iteration of A15's. ARM chips will undercut Intel's and deliver just as good performance because the real heavy work is done in the GPU.

    Watch Intel's share price drop in the coming years.
    Reply
  • Netscorer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Your conclusion is wrong. Clover Trail may have matched ARM power consumption but is still below the par on performance and is completely pathetic in GPU performance. To add insult to injury, it is priced substantially higher then ARM chips, so good luck seeing it in many mobile devices.
    Ivy Bridge is the top dog in performance but is still far from being optimized for power consumption. Haswell will (we all hope) change that but again, at much much higher prices then ARM design. When you have a CPU alone cost $250, forget about building budget tablets around it.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    What? Clover Trail is faster than any ARM SoC except for A15 -- and A15s use more power than Clover Trail. Reply
  • powerarmour - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    $899 for a 64GB SSD with only 23GB free space... Give me a break... Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    $499 for 16GB with only 13GB free space... what the heck...
    Consumers should spend 2x$499 to get 26GB free space, haha this way they can beat surface pro in terms of non-removable space, lol.

    On the other hand, feel free to insert SD card, USB flash, USB 3.0 external, NAS and etc...
    What does the $499 offer you? They'll accuse you of stealing mp3, mp4, mp5 or whatever else they can accuse you of stealing. Yesterday they're telling you that you're holding it wrong, today they're calling you using the device the wrong way, I guess tomorrow they'll just call you stupid plain and clear so it's dummy proof ;)
    Reply
  • powerarmour - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    I think you are missing the point...

    This is a Windows x86 product we are talking about here, something that we know will eat it's own disk space in temporary files and other junk.

    Android and iOS are a 'lot' more frugal when it comes to data usage.
    Reply
  • finbarqs - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I don't know what to expect... But it seems collectively, the surface has more bad reviews than good. In fact, anand wasn't even gung-ho about the device for the first half of the review. In fact, there are just the mentions of the limitation of what the surface is.

    So let's get one thing out of the way: battery life. average life I've read around the net is 3.5-4 hrs for regular usage -- which is probably worst than the yoga pad. Now i'm just thinking... doesn't the mbp have longer battery life then this? isn't the technology out there yet?

    The surface would've been a different story if it had better battery, and came out with data plan enabled -- your favorite LTE carrier. This will make people turn heads more. I was excited to get one this weekend, but I've been put off by all the negative press...
    Reply
  • Netscorer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    What did you expect from Ivy Bridge based design where battery has to be squeezed in the 10" tablet? I am actually quite surprised the battery results come in as high as being reported. 6 hours of browsing - that is very acceptable. 5 hours of video streaming is better then most ultrabooks on the market. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    This is a topic that I wish would get more attention. I've noticed screen tearing on nearly every Windows 7 and Windows 8 laptop when outputting to an external display, whether cloning or closing the lid. It doesn't seem to matter whether it's Intel, AMD, or NVIDIA graphics hardware or whether HDMI or VGA is used. Doesn't matter if hardware acceleration is enabled in the browser, the game, or video player, the tearing still occurs. The presence and application of Vsync doesn't seem to affect it either.

    The only consistent symptom is that it is sometimes worse than other times. I suspect that Windows desktop composition is to blame in some way, but I can't prove it.
    Reply
  • dragonseer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I was waiting for the surface pro, but decided to get the Vaio Duo 11 instead because of a few extra connection options, such as ethernet, HDMI, and I appreciate the backlit slider keyboard... Sporting the same processor and complete with a stylus, I was a mystified by your closing statement that "If you’re shopping for an Ultrabook today and want that tablet experience as well, Surface Pro really is the best and only choice on the market." ??? Reply
  • Krysto - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    How many times did you redo your battery tests before you got those results, Anand?

    You usually get lower battery results than everyone else. But now you got some of the highest, while everyone else puts it at like 4h, at most.

    $1,000 for a device full of compromises, and thick and heavy as well is not worth it.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I find myself wishing the Surface design team would make a proper ultrabook. It could still be a tablet with a flip back screen like the Lenovo Yoga, just make the form factor an actual ultrabook rather than a tablet with a stand. That way they could integrate a better keyboard and mouse and potentially have a bit more room for battery and cooling. Reply
  • smalM - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    "Once again, with lower power hardware I see Microsoft being able to minimize this - but that’s a topic for Surface 2 Pro."

    And it will have to compete with the successors of iPad 4 and Nexus 10.

    "If you’re shopping for an Ultrabook today and want that tablet experience as well, Surface Pro really is the best and only choice on the market."

    That's a really small market place.
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Except, Ipad and Nexus can NEVER match a Microsoft tablet in one HUGELY important area for IT professionals, etc etc...

    x86 compatibility
    Reply
  • Dekker - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    > x86 compatibility

    True, but that brings us to the core question: Is x86 compatibility a killer feature? I'm not convinced. Two reasons:
    1) Given that x86 software relies heavily on a keyboard and mouse, it is hard to see how the tablet form factor is going to work. Stuff like building spreadsheets and editing large documents is just torture on a tablet (I have tried and tried). I immediately grab my laptop or MBA.
    2) I use my tablet for browsing, email, casual gaming, light photo editing and internet shopping. All of these are easily done with apps, none of which require much investment in time, money or file conversion. In short, x86 is an irrelevance for many types of usage.

    While I could see some future for the PRO as a corporate tablet, the lack of LTE/3G must surely be a deal breaker for many.
    Reply
  • powerarmour - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    x86 compatibility isn't a deal breaker at all, not any more.

    Even Microsoft are pushing for cross compatible RT apps. And there is a huge amount of software out there already for Android and iOS.
    Reply
  • oolzie - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I do think you should revise it to point out that you can and are probably expected to use the stylus when using desktop apps without a kb/m combo or cover. I haven't used the Pro yet, but I have used another Win8 tab with stylus and using the stylus as a finger removed nearly all of the frustration of desktop navigation in tablet mode. Reply
  • Jhlot - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    If this thing had a a dock connector/stand for when business types are at the office it would be the killer business PC to have and they would move a ton a units to big corporations. I cannot believe Microsoft failed to include a docking solution.....huge miss MS, failure of imagination and to really innovate competitively. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    I totally agree. And sure the dock/device can run 2 external displays (even if you have to disable the built in one).

    And next time support WIDI.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    well, I discovered these

    http://www.displaylink.com/shop/docks

    USB 3 docks with dual monitor connectors (different vendors have different combinations including vga,displayport,hdmi,displayport)

    Also have built in audio, usb hub, and gigabit ethernet. Some reviews seem ok. Not awesome for video and gaming (though they say it's ok), but sounds like it would be totally fine for work related tasks and you can use the tablets internet or external display for video and gaming if necessary.

