Surface Pro Is Tablet and PC at the Same Time

Appliance of Microsoft programs Windows conventional wheel

By David Pogue

For decades, Microsoft comes living two products: Windows and Office. Casual betting company in the area of hardware (Zune, smartphone Kin, Spot Watch) never worked out.

But the new Surface Pro tablet, which went on sale in the U.S. last week, seems to have more to your favor than any other hardware from Microsoft since the Xbox.

Everyone knows what a tablet, right? Is a black rectangle with a touch screen, like an iPad or a device with Android. He does not run traditional Windows programs or the Mac, just simpler applications wheel for tablets. It’s not a real computer.

But, with the Surface Pro (R $1,800 for the 64 GB model, R $2,000 by 128 GB) Microsoft breaks these rules.

And Tablet PC

The Surface Pro looks like a tablet. Can work as a tablet. You can hold it in one hand and use the other to draw him. The unit comes up with a digital pen that works very well.

But inside, the Pro is a complete PC, with the same Intel processor present in notebooks. As a result, the Pro can run any one of the approximately 4 million of existing programs for Windows such as iTunes, Photoshop, Quicken and, of course, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

The unit is very nice. He is all black and with slight curves at the ends, to the design of a Stealth helicopter. The connections immediately show that he is a pós-iPad. Among them is an entry for memory cards. The screen has excellent gloss and Full HD resolution (1,080 p). But, when connected to a monitor, the Pro can send an image even more needs, from 2,550 x 1,440 pixels.

There is also a USB 3.0 port on your tablet and another cleverly included in the power cable. It can be used, for example, to charge the battery of a smartphone while the Surface Pro is used. Obviously, the door can also be used to connect any USB peripheral, such as external hard drives, pen drives, keyboards, mice etc.

Already given notice? The Surface is a PC, not an iPad.


Perhaps to demonstrate more clearly that, Microsoft has included two features that complete the transformation from a tablet to a PC in seconds.

The first is the support of the tablet. He is a thin metal plate that disappears completely when closed, but when open, hold the tablet in a comfortable angle for work or see a movie.

The second feature, purchased separately, is the cover that turns into a keyboard. There are two models, the Touch Cover (R $200 when purchased together with the Pro) is but not ultra-thin brings physical buttons.

Already the Type Cover (R $260) is thicker, but has real buttons and a trackpad. It’s a really good keyboard.

Both keyboards are fitted to the appliance by means of a magnetic connector. To use the Pro as tablet, simply fold the keyboard. When this is done the keyboard is automatically disabled.

To actually use the Pro as a PC, there is still the Wedge Touch mouse. Is a small wedge-shaped mouse with precise buttons and a touch-sensitive surface.

Is it worth it?

When I wrote an initial text in my blog about the Surface Pro, I was surprised with some reactions from readers. The argument was the same: “for that price, you can buy a good lightweight notebook HD bigger. Why buy a Surface Pro when you get more for less? ”

Why? Because the Surface Pro does a few things that most laptops don’t. It weighs 0.9 ounce, works in portrait mode and is comfortable to use in one hand.

Another comment is “But no longer existed tablets with PC capabilities before?”.

Yes, there are some. But without the support of the table and the keyboard, these tablets haven’t seen PCs in a few seconds.

One thing is true: for that price you can buy a laptop better than the Surface Pro. You can also buy a tourist package, a designer handbag or a thousand liters of milk. But they’re two different things.

Weak points

We came to a conclusion: the Surface Pro is fast, versatile and impressively compact, that you can’t question. In practice, however, there are some problems and confusion.

Confusion 1: The Surface Pro runs Windows 8, which combines two systems into one. There is a system for tablet, with a splash screen (Home) full of small and colorful squares (tiles) that represent applications and real-time information (since Microsoft doesn’t give a name to this design, let’s call it the TileWorld).

The TileWorld was combined with a traditional version of Windows. So, you have two navigators, two control panels, two programs, two completely different visuals.

This strange duality makes no sense in desktop computers (desktops), but is less unequal Surface Pro. This device has two uses (tablet and notebook), and each one of the systems fit better in a usage type. Still, there is much to learn to start using the appliance.

Confusion 2: Two tablets Surface. One was released a few months ago and is simply called Surface (without Pro). It costs R $1,000, weighs 600 grams and has 1 cm thick. He just runs the TileWorld applications (typically very simple programs that run in full screen), but does not run conventional Windows software. This diminishes the appeal of the Surface. If you will buy a tablet that does not run conventional programs, why not choose an iPad and its more than 300,000 applications?

The Surface Pro is thicker and heavier (1.3 centimeters and 900 grams). But, fortunately, both wheel TileWorld applications as conventional programs Wnindows. So, it is a lot more versatile.

Unfortunately, these trouble are not the only problem of the Surface Pro. The speakers are just average. The screen and keyboard are slightly smaller than the equivalent price laptops. The power cord is kind of boring to fit.

Also it is worth mentioning that in the 64 GB model, only 23 GB are free. 65% of the memory is occupied by Windows and ancillary applications (128 GB model, only 83 GB are free). Very bad.

But worst of all is the battery. Microsoft says that the Pro has about half the duration of battery from the Surface, which would give about of 4 and a half hours. After my tests, I realized that only with a lot of luck to get the 4 and a half hours. I barely got around to 3 and a half hours.

I guess that’s why there aren’t many tablets of 900 grams with Intel chips out there.


In the end, the Surface Pro is not for everybody and does not meet all its promises.

Still, there is much to commend in Microsoft product. The Surface Pro is an interesting idea, almost a new category, and it is the ideal machine for many people. He reaches an interesting balance in size, weight, speed issues and software. You can use it in a restaurant without sounding ridiculous. You can hold it in one hand and read a book in a line.

And, above all, doing well on planes. Looks like it was born to those tables the economy.

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