Microsoft recently unveiled the Surface Pro, which is a massive upgrade over its little brother, the Surface RT. In fact, the Surface Pro is basically a powerful Windows 8 Ultrabook squeezed into a compact tablet frame.
And after the Surface RT received mixed reviews from the press, the Surface Pro could save the brand’s image – along with Microsoft’s hopes for Windows 8. Today, we’ll help you decide if the Surface Pro is a worthy purchase by showing you the important tech specs and the other options currently available to consumers.
Technical specifications for the Surface Pro and why they matter
Operating System – Windows 8: This might be the most important reason why the Surface Pro is better than the Surface RT. While Windows RT restricts users into only downloading apps from the Windows Store, the Surface Pro allows users to download apps from wherever they want. You can even run desktop software that you use on a normal PC.
Processor – Intel Dual core i5: This tends to be the most popular CPU on today’s mid-range to upper-level PCs. On tablets like the Surface Pro, the Core i5 will breeze through applications, which means smoother movement and the ability to run as many apps as you want simultaneously (within reason).
Storage space – 64GB or 128GB: The basic version of the Surface Pro comes with 64GB of storage space, but consumers can pay an extra $100 to double that. However, expect Windows 8 to take up a fair bit of that storage space (about 15GB), which means users are left with 50GB or 113GB of space remaining. You can expand the Pro’s storage space using a microSD card, which could give you 256GB or more of extra space (that’s something the iPad can’t do).
Dimensions and exterior: Up to this point, every technical spec we’ve listed seems to show that the Surface Pro is an Ultrabook. But it is most definitely a tablet, and it’s a good looking tablet at that. It’s 0.53 inches thick and 2 pounds heavy, which makes it feel slightly more solid than competitors like the iPad. But the case is smooth and sleek-looking and the Surface Pro is better described as “solid” than “heavy.” It doesn’t feel like it would break if you dropped it on the ground.
Display – Full HD 10.6-inch screen: It’s rare to find a tablet or laptop that features a full HD 1920x1080p screen. But that’s exactly what you’ll find on the Surface Pro. It’s a feature that Microsoft hopes will endear its newest tablet to the business community and users alike. And although squeezing that many pixels into a 10.6-inch screen might seem like a bad idea, the crisp visuals and smooth design makes everything about Windows 8 look fantastic.
RAM: The Surface Pro’s weakest tech spec is likely its 4GB of RAM. That’s not a whole lot of RAM, but it’s more than enough to run Windows 8. If you start running too many desktop programs or apps at the same time, then RAM could become an issue – especially since you can’t upgrade it.
So is the Surface Pro worth the price?
When you buy the Surface Pro, you’re paying for an Ultrabook that is more compact than any other Ultrabook on the market today. The full HD screen looks unbelievable and the smooth and sturdy exterior makes the Surface Pro feel like it’s made of higher-quality stuff than the iPad.
The only real drawback of the Surface Pro is whether or not you want to use Windows 8. Although Windows RT received poor reviews because it restricted users to downloading apps from the miniscule Windows App Store, Surface Pro users don’t have the same problem and can install any desktop software they like.
You don’t have to use the Metro UI if you don’t like, and you can disable the Metro UI entirely thanks to third-party software. For all of these reasons, the $1000 Surface Pro should be considered a smart buy.