    So I guess I can scratch the no dock/multi-display issues off my issues list. And now I'm seriously considering it again.

    eg
    HP 3005pr USB 3.0 Port Replicator

    http://www.fujitsu.com/uk/products/computing/pc/ac...
    Reply
  • andykins - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    That core i5 costs $225. You can get a whole Nexus 7 for that and still have change left over. ARM SOC's cost like $30, tops? Not disagreeing with you but there's more to it. Reply
  • LetsGo - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    "ARM Processor inefficient compared to Intel's Core architecture.?"

    What planet do you live on, ARM processors have enabled normal people to enjoy computing, Intel would have never enabled this because the margins were not big enough for them.

    When Arm gets its 64bit architecture on Intel is toast.
    Reply
  • denman - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Great review! Really happy you paid more attention to screen and pen overview. Would you mind to post the calibration profile (file) somewhere? Reply
  • Imaginer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    That this thing is a boon for anyone that can draw, create, and do things with the pen. It has pressure sensitivity and by this review, also tilt. Sources elsewhere says it has an eraser and a right button click. I don't know about you but having a digitizer, touchscreen in a power of an ultrabook with the dual functionality of a tablet and a ultrabook? And under or around $1000? An intuos digitizer tablet easily eats $300 if not some. So all in all, you are all nay sayers and not seeing the true potential of this. This is never meant to be a simple toy. Reply
  • guidryp - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I like Anands Technical analysis of chip features.

    But when it comes to usability I really question positive reviews of this form factor that is neither that good as a tablet (Heavy, goofy 16:9 ratio, hot, heavy, weak battery life) and not that good as a laptop (cramped keyboard, small screen, awkward hinge/kicstand).
    Reply
  • Dekker - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I don't even like the 16:9 ratio on desktops or laptops because it letterboxes most of the stuff I work on. Particularly, because toolbars, menus and window borders eat up masses of vertical space.

    On a tablet, 16:9 is pretty hopeless for the same reason. In addition, for app developers it is next to impossible to write an app that is usable in landscape and in portrait mode.

    In that sense, this review is a bit disappointing as it focuses mostly on the specs (if only it were a bit cheaper, less heavy and had more battery) and not enough on the usage model and software needed to support the tablet form factor.

    I would be interested to know if Anand was able to write an article while on the go or cover a conference using the Pro. My guess is that it can be done, but it would not be an experience worth repeating.
    Reply
  • phillyry - Saturday, February 16, 2013 - link

    Anand addressed the form factor in his Surface RT review, which he wrote on the RT. Reply
  • Da W - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Can you replace the SDD?

    I would take my Kingston Hyper X 256GB from my soon to be former laptop, i would only need to buy the 899$ 64GB version.
    Reply
  • Netscorer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    No, the SSD is soldered and you can not even access it, anyway. Your options are either to buy a 128GB version or rely more extensively on flash storage that you can add via microSD. Of course, flash is very slow, so you won't be able to drive programs off it. Reply
  • netmann - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    How do you know the SSD is soldered?!! Have you look inside the Surface pro? I don't recall Anand mention it in the review. I have not heard of SSD soldered to motherboard! Reply
  • Jaerba - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    He didn't, but the Surface Pro team just did in their reddit AMA.

    "[–]SurfaceTeam[S] 28 points 5 hours ago
    Hi, this is Ed on the development team. The internal solid state drive built into Surface is not accessible for upgrade. However, the recessed micro SD memory card slot gives you unlimited memory expandability. The SDXC slot supports the highest performance SDXC memory cards."
    Reply
  • Netscorer - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    As Mr. Smith said in Matrix, it was "inevitable". No ultrasmall portable has a luxury of extra space to accommodate for mSATA port and bracket. Same goes for memory. Reply
  • netmann - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Well, the latest update from Anand's review indicates the storage is in fact a Micron mSATA SSD. I suspected this because the MS Surface has eMMC as storage which has a lot slower performance.

    I do not think mSATA SSD could be soldered onto the motherboard so most likely it is a separate card that is connected to a slot on the motherboard similar to Apple MBP or Asus Zenbook, therefore it could be upgraded to a larger storage and faster mSATA. The question remains if the mSATA is a standard one or is it a propriety Blade (Gum Stick) one?
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    The Samsung ATIV Pro has an mSata SSD which is user replaceable. Reply
  • thecoldanddarkone - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I really like this review it recognizes the strength and weaknesses of the platform. I've seen a lot of really bad reviews on the surface pro. Some of the complaints are because the reviewer doesn't know how to use windows 8 (it's a desktop os, it has options, it's not Microsoft's fault you couldn't find different lock options...), others want to complain about the kickstand for 5 paragraphs and others expected it to act like an Ipad. It's not a perfect product, but it's what I would consider as a baseline product. I'm hoping this forces oem's to make better and cheaper products that are like this. That will resolve much of the software situation for windows 8, most of the scaling issues are a result of lazy programmers. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Because most people who are hardware reviewers see red flags only.. $899.. And the rest of the review is based on that..

    Surface Pro is the MOST productive tablet available. BY FAR. Why? because it's a PC in tablet form.
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Has there been any talk/musings about a hybrid APU featuring both an Atom and the traditional Ivy Bridge/Haswell cores on a single die??

    I believe your last podcast mentioned the Octus or Octal or whatever in the ARM space. Seems like for a powerful, but mobile Surface Pro, this is a no brainer. If I want to switch to battery life mode and get 9-10 hours, Win 8 can be made to only schedule on the Atoms and power gate off Haswell.

    Or does Intel really believe they can get Haswell and beyond into the power space of Atom/ARM??
    Reply
  • dcianf - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    The review said that in power saver mode it runs at 800MHz. Can you force the low clock rate? If so, how would performance and battery life compare to ARM? Reply
  • Netscorer - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    That's actually a good point. Anand delivered performance charts based on fully powered core i5 and battery results based on clocked chip at 800MHz. Many people don't realize that you don't get both (and review does not help to highlight that difference) - either you are using it in light mode for stated hours or you run some complex program and have to be always connected because CPU would seep power like a thirsty kid on hot afternoon. Reply
  • marco89nish - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I also want to see how much battery life you can get on power saving mode. Peformance would also be nice, but it's predictable I guess, So, please, battery life on power saving mode. I registered to post this comment. Reply
  • smartypnt4 - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Anand, are you guys planning on reviewing the ASUS TAICHI21? The base model is $1300, which is only $170 more than the Surface Pro with a Type Cover, and it solves the lap usage problem while maintaining mostly the same battery life. I'll grant that it's a bit heavier, but I've got one and I absolutely love it. Those screens are just stunning. Reply
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    That was just another scam by InHell. Reply
  • twotwotwo - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    The Pro seems, in this and other reviews, to always get the unfavorable comparison on each dimension--it's not a thinner, lighter thin-and-light, it's either a heavy, bulky iPad or a bit slow for the most advanced games, depending on context.

