Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
Reviews of Microsoft’s newest tablet, the Surface Pro, were published last night. They weren’t too good for the most part.Does that mean every single review was horrible?
Does that mean those who gave the Surface Pro a generally negative review had nothing nice to say about the tablet?
No review of anything will ever be entirely negative or positive. You can always pick out bits from reviews and skew those quotes however you want. What’s important to look at is the conclusion each reviewer makes. Does he or she say you should buy the product? Does he or she say the product is a good value? Does he or she say the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?
If the answer is “no” to any of those questions, consider it a bad review.
If you look at the Surface Pro reviews in aggregate, the consensus seems to be that the Surface Pro compromises too much on battery life, weight, and price to be a viable alternative to a regular laptop.
It’s pretty clear Microsoft fans don’t like that, so here are some of the nice things reviewers (including me!) had to say about the Surface Pro:
The Surface Pro has some impressive hardware specs for such a unique form factor. It can go toe-to-toe with any other thin and light laptop. You won’t have to worry about performance. In fact, it outperformed my 13-inch MacBook Air in many respects.
The Surface Pro boots up/shuts down a lot faster than my Air, and it wakes up from sleep mode before I can get to “two Mississippi.” In that respect, it felt more like using a traditional tablet than a regular laptop. Very nice.
While the Surface Pro might not be the future, exactly as it is, it’s absolutely full of ideas and functions that are just off the horizon, or just in from it. A pro-level stylus, touch-based everything, extreme portability, creative new ways to type. This is how you’d build a machine from the ground up if you wanted to make sure there was no chance of it falling behind the curve.
The 10.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 panel on the Pro is gorgeous, maybe the best laptop screen I’ve ever seen. Blacks are deep and whites are bright (my MacBook Air’s display looks comparatively yellowish now), and colours are both accurate and vibrant. Since it’s 1080p, it also holds up to closer pixel-level scrutiny when you’re holding the device nearer to your face in tablet mode.
As with the original Surface, the Pro is solidly built, with the same innovative metal kickstand that keeps it upright on a desk or table. It ran all the software I threw at it — both the new type and the old desktop type — speedily and well. I was able to install and run the full Windows 7 desktop versions of such popular programs as Microsoft Outlook, Google Chrome, Apple iTunes, Adobe Reader and Twitter’s TweetDeck.
Is this for the average user? Absolutely. It’s fast, solid, and small. It’s a great portable experience and it can be used, without much fuss, as a media device. It is the best of a lot of worlds and handily replaces the laptop/tablet combination most people carry these days. Could it be better? Absolutely. I’d love some cellular support, for one, and would gladly pay for it. Windows 8 is still heavily dependent on Classic mode and the Windows app store, while generous, is not overwhelming.
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