Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue, a former consumer tech columnist for The New York Times, was always sceptical of Windows 8 and Microsoft’s Surface tablet.
The company’s third high-end tablet, the Surface Pro 3, may have finally changed his mind — sort of.
In his review for Yahoo’s tech channel, Pogue praises the Surface Pro 3.
Most notably, Pogue praised the tablet’s beautiful 12-inch screen, long battery life, and improved kickstand that can now adjust at multiple angles. He called this improvement “a superb engineering feat.”
But that doesn’t mean everyone should buy it.
Pogue dedicates an entire section of his review to explaining why the Surface Pro 3 is different (and possibly a better value) than an iPad, a MacBook Air, or your average Dell Windows 8 laptop.
But right after that bit, he reminds us why we shouldn’t buy a Surface:
That said, there are legitimate reasons to pass on the Surface.
If all you need is a tablet, get a tablet; you’ll save money, weight, and thickness. If all you need is a laptop, get a laptop; you’ll save money, you’ll probably have more storage, and your machine will be more rigid and secure when it’s in your lap.
And, of course, if you prefer Apple’s unified, attractive universe of machines that work wirelessly together, well, then a Windows machine isn’t for you.
So he likes the new Surface tablet. So what?
Other early impressions of the Surface 3 have been generally positive as well.
It’s noteworthy because Pogue has been a longtime sceptic of Windows 8.
In fact, Pogue’s review of Windows 8.1 pushed Microsoft’s PR head Frank X. Shaw to slam his review, tweeting the following:
“Dear David Pogue, what a classic Pogue piece. Funny, inaccurate, opinionated in the skewed way only you can bring.”
Pogue seems a bit more receptive to Windows 8 this time around:
There is one solitary time when Windows 8′s split personality is not a disaster, though, and this is it. The Surface is the one machine (so far) where Windows 8 makes sense. You’ve got one OS for tablet mode, and regular Windows for desktop mode. Boom.
But his biggest criticism is one that’s been around since the first Surface tablet launched two generations ago.
On paper, the Surface Pro 3 sounds like a great deal. Microsoft crammed the same hardware that power full-fledged laptops into a tablet. When it functions as a laptop with its detachable keyboard case, it’s even thinner than the MacBook Air.
It’s unclear, however, if impressive hardware will be enough to convince users to commit to an operating system that has been partially blamed for one of the biggest sales slumps the PC industry has ever seen.
If this marvel of engineering doesn’t lift the Microsoft hardware curse, I don’t know what its designers are supposed to do. Maybe join a self-help group with Cassandra and Sisyphus.