    Microsoft seems to be betting that some folks can live with tradeoffs to get a super portable fully-functional computer. I really hope they're right; I'd like my next computer to be like this, and I'll have more options if this (or something like the Acer W700--I'd happily lose the pen and apparently unreliable covers) does well.
    Reply
  • scsi stud - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Hi Anand,

    Would yod mind posting up a screenshot of the Surface Pro's desktop in full 1080p resolution? I'm curious to see how an application like Visual Studio 2012 would look like.

    My hopes for this device were to be my go-to device for sitting on my couch writing code after I put my kids to sleep...

    Thanks in advance.
    Reply
  • spencer.p - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I am curious, Anand, if you can test to see if the Surface Pro works with the widi standard that Intel is pushing out and if it's also possible to get the Surface Pro to a 30" dual-link DVI monitor via one of those mini-displayport to dual-link DVI adapters. I am really curious if the Surface Pro will be able to meet my use case. Reply
  • WCHS - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Sorry Anand, this is not the only solution. The best solution to this question is Ipad Mini + Ultrabook. I hate it when companies try to combine two good things and end up with one bad one. I don't even notice my Mini being in my ultrabook bag. I get both - I get long battery life, ultimate portability, full applications access when I need it, and can even use both at the same time - for the almost the same price as Surface Pro + keyboard. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    but you have the downside of your data being split between multiple devices... you download your mail twice, your music twice, whatever it is you work on twice... or you do entirely different things on both so there is no overlap.

    Or you read an email on your tablet because it's more convenient (this happens to me all the time), but you need to respond and you need to type a fair amount and sometimes include files or content that's on your laptop. So you end up switching devices. Maybe it's just me, but this happens to me a lot.

    I'm not sure if surface pro is quite good enough yet, it's unclear to me whether it can drive two external monitors and I'd really rather have 256gb of internal storage. So maybe surface pro 2. I'd happily give up a separate laptop + tablet. Just like I happily gave up mp3 player + phone and often use my camera phone instead of my nice DSLR. Convenience will win in the end.
    Reply
  • WCHS - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    No, that is the point - you mostly do "different things" on the two devices. Even for the common things - at least they are possible. A Surface Pro will never be an ereader. The other point is that the Ipad Mini has shown that the sweet spot for a handheld tablet is "smaller, especially lighter " than an Ipad 2,3,4 - not heavier. Thats it - the Surface Pro is not "handheld". Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Could be right. I'm certainly not unhappy with the size or weight of my ipad, but it also rarely leaves my house.

    I could take a 7" tablet with me easily... but I recently bough a galaxy note 2, which is another hybrid device, and I personally quite like it.

    I could see myself liking the surface pro for many of the same reasons I like the note 2. But it sounds like the current surface pro isn't quite there yet.
    Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I'd like to see a roundup comparing Win8 i5 convertibles, namely the Surface Pro, the Samsung Ativ 700T, the Dell XPS 12 (the one that has a crazy swinging flippy hinge), the Lenovo Yoga 13, the Asus ones, Taichi and the others.

    All of these devices have severe drawbacks.
    The Surface pro is heavy and has no real keyboard or stand. The storage issue is a big joke. Probably the worst option of all.
    The Yoga 13 is large, heavy and the keyboard is exposed.
    The Dell XPS 12 is a slightly smaller Yoga and the keyboard isn't exposed on tablet mode.
    The Ativ 700T is my favourite so far. Too bad it has a poor connection between the screen and dock..

    I think each manufacturer should make a 10", 11", 13" of their tablets. IMHO 13.3" 1080p is more than enough to replace a 15.6".
    Reply
  • faizoff - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    "The Surface pro is heavy and has no real keyboard or stand. The storage issue is a big joke. Probably the worst option of all."

    Just curious what is the big joke about storage? It's plainly listed what you're going to get and like any other windows OS you can experiment on your own to maximize space.
    Reply
  • Doominated - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Lol, if you think the Surface Pro has a "storage problem" you should try checking out some Yogapad setups. I've seen as little as 60 gigs partitioned to the C Drive out of the box.

    Sorry to break it to you, but the Surface Pro only has a storage space issue if you have absolutely no clue what you're doing with Windows. It takes all of 10 minutes to get yourself up to almost 100 GB of usable storage. Even more if you buy an mSDXC card.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I liked the review overall. And I hope you make a video review for this as well. :D

    That said, I did notice some oddities.
    First, I find it strange that you compare this so much to ARM based tablets. To me, there is a mountain between those 2 kinds of devices. The comparison to Ultrabooks is much more apt. :)
    Secondly, the way you treat calibrated displays. You state:
    "Given that the majority of users don’t do any color calibration on their PCs, this becomes a real problem for consumer perception if your tablet doesn’t ship with accurate colors by default."
    All I have read on that issue is that our eyes are pretty good at adjusting to different color schemes. So unless you use one device that is calibrated exactly and one that is off, you will not notice a device being "wrong". So for most people, it is a non-issue. Then, you praise Apple for doing the calibration, which is fine because it is an extra service they provide (how much value it is to the standard customer is another matter). But what you don't say is that calibration is not eternal. At least everything I've read on the issue says that you have to calibrate displays every few weeks in order to ensure the continued accuracy of the results. Do tablet/laptop displays operate differently where they don't need recalibration down the road? Because if they do need recalibration, than that whole first calibration is looking much less desirable to me. If I need accurate colors, I have the necessary tools to get it myself. If I don't need it a simple calibration by eye is enough to give me a good result (compare the picture to my PC or TV monitor so that everything looks equal and is easy on the eyes).
    Thirdly, your desire for TB. That is simply a personal taste thing and you make that very clear, so I have nothing to criticize. :D I just wanted to say that I do not look at a TB port when buying my PC stuff. The TB enabled things out there are not for me (too expensive, too useless), it adds cost and energy consumption to devices. So I'm pretty happy that MS isn't supporting it here. Unless it comes integrated in the PCH, I don't want it.

