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Microsoft Surface Pro review

Offers the full blown version of Windows 8 but lacks in other ways
Fri May 24 2013, 13:30

Product Microsoft Surface Pro
Specifications 10.6in 1920x1080 touchscreen display, dual-core 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB or 128GB SSD storage, HD 720p front and rear cameras, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0 port, HDMI/VGA output, microSD card slot, headset jack, 42Wh battery, Windows 8 Professional operating system, 275x173x13mm, 907g
Price From £719

MICROSOFT'S WINDOWS 8 operating system (OS) hasn't been met with the best response since its launch last October, which was confirmed by Acer, one of the industry's largest computer makers, when it said earlier this month that it was "a disappointment to the entire industry".

As a result, the firm's Surface RT tablet, which was launched alongside the OS, didn't sell well in the UK.

Microsfot's Surface Pro has a kickstand for desk work

However Microsoft is looking to change that with the Surface Pro, offering a portable tablet device with the full version of Windows 8 and a much more powerful system, which is bound to attract much more attention from potential customers.

The Surface Pro tablet was a long time coming to the UK, with Microsoft's online store having shown "coming soon" for a good few months before the firm finally put us out of our misery, announcing the device's release in the UK on 23 May.

Design and build
On first glance, we were impressed by the Surface Pro's high quality design. Microsoft has produced a device that not only has a stylish edge with its "dark titanium" brushed metal chassis, but also feels very strong with robust build quality, giving the impression that it will withstand a knock or two.

For example, grabbing each end of the tablet and twisting in opposite directions, there was no give in the chassis, with the Surface Pro remaining exceptionally rigid. As a result, the Surface Pro is a reasonably rugged device for portability and traveling.

The Surface Pro laid flat is still nice to type on via its on-screen keyboard

The Surface Pro is a little bulky at 13mm thick, especially considering that its predecessor, the Surface RT is just 9.3mm thick. Its most recent rival, the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 measures 9.8mm thick.

It's also rather heavy for a tablet, weighing 907g compared with the Surface RT's 676g and the ThinkPad 2's 600g. Nevertheless, its thickness adds to its overall sturdiness, and its weight isn't the heaviest we've seen in a tablet of this size. A slimmer design would have been better for portability, though.

Microsfot's Surface Pro has a kickstand in the back

Thanks to the heavy marketing and promotion Microsoft pumped into the Surface RT last year, one of its most recognised features is perhaps the kickstand. Though this feature works well and is easy to flip out when needed, we found using it on a flat surface means that viewing angles are just too steep. Its non-variable angle makes it a real pain, especially for taller people whose line of vision is higher and results in a steeper incline when reading the screen at a desk.

Next: Display


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