June 18th 2012 7:49 pm

Heads up! A newer version of this product is out!

75

Can it succeed as both a tablet and a laptop?

75

Microsoft's Surface with Windows 8 Pro is the best tablet running Windows 8 we've yet seen, but still feels like a compromise when used as a tablet or laptop.

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Critic reviews

7.3
31 reviews
  • Speed and features
    8.2
  • Design and form factor
    7.4
  • Battery life
    5.8
  • Display
    7.8
  • Durability
    8.3
  • Expandability
    6.2
  • Noise
    7.4
  • Portability (size / weight)
    6.8

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User reviews

8.7
42 reviews
8.0
Engadget Feb 5, 2013

That it offers compatibility with the massive back-catalog of Windows apps gives this a strong leg up over the earlier Surface RT, but the thickness, heft and battery life are big marks against.

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8.0
CNET Feb 5, 2013

The Surface Pro's gutsy design successfully reinvents the Windows 8 laptop by cramming an ultrabook experience into the body of a 10-inch tablet. Those wanting to go all-in on the tablet experience won't regret buying the Surface Pro, but we're holding out.

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8.0
PC World Feb 5, 2013

Surface Pro is superior to Surface RT on multiple levels. It’s also the world's best pure Windows tablet (its keyboard accessories notwithstanding), and the Surface model I recommend.

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8.0
PC Mag Feb 6, 2013

If you need a very portable tablet that has full Windows 8 compatibility, powerful components, and a 1080p touch screen, the Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro is your tablet.

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8.0
AnandTech Feb 5, 2013

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. If however you do a lot of typing in your lap and in weird positions, a conventional notebook is better suited for you.

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7.0
TechCrunch Feb 5, 2013

There are obviously trade-offs, but the simplicity of form, the excellent design, and the promising OS make the Surface Pro a real treat – and threat to other manufacturers.

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7.0
Wired Feb 5, 2013

It’s also more expensive than a tablet — and comes with many hidden costs — but is far more capable since it runs full Windows 8 Pro. And though it isn’t perfect, the Surface Pro is certainly very compelling.

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6.0
Gizmodo Feb 5, 2013

If it fits your professional needs, you'll at least want to consider it. Same goes if you have enough scratch to take a flyer on a secondary computer (that also happens to represent the future of computing). For anyone else, the Surface Pro probably isn't worth it.

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6.0
AllThingsD Feb 5, 2013

Some users may not mind the price or bulk of the Surface Pro if it frees them from carrying a tablet for some uses and a laptop for others. But like many products that try to be two things at once, the new Surface Windows 8 Pro does neither as well as those designed for one function.

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6.0
Ars Technica Feb 5, 2013

I'm sure the same markets that have used Windows tablets for the last decade will leap at Surface Pro—if they haven't already gone for the iPad. I'm sure some people will find it "good enough" as a laptop-like device, and for them it may be a viable purchase. But it's not for me.

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5.0
Laptop Magazine Feb 5, 2013

While we like its design and Core i5 performance, there's no getting around the fact that an $899, two-pound device with 4.5 hours of battery life is impractical for those who need or want to carry a tablet for extended periods of time.

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8.0
SlashGear Feb 5, 2013

Not being limited to pared-down versions of apps is a big bonus if there’s particular software you need access to; however, that flexibility comes with its fair share of compromises, such as the limitations on battery life compared to ARM-based slates, the increase in bulk, and the higher price.

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8.0
Mashable Feb 5, 2013

With its anemic battery life and relative bulk, the Surface Pro should not be your go-to device if you really want a tablet experience. But there's a difference between mobility and mobile computing. For the latter, the Microsoft Surface Pro offers one of the best experiences you can get.

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8.0
Chicago Sun-Times Feb 5, 2013

I’m very pleased with Surface Pro. It’s a tantalizing preview of what tablet computers, and Windows 8, will become if Windows developers become enthusiastic about creating Modern-style apps.

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8.0
Pocket-Lint May 21, 2013

Yes it's expensive and it's fatter than a tablet, but then it's a different prospect from the latter. We're not over the fact that a keyboard isn't included in the price, but for a powerful tablet PC it's got a whole lot on offer.