    That's all I wanted to say. :)
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Oh, one thing more: Please add metric units to the imperial ones. :) Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Damn, forgot something else: I'm really disappointed by the power adapter. I would like to see everything that is in a reasonable power envelope (sub 60W) to use a PSU attached to the plug (for the wall socket) and not half way between the plug for the wall socket and the device plug. Reply
  • Imaginer - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvR_3OTxs8A# at 3 minutes in.

    That is the reason I detest bricks that have the prongs in them versus a cord.
    Reply
  • rwei - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    One item that I think would be helpful in the Win8 convertible reviews is an overview of what is out there and what is coming - and your views on them.

    Particularly with all the different solutions being implemented to "how do I make a convertible tablet/laptop?", it would be useful to let users know what their options are and will be.

    For example, I saw a picture of the Thinkpad Helix a few days ago and was overcome with happiness since that speaks to my particular use cases. Off the top of my head I can also think of:
    - XPS 2 (rotating screen)
    - Thinkpad Yoga (360 degree keyboard)
    - Vaio 12 (slider)
    - Aspire S7 (180 degree keyboard)
    - Another one (Fujitsu?) that was just really confusing...

    But then I read a disturbingly large amount of tech news. I'm pretty sure many others would find an overview like this interesting.
    Reply
  • Tams80 - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    There are three Fujitsu types:

    Slate: Q572
    Dock: Q702
    Convertible (swivel): T902, T732
    Reply
  • Montevale - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link


    So how about the PEN???
    How about letting us know if the pen is accurate?
    Is it as responsive on the edges of the screen as it is in the middle of the screen?
    What if the screen is rotated?
    What if it is used by a leftie?
    Does the cursor shift if the pen is tilted?
    Does calibration of the pen make any difference?

    Pen support is natively built into the OS in Windows and unlike the S-Pen on the android there is no need for the special app support.
    Handwritten notes in MS OneNote are actually searchable by default.
    You can annotate Word and Excel native files add drawings in Outlook to the typed emails as your own annotations and mix text and drawings together.
    For the first time a windows device is truly portable with a Pen!!!
    Reply
  • JimTC - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Ditto! Those are the issues that are the tipping point for me. Reply
  • JimTC - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I've been waiting with baited breath for what feels like ages for something like this - thank you, well done!

    Now - I only wish I could find as comprehensive a review on how this handles One Note so that I can really know if I can finally go truly paperless (including design notes, diagrams, calc's, meeting minutes, etc, etc.). If this machine (and software) can do it, I'll be one very happy camper!

    Thanks again! - fresh air!
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I disagree with Anand which is rare. I think this device is a very poor tablet and laptop and will not sell. Reply
  • althaz - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    It's not a good laptop (it's better than a laptop for what I want though), but it's a brilliant portable computer and a very fast, very nice to use tablet (wouldn't say it's a good tablet for most folks, as the battery life is poor and the weight will be an issue for most).

    For me it's the best device on the market. It's a portable desktop, it's a drawing tablet, it's a powerful tablet and it's going to be fantastic for playing football manager on the train.

    I for SURE would prefer a version with half the weight, double the battery life and triple the graphics performance for under $500, but seeing as there's nothing on the market that can match the Surface Pro at anything like the same price point, I'm getting one. The closest I've tried is Samsung's Ativ, which is $300 more and has no support for a pen as well as not being as high quality.

    When this becomes literally the perfect device (at version 3 or 4 most likely), then I'll upgrade and give this bad-boy away. But until then, this is the best there is for those that DON'T WANT A LAPTOP. I've got a laptop. It's useless to me. It's too bulky to use comfortably on the train or couch and the attached keyboard is annoying when I'm using it as a moveable desktop.
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    The Samsung Ativ Pro has pen support. It comes with one which docks to the body. Which is pressure sensitive (not sure how many levels). Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Can I ask you an honest question ? Would you have ever been interested in the Surface otherwise(for instance with better battery life) ?
    I'm asking since I've read AppleInsider and read your posts there(and melgross'). Would you have purchased anything else other than Apple hardware and abandoned OSX ?
    Reply
  • kyuu - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Lol? You only agree with Anand when he gives glowing reviews of Apple products. Reply
  • chizow - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    I really like the idea behind Surface, but it just needs some refinement and improvements in hardware that only time and process fabrication brings.

    20% faster CPU speed, 50% better battery life, 40% smaller form factor, and 25% lower price ($700-750 range with a cover included) and I think Microsoft has a real winner here. Hopefully they aren't scared away by the RT's lackluster sales and stay on course with consistent upgrades for Surface.

    I think the only questions now are...whether Microsoft will follow the insane 10-12 month upgrade cycle behind tables/smartphones, or the longer 18-24 month cycles of CPU/GPU. Or maybe they go the silent upgrade route similar to Alienware and Apple with their laptop offerings. Just silently upgrade components within the same model with major changes every few years.

    I personall hope they go with the tablet/smartphone upgrade path because that means we'll get faster upgrades and increases in performance.
    Reply
  • Jaerba - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Go on Newegg right now and find a laptop, any laptop regardless of size, that has 1080p resolution, a 100GB+ SSD and an i5 or i7. The closest you'll get are refurbed Zenbooks, and the rest are $1500+ offerings from Lenovo, Asus, Sony, etc.

    The pricing is simply not the issue, especially for the business user market. It's completely fair given the components.
    Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Wrong, low power, small form factor Ultrabooks are in the same price range and even use most of the same components down to the CPU. Afterall, Microsoft is limited to common components and didn't get any special consideration from Intel for Surface.

    http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/pro...

    As for the pricing, I'm not sure why you are comparing to Ultrabook, might as well compare it to the Titanic. Microsoft's entire reason for coming out with the Surface was to bridge the gap between the PC and tablet/mobile platforms, but in order to offer an appealing alternative, they can't price it like a PC, otherwise they'll share the same fate with that dying market.

    Surface is going to compete against $200-$500 smart phones and tablets, not $1000-$1500 Ultrabooks, and as such, it needs to get closer to that $200-$500 price point.
    Reply
  • althaz - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    I'm actually a lot more ok with the price than I am with some of the other compromises (but I accept most of them as nessecary for now).

    I think $799 for the 128Gb with a touch cover would be the perfect price and I DEFINITELY think the touch cover should be included in the $999 price, but at the end of the day it's certainly a FAIR price.

    It's just not a great or even GOOD price.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Comparing it with iOS and Android tabs is just ludicrous. It's not even in the same class of device. The tablet form factor does not dictate a low-performance, low-price device just because that's what you're used to.

