Over the past many years there has been a raging tablet versus laptop debate. The arguments got a new dimension when the first convertibles were announced as there were in the middle, tablets that can become laptops. But all that seems to be becoming history over past couple of years with Microsoft’s Surface and Apple’s iPad Pro, both tablets that are as good as or maybe even better than the conventional laptop.
Microsoft Surface Pro review
The Microsoft Surface series was Redmond’s response to the entire tablet surge across the world. While Microsoft did think of mobility and portability, it knew its users would still want to work like before, and not compromise on their productivity for the sake of the convenience of mobility. So the Surface has always had what dedicated Microsoft users would need, like a full-fledged keyboard. It even went a step further and offered a Surface Pen stylus that gave a new option for compulsive note takers and the more creative users.
However, the Surface hasn’t had much of a play in India. It seems like Microsoft wants to change it this year and has brought in the entire Surface Pro range. We used the new Surface Pro with Intel Core i5 and 256GB storage for around a week. Here is our review of Microsoft Surface Pro.
Microsoft Surface Pro specifications
12.3-inch Pixel Sense display (2736 x 1824)| Intel Core i5 Seventh Gen processor|8GB RAM|256GB SSD|Intel HD Graphics 620|Windows 10|8MP autofocus rear camera with 1080p HD video|5MP front camera with 1080p HD video| Window Hello face-authentication support| full-size USB 3.0| Mini DisplayPort| microSDXC card reader|headphone jack| Surface Connect| Bluetooth 4.1|Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compatible|13.5 hours of battery backup| Surface Pen|Surface Type Cover|Surface Arc Mouse
Microsoft Surface Pro price in India: Rs 106,999*
Microsoft Surface Pro review: What is good?
The Microsoft Surface Pro is a very powerful device. And that is clearly the USP, what Microsoft wants to communicate with the name Pro. So this Surface Pro is able to tackle most productive tasks, including some amount of video editing quite comfortable. There is no heating at all when you are pushing the table to do more. Also, there is no hint of a lag when you are using the stylus, doodling away on the sketch pad.
The Surface Pro offers multiple input options, and they come in handy depending on the situation you are in. In pure tablet mode you can use the touchscreen, while being creative you switch to the studio mode and opt for the Surface Pen, there is the superb Surface keyboard with Alcantara material in case you are in the mood to write and, of course, the stunningly designed but expensively price Microsoft Surface Arc mouse. All these combine to make the Surface Pro a very versatile and very powerful device. There is hardly any work you will have to put off till you are near a more traditional desktop or laptop.
The quality of the PixelSense Display is another attraction, especially for those who have more creative uses for the Surface Pro. It is great for consuming video and is bright enough for you to take your work outside. The battery life is good enough to sustain this display for your entire work day and that is important.
The Surface Pro has everything you will need to be productive. So there is a good 5MP front-facing camera for your video calls and 8MP rear camera for taking photos or even scanning documents. In fact, with the HDR mode on, this is one of the best cameras you will find on a device of this kind. Also, there are all the ports you would need to use on a regular basis, and there is no need to scurry around for converters and extensions.
But the single feature that attracts me the most of the Surface Pro is the Surface Pen. Yes, right from the time of the first Windows 8 build I used, Microsoft has been catering to the needs of someone who likes to write over typing. And this became better with the launch of the Surface Pen. On the Pro, the pen is as good as pen on paper. The Windows Ink Workspace makes it easier to take notes, jot down your thoughts and make sketches. Also, the Microsoft Surface Arc is an inspired piece of equipment, mixing the abilities of a mouse and a trackpad into one. I know I will get one of these, even if I do not get the Surface Pro.
Microsoft Surface Pro: What is not that good?
Well, this is an old story. But the kind of apps that make me use the Apple iPad Pro my go-to mobility device these days are still missing on Windows. It is not that important for those who are well entrenched in the Windows ecosystem and will be primary customers of the Surface Pro. But to woo others from other ecosystems, the ability to continue using what you were outside is key.
Microsoft Surface Pro review: Should you buy?
Yes, if you are a Windows person and limit yourself to the world of Excel and PowerPoint at work and in your personal life. No, if this is going to be your only large-screen computing device and you have nothing else on Windows. But for Windows fans and those who are comfortable switching operating systems, this is a great device to own given its performance and versatility.
*Microsoft gave us the review unit with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD storage. Our review unit also included the Surface Pen, Surface Type Cover as well as the Surface Arc Mouse, which need to be purchased separately. All these accessories are optional and don’t come inside the box.