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7.0
Time Feb 5, 2013

If I were in the market for an Ultrabook and my budget allowed, I’d consider it. But used with the applications I tried, it doesn’t prove that one computing device can do everything well. Instead, it makes clear that there’s no such thing as no-compromise computing.

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7.0
ABC News Feb 5, 2013

The Surface Pro is a good choice for a niche mobile user, one who is willing to pay $1,000 for the power and robustness of a full Windows computer in a small and very compelling form factor. Many people, however, will likely prefer to get a tablet and buy a separate Windows laptop.

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7.0
Consumer Reports Feb 18, 2013

If you need such a device, perhaps to reduce your gadget count when on the road, just be aware that, with the Surface Pro, you'll be getting a tablet that's less portable, because of its weight and battery life, than the better models out there.

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8.0
VentureBeat Feb 5, 2013

For all of its failures as a pure tablet, the Surface Pro is a compelling offering as an ultraportable/tablet hybrid. The Surface RT gave us a mere glimpse at the future of computing, but the Surface Pro’s combination of power and flexibility brings it right to your fingertips.

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8.0
Ubergizmo Feb 5, 2013

In my opinion, this is a great machine for folks who mainly want an ultra-portable and 100% PC-compatible device that can deal with everything work will throw at them. For this, I’m confident that there is simply nothing better out there.

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8.0
T3 May 22, 2013

Surface Pro is a decent dual-use device, with plenty of power which we’d be happy to choose over a mid-range Ultrabook. We loved being able to dock it with a screen and full desktop set up at home, then take it on the move. It’s certainly able to fulfill the job of a laptop and iPad.

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7.0
Forbes Feb 5, 2013

While there will be some people who will be able to use the Surface Pro as a laptop replacement, I’m not one of them – at least until the resolve my keyboard issues.

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6.0
Digital Versus May 31, 2013

It's a superb-looking device with enough processing power to make full use of the company's productivity suites. Unfortunately, the low battery life, heat issues and less-than-adequate connectivity make it hard for us to give the Surface Pro any more than three stars. Sorry, guys.

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9.0
Notebookcheck Apr 12, 2013

Microsoft's attempt to do combine a tablet and an Ultrabook has been a success in every respect when it comes to the Surface Pro.

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7.0
BGR Feb 5, 2013

The Surface Pro is not good fit for everyone, but those who do purchase Microsoft’s new tablet for work or for personal use — whether they number in the thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions — will not be disappointed.

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6.0
Business Insider Feb 5, 2013

My experience with the Surface Pro was nearly identical to the one I had with the Surface RT, which makes it tough to recommend a pricier and heavier device with bad battery life. If the Surface intrigues you, check out the RT model first.

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7.0
USA Today Feb 5, 2013

It's blistering fast. The screen is beautiful. It's a solid hybrid between tablet and laptop. But you still have to take to the radically different Windows 8 operating system. And I wish it were cheaper, had more available apps and storage and longer battery life.

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First Looks

product preview
Engadget Jan 9, 2013

Same 10.6-inch screen, just a lot more pixel density. And believe us when we say the difference is appreciable ... Performance from the Core i5 processor seemed zippy at first blush: apps close and open quickly, and transitions are smooth.

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product preview
Gizmodo Jan 9, 2013

I only had about an hour to spend with the Pro, which is nowhere near enough for anything resembling a verdict, but know this: where RT offered heartbreak, Pro offers hope. I just wish it'd been like this from the start.

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product preview
PC World Jan 9, 2013

During the demo, we did fire up the first-person shooter Bulletstorm, and its frame rate at 1920x1080 was smooth enough to play, but didn’t look butter smooth in 60fps+ territory. Still, if nothing else, the game demo did prove that Surface Pro is a legitimate performer.

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product preview
CNET Jan 11, 2013

Can a tablet comfortably be your full PC? So far, when it comes to my limited time with Surface Pro, the answer seems to be yes. And that could, in the long run, be the most impactful development in PCs in years.