    I would agree with Anand that a touch-/type-cover should be included for the price, though.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    agreed. Like anand said, the intel cpu alone is more than a nexus 7.
    And it uses a real SSD with 400MB/s reads, not emmc with 30MB/s.

    It's not a great deal, but it's not a ripoff either. I don't consider price the issue at all on this one.

    Surface RT on the other hand is overpriced.
    Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    No, it's not in the same class as iOS or Android devices in terms of hardware or even app/content compatibility, but that's the market it is competing with or hoping to cannibilize. People who want a portable cross-over device that gives them the flexibility and mobility of their tablets and smartphones with the power of their laptop/ultrabook.

    People will be asking themselves if they want to spend $200-400 on a iOS/Android tablet and a $500-600 laptop OR if they want to spend $1000 on a Surface + type pad. Many will find the combination of 2 devices suits their needs better than the Jack of all trades Master of None approach of the Surface.

    Does the Surface do a good job of hitting it's mark? Yes. Does it do a good enough job to make you ditch your tablet/handheld OR your Ultrabook, or both? Probably not. It's not quite yet there in form factor, performance or price, imo. But I guess we will see how the market responds. I think it needs to drop to $700-$800 before it really takes off with at least 1 iteration of hardware improvements.
    Reply
  • Doominated - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Comparisons are made off of what the device can do, not what it looks like. What the Surface Pro does is in line with Ultrabooks, not with tablets. It just happens to look like a tablet.

    If you buy a mini-fridge that looks like a TV, are you going to start comparing it to TVs and what they can do, or to what mini-fridges can do? It's a pretty obvious answer.
    Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    What a device can do and what it looks like are integral to one another as form and function are synonymous. The edge the Surface has over other devices however is with content, applications and performance, you can get better compatibility and functionality in this regard but then you lose the tablet form factor and end up with an Ultrabook in terms of form factor and pricing.

    Ultimately, this device is going to be compared to tablets and smartphones because that's where the industry is going. Smaller, portable, handheld, easy to use, touch friendly devices. That's why the Surface exists, if not, we'd all be buying Ultrabooks. How many of you own Ultrabooks...how many of you want one?
    Reply
  • kyuu - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    I'm looking to get a mobile device with part of my tax return. I have zero interest in an iOS or Android tablet. What I'm looking at currently:

    1) Vizio's Hondo-based Tablet PC that was shown at CES.
    2) Vizio's 2nd gen thin+lights, 14" model with touch screen and AMD A10

    So basically, an ultrabook (thin+light) or a tablet are the only mobile devices I'm interested in. A normal laptop is too heavy and bulky for me to reguarly take with me out of the house. The Surface Pro would be in consideration, but the price is a little higher than I'm willing to spend (and should *really* include one of the covers).
    Reply
  • atl - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    42W 2 cell battery means 2 x 6 amps Li-ion cells (probably cut at 90% to increase cycles).

    As Li-ion charges from 0% to 70% at 1C, it requires 6amp charger.
    Supplied charger just doubles the fast-charge period
    Reply
  • kawatwo - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Would like to see some Win 8 tablets with Core I3 and weight under 1.5 pounds. 2 pounds is a bit heavy for a tablet. Needs to include the Type keyboard as well. But overall what an awesome device. I'm sure other PC makers will get it right in the not real distant future. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    Acer will have a newer version of the W700 with a 7W SDP Ivy Bridge chip that is 20% thinner than their current model (around 8mm), so it's certainly possible. Reply
  • phillyry - Saturday, February 16, 2013 - link

    Graphics would blow on an i3 and make the touch based interface borderline unusable. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    I think Microsoft got into building their own hardware here because they felt forced to; no one was building the kind of quality device they wanted. I think Nokia and HTC need to step their games up too if they don't want a Microsoft phone to come along and take their business away (or relegate it to the cheap seats). I like this approach, and hope they do kick the phone industry on the pants, because none of them are what I'd really call "good". (I'm talking ALL smart phones, not just Win 8 phones - phones that really don't take much of a back seat to anything else on the market, overall.)

    THE one thing that kills the Surface for me is the 16:9 screen. that's okay for a tablet I suppose, but the Surface isn't about being "okay", and I think it's a slam in the face of a real quality experience. It puts the iPad out of the picture in every other way (in my opinion), but in this way, the iPad still pretty much kills everyone else.
    Reply
  • Netscorer - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Nobody else is building these because there is not enough demand. Microsoft can afford to chuck up all the costs that gone into Surface as marketing for Windows 8 OS, but if you are a typical PC manufacturer who operates on razor thin margins, you won't be able to afford to do what it takes to create an iPad killer. Add to this that neither Intel, nor Microsoft are giving you much of a slack on prices for core and Windows and that market for $1000+ laptops is already very small to begin with and you get the picture. Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    I know it was a windows 7 tablet, but it to runs on a core i5 and 2gb of RAM. Have you guys never bench marked it, to include it in the graphs, in comparison to the newest? Reply
  • Silma - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    While it is perfectly clear to me that with a much bigger processor power consuption will be bigger than a way slower arm, hence it is to be expected that ultrabooks/surfaces can't have the same battery life as an iPad or nexus tablet, I don't understand the extreme différences seen in video playback benchmarks.

    On this benchmark I would of course expect Windows 8 offering to use a little more power than on an ios / android tablet due to the overhead of a bigger os, but here the différences are huge.

    Here I think Microsoft and Intel could optimize greatly the power usage for 720p and 1080p mp4 playback.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Agreed. Reply
  • netmann - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Nice review Anand! It seems there is a lot of interest on this device. If you still have the unit can you please do a quick tear-down of the unit with pictures showing the cooling fans, SSD, memory, etc? Reply
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Fantastic review!

    Random thought I've had about Surface since it was unveiled...doesn't a keyboard dock like what HP includes with their Envy x2 make more sense than these touch/type covers?

    I mean I get that some people use covers anyway, and leave them on (I don't on my iPad 2), and so you're sort of getting a keyboard always there for "free" for those people.

    But at least judging by pictures, the touch and even type covers appear to be terrible keyboards, and look really awkward. The kickstand is nifty, I guess, but HP's Envy x2 (and some others) are basically giving you a normal notebook keyboard you plug it into, and it becomes almost indistinguishable from a notebook. That gives you a better keyboard, unlimited angles to put the screen at, and also makes it easier to sit it on your lap and type, if need be.

    I haven't used either type of device yet, but from pictures it sure seems like a dock like that would be preferable to a type cover/pad?

