Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet is the long-awaited 'professional' version of its first direct assault on the iPad - and now the reviews are in.
So what does the tech press think? For one thing, they're not sure if it's really a tablet, laptop, both - or neither. It's certainly powerful - its specs include a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317u processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, and either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage - but it's also heavy and thick, with a bad battery. It's also hard to use on your lap.
Here are the verdicts from some of the top review sites.
The Verge: "It tries to do everything, but misses doing anything really well." (7.5/10)
"Even a well-executed Surface still doesn't work for me, and I'd bet it doesn't work for most other people either. It's really tough to use on anything but a desk, and the wide, 16:9 aspect ratio pretty severely limits its usefulness as a tablet anyway. It's too big, too fat, and too reliant on its power cable to be a competitive tablet, and it's too immutable to do everything a laptop needs to do."
Engadget: "Not quite yet."
"That it offers compatibility with the massive back-catalog of Windows apps gives this a strong leg up over the earlier Surface RT, but the thickness, heft and battery life are big marks against. We're confident Microsoft will keep refining Windows 8 to make the OS as a whole more seamlessly tablet-friendly, and we look forward to testing the dozens of touch-friendly hybrid and convertible devices due this year, but sadly Microsoft's second tablet doesn't have us reaching for our credit cards. Not quite yet."
CNET: "Gutsy". (7.8/10)
"The Surface Pro's gutsy design successfully reinvents the Windows 8 laptop by cramming an ultrabook experience into the body of a 10-inch tablet. Those wanting to go all-in on the tablet experience won't regret buying the Surface Pro, but we're holding out for a future, more polished generation of the device."
Gizmodo: "An answer to questions nobody has asked yet". (6/10)
"The Surface Pro is ultimately the best answer to questions a lot of people haven't bothered asking yet. That's different from being extraneous -- it's more like being the girl who shows up 30 minutes early to every party -- but it still means the Pro isn't for everyone. For a lot of you, a thick, superpowered tablet isn't necessary, and a laptop-like (and laptop-priced) machine that makes it harder to bang out emails, IMs, and tweets while on the couch or in bed is nothing you're interested in."
Wired: "Not quite great".
"Lacking in usable storage space. Short on battery life. Non-adjustable kickstand becomes a burden with long-term use. Pricey; you'll need to drop extra money on several accessories (mouse, keyboard cover, external storage). Too hot, heavy and thick to comfortably use as a tablet."
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