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product preview
Laptop Magazine Jan 10, 2013

The Surface Pro certainly lives up to its name in terms of features, including beefier performance, legacy app support, pen input and USB 3.0.

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product preview
New York Times Jan 10, 2013

For now, it looks as if the Surface Pro is, conceptually and practically, a home run. For thousands of people, it will be an ideal mobile companion. It will mean the end of the daily question: “Hmm, should I take my laptop or my iPad?”

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product preview
AnandTech Jan 22, 2013

Overall I'm very excited about Surface Pro. Like Surface RT, I feel like the one that's going to be really exciting is the next generation device though.

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product preview
ZDNet Jan 9, 2013

What Microsoft is delivering with Surface Pro is a laptop that's also a tablet (in a similar way, the Surface RT is a tablet that's also a laptop). It's shaping up to be the Tablet PC done right, with a mix of hardware and software that should make it attractive to many users.

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product preview
Mashable Jan 10, 2013

It's everything the Surface RT was, plus the productivity part of the equation that was missing ... It certainly adds a whole new dimension of mobility to what people think of as a "PC."

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product preview
SlashGear Jan 8, 2013

We must say, the entire device feels very polished and well designed. Build quality is superb and very durable from our initial impressions.

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product preview
CNET UK Jun 19, 2012

The Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro is a beefier take on the Microsoft Surface tablet, offering an Intel Ivy Bridge CPU and a more comprehensive version of Windows 8. It's chunkier and will be more expensive as a result, so the cheaper Surface is also worth investigating.

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product preview
TechRadar Jan 9, 2013

We didn't have enough time to test battery life but Windows Store apps feels just as responsive as on Surface RT, and desktop programs feel as responsive as you'd expect from a Core i5. Microsoft's first real PC is shaping up to be really great and really portable.

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9.0
Chibilink Chibilink

I've been using this product nonstop since I picked it up this morning at 10am. I've done everything I have wanted to do with this machine and have not hit any major dissapointments. There are some downsides so i'll go ahead and get those out the way. Cons: I was disappointed in the fact that...

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9.0
TgD TgD

The original Microsoft Surface pro was the definition of an impulse buy. There was talk that the Microsoft stores were clearing these out at a student discount price of $287. The problem was, finding stock of them seemed as hard as finding Bigfoot. You literally had to be in the right place at...

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9.0
PeteK68 PeteK68

This is the ultimate combo device. A lot of people will tell you that it's not phenomenal at any particular task. But I believe that it's very good at every task. I've had this device for over a week now and I use it constantly. If you consider it a tablet, it's surely not the lightest (which is...

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8.0
mbriggs mbriggs

Let me preface my comments with I already own a Surface RT device. So I can easily compare the two devices, along with other tablets or laptops that I already own. My first impression when unboxing was that the device, and packaging was absolutely gorgeous. Microsoft has really accomplished...

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7.0
udaykiran0 udaykiran0

Bought it on Day one. Lives up to the hype to a certain extent. I am overall very neutral in my opinion. But I am sure this device is not for everyone.

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10
rcsrhr rcsrhr

It's always interesting to me the difference in ratings between professional reviewers and the general public. I'd be including the reviewers here as well. Granted the reviews written by users are skewed since buyers are always biased, but the professional reviewers come with their own skew. In...

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9.0
iguy iguy

Although mostly a Mac person for the past 6 years, I am very comfortable in the Windows world and run several Windows computers as well. Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised by how good the Surface Pro is. It is a great tablet with far more real world use than the iPad (of which I am also a...

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9.0
Rhihan Rhihan

I've been using the Surface Pro with a Type Cover and a 64 GB microSD card as my primary computer for business (and fun) since I got it on launch day (Feb. 9). I take it to the office everyday, took it on a two day business trip where I flew across the country and also use it at home for games...

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6.0
krz krz

Hab a german Windows RT on it, so in the Store where not so big variety of apps. The form factor was quite disturbing for reading books, but was perfect for watching movies, etc. Generally i didn't liked the unpolished Windows RT, the task Management was inconsistent ( like switching Apps), had...

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