    This really is an interesting product though...I thought Apple needed to do this 4 years ago, like in place of what the iPad turned out to be, I was hoping it would be a real OS X PC running on Atom with an optional touch interface-basically exactly what Windows 8 ended up being.

    I know these will get massively better even later this year with Haswell (or heck, Tegra 4), but I'm still so tempted both by Surface Pro and that Envy x2... (wish that used AMD's Z60 instead of Atom though). Hmm...an additional battery in a keyboard dock could double Surface Pro's battery life too...

    And yeah, to me it seems like this ought to come with a type cover. I can understand and accept the price-this is an actual PC running hardware that runs circles around an iPad that's only marginally cheaper-but somehow it just seems like these things should be including keyboards.
    Reply
  • TidalWaveOne - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    "f you’re shopping for an Ultrabook today and want that tablet experience as well, Surface Pro really is the best and only choice on the market."

    There is at least one other device for that ultrabook/tablet experience... the Dell XPS 12. I have one on order... there are also more, like the Lenovo Yoga.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Different designs in my opinion. The Dell has the burden of always carrying around that keyboard, which means you have a 1.5kg tablet. The CPU, RAM and storage options look pretty good on that. But it lacks a digitizer which might or might not be a huge deal for you. Same thing with the Yoga. Very big (13.3"), low-ish resolution (900p), always a keyboard attatched, no active digitizer. Again, these things might be important enough to make the devices pretty much distinct categories. Or you just want "laptop-ish, touch screen, Core CPU" then they are all comparable. :D
    The closest things to the Surface Pro in my mind are:
    - Lenovo Helix: 11.6", 1080p, keyboard dock, active digitizer, 3G
    - Samsung Ativ PC Pro: 11.6", 1080p, keyboard dock without battery, active digitizer, 3G
    With the Lenovo being my dream device, because of the battery built into the keyboard dock mostly. But the dock design is fairly cool, too. :D
    Reply
  • travelster - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Almost two years ago I picked up an ASUS EP121 10 inch Tablet. It came with an i5 processor and Windows 7. I now have Windows 8 on it. Win 7 and 8 runs extremely well, as does Word, MS Project, VMWare, RDP, and all other apps I can run on Windows desktops and laptops. I.e. The Surface Pro's grand vision of a full-service Windows tablet was old news even before long it was released!

    Glenn Rogers
    DBGallery Product Manager
    Reply
  • sn_85 - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    After playing around with this at the Microsoft Store today I came away feel like it was a mixed bag. I feel the build quality is really impressive and I have no qualms about the unusual nature of it's kickstand and keyboard covers. It just feels like a wonderfully solid design that takes on a more business like approach with it's VaporMg and straight line design. Honestly I just wish it came in the form factor of the Surface RT because what a difference a half pound and 3.5mm can really make. The thick form factor and weight just make it much more cumbersome to hold and I wouldn't see myself holding this thing in one for two long at all. Before anyone calls me a weight weenie you really just have to hold it in person and compare the Pro the RT before make a statement, it's a pretty significant difference. I hope the next iteration takes on a diet and comes closer to the form factor of the Surface RT because it still retains the impressive build quality without all the thickness and weight.

    Battery of course is another area of concern. If this thing got closer to 6-7 hours like some of the longer lasting Ultrabooks it would be a real winner IMO.

    The price I feel is fine but the keyboard covers need to be included in the price. I know it's a unique design but there is no reason for MSFT to be nickel and diming here, especially in the case of the Pro. Fact is anyone looking at this device will buy either one of the Touch or Typecovers but to just spend another $120-$130 on it is excessive.

    Ultimately I think this device is what most reviews say, you can see the tremendous potential and it is impressive in it's own right. It just misses on a few key things that keep it from being a product that is universally recommended as opposed to what it is right now where you need to know what you're getting into. I feel just like Anand on this, the Surface Pro 2 is simply going to be an awesome product. One that I'd buy on launch day. That being said I still might get this Surface Pro until that time comes.
    Reply
  • sirnumbskull@gmail.com - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    Can you verify whether or not the Surface Pro has Widi support? Reply
  • Kornfeld - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    WiDi is an Intel technology that requires, among other things, supported Intel WiFi adapters. Since Surface Pro uses a Marvell WiFi adapter, it cannot possibly use WiDi.

    The real question is whether it will support Miracast which is the larger spec being adopted by the WiFi alliance. I'm not sure if that specific adapter supports Miracast. I found this press release, but I'm not sure about the part numbers: http://www.marvell.com/company/news/pressDetail.do...

    The bigger problem with Miracast right now is that there doesn't seem to be any connection software available for Windows. So, I'm sitting around with a Yoga that has a Miracast supported WiFi adapter and I have the latest Netgear device that supports WiDi and Miracast, but no application that can be used to connect to the device.
    Reply
  • toyotabedzrock - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    Looking at the pictures it becomes apparent that they did not pay enough attention to small details. The random 5 pin connector looks ripe for problems. And sticks out like a soar thumb.

    The display resolution is too low on both models. And there is no excuse for the small batteries.

    It seems as if the execs at these PC companies eyes are failing them if they have not noticed these things.
    Reply
  • redSn0w - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    Just wondering if Microsoft could have gotten better battery life by using a Core i3 or even some pentium/celeron derivative. The way i see it, the 3 main drawbacks are the price, battery life and thickness/weight of device. So, maybe using one of the aforementioned processors for the first generation product would have helped. And, they could have moved to Core i5 when Haswell started shipping.
    I seriously doubt that any power user could replace their notebook/desktop with a Surface pro unless you could dock it to a bigger screen and a proper keyboard. As for the regular users i don't think too many of them would even be interested in a product like this when an iPad works for them.
    Anyways, i'm still going to go check it out tomorrow but most likely i'll wait for the next generation product (if it's ever released).
    Reply
  • HoushaSen - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    Aside from the weight (1.8 lbs), the lenovo's upcoming Core hybrid tablet/ultrabook have one major advantage, which is the battery life. To be honest, 1.8lbs vs. 2.0lbs won't make a difference for me as anything over 1.5 lbs is just not comfortable to hold in one hand i.e. either way it won't work as pure tablet for me.

    So the true major benefit of getting Helix over the Surface Pro for me was the battery life. Despite both system having the identical battery capacity (42W), Lenovo claims 10 hours battery life because it has the battery equipped keyboard dock.

    If MS truly releases one for Surface Pro, and obviously for the reasonable price I think the advantage of Helix goes away (remeber helix starts at $1499).

    Plus when MS is designing this new keyboard, I hope they have also put lap friendly design for consideration as well to solve that issue.

