As Microsoft's second Surface tablet, the Surface Pro, is nearly ready for release, the reviews have started rolling in, and unfortunately for Microsoft, most aren't very positive. The Surface Pro differs from the Surface RT in that it runs the full Windows 8 Pro OS and an Intel x86 processor, meaning it can run full Windows apps, but also that it has reduced battery life compared to the ARM-based Surface RT.
In other words, the Surface Pro has somewhat created its own space, somewhere between a more consumer-focused tablet like the iPad and an Ultrabook, resulting in full-power computing in an extremely portable form factor.
However, many reviewers have found that the device makes too many compromises to be considered revolutionary.
One major complaint leveled against it is the amount of free space available out of the box. On the 128GB version, users have access to a comfortable 83GB of free space, but on the 64GB version, only 23GB of storage is available to the user.
Another common complaint is the size and weight of the Surface Pro, which is both thicker and heavier than the Surface RT due to its beefier hardware.
"I keep scratching my head over who Microsoft expects to buy the Surface Pro," wrote Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet. "It's not as good of a tablet, in terms of weight/battery life, as the Surface RT is. But it's also not as good of a Windows 8 PC as other OEM-produced devices, coming in at lower price points with better battery life and other specs."
Still, though, in terms of performance, reviewers could all agree that the Surface Pro is more than capable of handling more demanding applications such as Photoshop — a major benefit of having an Intel Core i5 under the hood. Other high points include a quick start up time, a high-quality 1080p display and overall solid build quality.
It's hard to say whether consumers will be interested in the Surface Pro since its price point is comparable to the 128GB iPad, as well as some decent laptops, but as always, only time will tell.
Edited by Braden Becker