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The Surface Pro

Friday, March 15, 2013 in Technical Articles (Views: 2267)
A few days ago, I blogged on the Surface RT, and today, blogging on the Surface Pro. Previous blogs on the Pro were about speculation, and rumor.

First of all, there were plenty of rumors swirling around the availablility of the product, not the price point as much. Being I own both, I've had some time to evaluate the good and bad of this - and I'm pleasantly surprised by the Pro.

Overall, the Pro is insignificantly larger than the RT. However, if you're playing a game that requires tilt and the like can wear your hand out quicker than the RT. But, this size allows me to carry both the Pro and RT at once and it is still lighter and smaller than the old "boat anchor" of a HP laptop I used to carry around, and no more heavy power bricks.

This is a well balanced box between power and the resources you're given. It isn't so restrictive you can't run anything above solitaire or notepad, yet well, even though you can run it, I wouldn't recommend something like Hyper-V or VMWare Workstation. You only have 4GB of RAM to work with, which is more than enough for what you have.

I am going bad here first, since there's less bad to discuss.

- The Pro does heat up, and you'll hear the fan often if you're taxing the hardware with something like a game. It is, for such a small device, quite loud and irritating.
- The price point is way too high. At $899 for a nearly useless 64GB model, or $999 for a 128GB model, this doesn't include any accessories, including keyboard or anything else. Office isn't included in the Pro, like the RT. This can all add up in a hurry.
- The price point for accessories is insanely high. Examples: Power Cord: $80, Privacy Screen: $60, Carrying Case: $50, and the list goes on.
- The pen they give you (stylus) just stinks of (and proudly proclaims) "I'm a Windows XP Tablet Edition, and I suck!" This pen also plugs into the power port, which makes it an easy to lose option, and good riddens.
- The power cord for the Pro is way too short. I've needed to get an extension cord just to make the Surface reach where I was working.

Now, the good stuff.

- The Pro can run about any Windows 7 based software and is, in theory, a Windows 8 laptop/tablet. So, you don't have to wait for a Windows 8 app to run it on this device.
- The boot time is insanely fast. From a cold boot, I can be up and running on a domain joined Pro in a matter of just a few seconds, thanks to the magic of solid state.
- The architecture is amazing. It is extremely well put together.
- Whereas the power and battery may be a bit on the weaker side, the battery can take a fair beating on some heavier apps. It won't die in an hour like most laptops I've ever owned under heavy pressure, but it has a good couple of hours. Note, this isn't the 5 you've heard - these are usually based on the cheapest power settings possible.
- The power adapter works on both the RT and Pro, and is 48W, even though it uses the 24W RT Power supply. The RT supply can power the Pro, but don't expect it to charge while using it. While shut down, the 24W supply will charge the Pro nicely.
- The USB 3.0 and Bluetooth works well on this, and perhaps another direct slap in the face to Apple, who never did implement this in their iPad.

Overall, this is a good device - and a good buy for me. It has made my life easier and more convenient, and really has replaced a heavy boat anchor of a lab box. I can always use the Surface to remote into a real lab machine, so really there is little lost, unless I am offline at the moment.

There will be other devices coming out in this form factor. So, this may be a good one to look into.


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