    But since battery life has been listed as one of the major downside of this device everywhere, I think MS should simply announce the dock on its way officially to at least make most people believe there is a way to extend battery life. Anyways, this is just my opinion.
    Reply
  • Jaerba - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    They teased the hell out of a battery keyboard dock during their AMA, so I expect it's on its way. I just wish they'd 100% confirm it and give a date.

    Really, a keyboard dock could solve three of its major problems (battery life, multiple viewing positions and keyboard quality.) You'd really just have the text scaling issue as the one major gripe.
    Reply
  • IUU - Saturday, February 09, 2013 - link

    So you get a computing device that is 5 times to more than an order of magnitude powerful compared to arm devices and still getting half the battery life, for not quite double the price?

    Not taking into consiferation that the next generation of Intel's processors will be significantly more efficient?

    Being able to run any x86(legacy ... lol) program without relying on an "app" store?

    Being able to expand and transfer memory any way you want, even managing to run demanding desktop programs, even though a bit slower than a desktop?

    Sounds like a pretty good deal to me(compared to arm offerings), though something normal and expected in the pc world!
    Reply
  • Tams80 - Saturday, February 09, 2013 - link

    It looks good, but I think the Thinkpad Helix will probably be a better option when it's released, even though it will be more expensive. For someone like me, this would be a considerable purchase no matter what, so I'm more than prepared to pay more. The Fujitsu Q702 could be contender, but the display resolution is poor and the Sony Duo 11 is tempting, but is not a dock tablet and has limited keyboard space.

    My ideal tablet PC is a pipe dream.
    -Something like the Fujitsu T902, but being a dockable/detachable, with a swivel 'docking bracket''.
    -Ideally a dGPU - an AMD APU (with -G graphics) paired with AMD -M graphics in hybrid crossfire. The dGPU would be in the dock.
    -mSata SSD in the tablet/lid
    -HHD/SSD in dock
    -modular bay in dock
    -Anytime USB charge on at least two USB ports
    -USB 3.0 ports, one/two on tablet, at least two on dock
    -LightPeak/Thunderbolt/whatever that mess seems to be doing
    -Active digitiser - Wacom Penabled still appears to be the best
    -SD/other card reader
    -large trackpad on dock with physical buttons
    -13.3 display
    -1920x1200 display (or double that resolution)
    -ample bezel buttons
    -at least acceptable speakers
    -1080p webcam, or whatever the marketing term used now is
    -some decent microphones
    -trackpoint/whatever other companies call it?
    -ExpressCard? Is there an updated version?
    -not sure about a rear camera - rather pointless on such a device

    Yeah. That's never going to happen.
    Reply
  • topdomino - Saturday, February 09, 2013 - link

    In december, you called the Dell XPS 12 "the coolest ultrabook around" and mentioned that fliping the screen creates a tablet.
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6510/holiday-2012-ul...

    Given that the specs on the 128 GB Surface Pro and the current base model of the Dell XPS 12 are so similar:
    Surface Pro: 1.6GHz base clock, 4 GB Ram @ 1600MHz, Intel HD 4000 graphics, 128 GB SSD, $1,128 (with Type cover);
    Dell XPS 12: 1.7GHz base clock, 4 GB Ram @ 1333MHz, Intel HD 4000 graphics, 128 GB SSD, $1,199 (comes with keyboard);

    I would have expected a direct comparison between them to be the most useful one.
    Reply
  • bogieworf - Saturday, February 09, 2013 - link

    Comes down to whether you want a PC that is more like a tablet or a laptop. That smaller dimensions of the Pro are simply more tablet like, Of the two, the XPS is probably the better bet right now.

    Because it is convertible size, it has fewer tablet like demansd made of it. For example, I never heard of the XPS 12 being slammed for battery life like the Pro because the XPS battery life is in line with most convertibles on the market. The larger size also allows for a better keyboard. It also has a wider, and more convertible like array of specs.

    The Pro is tablet size and people expect it to perform like a tablet. Unfortunately, that requires Haswell and probably a cellular option as well. Both will probably come with the Pro 2.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, February 10, 2013 - link

    All I read there is "cater to the stupidest among us". The XPS12 looks less like a tablet so less people will expect it to behave like a tablet as opposed to the Surface Pro? How brain damaged should we expect consumer to be?
    Actually, pretty brain damaged if I go by most reviews, which treat the Surface Pro as an iPad competitor and rank it accordingly. It boggled my mind.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Saturday, February 09, 2013 - link

    How come none of them appeared in the battery life section? They actually, in some cases, destroy the competion in performance and battery life? Reply
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, February 10, 2013 - link

    How would an Atom powered anything destroy a Core i-5 powered anything (or anything that is above a Celeron really)? Battery life? Sure. But what good is 6 hours of continuous use when you have to limit what you actually can do with it vs. 3 to 4 hours of continuous use without limits? If you need the battery life and don't need the performance, the choice is clear. And vice versa. :)
    I would have liked to see a comparison with the Samsung XE700T and the Acer W700 (which is perfect except for lacking a digitizer). But I can understand that they don't have everything.
    Reply
  • lmcd - Sunday, February 10, 2013 - link

    but I'm more interested in what happens when Google puts out a better version of their Chrome mobile browser. As noted, the Nexus 10 wasn't that horribly off from the Surface Pro, and I think with some OS optimization (or replacement with a nice KDE Plasma Active setup :-) a Nexus 10 + keyboard dock of some kind would knock out the Surface Pro and RT in one shot. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    How about they put all the bulk in the keyboard section, attach it permanently, and get rid of the kickstand? That way you could use it anywhere, even on your lap! Sounds much better.

    Seriously though, this is a painfully awkward gimmick, and I'd much rather have an ultraportable laptop.
    Reply
  • Patrice - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    I'm a prof photograph and film maker. I use my PCs with adobe production suite and other sotfwares. I have a light version on my laptop too when on a shooting but I thought that the Surface Pro, with a smaller footprint would be the perfect tool as an enhanced monitor and controler (different applications) for my cameras. My wife received an ipad 4 for Christmas and since then I tried to find a usefull application beyond what a 15 year old would do with the thing unfortunately I'm still on the quest of findings something productive (work related) beside converting my ipad into a slate (which I don't need) or a remote control for my tv or my pc.

    The surface pro looks like a good, (I do not intent to edit or do any post prod on it) idea but if I understand correctly the product has the same disease as the ipad stuff; no video input! I understand Apple's business model to brickwall the user whitin the "I"universe but MS? Why can't I use the Surface as a monitor? After all it offers more than decent quality? Why should it be limited to an AV output??? If my understanding of the product is right, that's a big no no for me, I'm still stuck with a laptop.

    The battery drama is real only when you compare the product with non-computer product like Android and the i stuff, I do not have any problem with that as I have a ton of very good batteries that will power the Surface for a long time except that I would need a 12vdc charger (lighter plug) that is not offer on MS shop.

    Why is it that when buyng a $1200 I have less technical details then buying a $10 toater? Tried to get an idea about power consumption; over the battery stuff, there is no info, idle power amps, low work load, heavy. I know it depends but would be easy to set a minimum and maximum. The point being that this piece of hardware should be used in more remote location and situation for people than needs the power and freedom of use, this is not for the kids chatting on facebook, this is for working people that needs to do the other stuff.
    Reply
  • crispbp04 - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    it has a usb3.0 port, how do you not consider that an option for av input? Reply
  • Soda-88 - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    Does anyone know what type of SSD is in the Surface Pro? Is it replaceable with bigger mSATA drive for example? Reply
  • Soda-88 - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    Nevermind, just saw this:
    Update: It looks like the C400 SSD is an mSATA drive, likely similar to the one we reviewed here a while back.
    Reply
  • Marq - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    I feel anandtech is spot on with their view of microsofts product: essentially an ultra book with tablet capabilities. If you were to take such a view you'll find the surface pro rather pleasing. It's funny the way some argue against it. They say the androids and ioses can do the same things and are worth more. A 128gb iPad @ 900usd needs an additional Bluetooth keyboard, can't take USB and is stuck at how much it's given. What's the difference? Yes it gets 9hrs of life. But it can't do photoshop; it can't do GIS applicationS it can't do serious video editing. This device and many others like it (Lenovo, Samsung etc) strides the boundary between tablets and ultra book.

    This and upcoming generations will make mobile computing true. The androids and iPads are stuck by their oses limitations and will never be able to do what this device does (and they are not meant to).

    I will seriously consider this over the MacBook Air if I didn't have one already. The life is similar but the surface pro is smaller and comes with a pen to boot.
    Reply
  • dijuremo - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Surface Pro is easily the fastest tablet on the market today.


    The Samsung ATIV Pro 700 has been out since December of last year packing the same CPU, 4GB of ram and 128GB SSD. Claiming that the Surface Pro is easily the fastest tablet on the market just sounds as if you were paid to write this review....

    http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/tablet-pcs/XE70...
    Reply
  • JLQ - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    So far I've actually enjoyed using this device except for the fact that there are no WinTab drivers for the Wacom digitizer. That means no pressure sensitivity in many graphics applications like Photoshop and Corel Painter, which is a huge bummer for me. Lisa Gade is the only reviewer that I've seen that discusses this.

    For now, I'm waiting and seeing if WinTab drivers will be provided in the near future. Otherwise, I'm making do with ArtRage for the time being, given that it supports Microsoft's newer pen API and thus does register pressure-sensitive input. Touch controls (pan, zoom, rotate) are an added plus.
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    I agree with you. I too enjoyed light gaming, CADing, and used ArtRage. Corel Painter 12 doesn't support pressure, but finger pinch zoom and two finger rotate works. I do not understand the people saying the better option is making do with price equivalent of a ARM tablet and a laptop.

    For as I used my Kindle Fire, I wished I can view things as smoothly as my PC and work with it better in terms of input, both hardware and software. I like my Envy 14 1st generation laptop, but I have and still do an awkward disconnect with using my Intros with it. Even placing the digitizer on tip of the Envy's keyboard still is awkward for lap use as I have to remove it for keyboard use.

    Hence I am glad and have gotten a Surface Pro. I was considering the Samsung ATIV 700T, but if its keyboard dock was heavier with a second battery and maybe second removable mSATA SSD, I would have picked that instead.

    I hope some group, either one, solves the pen capability in Painter (and PhotoShop and others too).
    Reply
  • Bytre - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    My 128GB has a samsung mzmpc128hbfu-000mv. AS SSD clocks in at 471.31MB/sec read, 252.33MB/sec write on the sequential test. 89.4GB free out of the box, 110GB total capacity (as measured by c: properties). Reply
  • thecoldanddarkone - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Hopefully I get mine tomorrow. Looking at the model it looks like some an 830 controller (lazy google). Reply
  • thecoldanddarkone - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Same as yours. Reply
  • dilse - Friday, February 15, 2013 - link

    Though i am new-user I like your review very much anandhji....simple yet powerful review covering all aspects without any bias

    I like""surface pro as a tablet"" part of the review and your comparison with other tablets in the market.

    Keep it up and thank you very much
    Reply
  • augustofretes - Saturday, February 16, 2013 - link

    The way I see it the Surface Pro is just a better ultrabook than the rest (specifically I think is a better ultrabook than the Macbook Air 11"). It's an ultrabook that can also work as a decent tablet. As an ultrabook it's only disadvantage is not being comfortable to use in your lap, which I don't think is a major problem when it has a great screen, touch screen, stylus support and a Micro-SD slot. Reply
  • kelhardy80 - Sunday, March 03, 2013 - link

    I did some research on this product and was surprised to see that most customers of the Microsoft Surface Pro are ok with the battery life (about 5 hrs on average with heavy constant use...and 8 hours with usage on- and off). Besides, most of us are near a power outlet anyway! Some customers even said they had no problem using this machine on their lap. For a more detailed look at the Surface Pro from the point of view of actual customers, check out http://ceejay1980.hubpages.com/hub/Best-Windows-8-... for a compilation of customer reviews of the Surface Pro. Reply
  • yos123 - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - link

    another review www.windows8web.com/surface-pro Reply
  • Amit kumar - Thursday, March 21, 2013 - link

    Awesome!..Worthy review even I believe you It is awesome. I saw fairly a few respectable features this site as well. http://www.gadtecho.com/microsoft-surface-pro-full... Reply
  • alnnn - Sunday, April 07, 2013 - link

    "Haswell is part of the solution to this problem, but we’re still talking about waiting until the end of the year before Microsoft can realistically integrate that."

    Realistically, if we assume that Haswell will launch in June, how long will it take for Microsoft to integrate Haswell into a Surface Pro 2? Q4? Or Q3?
    Reply
  • Shockwave241 - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I, personally, own a Microsoft Surface RT, and I did the exact same benchmark, and I got completely different results. My Kraken Benchmark result was around 25,000 m/s, 1/2 of what these results seem to be. It could have been the WiFi connection at the time, but I'm not sure. Reply

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